Update September 21: With less than 24 hours to the start of Comic Con Africa, another celebrity guest has pulled out. This time, the red power ranger Selwyn Ward is out. In an Instagram post on Wednesday afternoon, the CCA team announced the cancellation of Ward's appearance days and said in the caption that he was unable to make the trip due to personal reasons.
This is the second international guest that will not appear this year, after Tati Gabrielle had "tour complications".
Update September 16: With less than a week before the start of Comic Con Africa, celebrity guest and headline star Tati Gabrielle will not be able to attend this year due to "tour complications".
In a 24-second clip posted on the CCA Instagram page on Friday morning, Gabrielle said that she cannot attend and hopes to join fans next year.
Meanwhile, Khylin Rhambo and Dylan Sprayberry (both of Teen Wolf fame) were announced as guests on Thursday.
Back with a bang is Comic Con Africa (CCA) for its third iteration (fourth if you count the virtual one) this September at the Nasrec Expo Centre in Johannesburg.
The pop, comic and gaming culture convention is scheduled to take place from September 22 to 25 at this new venue, after Kyalami racetrack and the Gallagher Convention Centre played host to the previous Cons.
So far, the staggered release and slow burn of announcements has been slightly annoying - like wanting to binge She-Hulk but realising all episodes are not available. It really makes one want to Hulk-smash a TV.
That aside, this year's team has added a few new experiences and tried to cater for all the expected 80 000 guests over the four-day weekend. Expect a larger venue, more immersive experiences, 256 hours of content and eight stages.
With less than 30 days to go, the headline stars were nowhere to be seen. Then on Friday, Tatiana Gabrielle Hobson (of the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Uncharted and YOU fame) was announced. On Tuesday, two other stars were revealed - Jamie Bower (from Strangers Things and Twilight) and Asher Angel (from Shazaam and 13 Reasons Why). The red Power Ranger, Selwyn Ward, will also attend.
Previous headliners included William Shatner, Kevin Sussman, Ricky Whittle, Yetide Badaki, Travis Fimmel and Daniel Gillies. So the expectation of a household name is not misplaced. Even Anthony Mackie was set to attend a couple of years ago, but sadly, that didn't pan out.
A ticket will cost R190 per person per day, while a four-day pass will be R570 per person. Kids under five enter for free.
So, here's what we know
Besides the sublime Gabrielle and the talent above, three cosplay stars have been announced: Taryn Cosplay (Italy); Leon Chiro (Italy) and Elizabeth Rage (US).
While at Artist Alley, the heart of any comic con, illustrators, authors, inkers and all other artists will be held aloft, yet easily accessible to their fans. Some of the big names include Loyiso Mkhize, Jason Masters, Bill Masuku, Tehani Farr, Tasia MS, Daniel Glover, Karl Mostert and Andrew Lee Griffith.
There'll be live sketches, workshops, autograph signings and much learning and geeking. There will also be Author Avenue and The Block for exhibitors.
Events and spaces
CCA announced that sponsor KFC will put on an immersive experience called Kentucky Town, while Netflix's Stranger Things seems to have something up their sleeve, especially with Bower and his 5.5 million Instagram followers in attendance.
New this year is StreamerCon and StreetCon, two sub-cons within CCA 2022 that will focus on all things online video and streaming, as well as urban culture and pop culture creators and fans.
Sneaker brand Bathu partners with CCA to host the StreetCon space, with merch, urban and street artists, sketch battles and graffiti art on display. Vloggers, YouTubers, Twitch streamers and podcasters will dominate the streamer side, allowing fans to learn more about streaming from their faves IRL (in real life).
Unplug Yourself is the fancy name for tabletop games, which is a staple of any Comic Con. Dedicated spaces will be created to accommodate fans and friends to play their favourite board games.
KidsCon is again back and is curated by kids for kids. There will be a kids karaoke, Just Dance and Mario Kart competitions, as well as a special cosplay competition for children. Plus, an esport tournament for children is expected.
Gaming will again take a large portion of the convention with Telkom VS Gaming being the main partner. A daily esport tournament with R4 000 prize money is up for grabs, while the Campus Clutch Valorant tournament finals will also be held. LAN sections and all things related to gaming will also be held and catered for.
What would Comic Con be without the fans dressing up, or down, in outfits and characters we all love and hate?
In 2019, the CCA cosplay winner, Kelsey Atkins (jinxiecosplay), won the global cosplay competition in Chicago and put South Africa on the map. With a dedicated hall and a jam-packed line-up of workshops, panel discussions, meet-ups and many exhibitors, the cosplay community will be catered for widely.
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For the professionals and the undiscovered talent, the Championship of Cosplay final will take place at 2pm on September 25 with the winner going on to represent Africa at the Cospaly Crown Championship in London this year. For the non-professionals, a casual cosplay competition will take place daily at 1pm on the main stage.
With the bigger venue and larger area space, a food court and a beer garden is promised.
For more, visit the Comic Con website here.