The weekend of the 14th, 15th and 16th September was the very first Comic-Con ever on African soil. When I first learnt that it was near by and that I would be able to actually go, I quickly got my hands on some tickets. Then about two or so weeks before the con I started actually planning for the con. I was calculating my budget for the month so I could have spending and food while still manage to survive the rest of the month. I also arranged with a friend to let me stay by his place for the weekend. I am so glad he let me since his place is considerably closer to where the con was happening.
There were a few other things going on just before the con as well but for length wise of the post, I’ll keep it to the con days only and to just the con happenings.
I woke up early and got bathed and dressed and my friend told me how to get to the Gautrain station where I would be picking up a fellow con goer. I was told to turn one way but I promptly messed up and went the other. Yea my directional sense is not the greatest. Eventually I found the station and called up Dylan. He opened up the car door and that was when I officially met the guy I had made admin on the All About Anime whatsapp group and had offered a lift to the con.
It was a pretty cool drive to Kyalami. We used his GPS which I am glad about. Mine kept loosing signal. I also enjoyed the music he had downloaded for the drive. We managed to arrive at the con by 8am as I had hoped and got a great parking spot. Then we made our way through a tunnel and to the convention. We stood in line until 9am when the con officially started.
It was really amazing to be at the very first Comic-Con Africa on the very first day. There were a lot of people and it was a hot day. Walking around with Dylan we were stopped quite often as many people recognised his Grimmjow cosplay. There were a lot of cosplayers and cosplays from so many different genre, it was amazing to see!
We tried to see the entirety to the con but that was simply impossible. We had thought we had done it but missed an entire hall. Then we found our way to the part we missed and re-explore halls we had already gone through only to spot stands and things we had missed entirely before. We walked ComicCon flat and there were times where we were dying of the heat. We were joined by a friend of Dylan’s and our duo become a trio (^^,) We were also occasionally joined by Brainard as well.
I eventually spotted a fellow con goer walking around with crushed ice and stopped them to find out where they had found my salvation. So the three of us stood in line to get us some expensive crushed flavoured ice. It was heaven but I only managed to eat maybe half before I threw mine away.
A while later I managed to meet up with my uncle and cousin who had also gone through for the afternoon. My cousin was at school so could only come through afterwards. It was actually pretty awesome to geek out with them and watch as Dylan looked out for Luke in a Live Action Role Play match. I wish I could share the video footage. My cousin is tiny but has a brown belt in Karate and was not afraid to take on these challengers who were much bigger and older than he. My uncle and I on the side lines were worried he might get trampled. Although he was fine.
~ Dylan if you are reading this, thanks again (^^,) For both looking out for my lil cuz and making the day really enjoyable and putting up with my awkwardness.
I split from the trio and said farewell to my cousin and uncle. Then I had the fun of trying to once again find Dylan with a flat phone. Now I know, always plan a meet up point ahead of time! Thankfully we did manage to relocate one another and do one last walk around where we met up again with our third part in our trio allowing for us to get one last pic.
The day was both long and short and soon Dylan and I were back in the car on our way to Sandton.
My feet hurt and I was sleep deprived but still I was not going to let that stop me from going. I left slightly later because I had already done the whole ‘be there when they open and wait in line‘ thing. I figured I would gladly skip the line since the morning was already hot and my feet hurt. I wish I had left the same time as I did on Friday. I parked miles away and had to brave the sun as it beat down on me as I walked and walked to eventually reach the venue. I gave my dad a call and asked him to bring me a cap and let him know that he would be parking far away and that the place is huge so the earlier they get to Comic Con the better. That way they (my brother and father) would have time to actually take it all in.
I thought Friday was busy, it was nothing compared to Saturday. I avoided the artist alley like the plague in the morning, there were just so many people. I met up with Brainard and we walked around together for a while and then I met with my family and joined them for a bit as well. I am so glad I ditched the pumps and wore takkies on Saturday. I bumped into some old friend’s unexpectedly and had some good fun catching up and reminiscing.
There were not enough food stands for the number of people and the food options were quite varied. I was eyeing out a few stalls but the lines were ridiculously long the whole day. We eventually settled on having Samosa’s for lunch because it was the shortest que. I did enjoy them though. After brushing the dust from my tail I bid farewell to my brother and dad and headed off to the main stage to meet up with Brainard once again and watch the cosplay.
I was so glad that I managed to watch the skits preformed by the cosplayers on the main stage and I really wish I could share the pole dancing that we had. A trio did a rather amusing skit from Panty and Stocking using poles. They claimed it the exercise type not the stripping type. It really was a good laugh. Then we had an alien vs predator skit which really was amazing.
Saturday was a rough day to try and actually see the stands so spent most of the day eyeing out and trying to catch cosplayers to take pictures. As well as avoiding the sun out doors. I don’t know how the cosplayers did it but I admire their dedication to remain in character. There were plenty of tables and chairs but people found patches of shade and took shelter under the trees rather than sitting at the tables which was a pity. Next year I hope that there is more shaded seating provided.
I made the mistake of running out of cash which led to a rather long line in the sun to after joining one of two lines for an ATM. The third ATM was down. They should also have more ATM’s available. The three were just clearly not enough for the whole weekend.
I was glad to see the end of the day as my legs were killing me and my feet were rebelling against me. Yet I waited until we were kicked out before starting the drive back to Sandton. If anything, I am no quitter.
I refused to make the same mistake as that of Saturday. I woke up early. Everything hurt. I quickly got ready and packed up my stuff, woke up my friend and was once again on my way. I arrived early enough but still had to park miles away. They made me park in a different parking lot. I walked further on Sunday arriving early than I had on Saturday arriving late. I was mildly annoyed. I eventually arrived at the lines and found a spot out of the way to await the 9am open time. I saw no point joining the lines. I mean I would get in anyway and had already explored the con. Sunday was my chill day. I took it easy and walked around slowly just really taking the con in. It was still a busy day but not chaotically so as Saturday had been.
The weather was still hot but I had kind of expected it and made sure I had sufficient water to drink. I was mildy annoyed at the fact that a lot of the panels that I wanted to attend had been booked to overlap. Why have multiple cosplay panels at the same time? Why have the anime/manga panel at the same time as the My Hero Academia cosplay meet up? Especially since it was Viz media hosting the manga panel and MHA is one of their biggest sellers. I am glad I chose the cosplay meet up but I wish I could have enjoyed both.
For photos of all the cosplays and more from the con that I took (and had shared with me) please click here. It will take you through to a Facebook album where I had uploaded all of them.
Then for a final overview of the con here is a video I pulled off YouTube from Brainard’s channel:
Overall, considering I had no idea what to expect I had a really great time. Not because of what was at the con but because of who was at the con. Although there was a lot of drool worthy stuff at Comic Con, chatting to familiar faces and meeting new people with similar interests was really amazing.
I now know when they say training for comic con, they mean it. Next year I will go better prepared and make sure I have better shoe support and a whole lot of sunblock and water. While others train for Comrades I shall train for Comic Con and will be happy to know that I shall not be the only geek prepping. Dylan is trying to talk me into cosplaying with him next year and I am of two minds about it. We shall see how the year goes…
Now here we are two weeks later and rAge is this coming weekend. I still have my blister from ComicCon and now I am once again prepping for rAge. Which is looking to be a busy weekend as well. So far this has been a great year for geeky events for me.