After it’s success last September, Universal Events & Entertainment is bringing back one of the biggest and most awaited pop culture conventions this August: AsiaPOP Comic Con!
Last year, APCC brought us the likes of Jeremy Shada (Adventure Time, Voltron), Paul Bettany (The Avengers, Captain America), Colton Haynes (Arrow, Teen Wolf), and Nathalie Emmanuel (Game of Thrones). Fans came in droves to see their favorite stars and have their photos taken with them. Big names in the comic book industry also came to APCC 2015, such as C.B. Cebulski, David Mack, Whilce Portacio, Carlo Pagulayan, Leinil Yu, Mark Torres, Mico Suayan and Stephen Segovia.
So what can we expect for this year’s APCC?
Headlining the roster of Hollywood celebrities this year are Nicholas Hoult, Joe Dempsie, Claire Holt, and Millie Bobby Brown.
Hoult, who made his acting debut with the 1996 Canadian-British film Intimate Relations, is best known for playing mutant scientist Beast in X-Men: First Class and X-Men: Days of Future Past, War Boy Nuxin in Mad Max: Fury Road, protagonist Jack in Jack the Giant Slayer, and R in Warm Bodies.
His most recent movie appearances were in Drake Doremus’ film Equals, a futuristic drama written by Nathan Parker, which premiered at the Venice Film Festival. He was also in British independent production Kill Your Friends, which is based on the novel by the same name by John Niven.
He has also recently finished shooting writer/director Danny Strong’s directorial debut Rebel in the Rye, in which he plays a young J.D. Salinger. Hoult will also be seen in the film Sand Castle for director Fernando Coimbra, in which he portrays an American soldier on a mission to help a village at the end of the war in Iraq.
Another looker at APCC Manila is Joe Dempsie aka Gendry in the HBO hit series Game of Thrones. Dempsie also starred in the Skins and various British television series such as Peak Practice, Doctors, Sweet Medicine, and The Fades, among others. He appeared in the films One for the Road, Heartlands, and Monsters: Dark Continent, to boot. Currently, he stars in BBC’s modern thriller mini-series One of Us.
Representing women power is Claire Holt, who is known for playing Rebekah Mikaelson in TV series The Vampire Diaries and The Originals. Holt first rose to popularity as Emma Gilbert in the Nickelodeon series H20: Just Add Water, and later went on to roles such as lead character Lindsey in Sam Raimi’s Messengers II: The Scarecrow, Melanie Mayron’s Mean Girls 2, indie film Blue Like Jazz, and a recurring role in hit series Pretty Little Liars as Pride advocate Samara Cook.
The youngest celebrity to complete the list of Hollywood headliners is rising star Millie Bobby Brown, famous for her current role in the ongoing sci-fi thriller series Stranger Things, in which she stars opposite Winona Ryder and David Harbour. Her portrayal of the enigmatic psychokinetic Eleven earned her high praises, including that of Variety.com chief TV critic Maureen Ryan.
She wrote, “Millie Bobby Brown is about to be cast in a lot of projects. With a very small number of lines, Brown gave an indelible performance as Eleven; the ways she subtly yet movingly conveyed fear, sadness, doubt, love and a yearning for connection will stay with me for a long time.”
Previously, Brown was cast after an extensive search as a lead in the series Intruders, opposite Oscar winner Mira Sorvino and John Simm. Brown also took on a recurring role in the series Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, as Young Alice. She has also guested in a number of cult favorites such as Modern Family, NCIS, and Grey’s Anatomy.
For the fans of the said stars, APCC Manila is offering Autograph and Photograph session tickets, which are available for purchase on SM Tickets website, or at all SM Tickets outlets. Autograph and Photograph tickets will also be available for purchase on event days.
Comic book fans are bound to have the time of their lives as world-renowned comic book artists animate the world of APCC Manila 2016 with their presence and exceptional artistry. These include Mike Zeck, Ken Lashley, Billy Tan, and Whilce Portacio.
Mike Zeck has influenced generations of artists with his comics’ series and covers. His groundbreaking six-part story Kraven’s Last Hunt, with J.M. Dematteis and Bob McLeod is the definitive Kraven the Hunter story and took the Spider-Man character to a whole new level. Readers have touted his creation as the ‘Greatest Spider-Man story of all time’ in recent polls.
Likewise, his work with writer Steven Grant on the Punisher Limited Series—collected as Circle of Blood—set the standard for the look and feel of the Punisher and propelled him to flagship character status at Marvel. Along with air-brush artist Phil Zimelman, Zeck has created some of the most recognizable painted images of the Punisher.
