On our second day in Kuala Lumpur we stopped by Bukit Bintang. While exploring the area we looked around in a mall called Sungai Wang. I was excited to see that there was a manga exposition set up in the events area. I’ve had an interest in manga and anime for quite a few years, but I’ve never been to an expo so this was an interesting experience for me. These sorts of things just aren’t that common in the US, where manga and anime are still considered strange by most people. I didn’t recognize the name of the publishing company but I got the impression that the event was highlighting and rewarding local talent. It was nothing major and was set up in a small area but it was packed with people and very exciting.
I took the time to walk around and examine the different storyboards that had been set on display and browsed the racks of manga for sale. Unfortunately, most of them had been written in Chinese and Bahasa Melayu, so I didn’t see anything in my language that suited my interests. I’d really been hoping to leave with a keepsake. The items being sold were limited to two per customer so I assume they’re limited run prints.
If you can read Chinese and / or Bahasa Melayu and want to find out more about the event, it was called Gempak Starz 2009 and you can get to the website by clicking through on that name. Their site is graphics heavy so it’ll load slow.
Here are the photos I took:
This is the main stage area. I think each cardboard cut-out was done by one of the manga artists whose work was represented at the event.
These black boards were set up with manga storyboard panels on them. Some of them were more complete than others, but none seemed to have any text. A few had empty speech bubbles but most didn’t even have that. I was impressed by how detailed some of the drawings are. Two board sections had color images with ribbons marking them as finalists or winners in a competition.
Later in the evening, after having dinner and looking around a bit, we walked back through the event area and saw that they were doing a giveaway. There was a glass display case with anime-style swords in it off to the left of the stage. Those swords might have been one of the grand prizes. We stopped to watch for a while. We didn’t understand everything being said but there was a lot of cheering and laughing and everyone seemed to be having a good time, especially the kids that were there.
We also saw these two girls in kick ass maid cosplay. They worked there as part of the event crew. As they walked around the room I think they were handing out fliers. Oh, and they had candy in their baskets.