The second day of Comic Con Africa welcomed thousands of guests to a sold-out weekend of pop-culture and gaming fun, with an incredible and diverse offering across three halls, which took visitors by pleasant surprise.
Celebrating African talent and highlighting an African narrative continues to play its part in the work of local illustrators and creatives. Tapelo Zama, the co-founder and creative director of Afro Geek, a company established in 2022 serves as a community for celebrating and advancing African geek culture and talent and focuses on initiatives such as the Afro Geek Pavilion at Comic Con Africa to create more awareness around the talent of local artists.
On the on the main stage, South African K-pop dance crew, Seoulflame Saga set the stage ablaze with their performance before South African actor, Steven John Ward, best known for his work in Netflix’s latest hit series One Piece, made his first appearance to give fans the low-down on his recent success and what lies next in his career. Jumping in on the star-studded action, Ross Marquand (The Walking Dead) and international voice actors Jeff Teravainen and Martin Copping went head-to-head in a competitive session of Everybody 1-2 Switch, a collection of mini videogames by Nintendo Switch.
On the other side of the pop culture hall, it proved to be “extremely busy at Otaku Town today as the demand from South Africans to speak Japanese has never been higher. We had a full house for the Japanese Language Classes taught by Hiromi Spinola, as there are more opportunities than ever between Japan and South Africa and Otaku Town has brought that all together. We have martial artists here teaching people karate, we have chefs teaching Japanese cooking and we have artists selling beautiful Japanese paintings,” says Emma Ruiters, Director of the Japanese Language Club of South Africa. “Please come learn Japanese with us!”
Providing something for old and new fans alike, the con hosted a variety of vendors which spoke to the interest of various fandoms and audiences. Zaza eyewear showcases a unique offering of the coolest sunglasses for fans. These creative accessories are not just ideal for the summer, but also to embrace their authenticity and stimulate their internal superhero. Then, C’est la vie, a salon and supplier of straighteners, curlers and brushes as well as styling solutions, offered demos and insight for cosplay and everyday looks, finishing off any real-life anime or cartoon dress-up experience.
Revolution apparel, who creates uniquely designed tee-shirts with artwork of anime, cartoon and superhero characters, caught the attention of festival goers and Boston Media House, who work specifically on the creative side of education, is looking to promote their graphic design course and animation course to fans, which allows students to get the needed practical experience and grow their portfolios as well as their impact within the growing local creative economy.
For those with priceless, new or unique creations, Art and Framing offers a customised framing solution, which is curated to safely house fan favorite and limited edition works of art. Cricut, on the other hand, created an experience where customisation was the word of the day, allowing entrepreneurs to find their creative outlet and new ways, while giving them an outlet for self-expression and the opportunity to create and own one-of-a-kind creations.
Iconique brands highlight their international pop-culture travel experiences with travel packages and tours to Comic Cons and other pop culture festivals and events around the world. Giving away a trip to Brazil Comic Con for 2 people, including flights, accommodation and tickets to the Con which stretches over 4 days.
Gaming, which is a growing segment in South Africa owned hall 5 with incredible free-to-play offerings from Nintendo, Toyota, Koodoo as wells as Doritos who presented the Doritos Crunch Cup. And as this hobby increasingly becomes a sustainable career path, game development follows, and the support for this market segment continues to grow. Vetkoek studios, which exhibits as a Wits Incubator, is promoting their game Taxi Ranked, after having completed a 3-day ‘game jam’ which had them develop the game and a formal pitch, which they pitch to investors. Comic Con continues to amaze and delight visitors, and offers a lot more over the last two days of the con than visitors know. Only tickets for Monday are still available for purchase on Howler. Also, make sure to check out the Comic Con Africa website for more information on the programme to plan your day.