REVIEW: Lagos Comic Con 2015

REVIEW: Lagos Comic Con 2015

Lagos Comic Con 2015 Review by Oyinkan Braithwaite.

A comic con is an abbreviated name for comic convention. A comic convention is an event that takes place where the creators of comics, science fiction/fantasy related film and animation, video games and their fans gather to showcase, engage and network. Due to the variation of content and the amount of people, the convention features a large floor space for exhibitors and their stands.

The most popular comic con takes place in San Diego. However, the Lagos Comic Con first began in 2012 and has improved phenomenally since then. The Lagos Comic Con is Nigeria’s first popular culture convention. It happens once every year and is organized by Mustardseed Communication International Group. This year’s comic con took place at Waterparks (aquatic Hotels), Toyin Street, Ikeja. It played over two days – September 18 and 19. Though a long way from the standard of her western counterparts, the 2015 Lagos Comic Con outdid expectations.

Unlike at a typical comic convention, a lot of the individuals and companies with stands were yet to become successful in their craft, if success is defined by how much money is being made, or how many fans one has. However, the talent on display could not be ignored. Companies such as Orange VFX showcased animation produced by their hands and it was on the same level as that produced by outfits like Pixar. There were comics with beautiful illustrations and good quality print. Exo was one of such comics and the owner has been featured in the past by CNN for its ingenuity and excellence.

These were only a few of the stands being displayed. The Lagos Comic Con provided a feast for the eyes and it was amazing to see the reach of Nigerian talent. There was Oni Balogun, who drew insects that deceived the eye into thinking they were standing on the page; Emeka Agbakura, who began the sketch-off – where artists pick up their pencils and get to sketching; Newborn Saga – a comic with the tagline – ‘before there were superheroes, there were ancients; Michael Okoroagha, whose character illustrations and colors were phenomenal, and so many more.

Because, the majority of participants were yet to ‘make it’, the Lagos Comic Con felt a lot like a networking event rather than an event, where fans get to meet the creators. The biggest participant at the Comic Con was Indomitables, and they drew a large crowd of kids whom they entertained with activities and photoshoots with a mascot and food.

There were also lectures from different individuals in the industry about different aspects of the industry, such as ‘How to create a successful comic business’. Whilst this was going on, there was a section for games, where gamers competed, and another section for anime fans. Anime is the term traditionally used for Japanese created animation. The lovers of the genre watched highlights from various anime series and collected anime from a gentleman whose superhero name should be ‘the source’ but who introduced himself as Toba.

Many in the industry are still skeptical about the Lagos Comic Con, but each year it gets better and the 2016 Comic Con will certainly be one to watch out for.

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