The Malta Comics Pop Culture Expo 2014!

Our latest blog post takes a look at the great adventure we had at the end of October; The MaltaComics Pop Culture Expo 2014!!!

Follow the link below to read all about this amazing experience! 🙂…/malta-comics-expo-rec…

Malta 3D Printing would like to take a special moment in its blogging history to share our terrific experience at the local Comics Expo that blew us away between the 31st October and 2nd November. Jam-packed with interesting vendors, panels with celebrity guests, gaming competitions and artists displaying their work, this event symbolized pop culture at its finest.

Taking centre stage in the main hallway at the Mediterranean Conference Centre, our stand attracted countless curious expo guests. The mechanical sounds of our printers churning away were drowned out by the expo’s array of interesting noises – whether the host was announcing the arrival of Bane, or Paul Eiding was shouting out “SNAAAKE!” at the top of his lungs.

Our stand was flanked by two stalls which captured the essence of the event – a graphic novel and comic book stall to our left and right respectively. On the opening day, the celebrities were stationed right in front of us, and only a stone’s throw away from our printers, one could find a splendid collection of vintage automobiles.

These included the A-Team van, KITT from Knightrider and Starsky and Hutch’s Gran Torino, amongst others.

Our three-man team met a number of different, interesting people from all walks of life – artists, cosplayers and comic book fans from America, France, Italy and beyond. Participants did not take the cosplay competition lightly – one cosplayer claimed to havespent 900 euros on his Assassin’s Creed outfit! Jack Sparrow and Catwoman were the weekend’s odd couple, while Batman costumes seemed to be the most popular.

We were elated to receive positive feedback during and after the event, and interest in our merchandise did not wane throughout the weekend.

People particularly appreciated the level of detail in our products, from the finely chiseled chin on Batman’s face to the intricacy of our Terminator T-800 Exoskull. Most people seemed to be taken aback, amazed at 3D printing technology in general.

Attendees loved our Wolverine claws and Dr.Doom mask. Our Hell Boy gun was pointed at many a head, and Adventure Time sword carried around with pride. Other fan favourites included our Portal book ends, Batman bust and of course, the translucent Pokemon.

To highlight 3D printing’s ability to provide quick, on-demand products, we conductedlive printing sessions, pumping out business card holders for ourselves and nearby vendors, who appreciated our kind gesture.

As friendly lightsaber battles raged on in front of our stand, we continued to produce and sell items including a glow-in-the-dark gyroscope and a hidden-blade from the Assassin’s Creed franchise.

While this technology may have been around for decades, most people have never seen a 3D printer in action. After getting an eyeful, most did not hesitate to inquire, and we happily discussed the basic principles as well as the technical aspects.

The majority of people were unfamiliar with printing procedures, so we elaborated on the process of creating a three-dimensional shape from a 3D file. Others were curious as to what materials are most commonly used (PLA, ABS, Rubber etc.), and how long the average product takes to be printed.

Hordes of people lined up to attempt our challenging cube puzzle, but surprisingly, less than a dozen managed to complete it.

A highlight of the weekend was being fortunate enough to spend some time with the down-to-earth celebrities that attended. As a token of appreciation for the countless hours of entertainment they’ve provided us with over the years, we donated some 3D printed products to them.

Things came full circle for ex-Star Trek star Robert Picardo. He may be used to the ‘Replicator’ device, dreamt up by inspirational Star Trek writers, but our 3D printers are the real deal. We gave the doctor his first dose of 3D printing. He left with a big smile on his face and glow-in-the-dark letters spelling out ‘N-E-R-D’.

Joseph Gatt, the God of War and Game of Thrones star received a free door-stop in the shape of a slice of cheese, courtesy of Malta 3D Printing. Popular voice-actor Paul Eiding(voice actor for Metal Gear Solid & Ben 10, etc.) was kind enough to sign two ‘Fox Hound’ badges printed on the spot, and even took another home as a souvenir.

In the end, we were sad to see the event come to a close, but this has only served to strengthen our resolve.

Now, we’re fully focused on future events of a similar nature. Expect us to return with a passion – more puzzles, bigger and better products and the chance to win free 3D printed items.

A big thanks to all those who showed interest in what we’re passionate about. Witnessing the smiles on people’s faces is just as rewarding as removing a freshly printed product from the build plate!

by  | 11 November 2014

Comic Book Conventions

Join us for live demonstrations at BOTH Comic Book Conventions in October and November!

We’re proud to participate in these exciting events and preparations are already in full-swing.

Unleash the geek within at Malta 3D Printing’s stand – observe the 3D printing process first-hand and browse our products whilst benefiting from special offers too!

With not one, but two, comic book and pop culture conventions on the horizon, TEODOR RELJIC takes a peek into a burgeoning local subculture.
Autumn has apparently become the Season of the Geek in Malta, as not one but two comic book – and ‘pop culture’ – themed conventions are set to take place over the pre-Christmas period.

