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Here’s what we liked (and didn’t like) about Comic Con Africa

Here’s what we liked (and didn’t like) about Comic Con Africa

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I’m exhausted, my ft really feel damaged and I’ve managed to lose a couple of kilograms after spending a day in a strolling sauna field made out of leather-based and rubber. In different phrases, I’ve had an excellent weekend. Comic Con Africa has come and gone, leaving one hell of an impression on the native conference scene. Was it value all of the hype although? Did it stay up the expectations that followers and shoppers had for the very first official Comic Con on African soil?

Here’s what the Essential Hit gang needed to say, after spending a weekend with their boots on the bottom.

Contents

Darryn

Hey it’s me once more! Proper, so I went into Comic Con Africa with a really particular mindset: I wasn’t there to purchase merch, I knew that I wouldn’t be capable of sit down for panels in my costume and I used to be extra considering socialising. On that entrance, Comic Con Africa was a blast. Our native cosplay recreation was off the charts (significantly, Jarid Norman’s scratch-built Predator costume needed to be seen to be believed), the keenness from the crowds to interact on this geeky sphere of tradition was virtually overwhelmingly constructive and the panels have been well-hosted.

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Having a correct artist alley arrange in a venue that really gave South Africa’s gifted comedian e-book storytellers some area to interact with their followers was additionally incredible stuff. Examine that to rAge the place artists are just about dumped in a nook and forgotten about, and it’s good to see the comedian e-book aspect of the occasion proven some respect and care. Might Comic Con Africa be higher although?

Completely. I’d personally like to see it divorce itself from the esports aspect of the leisure equation and moderately go all in on the pure leisure that followers crave. Moderately use that area to showcase extra video games, extra films and much more comedian books. Hell, if it’s a must to have esports, fairly concentrate on the mainstream. CS: GO and DOTA 2 already has a devoted crowd, so attract faces with video games akin to Fortnite and FIFA fairly.

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Subsequent yr, I’d additionally wish to see extra chairs on the fundamental stage, as seats have been a uncommon commodity and all the time grabbed inside seconds between panels. There’s much more to be stated, which my colleagues under will get to, however the finish end result right here is that the very first Comic Con Africa was a incredible present. It was bought out, the vibe on the ground was nice and the expertise was a recent breath of air. If Comic Con Africa deux can construct on that success and evolve right into a leaner and meaner conference machine, then I feel South Africa may have its definitive geek tradition present to look ahead to yearly.

Noelle

I’ll be trustworthy. Within the lead-up to Comic Con Africa, I used to be sceptical. I anticipated the occasion to be a cash seize, drawing within the curious with its high-profile identify and worldwide associations, after which milking attendees for each cent because it turned Geek Tradition mainstream for revenue.

What I skilled in actuality was a cheerful geek-of-all-trades conference that might be completely loved even with out forking out for VIP packages and R250+ autographs (these R40 pizza slices, although, ow!). Whether or not you have been into cosplay, comics, esports, video video games, tabletop gaming, LARPing, blockbuster films, geek TV collection, deeper evaluation of popular culture, or memorabilia accumulating, there was one thing for everybody.

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What was particularly gratifying was the general buoyant tone and power of the occasion, and the truth that it drew in so many new faces. Should you go to loads of geek and gaming conventions in South Africa you are likely to see the identical individuals repeatedly. Comic Con Africa offered a welcome injection of recent, re-energising blood to the scene, and I hope that first-timers can be inspired to attend different comparable occasions. The truth that ICON, ICON Durban and Cape City’s FanCon all had a presence at CCA was a welcome signal that everybody is on board the idea of rising the group. As a result of it actually advantages everybody.

Working on the occasion, I didn’t get to attend as many panels as I might have liked. Nevertheless, I nonetheless discovered it straightforward to find and work together with the comics and cosplay creators I needed to satisfy.

