A to­tal lo­cal geek­out

The re­cent Geek Con Malaysia brought cre­ative ta­lent and fans to­gether un­der one roof.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - READS - By KALEON RA­HAN star2@ thes­tar. com. my

HAV­ING lived in Shah Alam since the 1980s, I have wit­nessed it blos­som from a sin­gle traf­fic light town to a city with mul­ti­ple malls. Two week­ends ago ( March 19 and 20) the city’s or­derly en­vi­ron­ment re­ceived a cre­ative facelift, courtesy of the Geek Con Malaysia event, held at KDU Univer­sity Col­lege.

Geek Con is a labour of love by a group of lo­cal comics fans – spear­headed by Andrew Tan ( founder of Bat­cave Malaysia), Raz­man Rah­man ( owner of toy- shop Lil’ Mon­sters), and Alan Quah ( main­stream comic book artist). Buoyed by the suc­cess of a smaller- scale event held at Jaya Shop­ping Mall in March last year, the trio ( with sup­port from friends) were de­ter­mined to make a more event­ful se­quel.

Ac­cord­ing to Tan, it took them just six months to pull ev­ery­thing to­gether. “We think that was a great achieve­ment in it­self, hav­ing such lim­ited time

4 to plan, or­gan­ise and run the event. There are cer­tain things we couldn’t do due to the lim­ited time frame and this would be lessons to learn when we de­cide to plan for the next event,” he said, adding that there are cur­rently no def­i­nite plans for Geek Con Malaysia 2017 yet.

Quah added: “We are proud that the con­tent we cre­ated was able to reach out to the pop cul­ture com­mu­nity. To wit­ness fans of comics – be it West­ern or lo­cal, col­lectibles, cos­play­ers, card gamers, gamers and fan clubs con­gre­gate un­der one roof is a sight to be­hold.”

Geek Con of­fered an av­enue for lo­cal tal­ents to show­case their skills and re­lease their wares. Amongst the Geek Con- exclusive releases were Chain Link Stu­dios’ Streets Of Red, Lee & friends’ Garaj Komik 3, and Maple Comics’ Scenes Of The Fa­ther.

Com­ple­ment­ing these works were a host of es­tab­lished lo­cal comic artists ( Quah, Shel­don Goh, Pup­peteer, Muham­mad Azhar, Mimi Mashud, etc) and two in­ter­na­tional names ( Gary Choo from Sin­ga­pore and Gar­rie Gas­tonny from In­done­sia), who of­fered art prints and on- the- spot sketches at rea­son­able rates.

Al­though Sin­ga­pore has its own Sin­ga­pore Toys, Games and Comics Con­ven­tion ( STGCC), Choo found Geek Con to be a good “bal­ance be­tween comics and toys”. As for Gas­tonny, he likened the pos­i­tive re­sponse to Geek Con to the de­vel­op­ments in In­done­sia, which hosts three sim­i­lar events an­nu­ally. Be­sides West­ern comics, il­lus­tra­tions and mer­chan­dise, there were also dis­plays by lo­cal en­trepreneurs/ fan clubs such as Gi­la­pos­ter KL, Tran­sMY, Hand Made Ob­ject, Rukia’s Plush Heaven, and Lego-re­lated cre­ations/

MOCs.

And then there were the cos­play­ers, of course. Be­sides Tai­wanese cos­play star Misa Chi­ang, the lo­cal cos­play­ers also made their pres­ence felt. From ar­moured Bat­man to Zatanna, mul­ti­ple ver­sions of Spi­der- Man ( and Spi­der Gwens) to mul­ti­ple Dead­pools, they cer­tainly pumped up the en­ergy at the event. It was only ap­pro­pri­ate that they took cen­tre stage on the sec­ond day, show­cas­ing not only their cos­tumes but also their in- depth knowl­edgek of the char­ac­ters they cos­played d.

Dur­ing an in­ter­view with Jna ( pro­nounced as Jeena), who cos­played Spi­der Gwen, I was im­pressedd by her knowl­edge of the char­ac­ter, com­pre­hen­sion of the Spi­der­verse and the ori­gin nal Gwen Stacy. She wasn’t the only one – dur ring the Cos­play Com­pe­ti­tion aka “Con­test o of Cos­play­ers” event, most of the cos­player rs showed fa­mil­iar­ity with their char­ac­ter rs as well.

My pas t con­ven­tion vis­its have al­ways been a ma ad rush – chas­ing for events/ in­ter­views, hunt­ing for bar­gains and sourc­ing for per­fect ph hoto op­por­tu­ni­ties. How­ever, Geek Con turne ed out to be an en­tirely dif­fer­ent ex­pe­ri­enc ce. The re­unions with fel­low col­lec­tors that I went to school or traded comics with certa ainly brought back happy mem­o­ries. Whe ether you were an ex­hibitor, ex­hi­bi­tion­ist or vis­i­tor/ cus­tomer, Geek Con felt very muc h like home.

Mov­ing g ahead, there are some as­pects of the event that could be im­proved. If I were to sum up p Geek Con, it would be “or­der in chaos”. Th here were just too many things ( cos­play­ers/ ev vents/ con­ver­sa­tions/ cre­ative ideas) hap­penin ng at the same time but at least they were all gearedg to­wards pro­mot­ing the geek fra­ter­ni­tyy in Malaysia.

In term ms of pub­lic­ity, it would have helped to have m more me­dia and so­cial me­dia cov­er­age. Next was the lo­ca­tion – a venue in the heart of KualaK Lumpur or Pe­tal­ing Jaya would hav ve been much more con­ve­nient for at­ten­dees s. This re­quest was re­in­forced by the lack ofo ameni­ties such as food stalls, ATMs andd pay­ment so­lu­tions.

While theret is room for im­prove­ment, that should no ot de­tract from the fact that this was a pretty su uc­cess­ful event.

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