Comic Con Africa: What you need to know

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Comic Con Africa: Anthony Mackie as The Falcon in Avengers
pictures:supplied
Comic Con Africa: Anthony Mackie as The Falcon in Avengers pictures:supplied

The second Comic Con Africa takes place this weekend and it’s all systems go for another year filled with cosplay, gaming, superheroes, Marvel vs DC, anime, geek culture, boardgames and, oh, so much more.

We’re as excited as you are to attend this pop culture event of the year and drawing on our experience (albeit very limited) from last year, here are some handy helpful tips to navigate your way around the four-day extravaganza taking place at the Gallagher Convention Centre.

The where, the when and the how to:

It takes place from Saturday September 21 to Tuesday September 24 (Tuesday is a public holiday) at Gallagher Convention Centre. From 9am to 6pm every day.

You can get there by car using these GPS coordinates: X4XJ+48 Midrand. Parking will be available at a cost of R20.

You can also take the Gautrain to the Midrand station and then get the bus to the convention centre.

There will also be dedicated Uber and car hailing drop-off and pick-up zones.

Tickets:

Tickets for Saturday are already sold out but they are available for Sunday, Monday and Tuesday at Computicket here: Comic Con Africa tickets 

Day pass: R160

Four-day pass: R500

There will be meet-and-greet opportunities with the guests as well as exclusive photograph opportunities, at a cost obviously. The prices range from R300 to R500 and can be booked online and on the Comic Con Africa app.

The online link and schedule, as well as available guests is here: https://store.epicphotoops.com/comic-con-africa/2019

Cosplay:

Remember: cosplay is not consent.

If last year is anything to go by cosplayers will feature heavily at Comic Con Africa and you can expect some epically designed (or bought) outfits that will blow your mind.

Always remember to be respectful of people’s personal space, always ask permission to take a photo of the cosplayer and be kind and courteous all the time.

There will also be a variety of cosplay competitions throughout the weekend, from casual cosplay to a Padawan cosplay competition to the Championship of Cosplay.

The main competetition has a cash prize of R10 000, a ticket to the world cosplay championships in Chicago with flights and accomadation paid for. Some of the other prizes include R3 500 prize money and tickets for next year’s Comic Con Africa.

The final of the championships takes place on Tuesday on the main stage in the afternoon, with the casual competitions taking place throughout the four days, also on the main stage.

For more information, see here: https://www.comicconafrica.co.za/en/visit/cosplay.html

Disabled parking and special needs:

Comic Con Africa have also put together a special assistance programme to make sure those who have “mobility, physical, vision, hearing, cognitive, psychological, invisible or other types of disabilities” will also be able to enjoy the full range of Comic Con activities.

Wheelchair ramps and special parking areas have been designated and will be available by seeking the assistance of one of staff members or making prior arrangements with Comic Con Africa.

Special badges or stickers will be provided once you contact Comic Con via email (info@comicconafrica.co.za).

More details are outlined here: https://www.comicconafrica.co.za/en/visit/venue---travel/medical-assistance-programme.html

Cash or card:

Some vendors and exhibitors will have card facilities and there will be, albeit limited, ATMs on site. However, Comic Con has recommended carrying some cash, especially for the photo ops.

Kids Con:

For the first time the munchkins will have a special area dedicated to them with the largest Lego event in Africa on display.

There will also be a Nerf Zone where kids can show off their blasting skills, a fully-sized Jaguar F-Pace on display, loads of toys and many photo opportunities for the whole family.

There will also be many spot prizes up for grabs, so get the kids and head to the Kids Con for family fun.

But remember: This is not a drop-off zone and children must be accompanied by parents or guardians.

Tips from City Press:

Last year we spent almost three full days at Comic Con and the main thing we learnt was that you have to plan in advance what you want to see.

This year Comic Con Africa have come out with an app which has a cool “my schedule” section where you can mark off items from the programme that you would like to attend and create your own personalised agenda.

Download the app here:

- For IOS: https://apps.apple.com/za/app/comic-con-africa/id1469853281

- For Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ComicConAfrica&hl=en_ZA

Our suggestion would be to get there early, take a tour of the area – without stopping at anything in particular – mainly to get a feel for the place and where things are. While you do this also make a mental note (or a note on the app) of things you would like to come back to. Then take a break at the food area for some fuel and plan the next few hours.

Don’t be afraid to chat to other fans and ask for recommendations, this is also a great way to get to know what’s hot and what’s not.

Carry a bottle of water and some sunscreen (just in case).

Get to the main stage early, especially for guest interviews or panel discussions – these tend to fill up fast and the best seats are usually in the front.

Watch an artist do a live drawing, it will really be one of the highlights of your experience. Last year we watched Bill Masuku draw and create an entire character from audience suggestions in under 40 minutes – it was awe-inspiring.

While on the artists, take a stroll through the artist alley and you will be amazed by the amount of talent on display.

Make sure you take a peek at the gaming side and maybe even watch one of the many tournaments on the go.

Remember to leave time for spur-of-the-moment things because we can guarantee that there will be things that you see that you will want to spend a little more time on. There will also be gaming trials and VR games you will want to try so leave some time for that too.

All in all there will be about 160 hours of content, 300 exhibitors as well as the many artists and authors to chat to and be impressed by, so plan well.

King Bran (Isaac Hempstead Wright) will not be attending Comic Con this year, and we are sad that we won’t be able to have the three-eyed raven tell the future, but fear not – if you keep an eye on social media you will be your own three-eyed raven about what’s still on and what’s not still on, as well as any other changes at Africa’s second Comic Con.

@ComicConAfrica

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