Cape Town - So what was FanCon 2016 like? Perhaps this video might intrigue you:
A video posted by Caryn Welby-Solomon (@carrieanne07) on May 8, 2016 at 6:38am PDT
We’ve seen the lifestyle and characters described on the page, illustrated in comic books, performed on screen and on video games, and for one weekend, the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town provided the perfect venue for multitudes of fandoms gathering together to celebrate geek and pop culture.
The inaugural Cape Town Comic Con (7-8 May) pulled out all the stops with entertainment that truly embraced geek culture.
Lines streamed around the block on Saturday, as the venue was inundated with thousands of comic and cosplay enthusiasts of all ages and backgrounds celebrating their interests.
Hosted at The Lookout, V&A Waterfront, the event featured special areas dedicated to various aspects of the comic-con culture, such as an ‘Artist Alley’ with local and international comic artists and guests displaying and selling their work. Artist Alley also saw the creation of commissioned artwork.
Comic-book enthusiasts were able to chat to the artists of some of their favourite series, have books signed at the signing area, and become exposed to new comics - especially those created by local artists.
If you were seeking collectables, there were numerous vendors selling items from action figurines to vintage comics to T-shirts and accessories. So even if you weren’t dressed up you could pick up a pair of Harry Potter themed earrings, a Pokemon hair-bow, and even some colour contact lenses and immerse yourself in fandom.
Other activities included a specialised board game area where tabletop games were available to play and test, as well as to purchase. And for those who love Game of Thrones, there was a chance to take a picture while seated on the Iron Throne - be careful, if you’re cut by one of the swords, you’re not fit to rule Westeros.
A photo posted by Caryn Welby-Solomon (@carrieanne07) on May 7, 2016 at 4:31am PDT
The panels that took place around the venue included topics ranging from writing and drawing comics, comic-creators discussing their creations, as well as gaming technology and the art of cosplay. The panels were perfect for a premiere event of this nature, allowing those who are new to the culture to learn from those who have been involved before South Africa had an established market. The panelists inspired others to tap into their inner comic-creator and pursue their own dreams.
A photo posted by Caryn Welby-Solomon (@carrieanne07) on May 8, 2016 at 5:15am PDT
But what is ‘cosplay’?
The term Cosplay is thrown around to describe various forms of costuming but as prominent Capetonian cosplayer, Genevieve Lesch, more popularly known as KomboKitten in the cosplay community, said: “It’s a form of fan art, of expressing your love.”
Cosplayer Genevieve Lesch, @KomboKitten, MC-ing the cosplay competition at #fancon2016 pic.twitter.com/wTJOVJRHwa— Caryn Welby-Solomon (@carrieanne07) May 9, 2016
Cosplayer Genevieve Lesch, @KomboKitten, MC-ing the cosplay competition at #fancon2016 pic.twitter.com/wTJOVJRHwa
Quality, attention to detail, accuracy of the lore… It’s obvious from the effort that the participants went through to create their costumes and props, that Love plays a huge role in cosplay. Some of the amazing costumes on show included: Orcs from Lord of the Rings with voice boxes installed in their costumes, an extremely lifelike Merida from Brave (freckles included) and a Doctor Doom from Fantastic Four that commanded the attention of the audience. Amazingly, most of the costumes and props were handmade with extreme skill and precision. It is an astounding sight to behold in Cape Town.
The big draw of Sunday's finale was the Cosplay Competition, which saw the winners walk away with more than R5000 in prizes.
Keir Timm, Cosplay Competition Winner at @FanConComicCon 2016 as the formidable Doctor Doom. Photo by @eimaj_j pic.twitter.com/TCjAgOiXKx— Caryn Welby-Solomon (@carrieanne07) May 9, 2016
Keir Timm, Cosplay Competition Winner at @FanConComicCon 2016 as the formidable Doctor Doom. Photo by @eimaj_j pic.twitter.com/TCjAgOiXKx
Check out the winners’ list here: 1. Keir Timm2. Matt Collins3. Leyla Heylen4. Kaylee Pereira5. Lisa Hendricks - Tie6. Zayaan Farouk - Tie7. Mia Le Roux8. Tilana Esterhuizen 9. Yukino Yoru 10. Rachel FennerSpecial mention: Shelton Paulse, who’s riveting performance of WWE wrestler, Chris Jericho, complete with a light-up leather jacket and soundtrack deserves applause!With the amount of fanfare and support shown in Cape Town, aficionados can expect FanCon 2017 to be bigger and more exciting. I look forward to see how organisers will expand the event. Perhaps it will be hosted at a larger venue?(Photos: Jamie Lee Jacobs)
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