The Jakarta Post
Indonesian creative artists and pop culture geeks have found their haven in Popcon Asia, the country's longest running pop-culture festival.
The third annual festival, held at the SMESCO Exhibition Hall, South Jakarta, until Sunday, has presented the work of domestic talent in creating comics, anime, video and online games, toys and board games.
'The purpose of the event is to promote the intellectual property of our artists at the international level,' said Yansen Kamto, an executive of the organizing committee, on Saturday.
Among the talent was Bandung-based Jun from Jotter Production, who has worked for foreign companies producing web games, and Yogyakarta-based Heru Jalal, who penciled Ignition-8 with creator Australia-based Darren Gallagher.
Dutch graphic novelist Peter van Dongen, who has been engaged in the local comic scene since the release of his Rampokan Jawa (Rampokan Java) in 2005, said more Indonesian artists were making their mark due to their originality, despite traces of influence from Japanese manga, European comics or the US superheroes.
'I found their work impressive,' he said, mentioning the work of Yogyakarta-based Alfi, Beng Rahardian and Sheila Rooswitha.
The event's initiator, Dennis Adhiswara, said while the first event in 2012 was more of a festival featuring local artists, now it was the other way around.
Two years ago, he said, an artist of Stellar Labs was hired by Marvel. This time Marvel's artist Harvey Tolibao was asked to design the cover for a Volt comic made by Marcellino Lefrandt and Aswin Siregar.
'The festival has opened up possibilities of collaboration among artists. We're all friends here.'
Themed 'Be Pop, Be You', the festival was organized by KCB Convex together with Fabula, Kibar, Layaria, Pionicon and Plastic Culture.
The event, attended by artists from the US, Australia, the Netherlands, Malaysia, the Philippines, Hong Kong, South Korea, France, Thailand and Singapore, was supported by the Institut Francais d'Indonesie, the Korean Cultural Center, Akademi Samali and the Indonesian Comics Community (KKI).
Yansen said the festival would also introduce Indonesian superheroes such as NusantaRanger, Bima X, Gundala, Gatotkaca, Pendekar Tongkat Emas and Garuda Superhero.
Comic artist Oyasujiwo, or Oyaz, was developing the web series, comic, collectibles, online and arcade games of Garuda prior to the release of the movie on Dec. 11.
During the festival, visitors could play Garuda Run and Garuda Race at the Garuda Superhero van parked outside. The trailer of Gatotkaca and the launch of selendang7, both produced by Dennis, would be screened on Sunday.
Manikmaya Game Publishing also introduced Mat Goceng ' a card game with the setting of Batavia in the 1920s ' and the Mahardika Board Game, where seven players can assume the roles of Indonesia's founding fathers to find the best strategy in the country's independence struggle.
Dennis said he expected a higher number of visitors compared to previous events.
'We invited girl group JKT48 in an attempt to attract visitors last year. But now, even without popular performers, we see a lot of enthusiasm from fans who want to meet the creators of their favorite characters.'