5 must-dos at Comic Con Africa 2018

Comic Con Africa 2018
Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit
September 14 to 16
Tickets R150 at computicket.com
Only Friday tickets are still available

Whether you’re a hardcore comic-book aficionado or dabble in an Avengers movie here and there, Comic Con Africa will have something for you. #Trending makes some recommendations on what you should go check out.

Cape Town - With 35 000 to 40 000 visitors expected at Africa's inaugural Comic Con, it's set to be the nerd event of the year. And, as we all know, everyone has a bit of nerd in them. 

It's been receiving massive interest since its launch, and shows how thirsty local audiences are for these types of pop culture events. Says Comic Con Africa portfolio director Elaine Crewe: "We can sell more tickets but we don't want to. We want to make it an event that's both safe and comfortable for our visitors. But I think the massive interest in it shows that this is something that South Africa is definitely ready for."


And whether you’re a hardcore comic-book aficionado or dabble in an Avengers movie here and there, Comic Con Africa will have something for you.

“We’ve focused Comic Con on five pillars to make sure every pop culture genre is covered," says Crewe. "Those are film and series, comic books, gaming, cosplay and board games, as well as book authors. ”

But how will Comic Con differ from Rage - South Africa's video gaming, computer, technology and geek culture exhibition that's been going for years.

"Although they have some cosplay there, Rage is primarily gaming focused," says Crewe. "For us it's important to focus on comic books - it's Comic Con after all. We also want to highlight local and international artists and make sure that those real comic book fan - the ones who just love holding that comic book in their hands like they did when they were little kids - have that opportunity again."

Here are five thingsyou shouldn't miss at the Con this year:

1. CHECK OUT YAYA HAN

For those of you who don’t know, cosplay is a creative pursuit where you dress up as your favourite comic-book, gaming or pop culture character. The costumes are usually handmade, incredibly elaborate and true to character.

China born, US-based Yaya Han has been a cosplayer for 18 years and travels all over the world doing appearances at Comic Cons. She’s also been on TV shows King of the Nerds and Heroes of Cosplay. Yaya has been credited for bringing the rather fringe pursuit of cosplay to a mainstream audience and, with more than 375 costumes under her belt, is pretty much the cosplay queen.

"Yaya is very interactive with fans and has a lot to say about cosplay - it's her life," says Crewe. "She'll be involved in a lot of panel discussions and workshops that are open to the public. And she's also judging our cosplay competition [see below]."

She’ll also be doing autograph sessions during the weekend, so be sure to check her out.


Yaya Han


2. HEAR FROM THE ILLUSTRATORS AND WRITERS

Some of the movers and shakers in the comic book industry will be making appearances over the weekend to share their insights. Among them will be world-famous British comic book writer Andy Diggle and renowned US comic artist Chris Sprouse.

Diggle is best known for such heavyweight titles as The Losers, Green Arrow: Year One, Batman, Superman, Captain America, Daredevil and James Bond.

Sprouse has been in the industry for nearly three decades and has drawn for Action Comics and Uncanny X-Men, but is probably best known for this work on Wildstorm/DC Comics’ Tom Strong series.


Chris Sprouse

US illustrator Jenny Frison, best known for her cover art for Wonder Woman, will also be there. She’s worked on X-Men Red, Black Panther and many more.

Joining the international creatives will be locals including Jason Masters, Sean Izaakse, Warren Louw, Bill Masuku and Moray Rhoda, and Team Kwezi's Loyiso Mkize, Mohale Mashigo and Clyde Beech.

"I don't think many people realise that some of the local comic book artists are international, world renowned stars." says Crewe. "They've done art for Marvel and DC and are doing such amazing stuff."


3. SEE INTERNATIONAL STARS

Travis Fimmel (Ragnar Lodbrok on Vikings and Anduin Lothar in Warcraft), Anthony Mackie (The Falcon from The Avengers franchise), Yetide Badaki and Ricky Whittle (Bilquis and Shadow Moon on American Gods) Kevin Sussman (Stuart Bloom on The Big Bang Theory) and Rick Worthy (Alpha Vampire on Supernatural and Simon Cylon on Battlestar Galactica) ... they’ll all be present at this year’s Comic Con.

Meet them in the flesh and get something signed. Details of autograph sessions will be released closer to the time.


Anthony Mackie


4. COSPLAY TILL YOU DROP

Yaya won’t be the only one dressing up at Comic Con this year. The Comic Con Africa Championships of Cosplay will be taking place on the Saturday at 4pm, showcasing the best cosplayers in the country.

"Cosplay is growing in South Africa year by year," says Crewe. "What the fans are putting together is amazing and it's just getting better and better."

The winner of the competition will go on to represent Africa at next year’s C2E2 Crown Championships of Cosplay in Chicago, US. Among the judges of the competition will be Yaya and renowned US cosplayer Philip Odango. If you want to see the best cosplayers out there, make sure to check out the main stage where it all goes down.


Philip Odango


5. DRESS UP MORE THAN YOU EVER HAVE

Wondering whether you should don your Iron Man suit for Comic Con? The answer is a resounding YES. Organisers are urging people to dress up for the event.

"Fans are asking us whether they can dress up and we're saying of course!" says Crewe. "Everyone will be dressing up and is getting really excited."


(Photos: City Press)