This post took long enough, am I right? I mean, it’s only been two weeks since FanCon. And yet, here it is, boasting an edited video, some pictures of cosplayers and my thoughts of the event. While you’re mostly here for the cosplay, you will have to endure my walls of text to get to it! Or just, you know, scroll down…
Since the local scene is a bit sparse in terms of events focusing on “nerd culture”, for a lack of a better term, compared to other countries it’s important to highlight the ones we do have. Maybe you might not have heard about FanCon until this very post due to factors like living in a different province, for example, because not everyone can just pop-off to the other side of the country for a weekend event. What is it then? Well, FanCon is, simply put, a convention for fans of comics, cosplay and art based in Cape Town. There are stalls for artists, vendors, and re-sellers of various items, as well as special areas and a stage for panels, events and presentations. All pretty standard stuff, right? So what makes FanCon so special?
Let’s start with the biggest pro the event has going for it: the venue! It was held at the Cape Town International Convention Center (CTICC) which is both a rather impressive-looking building and incredibly spacious. The sheer size of the CTICC made it especially suitable for an event like FanCon and made the attendees (or at least me) feel so comfortable roaming the aisles. With experience only in events like rAge, Comic Con and ICON, this lack of a crushing crowd was such a pleasant surprise. And don’t get me wrong, there were a lot of people! The floor management team just seemed to understand their venue, and made the most of it. Maybe they need to do their magic up here in Gauteng?
The second thing that really made FanCon a stand-out event was definitely the vibe. I don’t like using that term, it’s become quite the buzzword, but it perfectly describes it. When I walked into the convention hall, and after the initial “Oh Lord, where do I even start?” feeling washed over me, I felt so comfortable there. I don’t know if it was my brain on vacation or what, but I just felt a lot more welcome in that space… while also dressed as an unknown anime character. Everything just felt so friendly, and relaxed. There was no sense of urgency to move past the stalls because I was keeping up the person behind me. I could stop and chat to not only friends, but artists and vendors I found interesting. And that’s really what I want from an event like this, to see cool things and talk to people. Otherwise, what’s the use?
As for the thing that actually drew me to the event, the cosplays, the attendees of FanCon really put on a show! Outfits that would have never worked in a cramped area like The Dome were on full display on Sunday. From ball-ready Anastasia (plus her mother and gran) to squad of lightsaber-wielding Star Wars characters that included not only Kylo, but Darth Nihilus, Rey and Starkiller. There were also fan-favourites like characters from My Hero Academia, Aquaman, and Borderlands. The video above definitely doesn’t represent all of the fantastic cosplays that were there, but that’s how events go sometimes it’s impossible to catch all the amazing talent.
As for international and guest cosplayers, FanCon had three big names from America and a few from our local scene, as well. I had the amazing opportunity to meet all three, actually filmed one not knowing who she was at the time, and I have to say that Ani-Mia, Becka Noel and Dhareza Maramis were so incredibly sweet and generous with their time. All three, at one point or another, explained how they made the cosplay they were wearing with such enthusiasm that it would inspire anyone to go home and try it for themselves. Ani-Mia, who was dressed as Wonder Woman, explained that her outfit was made out of motorcycle grade body armour leather by the amazing minds of UD Replicas. It looked incredible up close, and she made an amazing Wonder Woman!
So, we have a great venue, wonderful stalls of more artists than I’ve ever seen outside of Comic Con, and an amazing atmosphere. There’s really no reason I can find for you not to attend it at some point or another, except that it’s all the way in Cape Town. It did make a for a lovely vacation for me, so maybe you can look at taking a trip at some point!
Here’s a little gallery of some of the cosplays I could catch there (which was barely 5% of them), but I highly recommend checking out this video from local colourful-haired man, Grant Hinds, if you didn’t believe my wall of text. If any of the cosplayers here want better res pictures, just comment/find me on social media and I’ll help you out! You don’t want super compressed images after all.