Zeck’s work has also graced the pages and covers of Captain America, Master of Kung Fu, Aquaman, Batman, Legends of the DC Universe, Green Lantern, G.I. Joe, G.I. Joe: Special Missions, Lobo, Deathstroke The Terminator, The Eliminator, Damned and many other titles.
For Ken Lashley, he has been a comic book veteran working on such titles as Excalibur, X-Caliber Age of Apocalypse, Black Panther, X-Men, Spider-Man, Flash, JLA, Superman and Superman-DOOMED, among others.
Lashley is one of the DC comics’ go-to cover artist, having done covers for Batwing, Ravagers, He-Man, Superboy, Earth-Two, Red Hood and the Outlaws, Superman/Wonder Woman, Superman, Batman, and Suicide Squad, to name just a few.
Outside of comics, he has worked for Hasbro, Lucasfilm, Mattel and Fox Sports, creating designs for lines such as G.I Joe, Transformers, Spider-Man, Avengers, and Star Wars. He is currently providing the art on Uncanny X-Men with writer, Cullen Bunn.
Billy Tan is a Malaysian-American comic book artist for more than 20 years now. His earlier artwork in Top Cow includes Tomb Raider, Tales of Witchblade, and Spirit of the Tao.
He joined Marvel in 2004 and since then, he has been a main penciler on projects such as X-23, Uncanny X-Men, New Avengers, and Uncanny X-Force among others.
Tan has also worked on the Green Lantern title for DC Comics for three years. He is currently living in China and had recently founded Tan Comics, a China-based comic company focusing on the Asian Super Hero genre.
For his part, Whilce Portacio, as an APCC-second timer, broke into the comics industry by inking Marvel Comics’ classic book Longshot in 1985. Quickly he became a sought-after inker at Marvel, then proved that he was more than ready to headline as a penciler on The Punisher in 1988.
Portacio was also a co-founder of Image Comics, an American comic book publisher founded in 1992 by seven high-profile illustrators. At Image, Whilce launched Wetworks and released the successful independent book Stone (based on Filipino myths).
In 1996, he returned to Marvel to draw Heroes Reborn: Iron Man followed by X Force. In 2000, he signed up with DC Comics and released the second run of Wetworks and worked on Batman Confidential, Authority, Stormwatch, and Batman/Superman.
To date, Portacio has returned working independently for Image, Marvel, and DC. He did Spawn, Artifacts, Hulk, Journey Into Mystery, Uncanny X-Men, and graced various Marvel covers and has launched his new creator-owned book, Non-Humans, for Image with Glen Brunswick (writer of new Line Cinema’s “Frequency”) and a new sci-fi book due this year.
Also returning to APCC Manila this year is C.B. Cebulski, the Vice President of International Development & Brand Management of Marvel, who will once again be on the hunt for the best artistic talent in the country. Interested artists may visit this link for portfolio submission details and criteria.
J-Rock and anime music lovers rejoice, as renowned singer Hiroshi Kitadani is also coming here to rock your favorite anime series’ worlds in APCC Manila 2016!
Kitadani is a singer and member of anison (anime song) supergroup JAM Project. He first entered the anime music scene when his solo debut single We Are! was used as the opening theme for runaway hit series One Piece, which led to performances for other series such as Yu-Gi-Oh! GX.
Kitadani joined JAM Project in 2002, and has been a regular performing member ever since, taking part in songs such as THE HERO!! ~ Ikareru Kobushi ni Honō o Tsukero~, the opening theme for cult favorite One Punch Man, as well as soundtracks from other action-packed titles such as Shin Getter Robo vs Neo Getter Robo, Shin Mazinger Impact Z!, Super Robot Wars Original Generation: Divine Wars, Transformers: Animated, and many more.
Other guests include Jason Palmer, Simone Legno, Devil Robots, Alodia Gosengfiao, Ani Mia, Lindze Merrit, Myrtle Sarrosa, Riki “Riddle” Lecotey, Yugana, Say Tioco, and Vern & Verniece Enciso.
APCC Manila 2016 tickets are now available via SM Tickets with ticket prices PhP550 (one-day pass), PhP850 (two-day pass), and PhP1,050 (three-day pass). All these will give the ticketholder access to stage activities, performances, and the main show floor. The event is free for children aged five years and below for all days, but a valid identification is required for verification purposes before entering the show floor.
APCC Manila 2016 is slated on August 26 to 28 at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City.