The first Comic Con Africa was hosted at Kyalami from 14 – 16 September 2018.
Grant and I went on Saturday. In preparation for the crowds, I took some beta-blockers and off we went. After half a day’s travel on horseback, we finally reached the entrance. OK, I exaggerate just a little bit, but I’m unfit, it was hot, and the incline never-ending.
There were so many people. What surprised me most was just how many of those many people were dressed up, despite the heat.
Did Comic Con Africa live up to the hype?
Well, that’s a difficult one for me. I was frustrated by the communication from the organisers. I understand that they announced celebrities and events as these were confirmed, but in the last couple of days before the event, I received multiple, identical emails.
As for the actual event, there were no really big international celebrities. I will probably receive some backlash for that, but I had to google every person announced.
There were loads of exhibitors selling something to warm every geeky heart. I was very keen to check out the Funko stand – who doesn’t love a bobblehead? However, when I saw the queue I knew that I didn’t have it in me to join the crowd and not have a panic attack.
Will I go again?
Probably not. Grant bought some things, but it just felt like a big, geeky flea market to me.
Grant’s thoughts on Comic Con Africa
Am I a certified geek? Well, no, if I’m honest, probably not.
A few years ago I started to get back into LEGO, and like any addiction, it started off small. A couple of small sets a month. Just to relax. But as the habit grew, you know, the small sets wouldn’t last long enough to chill. So I began buying some of the bigger sets – pretty much anything that would tickle my fancy. I would mix the various ranges: The Technique. The Creator Pro. Even some of the cooler Lego City sets.
But eventually, I began to find myself slowing down. I worked the programme (literally, the LEGO App).
It was at this point that my inner geek began to slowly emerge. I found myself focusing on specific ranges – Star Wars mostly, but also some Avengers.
And with this emergence, I found myself doing a little research around the sets. Some of the back story. I even rewatched the Star War Movies. From there it was to Pinterest, seeing how people would create Fan Art, MOC Lego Sets (My Own Creation), and I began to enjoy the whole community that comes with being a fan of fantasy-type things.
Ok, but Comicon?
As I said, I’m not really a geek. BUT, I did find myself shifting things around that would normally have taken preference, in order to satisfy my curiosity.
Was it what I expected. Honestly, NO. Is this a bad thing? NOT AT ALL. I absolutely loved it. I loved the artist section upstairs, and the variety of stores downstairs the most. I came home with a Bazinga shirt, a Wall-e keyring, and even some art (Deadpool as a puppy with a unicorn – I know right?!)
I’m sure Comic Con was perhaps not what everybody expected. Being the first one too, I think there was enough for everyone, but perhaps not as focused on some of the elements that avid fans were hoping to see. One comment I heard was that some of the fans felt it was a little diluted, and I guess that’s what comes with first-time-ever events in SA. But for me, it was perfect. I was exposed to so much “comiculture” that I will be back next year, with a bigger credit card at least some form of Cosplay adornments…. Iron Man, I think… Mk50… with a LEGO twist for flair.