While the Malta Comic Con – taking place on 28 and 30 November – is now entering its sixth edition, it has suddenly found itself facing what could be a competing celebration of comic book, film and cartoon fandom: the ‘Malta Comics Expo’, debuting over the Halloween weekend this year and featuring The Hobbit, Game of Thrones and A-Team actors among its guests-cum-attractions.

That the Malta Comic Con – a consistently well-attended yearly attraction at St James Cavalier, Valletta – continues to attract high profile names in the field while catering to an ever-expanding audience of fans of all ages is not to be sniffed at, given Malta’s size.

So it’s even more surprising that a new ‘Con’ – of sorts – has arrived on the block.

But far from wanting to carve an entirely new niche for themselves, the organisers of the Malta Comics Expo – taking place on 31 October and 1 and 2 November at the Mediterranean Conference Centre in Valletta – are ambitious in their plans for the newly minted event.

“We don’t want to carve a niche. We’re looking to build a platform for all fans of comics and pop culture,” a spokesperson for the Expo said, adding that “unlike any existing events in Malta,” the organisers of the Expo did not limit themselves to “just one branch of the hobby nor restrict ourselves to a specific age bracket”.

Indeed, unlike the Malta Comic Con, which is organised by Wicked Comics, the Expo is placing film and television stars front-and-centre in its bid to attract a more wide-ranging audience. Among them will be A-Team star Dirk Benedict (aka ‘Faceman’ from the cult 80s TV show), former Dr Who Sylvester McCoy (more recently Radagast the Brown from The Hobbit) and Joseph Gatt – the London-raised, LA-based actor who, born to Maltese parents, subsequently went on to appear in Thor (2009) and shows like Banshee and, more recently, Game of Thrones.

“We hope that the fans will enjoy the opportunity to meet their favourite stars and artists. That we give the attendees value for money,” the spokesperson said, adding that the Expo also hopes to exploit an entrepreneurial angle to local fandom.

“We are targeting enthusiasts and stakeholders. Malta has a large fanbase and has also proven in the past to be popular with video game companies and film producers as a popular destination. We want to help promote Malta as an ideal destination for these industries to work in.”

A spokesperson for Malta Comic Con said that, “the organisation of a similar event by third parties does in part reflect the growth experienced in the local comic scene, and may perhaps even offer a valid contribution towards it. Ultimately it all depends on the quality of the event in question”.

They however added that the timing of the event is somewhat unfortunate, owing to the fact that from a marketing perspective, the events appear to be catering to similar audiences and interests, which “may lead to some confusion”.

Starting off as a relatively modest showcase of comic books and related fandom in 2009 (though it did boast one star guest, V for Vendetta’s David Lloyd), the organisers of the Comic Con are proud of how far the Con has come.

Significantly, the Con has served to not only provide local comic book fans with an opportunity to meet some of their favourite creators, but also as an incubator of local talent – among them Daniela ‘Iella’ Attard, an artist currently working for Cartoon Network’s European Branch, and Stefan Agius, who is doing colouring work for British publisher Wizard’s Keep.

London-based comic book podcaster Chris Thompson – who has visited every single edition of the Malta Comic Con barring its first – finds this aspect of the Con refreshing.

As host of the Orbital Comics and Pop Culture Hound podcasts, Thompson has interviewed a number of luminaries in the field and been a veteran of the largest international Cons.

“The Malta Comic Con is unique, and I like it. There’s nothing else quite like it, nor should there be. There are similar cons like NICE in the UK and DICE in Ireland, which value a more intimate setting for both creators and fans, but the setting in Malta makes it a real destination,” Thompson told MaltaToday, adding that “there’s a genuine innocence and appreciation there which other places sometimes lack”.

Though the meteoric rise of superhero blockbuster films over the past few years may have helped to galvanize the comic book industry across the globe, it has also smothered comic book conventions around the world, with movies taking precedence over comics.

According to Thompson, this is far from the case with the Malta Comic Con.

“It’s not a show that’s been diluted by celebrity and cheap tie-ins – it’s a genuine comic con, which is something I appreciate most of all.”

Having visited consecutive editions of the Con, Thompson is heartened to observe what seems to be a burgeoning culture of Maltese comic book creators, as well as fans.

“To meet someone at one con, and then have them turn up with their own comic at the next show is beyond exciting… I live for that stuff, and it energises me,” Thompson says.

“Even if their stuff isn’t yet that accomplished, it’s the gumption to have a go and take part which inspires me. Plus, practice makes perfect, and I’ve seen such incredible growth. This is due in no small part to the organisers of Malta Comic Con, and I just hope the local community recognises and understands this.”

by Teodor Reljic | 8 October 2014, 8:13am