As hundreds of eager fans lined up in anticipation of the first day of Africa’s Ultimate Pop Culture and Gaming Festival, the atmosphere brimmed with excitement at the main entrance. Superhero and anime characters could be seen throughout the day, as guests arrived in impressive cosplay to engage with the dynamic programme presented on the first day.
In the Pop Culture Hall, the festival started with The Walking Dead star, Ross Marquand making his first appearance on the Main Stage, joining Comic Con’s resident host, DJ Elliot. The mainstage kept fans engaged with the Comic Con Crise Competition, the daily casual cosplay competition and as a first, fans got to connect with Veronica Taylor, the voice of Ash Ketchum from Pokemon.
Otaku Town Content Zone kicked off with a dynamic programme, engaging fans with a world of Japanese culture. Starting off with a ‘Learn Japanese’ session presented by the Japanese Club South Africa, and the Japanese Embassy of South Africa, then an exclusive book signing with Exclusive books, a ‘Let’s make California Rolls with Market Kokoro and a One Piece Quiz ended the day on a high note.
Launching the Comic Con Cruise at the festival created a lot of excitement as fans got ready to embark on a voyage like no other. The first ever Comic Con Cruise will be an extraordinary experience that promises to be an adventure like never seen before. Hosted on the magnificent MSC Splendida the Comic Con Cruise is setting sail 15 to 18 March 2024 from Durban to Cape Town.
Sharing the excitement that will be available on board, including the regular fan favourite staples to any Comic Con Africa, which include the Artist Alley, the main stage, an unparalleled shopping experience, international celebrities, esports, daily casual dress-up competitions, and more.
Street Con, in collaboration with Palladium, is the perfect meeting point between pop culture and street culture. Sketch battles, custom wars, where artists are tasked with customising sneakers that will be on display across the entire weekend, as well as a graffiti wall, which is drawing a lot of attention.
Mukundi Munzhelele, Senior Marketing Manager: KFC Africa says:
“The first day at Comic Con has been incredible. Not only have fans of all ages come out in full attire, but the celebratory atmosphere is palpable. And the response to our bespoke Kentucky Town ComicCon menu has been unbelievable – with our mouthwatering surprises leaving fans craving more. We are certainly amped and ready to continue to bring all the finger-linkin’ good fun for the rest of the long Heritage weekend and look forward to celebrating SA’s pop culture and making it a memorable one for all,”
As the heartbeat of any Comic Con, with its unique positioning inside Hall 7, the Artist Alley is a place devoted to celebrating local and international comic book artists, original pieces, fan fiction, and more. Fans get the opportunity to engage with their favourite artists, get their comic books signed, and add to their collections.
As the anticipation builds towards the end of the day, finalists from the daily competitions are crowned and walk away with incredible prizes. The Doritos Crunch Cup commenced with a series of free-to-play tournaments and Telkom VS Masters esports Tournament, which features top-tier titles like Counter Strike: Global Offensive, kicks off the yearly eSporting highlight for over 150 Semi-Professional teams competing for their share of the R230,000 prize pool.
As Comic Con Africa’s official media partner, M-Net is bringing the magic closer to viewers, and will be hosting the following activities at Comic Con Africa:
Gran Turismo racing simulator – An exciting car simulator where speedsters must outrace their competitors for the chance at awesome prizes. The Gran Turismo movie also coming to M-Net Box office on 27 October, so viewers will be able to rent it in the comfort of their homes.
Dungeons and Dragons VR experience – Based on the beloved world-famous tabletop game, Comic Con attendees will get to experience the D&D world with a VR headset. Immerse yourself in the fantasy and see your surroundings in 360 degrees, interacting with the world and other players using your hands. Fans will also get to play Dungeons & Dragons: Dark Alliance on PlayStation
Dungeons & Dragons: Honour Among Thieves is on M-Net’s Sunday 8 pm blockbuster movie lineup on 8 October.
As fans gear up for an incredible Saturday with even more fun, and celebrities on the main stage, the Con will celebrate the Proudly Africa offering, the collaboration with Afro Geek, the collector community and the figurines as well as the immersive experiences available to fans around every corner.