As a word for attendees subsequent yr, it seems to be like your greatest guess to keep away from the worst of the crowds is to return early or late. The 11am – 2pm window is totally overwhelming. Introverts beware. Additionally, weirdly, Sunday felt just like the busiest day of the con, so that’s one thing to remember when reserving tickets for the inevitable 2019 CCA.

Sidenote: Cosplayers, don’t deliver cumbersome or fragile outfits!

Anyway, like Darryn stated, I might welcome extra chairs on the essential stage, and there’s a particular want for umbrellas or extra shaded areas outdoors for individuals who want somewhat recent air and an escape from the over-stimulation with out risking sunburn. Additionally, in relation to the official Comic Con merch providing, I’d wish to see t-shirts in ladies’s sizes and cuts.

General, Comic Con Africa 2018 was a welcoming all-round celebration of popular culture and geekdom. It blasted away my preconceptions and I went residence exhausted, pleasantly stunned and amped for 2019.

Tracy

Of the staff, I feel I used to be the least enthusiastic about the thought of Comic Con coming to South Africa. My worries weren’t about the truth that we have already got a number of conventions all year long already, however extra about the logistics. How will the crowds be dealt with? How will the occasion be spaced out? How is safety going to cope with everybody? Can one thing like CCA be completed, and executed nicely?

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I had a number of misgivings, however fortunately I’m joyful to say that my fears have been utterly assuaged.

The inaugural Comic Con Africa was an enormous success in my eyes. Sure, I had some minor gripes about the sheer quantity of individuals, however truthfully that’s par for the course at any of those sorts of occasions. You simply study to like the queue. The parking state of affairs might have been higher as nicely, nevertheless it’s a very good studying alternative for Reed Pop.

There are going to be rising pains, particularly when it’s the primary time an occasion like that is occurring within the nation, and so long as classes are discovered and errors aren’t repeated, then I’m glad.

As for the great of the occasion, it’s arduous for me to decide on what my favorite half was. Every thing was superior! The worldwide friends, the panels, the particular occasions and activations, all of it labored so nicely. The most effective a part of all was the unbridled enthusiasm of everybody that attended. Followers of all styles and sizes received collectively in an enormous celebration and the environment was buoyant and electrical.

Learn  Keep in mind, you’ll need to shell out just a little bit additional for autographs and pictures at Comic Con Africa

I’m undoubtedly attending subsequent yr’s and I hope to see extra faces there, previous and new.

Geoff

There was a second once I was heading out of Comic Con Africa on the primary day once I obtained hit within the face with the realisation that the occasion was one thing particular. On my nice trek again to my automotive (extra on that later), I walked previous a whole household dressed up as The Avengers. A whole household – three generations – all dressed up in tights. They have been clearly bought costumes, however to see grandparents, their youngsters, and their youngsters all dressed up as comedian e-book characters genuinely tickled me.

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It’s one thing that continued via the occasion. Sure, there are different geeky conventions however I’ve by no means seen so many individuals embrace it like this earlier than – and all of it helped to create an unimaginable environment. Sure, the content material of the conference itself had a number of overlap with the type of stuff you see at rAge and that was in all probability the worst factor about it. I perceive that the partnership with VS gaming was essential to make the occasion occur within the first place, however a lot of the esports stuff simply appeared out place, making the occasion just a little extra disjointed than it wanted to be.

I additionally discovered the plethora of hardware suppliers misplaced. The very last thing I personally need to take a look at when at Comic Con is mouses, keyboards, instances, laptops and extra stuff that may be higher fitted to rAge. Thank the maker although, that the LAN had its personal space separate from the con. The opposite online game stuff was appropriate; PlayStation targeted massive on Spider-Man, whereas Warner Bros went all in on LEGO DC. Even the Tomb Raider stuff was becoming, given Lara’s many transmedia appearances. The identical might be stated for Kingdom Hearts three.

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Another individuals I chatted to over the weekend – notably those that actually go in for esports – felt in a different way they felt that the considerably cloistered esports (smaller competitions have been held outdoors of the primary exhibition halls) dampened the vibe.

