COSPLAYERS, start dusting off your sewing machines! As part of BookFest@Malaysia 2014 – held from July 26 to Aug 3 at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre – Popular Book Co is organising a cosplay festival in conjunction with the Comic Festival Day, held on Aug 3.

This is the first time the region’s largest bookfest is setting aside a day specially for local comic fans.


Friendly competition: Popular Book Co. subsidiary CD-Rama organised this cosplay contest back in 2012, and Popular hopes to see great cosplayers this year at the Comic Festival Day.

“We have dedicated a day to comics because we want to highlight our large collection of comics, especially by local artists,” says Chew Cheong Tat, Popular’s senior merchandising manager (English and Malay division), citing popular local comic Gempak Starz as an example.

For these fans, Popular has invited a host of comic artists to Comic Festival Day, including Gempak Starz artists Kaoru, Nishiki and Kenny, and Ernest Ng of Bro Don’t Like That La Bro fame.

There will be a competition on the Comic Festival Day, in which teams of cosplayers may compete for their share of RM10,000 worth of prizes. The grand prize consists of a Faber-Castell hamper worth RM1,000, RM500 worth of VBG Network merchandise, three-day/two-night stays in the Bukit Gambang Arabian Bay resort, as well as four tickets to the resort’s water and safari parks.

There is also a Best-Dressed award for the most creative cosplayer, with a prize consisting of a Faber-Castell hamper worth RM300, RM200 worth of VBG Network merchandise, and a two-day/one-night stay at the Bukit Gambang Caribbean Bay resort.

Any costume will do, so cosplayers can come as their favourite characters, or even as an original character.

“We don’t want to limit the creativity of the cosplayers,” says Chew. “In fact, we hope they will be as creative as possible in their costumes and acting!”

Open to those aged 13 and above, the competition will comprise 12 groups (form your groups before the competition so you have time to prepare!), where costumes and acting skills will be part of the judging criteria.

Criteria breakdown:
> Costume (20 points) – Participants are judged on how well and creatively the costumes were made.
> Presentation (20 points) – Judges will look at how cohesive the team is, as well as judge the team’s storyline.
> Authenticity or creativity (10 points) – How closely to the original the participants can portray their characters, or how creatively they present their original characters.

The guest judges are cosplayers themselves, so if the draw of the competition isn’t enough, you get to meet famous local cosplayers like Arisa Chow and Kumi Isabelle!

For those who are just interested in dressing up but don’t want to participate in the contest, everybody still goes home with something, as there will be door gifts for those who arrive in costumes.

“We hope to be a platform for new cosplayers to gain experience in cosplaying,” adds Chew.

BookFest@Malaysia 2014 will be held at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre from July 26 until Aug 3, from 10am to 10pm daily. Admission is with purchase of the BookFest catalogue, at RM2.50 per entry or RM10 for multiple entries over the nine days. Catalogues are available at all Popular and Harris bookstore outlets nationwide and at the BookFest entrance. Entrance is free for students who are 18 years old and below and for senior citizens aged 60 and above. For more information, visit Star Publications (M) Bhd is a media partner of BookFest@Malaysia.


Literature grad-turned-journalist who loves our R.AGE team karaoke nights a little too much. While her literature background has left her with a slightly twisted sense of humour, it has also given her a passion for writing on social issues.

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