Cape Town, 27 April 2023: Queuing up for one and a half hours prior to the doors even be scheduled to open, fans streamed in to experience a sold-out Comic Con Cape Town, at CTICC2 today. The energy is palpable as the Con is alive! The pop culture and gaming festival is off to a tremendous start opening with the Hugo Lambrechts Orchestra setting the tone with their rendition of the Star Wars theme song, performed on the Main Stage and fans already begining to grow their communities.
American actress Tati Gabrielle, best known for her roles on YOU and the movie adaptation of the video game Uncharted, had the crowd roaring in excitement as she made her first appearance at the Con. Throughout the weekend Guest Spotlight Sessions like these offer fans the once-in-lifetime-opportunity to see their favourite actors IRL and get answers to their burning questions. The Walking Dead star, Ross Marquand also joined the Main Stage to make his first South African appearance to chat about his numerous projects including Marvel’s hit movie Avengers: Infinity War.
The Vampire Diary fans went crazy as Kat Graham set foot on stage. Alongside the international Comic Con DJ, DJ Elliot, Graham gave the audience the low down on the making of the hit series, what her favourite on-set moment was and what she’ll be doing during her time in South Africa.
Fans dressed up and showed off at the Daily Cosplay competition on the Main Stage, and at the StreamerCon stage, local streamers – TheaBesty, RebelMonkeyZA, GoKatGo, Grizzly Gaming and Blumfuffski joined forces for a panel discussion to share their advice on how to thrive in the content creation space.
As the heartbeat of the festival, guests flocked to the Artist Alley Spotlight Stage to immerse themselves in the universe of comics. Kickstarting the jam-packed schedule over the four-day Con was a session with South African illustrator, Jason Masters. Comic fans were afforded the opportunity to witness a side-by-side comparison of the script and illustrations for James Bond #1 in hopes of getting an understanding of how Masters transformed Warren Ellis’ script into a body of illustration.
Fans were elated to also see comic book artists Ian Churchill, Sean Izaakse, and Afua Richardson in action as they made their first appearance at Artist Alley for Comic Con Cape Town. Offering a breakdown of what it takes to become a successful illustrator, each artist offered their tips on turning their passion into a full-time career. Adding an African flair to the stage, Loyiso Mkhize along with Clyde Beech joined Zimbabwean illustrator Bill Masuku to chat about the importance of telling South Africans stories. Mkhize and Loyiso changed the local scene with the creation of Kwezi, a South African coming of age story featuring a young hero.
“The first day of Comic Con Cape Town has been epic so far! Everyone looks amazing, the stalls are so varied and fans have been so friendly. It’s lovely to connect with other people who enjoy the same things that I do. I’m such an undercover nerd so I’m so excited to express the love and passion I have for Dungeons and Dragons in a public space” – says festival-goer, Jester Lavorre draped in her cosplay – a D&D attire impersonating Tusk Love.
The Cape Town International Animation Festival started the day off with a captivating panel discussion about Owning our Stories as South Africans creatives, ahead of the two screenings which took place. The audience was pleased to meet Danson Njoka, CEO of Kugali Studios, who focused on the importance of telling authentic stories that have been produced on African soil. Njoka chatted about a Sci-Fi project, Iwaju, that is soon to hit screens on Disney+ later this year before directors, Samantha Cutler and Daniel Snaddon, gave fans behind the scenes insight into the making The Smeeds and the Smoos, painting enthusiasts a first-hand picture of how the production process looks and what it takes to have a career in animation.
“We’re so excited at all the people who are coming to our stand and learning about the world animation. There’s a wonderful energy in the room and people are really exploring their creativity!”, says CTIAF Director, Dianne Makings.
The gaming hall, particularly abuzz, answers the calls to all gamers who have prepared their consoles and keyboards for a mind-blowing offering of tournaments, tech, free-play areas, merchandise, and incredible competitions.
With Cape Town quickly becoming Africa’s game development hub, having more than 57% of local game development studios and multiple independent gaming companies, it’s no surprise that the Comic Con Cape Town gaming experience resonates with the Mother City their home.
Telkom VS Gaming kicked off the festival with a 32-player FIFA tournament in a single elimination format. Along with several opportunities to win big, the top three winners of the day will be put into a random draw in hopes of winning the Grand Prize. As the excitement grew around their stand at the show, Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM) encouraged fans to join in on the free-to-play WRC and FIFA tournaments where attendees would be able to test their skills on the sim rig and stand a chance to win big prizes.
Gamers then set out to take their skills to the next level at the Doritos Crunch Cup stand, boasting a cash prize of R7000 split amongst the top three and more to be won for beating at professional at their own game.
Carla Massmann, Show Director shared that “As a team, we are thankful for the welcoming spirit that the local pop-culture fans have already shown. We are so excited to be bringing Africa’s largest pop culture and gaming festival to the Mother City where visitors get to embrace being themselves, regardless of their cultural background, physical ability, or personal identity. Comic Con Cape is proud to have created a space that amplifies self-expression and is free of judgement”.
Comic Con Cape Town has recently released a limited number of additional tickets for the show, available here: https://comiccon.howler.co.za/events/comic-con-cape-town-2023-48c2/tickets