Marvel Comics Editor-in-Chief CB Cebulski came to Singapore Comic Con last week to share his insights on business trends in the Asian comics industry. Held as part of the Singapore Media Festival, Singapore Comic Con saw a 21 percent increase in attendance this year compared to 2019. Cebulski was featured in a panel discussion titled “Breaking into the International Comics Market”, covering topics ranging from business practices to artistic innovation.
“I think we will see more emerging artists from Asia who want to focus on interior art and sequential storytelling, rather than just covering commissions,” Cebulski says of creative shifts he sees in the region in the near future. He also anticipates art styles shifting from video game and anime-inspired forms to more hand-drawn, personally and culturally influenced line art, which relies less on computer rendering.
Other panelists who shared the stage with Cebulski included local artists Artgerm (Stanley Lau), Derrick Chew, Zu Orzu and Rachta Lin.
“You get out of comics what you put in, so never lose your passion. But remember, if you choose to work in comics, the work doesn’t stop once you complete a script or draw a page; the hustle should continue with writers and performers who also serve as their own cheerleaders, PR people, social media executives, accountants and more,” Cebulski replied when asked for advice on young creators. “Don’t quit your day job until you are financially sound as a freelancer. Just because you get your first assignment and paycheck doesn’t mean you already have a career in the comics world.
Other Singapore Comic Con highlights included the ever-popular cosplay contest, a work-in-progress comics contest, virtual production workshops, and a panel featuring the creative team behind the Singaporean monster movie circle line. The film will premiere in cinemas in Singapore on January 5. Comic Con also featured a talk and original art exhibition from Tony Wong, the “godfather” of Hong Kong comics, featuring BBC Studios’ popular family animation. Blue also presents a multi-sensory live experience event.
Tell organizers The Hollywood Reporter that more than 30,200 unique visitors represented the total attendance of 56,530 at Singapore Comic Con this year, with the two-day event spanning four exhibition halls at the Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre. The event also saw more than 350 exhibitors and 420 brands, an emphatic return after a two-year break due to the pandemic.
“The energy and excitement of the fans was palpable,” Cebulski said of attending the event in 2022. “Everyone, including myself, was thrilled to once again personally celebrate the comics and characters we love.”
More than 90 percent of exhibitors have expressed interest in returning to Singapore Comic Con next year, and several companies have already confirmed, including Mighty Jaxx, Bandai, Collectors Ark, OSIM, Posterhub and Tony Wong Art Gallery, among others.