B: Times When We Love Our Work

Kanddy here. This is about APCC but why is it not in NEWS or EVENTS? Well, because the press con experience became something special for me and I wanted to share my day.

The press con was announced to us last week and the email only mentioned Vampy and toy designer J* Ryu and “surprise guests.” As a cosplayer and a toy enthusiast, I was already eager for APCC because of the shows, cosplay and the guests but to meet these two before the event even started made me hysterical.

So I woke up, exercised, ate brunch and headed off to The Manila Penninsula. It was 1PM and the sun was unforgiving. I was wearing a long sleeved polo because I know Manila Penn to be chilly but it also made me sweat beads. When I arrived, I met with friends from Anime PH, arkadymac.com and CNPH. The conversation went something like this:

kamusta? eto, busy. ikaw? Busy din. *collective sigh*

The event started and the host was very cute. I think his name was Nico (??) and he gave a run down of what was going to happen in AsiaPOP Comicon. Nothing we haven’t mentioned in our earlier press releases and announcements so, moving on. He said we will a guest from the US over the phone so the line was set and we heard the voice of Jeremy Shada over the phone in loud speaker. Then he showed up!

12026672_1032003626818045_328244162_n

Wow. Yesterday, Pokemon Go. Now, phone teleportation. Jeremy is the voice of Finn the Human in the show, Adventure Time. I used to watch the  show but then it started having more childish episodes so I stopped. Nothing wrong with childish episodes because it’s a cartoon for kids but I got too used to the deep and emotional plot of the earlier episodes. Jeremy is a part of a band, Make Out Monday or MOM. They will be playing during APCC and surprise, surprise, the whole band showed up.

At this point, I could no longer relate to what was happening. This isn’t my genre. I was having fun watching the reactions of my seatmates who were the ladies from K-Zone and When in Manila. They knew the song MOM sang in a cappella and the band members names. Fangirls.

Then, it was my time to fangirl because Alison Harvard, VampyBit Me and J* Ryu was next!!!

12016446_1032003573484717_1258365376_n

Wearing a costume, Vampy talked about how important the research process was for each cosplay and how attitude creates a character. She also mentioned how the details show how much care you’ve put in the costume. She is looking forward to shopping for fabrics and materials. Afterwards, Alison talked about how she would take any excuse to dress up. She mentioned that cosplay and modeling both are a welcome escape from reality to become whoever you want to be. It is the freedom to express oneself.

(I’m going to skip J* Ryu for now because later, it’ll be all about him)

12023262_1032003533484721_610159310_n

The Universal Events and Entertainment General Manager, Rita Magnus also said a few words. Most especially on how he Philippines has welcomed the event. With that, the panel ended. The venue for the press con is a night club, Salon de Ning. They had VIP rooms and each room gave way to a guest: Make out Monday, Alison, Vampy and J* Ryu. So we took this chance (also because this was 60% of the purpose of the press con).

11850944_1032003560151385_603141963_n

I should mention that I buy Munny by Kidrobot every ToyCon. It’s a vinyl do-it-yourself figure that you can draw on, sculpt, etc. There are other versions like Dunny and Labbit. So J* Ryu is Jesse R. Yu and I don’t necessarily follow him but I am familiar with most collaborators of the company, Kidrobot. While onstage, the “It’s a FAD” Dunny was brought out. It is a 20″ handcrafted creation as his collab with Kidrobot.

So we lined up for an interview with him. I overheard some common questions about his name, inspiration, next project, etc. My edge was that I know him and that I know this piece. So I grinned and probably smirked. I knew I was going to get the interview of my life. Senpai is going to notice me.

When my turn came, I noted that J* Ryu was so nice and patient. He was also talkative. I did not actually get to ask any questions because he would pick up fast and start talking really well. He lowkey lectured me on how I don’t challenge myself to do more for my toy design. Which was true. This was the question I got to ask him:

OA: You will be having a booth (Yes.) and so, can we expect you to do some tutorials? (in an earlier event in Jakarta, he held a seminar and tutorial on sculpting)

J *Ryu: I’m not formally set up to do that (aw~) but I did bring it (OH~). I brought clay, casting materials, resin. See for me, cons aren’t about selling. When I go to cons, my whole goal is to meet people and to help educate. I want people who are interested in the art form to feel free to ask questions and sit at the booth with me.

We are colleagues *motions to me and himself* but I don’t think there is a divider this way *motions up and down* but rather this way *motions left and right* this is what you’re into *left* and what I’m into *right* and we collaborate and share.

He starts talking about Vinyl on Vinyl and Secret Fresh (art galleries who often exhibits toy designers). This became a personal talk.

11999940_1032003490151392_2125401305_n

Back to the sculpture Dunny, F.A.D. stands for Face Adorned Dunny. Then he gave me off the record details and scoop. He even went like, “…because you’re so kind, I’ll show you. There’s a secret…” and he showed me pictures from his own phone. I HAVE BEEN BLESSED MY THE SKIES ABOVE. Fangirl mode intensifies. I shouted “YES” at one point and my vocabulary dropped to only ‘oooh’, ‘i’m so excited’ and ‘omg’. When he asked about my work, ‘no… noooooo’ senpai, noticed me!

The rest of the interview wasn’t an interview anymore it was him asking where the malls are, how he turns into a vampire living in LA, what I draw in my Munny, gashapons and the giant Gundam in Japan and Linda then the Nuno, he liked dreams, monsters, etc. He and his Filipino friend was playing basketball and when the ball went to a grassy part, he said ‘excuse me’ so Jesse thought it was because of the little people in the grass.

When we said bye, I said, “…we have to go…” rather than ‘that’s it, thank you.’ because personally, I want to see him again and talk and sculpt and I DID NOT WANT TO LEAVE. SENPAAAAAAAAAIII!!

12023098_1032003473484727_1446068242_n

Next we went over to Alison Harvard. I did not see the need to take much of her time because we already interviewed her through mail so we just thanked her. Her answers to the questions brought smiles to my face and it was wonderful. She is inspiring. Especially when she saw my lanyard. I was wearing the Rampage 2015 lanyard and she started fangirling and listing her champions: Lulu, Teemo and another one I forgot. I told her I use Lux. Alison mentioned that she will be cosplaying IF and only IF she gets to find a wig because her order did not come on time and she is hoping to find one in Lynelle before the event. Ganbatte, Alison!!

The VIP room for Vampy was packed. We’ve also interviewed her through mail so we did not bother. However, the funny moment was when we were trying to guess her cosplay. It was western and the name escaped me so I asked Jillian of Anime PH, “ay… wait, alam ko yan. galing Marvel” then I looked to Romeo of CNPH who shook his head like ‘di ko rin alam‘. Then Christian of arkadymac.com came to our rescue: “PSYLOCKE!! process of elimination ng Marvel characters.” *cue applause*

Not going to lie, we have zero knowledge of Make Out Monday and Jeremy Shada before APCC so we could not really ask anything. Interview for me is very personal. Yes, they are here to promote the event but they are also people with interests and life and rather than asking something that can be Googled, I ask for opinions, I try to empathize and make connections.

That talk with J* Ryu was the best.

As for a conclusion, this is a Munny by Kidrobot. My latest one from ToyCon2015 that I got for 500Php because it did not include the box: (ignore the bookshelf)

12032315_1032003980151343_1204197735_n

Afterwards, Yani and I walked to Glorietta to eat Paper Moon. Best day ever.