Comics and Cosplay in Cape Town

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Cape Town’s very own Comic Con, the inaugural FanCon, took place this past weekend at the Lookout, at the V&A Waterfront. The 2-day, fun-filled, event spanned over both Saturday, 7 May and Sunday 8 May 2016, where thousands of attendees filled the venue, evident from the large line on the first day of the event, which wrapped around from the Lookout entrance all the way to the Breakwater parking. Comic books and costumes were all on display against the beautiful backdrop of Cape Town’s mountains and sea.

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There was something for everyone at the event: you could support a local comic book artist by purchasing their works, and if you wanted you could get it signed by them too. For the gamers there was a table top gaming section, where you could participate in one of the many board games being played throughout the day. Or if maybe you just wanted to do a little shopping, in this case there was an overwhelming amount of choice for you.

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On the first day of FanCon, I had just received my payday SMS (yes, I get paid on the 7th. Yes, it’s usually an unusual and awkward time) and by the end of the weekend I was trying to budget how I was going to survive the rest of the month. But it was worth it though. There was a vast array of comic titles to choose from and buy, whether you wanted to add to your collection, or just get yours started, most of which we actually on sale. You could also pick up other merchandise, from t-shirts to Pop! figures to themed jewellery (I personally managed to finally buy a time-turner necklace, and picked up a Deadpool ring, which I wear on my middle finger in honour of the Merc with a Mouth). There’s was no way you could walk into FanCon and not walk out with a purchase of some sort. And all that is excluding all food trucks outside, their delicious smells wafting about, enticing you to sit down and grab a bite after a long day of walking around the convention.

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If you were trying to protect your bank account in some small way, there were other ways to enjoy your time without cracking open your wallet. Both days hosted a “Geek Quiz”, where you could pit your knowledge of nerd and geek culture against others for prizes. And there many panels throughout the convention. One of the panels we attended was “The Art of Writing Comics” which led to a fascinating and thought provoking discussion on diversity and representation in comic books. Another panel was a cosplay for beginners discussion, led by @KomboKitten, (who also served as the MC for the Cosplay Competition) who provided valuable tips and tricks for getting into cosplay.

Speaking of which – the costumes on display throughout the weekend were incredible. From the kids parade on Saturday (completely adorable and made me realise that one of the only reasons I’d procreate is to dress them up), to the cosplay competition on Sunday. For both adults and kids, the skill and creativity on display was truly mind blowing. But what was truly the most fun was just watching your favourite super heroes walking around (I got a photo of a man cosplaying as Bucky/The Winter Soldier by yelling “BUCKY” louding at him while fangirling) and interacting with each other in ways you usually wouldn’t see in the pages of a comic.

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The Cosplay Competition on Sunday was truly the highlight of the weekend. You could see how much time and energy went into the costumes in order to make the various characters come alive. In fact, many became their character, like the winner, cosplaying as Dr. Doom, who captivated the entire audience with his fearsome speech. The passion on that stage bled out to the audience, and the energy that radiated from everyone who attended, and either participated or just spectated, is essentially what FanCon is about. It’s about fans getting together to celebrate their common interests, the community of fans.

Overall, I think everyone can agree that FanCon Cape Town 2016 was a rousing success, and I honestly personally cannot wait to attend in 2017. All I need to do now is starting planning who I’ll be cosplaying as. Luckily, thanks to the past weekend, I now have the tips and inspiration to tackle my own costume next year.

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Did you attend FanCon this weekend? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!

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