Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Fans of Western Comics and Movies Unite at Comic N Toys Geek Fest (CTGF)

by contributing writer Michelle Chee

The Comic N’ Toys Geek Fest (CTGF) was held recently on the 21st and 22nd of March 2015, which fell on a Saturday and Sunday respectively. This particular event was targeted mainly at fans of western comics and series like all the beloved Marvel and DC characters. It was also a chance for local comic artists and other related art doyens to showcase their craft. The brains behind this event were the people at Lil’ Monsters, Batcave Malaysia and the Comic Society of Asia, who pooled their resources together and pulled off this extremely successful gathering.
Overview of CTGF at ground concourse of Jaya Shopping Centre.
Among the highlights of the event was a comic panel, a workshop on toy customization and a cosplay competition. Also present was guest cosplayer Liui Aquino from the Philippines, who had his fans in a frenzy during the fan activity session on the first day.
Apart from the stage activities, there were plenty of artist booths to browse and shop at. While walking around, I had the opportunity to meet and talk to Edvinder Singh who was there to sell prints from a series he’s working on called Children of Ga’ia, which is inspire by Vedic Scripture. His artwork was very detailed and vibrantly coloured. When asked about the storyline of Children of Ga’ia, Edvinder said that it was about a battle between good and evil, but more importantly how good and evil are actually complex and difficult to define, giving rise to a grey area that the characters have to struggle with. He and his writer partner Meninder Aujla have planned five volumes and we wish him all the best.
Friendly Edvinder from Children of Gai'a.
Another interesting booth belonged to some representatives from MY Comic Community who were selling their latest collaborative effort called Garaj Komik, which is a fanzine featuring several standalone stories. A total of four artists contribute to these stories in mixed degrees, giving the fanzine a very Indie and raw feel.
Heng Kok who was manning the Garaj Komik booth.
Geekdom gatherings are never complete without the presence of cosplayers and CTGF was awash with characters from various comic books and movies. We spotted a group of Avengers mingling with the crowd and posing for photos with curious onlookers and avid fans. They also took some time out to goof around with one another. Apparently all that saving the world business is rather stressful and there’s nothing like a day out with the gang to cure the mental anguish.
The Avengers (and their buddy Spiderman) taking the day off.
Two Thor-iffic cosplayers.
Of course we musn’t forgot the entire bunch of people from the Batman franchise, one of which was Ezard Bob Zuhaili, who did a perfect rendition of the Penguin, complete with slow shuffling movements and a walking stick.
Would you offer him a fish?
Of course everyone at the event was looking forward to the cosplay competition themed "Marvel vs. DC" with many gathering around the stage area to watch. It has to be noted that one of the judges was Liui Aquino, a professional cosplayer from the Philippines who was a guest at this event. There were many fangirls (and fanboys) crowding around him for a chance to get a picture in his Nightwing costume.
The esteemed judges, a very intimidating bunch. Or maybe not.
As the cosplay competition went underway, it was obvious the crowd was excited and took every opportunity to interact with the contestants who were equally creative, injecting in witty banter with the host, Andrew and acrobatic moves (for some). In the end, the first place went to the affable Louis Megami as Spider-man, who won the hearts of spectators by engaging with the crowd and being such a great sport when questioned by the judges. The twenty two year old, who has been cosplaying since 2011, was very humbled by the win when I met him afterward.
Liui (Aquino), left and Louis Megami.
Later on after the excitement had wound down, I went to check out more figurines that were on display. A large collection came from the Comic Society of Asia, headed by David L., who was at the booth recruiting for the group as well as trying to raise awareness of western made figurine collection.
Comic Society of Asia’s figurine display.
Another highlight during the event was a sculpting demonstration by Mufizal Mokhtar which was both educational and entertaining. However since his booth was small and the crowd was thick, I only managed to catch snippets of it on an extension screen. Impressively he managed to make a full figurine of Hang Tuah (or is it Jebat?) in just over 20 minutes.
Hang Tuah and Hang Jebat in Silat poses
The final bunch of people I spoke to were from MyLARP, the Malaysian LARP community promoting the first ever LARP event in Malaysia on 29th to 31st of August this year. However, Sacha, who heads the group says that plans are still ongoing and they’re targeting about 60-100 players.  
Some crazy-ness expected from cosplayers at cons!
Finally, a big Thank You is in order for the organizers who have worked so hard and pulled off a successful maiden event which was relaxed and informative. Here’s hoping for more action in the future. Check out more photos of the event at the Comic & Toys Geek Fest photo album on Facebook.
Fans of Western Pop Culture who would be interested to attend international conventions like Supanova Australia, Dragon Con Atlanta USA, New York Comic Con and more stay tuned to Away Missions being organised by Outpost Expeditions.

Disclaimer: This blog post is written for fan engagement only. All referenced trademarks remain copyright to their respective owners.

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