I did, nevertheless, like that every part was cut up up and extra open. There have been many meals vans and carts obtainable, providing extra meal choices than you get at rAge – although it have to be stated that a number of the costs that folks cost for the stuff might rightly be referred to as extortion. I’m a sucker for meals vans although. I additionally beloved that the each the artist’s alley and merchandise had their very own devoted sections too, although I feel that the artists alley, particularly, might have carried out with a bit extra air flow.

The parking was additionally a nightmare. On the primary day, I ended up having to park so removed from the doorway that it took over half an hour to stroll to the entrance doorways from my automotive. Having shuttles of some type ferrying individuals to and from designated spots would have been welcome. Whereas there was an Uber drop off and assortment level, buses shuttles from the Midrand Gautrain station would have helped ease the visitors burden a bit.

Past that, I’ve to say that it’s a phenomenally profitable yr one for Comic Con Africa. Positive, a few of the largest expertise dropped out, however a number of the panels and stage experiences greater than made up for it. Now that it’s a confirmed hit, I’m positive yr 2 will go onto be greater and higher.

Kervyn

I had an absolute blast at Comic Con Africa, feeling it to be a big success in scale and pleasure, particularly for a primary time occasion. Going into and popping out of the occasion although, I had the very same criticisms: Not sufficient comedian e-book stuff. Artist Alley was an incredible showcase for each native and worldwide comedian ebook creators, particularly because it was entrance and centre when getting into the buzzing hive of pleasure that was the Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit so no one might miss. Nevertheless, it was poorly airconditioned and utterly separate from the brilliant lights of the primary present flooring. I might have liked to fairly be searching Ricardo Fredericci’s superb paintings or choosing author Andy Diggle’s mind about his iconic runs on Inexperienced Arrow or Daredevil in that essential hub of geeky pleasure this weekend previous, as an alternative of getting individuals making an attempt to promote seizure-inducing keyboards and expensive headsets to me.

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In fact, all the most important comedian guide conventions have advanced to embody extra than simply comics, embracing all sides of geek tradition as an entire, and there Comic Con Africa didn’t disappoint one bit. The lack of Jason Momoa earlier within the yr and Anthony Mackie simply at some point earlier than the occasion might have smarted, however they have been truthfully not missed because the celebs who did make it completely owned their panels. Particular point out needs to be made from American Gods and The 100 star Ricky Whittle who was simply an unstoppable dynamo of enjoyable, working the gang like few celebs I’ve ever seen. And in addition kudos for Vikings star Travis Fimmel fielding probably the most hilariously sudden panel query about farming (sure, precise farming, not the WOW variety) I’ve ever heard.

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As Darryn talked about although, testing these celebs or any of the jaw-dropping cosplay (DAT ANGEL OF DEATH!) on the major stage typically turned a check of endurance because of the lack of seating. There have been loads of chairs although within the numerous content material panel rooms the place we acquired sneek peaks at some nice stuff (anticipate slightly write-up on unbelievable native animation Moosebox quickly). Additionally, some not so nice stuff – sure, I’m taking a look at you Bumblebee occasion with the slowest and most underwhelming shock reveal in historical past.

There was an overabundance of merch and geek memorabilia on sale, however fortunately stored to its personal flooring to not muddle issues up. So too, an enormous choice of meals vans, a culinary cornucopia that places some other native conference I’ve attended to disgrace, was arrange outdoors so no have to squeeze by hangry individuals wanting able to chew you to only go take a look at some Physician Who enjoyable.

Talking of consuming, I additionally took half in a Worry Issue problem, and in case anyone was questioning, bull testicles actually doesn’t style too dangerous.

We’ve got tons extra popping out of Comic Con Africa over the subsequent few days.

 

The views and opinions expressed on this article are these of the writer(s) and don’t essentially mirror the official coverage or place of Essential Hit as an organisation.

Final Up to date: September 17, 2018

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