Day 3 of Comic Con is a colourful affair with a dynamic programme across the various stages. As storytelling and artistry are at the heart of the convention, the focus was not only on the gaming tournaments and competitions but also on Artist Alley, which hosts a variety of illustrators, and artists, as well as cosmic comics, which focused on educating collectors, established and new comic book fans.
There are various trends taking centre stage at Comic Con this year and they include authenticating comics which are signed by the comic book artists, or the host of celebrities who visit Comic Con, increasing the value of the comic book, and instantly turning it into a collector’s most prized possession. DC and Marvel comics are still very popular, but limited-edition items like the comic books printed by Cosmic Comics, which are limited to 3000 in the world are taking the top spot in collectors’ eyes.
Green Experience, who put their illustrations on merchandise with environmental impact in mind, use recycled paper, biodegradable clothing material, and add a seed tag onto each item, which can be planted to combat carbon emissions, are changing the view of what art is. Artist Blac-kay packages his work to be more practical, and as something fans can enjoy every day, by printing it on notebooks, mugs and clothing. The artwork, with predominantly African female figures, celebrates the life givers, the power, intelligence and strength of women, and because the paper is recycled, and the clothing is biodegradable, all the items aim to reduce the user’s carbon footprint and creative flair.
Over in the pop-culture hall, Maizey, which has been around for 73 years, launched the Maizey Craft range last year, to accommodate start-ups, DIYers, cosplayers and inspiring hobbyists to create their own tee-shirts, stickers, earrings, badges and stickers with doming resin. With personalisation and customisation in mind, they also supply Omega Skins which is a vehicle wrapping vinyl to wrap computers and other gear for a scratch-free experience.
On the main stage, in line with the local feel of the event, South African actor Cameron Scott, known for his work in Netflix’s The Kissing Booth 3, made his first appearance on the main stage in a session of pure entertainment and fun. The former Bachelorette contestant joined international actor Ross Marquand, who has been at the con since the get-go, to chat about all things acting. Putting Mzansi’s talent centre stage, Thuso Mbedu (known for The Woman King and The Underground Railroad) surprised fans for a Niobe panel alongside the President of Stranger Comics, Sebastien Jones.
Fandoms continue to collide under one roof as Star Wars and Pokemon fans immerse themselves in the exciting opportunity to meet the key cast IRL. Seats quickly filled up in anticipation of Anthony Daniels’ appearance on the main stage, the actor portrays the humanoid robot C-3PO in the long-standing franchise, Star Wars. For the anime and manga fans, the Pokémon voice actor, Veronica Taylor best known for her portrayal of Ash Ketchum, left the audience in awe with a live performance of the much-loved character, giving many a sense of nostalgia.
Towards the top of the hall, Hollywood Costumes offered a range of weird and wonderful costumes to inspire the next generation of award-winning cosplayers, and Elizabeth Arden, in collaboration with Edgars elevates the everyday and curated cosplay looks with their 8 Hour Saviours, a range of creams which protect the skin when you’re out, saving the world. Activate your 8Hr Super Power by shopping the range including the all-over miracle oil spray, mist, cream sun defence and original 8Hr cream skin protector moisturiser.
As a staple to the convention, FUNKO Pops have consistently had a line wrapping around the store across all three days as fans streamed in to get a combination of Comic Con exclusives, some cool new chase variants, new releases that aren’t available to the public yet, as well as all the value deals available. This year it has become evident that anime is on trend. It has been building up over the last 2 years and is certainly at its strongest.
Sharing incredible narratives, GALAXY PRESS, which represents New York Times bestselling author L. Ron Hubbard and the L. Ron Hubbard, presents Writers and Illustrators of the Future Contest, the most enduring and influential contest in the history of science fiction and fantasy, now 39 years running. Showcased in the yearly Writers and Illustrators of the Future anthology are the winning stories and illustrations from contestants hailing from all parts of the world, including Capetonian illustrator Stephen Spinas featured in Volume 37.
Markus Neuweiler, a representative of Galaxy Press says;
“We are confident that the presence of L. Ron Hubbard presents Writers and Illustrators of the Future here at Comic Con Africa 2023 will inspire many local writers and illustrators to enter the contest and we hope to see many more winners from South Africa and Africa in the very near future,”
In the gaming hall a variety of activities caught the attention of fans, from an old-school arcade for young and nostalgic players alike, the gaming hall was abuzz with free-to-play games including a racing simulator from F1 Experience, giving racers a true F1 track experience from the safety and comfort of the Comic Con floor.
Affordable gaming captivated gamers and enticed them with new games at low prices, encouraging more playtime and supporting the champions of the future. Nintendo, with their larger-than-life stand, brought together fans of all ages playing Everybody Switch. Also, as a pre-launch exclusive, which can only be played at a Comic Con ahead of release in October, Super Mario Bros. Wonder, was in high demand. They also had Illusion Island, The Legend of Zelda, Mario Kart Deluxe, Pokémon Violet and Pokémon Legends Arceus, Nintendo Switch Sports and many more available to fans.
Telkom’s High School eSports League concludes today with, the new champions Waterkloof High School, who won R55 000.00 for the school as Counter Stoke winners for 2023. A huge highlight over the weekend is also the VS Masters tournament, which held its Semifinal 1 with Bravado Gaming Vs. Goliath gaming, playing Counter Strike Global Offensive, and Semifinal 2 between Nixuh vs. Nibble gaming, and then the champions will be determined as the tournament concludes tomorrow.
At Streamer Con, the mecca for modern content creation, panels took place throughout the day with streamers and content creators. They had discussions and played various games like fandom feuds where they had to guess the most popular option from the audience, creating an engaging experience and interesting talking points for them.
With the final day of the Con on the horizon, fans are gearing up for one last day of immersive fun as the feeling of FOMO is always a resounding trend as fans crave more pop-culture action.