With less than a month to go before December 10th, it was about time that Reed Exhibitions announced their official line up of panels at the Singapore Toy, Games and Comics Convention (STGCC) 2010 – something that promises to up the ante for future incarnations of the event.
Let’s take a look at some of the highlights promised, with the unfortunate but necessary caveat that guests and programme are still subject to change.
Friday afternoon kicks off with the guests that created the most significant buzz for STGCC 2010 since the announcement that Reed Exhibitions had taken over: Invincible Iron Man artist Salvador Larroca and Dark Wolverine artist Giuseppe Camuncoli. While the title and topic of the panel, Inspiration of Marvel Heroes, leaves much to be desired, just having these two men sharing their experiences working for the House of Ideas and with brilliant writers like Matt Fraction and Marjorie M. Liu should be a blast.
This is immediately followed by the only panel featuring comic book writers, as special guests Gail Simone, C.B. Cebulski and Ivan Brandon get together for Writing Outside of Comics. (Seriously, who planned all these topics?) I guess it would make sense to find some common ground so that all three would have something to share despite their varying experiences in and out of the genre. That being said, I’m really looking forward to this panel – Singapore desperately needs to hear from writers who are interested in crafting stories that go beyond stereotypical comic book fare.
On Friday evening, Spotlight on Simone Legno promises an intimate 45 minutes with the creator of the tokidoki brand. Legno has been a much-loved presence in Singapore ever since the inaugural Convention in 2008 and it’s great that he’s finallybeen given the chance to address and hear from his fans from the region on stage, rather than being swarmed at the booth.
Perhaps the main highlight on Friday would be the launch of The Winged Tiger in Singapore book by international creator Phil Yeh and local collaborator He Shu Xin. Yeh has been creating comics for decades and he and the Winged Tiger character are no strangers to Singapore, having been here earlier this year at the invitation of the Singapore Book Development Council and with a mural prominently displayed at the National Youth Centre in Somerset. This book launch will be a treat for Singaporeans young and old and is a wonderful lead-in to Saturday’s theme of “East meets West”.
We start off the day with a panel featuring Filipino artists Leinil Yu and Harvey Tolibao, whose Marvel work is arguably the defining highlight of their respective careers. While I’d like to think that artistic talent transcends race and nationality, I suppose there is a case to be made about Asian Talent in the US Market. Both Yu and Tolibao have paid their dues in the industry and continue to be role models for aspiring artists, regardless of origin.
With Singapore wanting to be known as the “hub” for a dozen different industries, it isn’t surprising to note that several artists from Singapore and Malaysia would want to talk about the possibility of Singapore – A Comics Hub by 2020. With panelists including local educators/artists Otto Fong and Lim Cheng Tju and Singapore-based Sonny Liew and Tan Eng Huat, one would presume that there is no comic genre unexplored by these four. In particular, Fong’s comic book series is now into Book 3, a welcome sign that locally produced comics can be fun and educational and most importantly, self-published.
The highlight of Saturday is undoubtedly the Marvel panel East in West featuring seven of the company’s top talent – never before seen on the same stage. I’ve had my reservations about how most artists aren’t comfortable on the stage behind a microphone, and I think it would take a really, really good moderator to make this panel come alive. Then again, having never met any of these creative giants up close, I don’t really know how well their personalities will come across – or if we’ll be able to understand their dozen different accents.
Sunday’s highlight is perhaps the return of fight choreographer Jennifer Phillips to the country she grew up in, and a 45 minute panel with her doesn’t seem to be enough to learn more about this convent girl who left the country at the age of 20 to become the head of one of Hollywood’s upcoming talent management teams, and what keeps her coming back to the land of her childhood.
Interestingly enough, there doesn’t seem to be any mention of the C.B. Cebulski talent scouting panel that was earlier announced, but I suppose that further emphasises the fluid nature of the schedule. Things can still change.
Catch up with the latest panel schedule here!