Comic Con Cape Town Celebrates Cosplayers & Creatives

by Media Xpose

The third day of Comic Con Cape Town at the Cape Town International Convention Centre saw fans return in their numbers to take advantage of the Comic Con landscape they’ve become familiar with. Having mapped their experience, on previous days, fans took advantage of all zones, making the most of every moment of their experience.

British actor, David Oakes then took to the stage for the first time at the festival to get to know his African fans a bit better. Oakes, best known for his work on The White Queen, Victoria, The Borgias, and his most notable role to date in Netflix’s Vikings: Valhalla, took the opportunity to answer the audience’s burning questions on his career, his life and what his time in Cape Town has been like.

While chatting to American actress Tati Gabrielle about her time in the city and her career, Tati shared her experience when it comes to choosing her roles, saying: “I firstly look at the project as a whole as well as the role, and what kind of message it is leaving, because I want to make sure that the character is sending a message someone can take away and have something to think about.”

DJ Fresh take to the Main Stage to produce a recording of his brand-new podcast, “WAW!!” (What A Week). Chatting to a mixture of local and international celebs, the radio veteran sat down with the likes of Tati Gabrielle, Kat Graham, and Ross Marquand who gave fans his best impersonations of household names like Morgan Freeman. Along with spotlighting Hollywood faves, he welcomed local illustrator, Loyiso Mkhize (creator of the South African superhero Kwezi), who talked about his love for illustration and how he became one of Africa’s leading artists.

Film enthusiasts were pleased to listen in on Production Designer, Kerry Von Lillienfeld’s session on her time in the film and television industry. Chatting about her most well-known bodies of work, Escape Room 1 & 2, Kerry gave fans a behind the scenes look into what it takes to stage a production of that nature.

As the peak of the festival at hand, eager cosplayers lined up backstage, adjusting their outfits and put the finishing touches on their costumes as they got ready to compete in the Ubisoft Character Contest Cosplay Competition. Walking away with a considerable cash prize, Fred Wolf was crowned as the winner of the competition.

“Fred won the cosplay competition because he was the contestant to make proper use of the stage to sell his costume, adding drama and theatrics to his performance. I must say he channelled the Prince of Persia very well. I know exactly how nerve-racking it is to compete in the Con but all the contestants brought their A-game today. Back in 2020, I entered the Comic Con Cape Town Regional Championships of Cosplay where I was crowned the Champion. After a three-year hiatus, I’ll be handing over the title tomorrow”, says, Ludus Cosplay who recently placed second in an international cosplay competition in Chicago and judged the competition.

Down the hall at Artist Alley, also known as the heartbeat of the festival, international and local illustrators came together for a panel discussion highlighting the importance of telling ethnically diverse stories. Along with celebrating the illustration space, it is equally important to talk about the gaps in the industry and how those gaps can be filled. It’s these very conversations that ignite change in the industry, and Bill Masuku, Afua Richardson, Mohale Mashingo and Bernard Chang are proud to be apart of this transition.

The excitement of the day also saw Che the Stray and T.S. Zombie go head-to-head in an illustration battle like never seen before on Palladium sneakers, right after South African illustrators became the talk of the day with a panel discussion geared towards celebrating the artists who are putting Africa on the global stage.

One of these very artists, Jason Masters, whose work spans the likes of James Bond, Batman and Avengers, had the following to say on the success of Comic Con Cape Town so far: “Initially, I was quite nervous coming back to Comic Con because of the sheer amount of people that attend each festival, but it has been nothing but amazing to be amongst my peers in the industry. I adore meeting and engaging with fans who share the same love of illustration that I have. The exposure that Comic Con gives an illustrator like me is incredible because the more the public sees my work, the more likely it is for an editor to see it too”.

The Pop Culture Content Zone presented a dynamic programme which thrilled fans with various offerings with including an Introduction to Painting a 3D Printed Miniature by using Beginner techniques and processes to achieve quick results, a discussion on the importance secret identities play in the universes (Marvel and DC), Where to Start navigating content Creation in the South African Geek Space, and so much more.

Also, at Comic Con Cape Town it’s evident that we are living in a golden age of board games, and this is largely driven by the sheer number of people spending the time and effort to turn their great ideas into action. Over and above the interactive Tabletop Gaming offering, in a panel discussion, experts shared their observations of the state of the board game industry, before delving into a number of the challenges, and share tips with creators who might face when looking to make a board game.

In and amongst activates like the TikTok Collab Challenge and Meet Your Match, games like Whose Channel is it Anyway and Streamers Got Talent, StreamerCon hosted the panel discussions to share industry secrets and support up-and-coming creators on their journey. The discussion Community driven content – how to get it right, explored how all content should be community driven, what exactly that means, and more importantly, how to create that content, and Being a creator – success on TikTok focused on the life of a creator, and how tough it can in the first days, and how to overcome those challenges.

Over and above the workshops including a Physical Theatre Masterclass where delegates learnt from multi-award-winning actor, writer, comedian and director Rob van Vuuren, who boasts a 25-year-long career founded in training as a physical performer, as a special treat, in a Comic Con Cape Town Exclusive, the Cape Town International Animation Festival offered a sneak preview of Star Wars Visions Volume 2, which will premiere on Disney+ on May 4, 2023, as well as two screenings, Best of CTIAF, featuring some of the best short animation films submitted to the CTIAF in 2022, as well as Best of Animation School, highlighting the top animation films from the final-year students at the school in 2022.

“Being part of Comic Con this year has given us a chance to speak to people who watch a lot of animation, and to do a lot of activations with people who didn’t know about animation, and specifically the South African Animation Industry. We hope the delegates are walking away with a sense of pride about their country and about the industry and join us for FAME Week from the 4th to the 6th of September”, says Dianne Makings, CTIAF Director.

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