Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Event Report: Popcon Asia 2015

On Sunday, 9 August 2015, I went to Popcon Asia 2015. This event was held from 7-9 August 2015 at Jakarta Convention Center. There was a lot of events going on the Gelora Bung Karno complex, including We The Fest and the FGD Expo (which apparently was not the expo about focus group discussions). So there was a lot of people going there and the parking lot was packed with cars, motorbikes, and... ticket scalpers. Anyway. This is my third year of my regular visit to this event. I am happy that this event was not held in Smesco Building as how the previous Popcon Asia was. I wish I could attend from the first day, but I had work on Friday and Saturday. Thankfully, the most anticipated talk show of the event featuring Fluxcup was rescheduled from Friday evening to Sunday night. 

Popcon Asia is an annual event that celebrates creative contents to the growing market of teens and young adults. This convention claims to promote the emergence of local creative contents. Apparently some artists and prominent figures from globally-recognised publishers came to scout some talented artists as well. While much of the advertised features potentially attract more creators than consumers, I was intrigued to see more amazing original artworks and creative contents the artists would offer. 

I have been following its twitter account since around last year, and I could see that their media social campaign was much more active than its previous years. They had been campaigning since a few months before the D-day. And unlike this year’s AFAID that has been only focusing on Anisong (with similar line-up from the previous years..) and a bit of cosplay for their marketing campaign, they had launched many different teasers that would attract the lovers of comic, games, movies, toys and cosplay since the start of their campaign. That active campaign really paid off. Since the first day of the event, apparently there were so many visitors and some goods were already sold out since the first day. At the end of the event, there are heaps of local comics that were sold out. People started to pay attention to local creative contents such as comics, board games and movies. 

This year’s Popcon’s theme is “A Voyage to Creative Galaxy”. Coordinating with the theme, there were space-themed attributes that involved astronauts and aliens. The early social media campaign tried to attract the geeks that are often perceived as the aliens, the outsiders, the outcasts. They reminded us on how “the muggles” told us that as a grown up it is no longer our time to enjoy comic and animation, or how they cringed at our expensive toys and figures, et cetera. Then they convinced the geeks that “Popcon understands”. Nifty, no? 

After we purchased the tickets, we were directed to a short space-themed “tunnel” with blue lights that brought such inter-galactical feel, the feeling that we were travelling through the space. Unfortunately I forgot to bring my camera, and I only had my phone camera that I assumed not sufficient enough to take photos in such rather dark room (hence the low-Q photos in this report). Anyway, it was cool! You can visit this post to see how the tunnel was. 

As usual, I “swept” through the artists’ alley to find some amazing artworks and comics. As how the previous year was, the first booth I visited was Pronto Pixel’s. His booth sold noticeably less goods than last year, but they are still equally great. There were these very cute carpet of his original character, which I would totally buy if only my budget was not limited. He did not remember us, but he was very friendly. He asked about my boyfriend’s visible wound (he had an accident just recently) and we talked for a short while. He was also noticeably friendly to other visitors. A perfect way to get people to buy your stuffs really. I doubt I will be able to afford other things if I bought the cute carpet or plushies, so I bought his postcard package that also contains a badge and a few stickers. I also bought some comics, a few stickers, and a couple of huge gorgeous art prints that were signed by the artist. I bought another huge art print from him last year! 

What I bought at Popcon Asia 2015.

I do not do selfies much, but when I selfie,
I do it with no face.
This event also covered some interesting talk shows and workshops on creative industry, including the digital copyright workshop by Google. I did not attend the shows except Fluxcup’s talk and a bit of Fonticello’s awesome performance. I also took many selfies with my boyfriend, and sneaked one selfie with the no face cosplayer. 

We thought that Fluxcup’s talk would be held on the main stage, so we reserved our seats near the main stage. After a few minutes went by, and the MC mentioned that Fluxcup’s talk was currently running on the Space Station stage, we rushed to that stage only to struggle to find our standing spot. Unfortunately, we did not watch the show from the start. Anyway, there was a man with suits, round sunglasses and fake paper moustache that acted as Fluxcup. I immediately recognised that he was dubbed by the real Fluxcup, whom I assume was sitting on the sofa behind the standing men. The fake Fluxcup was accompanied by some other people known for their being comical figures in the local creative scene such as Faza Meonk and Eno Bening (anyway, his Joker make up was cool. Apparently it was done on the Indonesian Beauty Vloggers' booth). The talk was hilarious as expected. They mentioned the Shia Labeouf’s Do It video that was dubbed with Fluxcup’s suppose-to-be-poetry, Puisi Coklat, that is currently viral among the local audience. I personally enjoyed the Gaban sub the most, though.

***warning: low-q photos taken by mobile phone ahead***

The fake Fluxcup with paper moustache. 

The real Fluxcup (or so I thought) literally talking on the back.

When the talk was about to end, it was revealed that the real Fluxcup supposed to be the one on the sofa. It was such a big plot twist to some audiences, including the teenagers who sat next to my boyfriend. Anyway, the “real Fluxcup” was about to reveal his face behind the fabric mask. So revealed his face was. What a huge revelation. 

But how did his voice kept talking while the man who just recently revealed his face did not move his lips? Well, turned out that it was yet another fake Fluxcup. The real Fluxcup was behind the audience crowds the whole time. Now THAT was the major plot twist for us including me and my boyfriend. He finally shown up, with fabric mask intact. Shortly afterwards, the talk was closed that he was herded to the main stage. We chased him like rabid fangirls because we were. 

The masked man is the real Fluxcup... probably.

At the main stage, we quickly secured our seats. There was Fonticello’s performance currently running. It was such a greatly convenient timing for them, to get the Fluxcup worshippers rushed to the main stage and had to watch them patiently before The Master took the stage. It was also a convenient time for us actually, because we found that Fonticello’s performance was really interesting. The three members were playing cello with rock to heavy metal-ish arrangement. It was AWESOME. Please watch this video if you would like to know how their music is. After the performance, they introduced themselves and promoted their music that is also available on iTunes. 

I was constantly worried that his hair would get stuck on the strings.

After Fonticello finished their performance, Fluxcup and the others, including the MC, came to the stage and held a long giveaway session. The giveaway contains at least one piece of art from every booth in the whole event, so there were a lot of prize winners. The giveaway session was hilarious and a lot of  the questions were totally random. Among the questions asked the participant’s name, what was written on Fluxcup’s jacket, how many buttons on Jenderal Pavlichenko’s sailor uniform, and “kamu punya nggak kemeja dari Sampit?” (a simple “yes” would give the prize, really). Anyway, one of the most memorable thing for me was when an audience answered one of Fluxcup’s questions, Fluxcup gave him (her? I did not pay attention to the receiver!) a Counterpain, along with a real giveaway prize. 

Coming from Fluxcup’s pocket in worn out state, a hardcore Fluxcup fan would totally treasure this. 

Apparently, some of my friends and acquaintances went to the event as well. Unfortunately I did not meet them because I did not know that they would attend. The one I knew only attended on Saturday, when I had to coordinate two entire FGD sessions for my job. Anyway, I am totally looking forward to next year’s Popcon Asia! 

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