Although I like reading manga, I’ve never attended a Con (short for convention): which is basically an event where manga/anime/cosplay lovers can get together, showcase their work and mingle. One of the biggest Cons here in Malaysia is the Comic Fiesta, held annually at KLCC and which attracts thousands of visitors.
Organised on a smaller scale is the Comic Art Festival, which makes a return for the third time this year. Unlike the Comic Fiesta, which features all things related to the manga/anime subculture including music bands, cosplaying and such, the CAFKL focuses mainly on comics and illustration.
I thought it’d be a good experience to attend a Con, and since both the bro and I like reading/drawing manga, I dragged him to CAFKL3 @ Makespace, Quill City Mall over the weekend. The event wasn’t free – we had to pay RM15 for a ‘passport’, which entitled us to an info booklet and an all-access, two-day pass. There were well over 200 booths crammed into the space – even the walls were pasted over with drawings, comics and illustrations. Most of the exhibitors were independent, self-made artists – some drew doujinshi (fan art), while others had web comics or mini-manga series for sale. There were also loads of artsy items, such as posters, stickers, badges, printouts, notebooks and more.
I’ve lost touch with our local comic art scene since I started working (used to be an avid reader back in my college days!) so most of the new names were not familiar to me; but it was still great watching the artists in action. They’re all so talented! Makes my doodles seem like childish scribbles lol. 😡
I once had dreams to be a cartoonist/illustrator. Needless to say, that got crushed. My parents didn’t approve of making it a career, so it became a hobby instead and I took up journalism.
These days, I find I have less and less time to even draw anything. Sigh.
Commissioned arts ! You can pay the artist to draw something for you. Course, most of the stuff doesn’t come cheap, but they do put a lot of effort into creating these works so if you’re truly a fan, it would be worth it.
Forum, featuring Black Jellyfish, a local Chinese cartoonist who uses the Internet as his main medium. I think Facebook plays a huge part in creating viral trends and marketing a webcomic these days, allowing the content to reach audiences like never before.
The session I was really looking forward to was the forum with a bunch of local web comic artists – Abam Apam, Lok Foong, Vulpine Ninja, Min and Hwei. I follow Abam and Vulpine on FB, and I love their witty, humorous comics – especially Vulpine’s social commentary which manages to provoke thought while being funny at the same time.
The group spoke on how they found their audience online, channels that they used, how they dealt with challenges and such.
The forum could have been better conducted – the moderators weren’t good at asking questions and ‘leading’ the panelists, which was really frustrating because they missed a lot of good points. Nonetheless, it was an insightful session, especially when the cartoonists offered advice to aspiring artists.
Not sure if they’d like to have their pictures public, so I took the liberty of putting cartoon faces. 😀
Did I enjoy CAFKL3?
There was a lot to see, but I’d only recommend it for die-hard manga fans. Being a casual reader, I got bored pretty fast. I didn’t buy a lot of stuff coz they were very pricey and I couldn’t afford paying more than the Rm15 for entry 😡 I was also disappointed as both panel sessions were badly moderated, awkward and the moderators were not good at prompting, resulting in a lot of uhms, ahs and answers that lari tajuk. lel
Overall, it was a good Comic-Con experience. Would I go again? Maybeee. I’d like to go to the ComicFiesta once, since they would have more things to see and do, like games, cosplay, music and such. Let’s see how it goes.
Thanks for reading!