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Marvel's Defenders stars Finn Jones and Jessica Henwick to headline AsiaPOP Comicon Manila 2018

AsiaPOP Comicon Manila 2018 (APCC Manila) unveiled today its first batch of celebrity headliners and guests as part of the fantastic fourth year offering from the biggest and much-awaited pop culture convention in the region that promises a whole new level of geek experience. APCC Manila is slated to happen from July 27 to 29 at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City.

"Every year, we promise a bigger and better AsiaPOP Comicon Manila and we will never disappoint our fans who have supported us since year one. We continue to bring unique talent and content to APCC Manila 2018, from superstars to artists who have made indelible impact on the pop culture scene," said Abdulla Mahmood, Director, Marketing and International Business, Al Ahli Holding Group, during a press briefing held today at the SMX.

"The Universal Events and Entertainment team are in sync with the APCC audience to understand which TV shows, movies, talents, artists, and resonate well in the region and continuously work to offer them a memorable experience filled with surprises that put Manila on a global pop-culture map with such an event," added Mahmood.

Leading the first batch of Hollywood actors to grace APCC Manila 2018 is Finn Jones who is punching his way into Manila, as the titular character in the popular Marvel series Iron Fist, a role he reprised in the Marvel Universe series Luke Cage and The Defenders, Jones is set to be back for Iron Fist's second season.

In addition to playing The Defenders, Jones is also well-known for his role as the Knight of Flowers, Loras Tyrell, in the sweeping HBO fantasy series Game of Thrones.

Jones will be joined by on-screen partner Jessica Henwick in leading the APCC Manila 2018 lineup. The English actress, who plays the female lead Colleen Wing in Marvel's Iron Fist is also well-known for her role of Nymeria Sand in HBO's hits series Game of Thrones. Henwick was also seen in the global blockbuster Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

She is currently filming for the second season of Iron Fist and has recently completed 20th Century Fox's Underwater, alongside Kristen Stewart and T,J. Miller, which is set to be released later in 2018.


APCC Manila also revealed its initial lineup of Cosplay Authority Global Challenge (The CAGE) judges including Canvass Cosplay and Leon Chiro, which has Singer Philippines as one of its main sponsors, is the biggest cosplay competition in the region with cash and other prizes worth around $18,000.

Canvass Cosplay, whose real name is Philip Odango, is an award-winning Filipino-American costume designer. He is bets known for his cosplay of Maui from Disney's Moana, which was recognized by Disney's head of animation as "The Real Maui."

Leon Chiro, an award-winning cosplayer from Italy, is well-known for his videogame character cosplays that feature weapons and handmade accessories. Chiro will be making his first appearance in Manila through APCC.


Joining the pool of talented and creative artists who will grace APCC Manila 2018 are Alex Sinclair, Lan Medina, Mike McKone, Phil Noto, Brian Muir, Whilce Portacio, and Simone Legno who will showcase their talents and works to thousands of pop culture enthusiasts from all over the region.

Mexican comic-book colorist Alex Sinclair is best known for his collaborations with comic artists Jim Lee and Scott Williams. He has previously worked on Astro City, Alan Moore's Top 10, Harley Quinn, Batman: Hush, Superman, and WildCATs, among others.

Multi-awarded comic book illustrator Lan Medina is the first Filipino artist to win the prestigious Will Eisner Comic Industry Award for his work Fables (for Best Serialized Story/Vertigo-DC Comics) and is well-known for his work on Marvel Comics such as Venom Carnage, Cable / Deadpool, Silver Surfer, and the Punisher. He is also known for his work on DC Comics that includes his creation of a solo comic book for MERA, Queen of Atlantis, which is a character from the pages of Aquaman.

Mike McKone's first published work was for DC Comics' Justice League of America and Marvel Comics' Punisher series. He has also worked on Teen Titans, Amazing Spider-Man, and Fantastic Four. His recent projects include Avengers graphic novel: Endless Wartime and Justice League United.

American painter and comic book artist Phil Noto is known for his works Jonah Hex, X-23, Uncanny X-Force, and Black Widow. His work with Gerry Duggan, The Infinite Horizon, earned him as Eisner nomination for Best New Series. Noto also had a ten-year stint with Disney as clean-up artist for animated works such as The Lion King, Pocahontas, Mulan, Tarzan, Llilo & Stitch, and Brother Bear.

As one of the most respected sculptors and a veteran artist in the film industry, Brian Ian Muir has been working in film for over 48 years and is best-known for his work on Star Wars that led to his well-received autobiography In the Shadow of Vader.

Coming back for the fourth time are Filipino-American comic book artist and writer Whilce Portacio and the creative director and co-founder of Tokidoki, Simone Legno.

Portacio has done notable works which include the titles Uncanny X-Men, X-Factor, The Punisher, Heroes Reborn: Iron Man, Wetworks and Spawn, among others. Besides being the co-founder of the Image Comics, Portacio is currently working independently for DC and MArvel.

For his part, toy artist Simone Kegno of Tokidoki is all set to bring the brand's crazy-kawaii cool style to the event. Legno is the world-famous artist and graphic illustrator best known for being one of the brains behind art giant Tokidoki, through which he has collaborated with names such as Karl Lagerfield, LeSportsac, Onitsuka Tiger, Barbie, SEPHORA, Marvel, and Hello Kitty, among others.

More exciting announcements of APCC's partnerships with Marvel, Netflix, and other studios confirmed to return this year are expected to roll out soon, which will definitely pump up the convention's main hall.

APCC Manila 2018 tickets are now available via SM Tickets website, https://smticekts,com/, and at all SM Tickets outlets, with ticket prices Php650 (one-day pass), Php950 (two-day pass), and Php1,150 (three-day pass). All these will give the ticketholder access to stage activities, performances, and the main exhibition 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.

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