Comic Fiesta is Malaysia’s largest and longest-running animation, comics and games (ACG) convention. It’s an annual Anime convention which ran on the 27th and 28th December 2014 at Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, Malaysia. I was fortunate to be invited to attend the convention. At the heart of KL right at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, located between Traders Hotel and Suria KLCC.
The first thing you notice about this convention is the quality and quantity of the Cosplayers here, the Cosplay and creative scene here in Malaysia is much bigger than that in Singapore, not to mention a larger market to cater for too. The event halls are big, long and cavernous, it stretches across 2 of the major KLCC halls. From the entrance, you start off running through the main event area, with plenty of Exhit-booths, aka premium Exhibition booths. There are many areas of live gaming, most noticeable with live clan matches of League of Legends and open tables of Magic the gathering.
I particularly liked the Artist alley area with a combination of Premium and Basic Artbooths allowing both big and small budding artists to affordably have a place in this event based on their budget. There is a larger and livelier arts scene here in Malaysia, with a commendable greater number of independent artists both locally and internationally celebrating all aspects of art and creativity at one location. Besides having a larger market, the artist attendance is easily 2-3 times larger than Singapore conventions, the quality of art and wares sold here also far surpasses that in Singapore conventions as well.
The artist alley is also often a highlight as unlike the usual boring larger exhibitor booths you get every year, this spot is often full of new gems which makes each visit a new experience. The larger crowd density here also speaks for itself. Last year’s attendance saw about 40,000 over 2 days, looks like the number can easily be surpassed this year. The larger convention size do come with its gripes too, as the event closes early too as early as 7pm (event opens 10:00am – 7:00pm) to facilitate booth tear downs.
The staple of any Anime convention will have to be the Cosplayer and Comic Fiesta never failed to disappoint. Decked both inside and outside the event are a large variety of cosplayers dressed from anime popular culture to gaming characters, you name it. There are plenty of good photo places, especially with a large park outside and the KL tower in the background. Also nice to see the event organizers had cosplayer logistics covered rather well, with dedicated pubic-free areas set aside specifically for cosplayers and their support handlers for this purpose. I managed to chance upon a small handful of Singapore Cosplayers as well. Though the organizers didn’t had a dedicated hall set aside like STGCC 2014, the open spaces linking the two main halls were opportunistically made by the cosplayers as dedicated a rest area, which evolved into a buzzing photo shoot area.
In all, CF2014 was a rather refreshing experience, it’s nice to see that the Malaysian cosplay event scene more buzzing and supportive of the scene here, as compared to the more commercially-driven scene in Singapore. Definitely be looking forward to next year!