The African continent has been the playground and home of numerous fictional superheroes over the decades including Avonome, Storm, Ngozi, Batwing, Black Panther or Vixen. These iconic and fierce embodiments of heroism, the supernatural and power, have emerged and at times, have drawn their power (be it literally or figuratively) from the African continent.
Reed Exhibitions in collaboration with VS Gaming hosted the first ever Comic-Con Africa in South Africa from September 14-16 at the Kyalami Convention Centre and Comic-Con Africa did not disappoint.
The sold-out event was an amazing weekend filled with many firsts, epic cosplays, endless aisles of iconic comics and exhibits, as well as thought-provoking panel discussions. While the event had a bumpy start with guests dropping out due to schedule conflicts and bad flying weather, the organizers went above and beyond to ensure that fans had a memorable experience.
Highlights of the Weekend:
- Panel discussions: In my personal world it is rare that you can speak so openly and discuss the origin, history, and trajectory of film, television, comics, and gaming. Comic-Con Africa hosted a series of panels from Afrofuturism, the Feminist agenda, the State of comics, Monsters, etc. which led to an interesting dialogue among speakers, fans and creators.
- Access: The event was very much for creators – whether you were an illustrator or writer, the con provided opportunities and a platform to meet and engage with individuals in the industry.
- Guests: Lauren Beukes, Mashigo Mohale and American Gods star, Ricky Whittle were in attendance. All were so dynamic, charismatic and giving of their time. These individuals were truly amazing to speak to and hear speak (hopefully they will return to Comic-Con Africa 2019).
Often in art, film and comics, there are discussions as to the African experience or the African- American experience. Individuals from Africa could experience this world that they love, which often draws from it culturally. The weekend was also about embracing and transcending that to a degree, and embracing a universal passion for the imagination, characters and how human beings are infinite in their ability to create and become magical.
Personally, I don’t have a memory of not knowing Christopher Reeve’s Superman, so seeing adults, teens, and kids cosplay characters as well as being able to speak to creators like Jason Masters and Andy Diggle, I was reminded as creators and people the geek world (which can at times be shrouded in toxicity and dominating patriarchy) has the greatest people.
Let me know if you were at the Con and if so what did you think was the best part?