Events

Fearless Lagos Comic-Con: The Good, the Bad and the Future 

Despite the scandal that rocked the Lagos Comic-Con last year, West Africa’s biggest geek gathering returned in a new dimension. The three-day event took place at the Alliance Francaise/Mike Adenuga’s Centre, Ikoyi, Lagos and the Silverbird Galleria,  Victoria Island Lagos, between 19 and 21 September.

The event lived up to its reputation as the biggest geek event of West Africa as not less than a thousand comic book fans, including creators, illustrators, gamers, animators, exhibitors and a few cosplayers were in attendance. 

As a result of work and other life activities, I couldn’t make it to the comic con until the final day. I arrived at the venue with so much joy and expectation, for it was that one day that I could be myself, geek out with people of like minds, make new friends and wolf down free food and drinks. 

Lagos Comic-Con 2019 featured masterclasses on various subjects within the comics and animation industry as well as comic showcases by various comic book companies. It also featured panel sessions on upcoming Nollywood movies such as Mami Water as well as animations such as Magic Carpet studio’s Passport of Mallam Ilia, the screening of Spoof Animation’s Hero Corps and the screening of the hotly anticipated animated pilot of Malika: Warrior Queen among others. 

Noteworthy comics and animation studios who exhibited at Fearless Lagos Comic-Con included Peda Comics, Kugali Media, SPOOF! Comics and Animation, Magic Carpet Studios, Supreme Comics, Freak the Fxxk Out, Epoch Studios, Vortex Comics and Youneek Studios among others.

The highly talented illustrator, Dami also set up a table where she sold merchandise. Ebuka Okwara, the indie comic book creator of Ajofia also had a table where he sold copies of his comics. A few comic book companies, Comic Republic and explosive newcomer, Tag Comics took the absent pill this year, unfortunately. 

This is just speculation but it’s safe to assume Comic Republic’s absence was as a result of a plan to boycott Lagos Comic-Con due to a scandal from last year. 

So here are the good and the bad (no ugly) of Fearless Lagos Comic-Con 2019.

The Good at Lagos Comic-Con 2019

Banging Panel Sessions

The panel sessions were very interesting and eye-opening. The panellists graciously provided answers to questions asked by the audience. They all felt at home and were willing to answer questions as time permitted them. This was my first time attending a panel session and now I’m addicted to it, I must attend every panel session at the Lagos Comic-Con next year. 

Hero Corps

The screening of Spoof Animation’s short animation, Hero Corps. It was one of the highlights of the Lagos Comic-Con. I, being a critical person overlooked obvious flaws of the project and joined in applauding the animation particularly for the professional voice acting and direction. SPOOF! Animation also during the panel discussion announced an upcoming project slated for February 14th, 2020 called Uniquely Me. It’s a story about a boy who’s looking for love in all the wrong places. 

Uniquely Me
Uniquely Me

Nigerian Premiere of Malika: Warrior Queen

Malika Warrior Queen animated pilot at Lagos Comic-Con

The animated pilot for Malika: Warrior queen was also screened, the hall was packed with fans of the comic book who were enthused to see its first animated pilot. They were not disappointed, they were impressed by the beauty and delivery of the animation. It was awesome!

Nollywood Representation

Ratnik
Ratnik

The inclusion of Nollywood in the Lagos Comic-Con is a good step in the right direction,  given that most successful Hollywood movies never shy away from the San Diego Comic-Con. The fact that the Lagos Comic Convention has begun to replicate it shows that it is gaining the attention of Nollywood. 

Cosplay

Joker cosplay at Fearless Lagos Comic Convention

Folorunsho Kelly
cosplaying as the Joker. He also won the best cosplay at the event.

Without a doubt,  cosplay is one of the numerous attractions of the Lagos comic con. I mean, what’s a comic convention without cosplayers. Cosplayers dazzled us with their different arrays of costumes, leaving us wondering about the amount of time put into getting it all together. Eager fans took pictures with them, ahem… including me of course. In the end, one of the Jokers won the cosplay competition. 

Free Food & Drinks

One can never exclude the free snacks and drinks as one of the best things that happened at the convention. Fearless Energy Drink (headline sponsor of this year’s con) ensured that the taste buds and hungry bellies of attendants were tended to accordingly.

The Bad of Lagos Comic-Con

Weird Setup

Vendors and exhibitors were camped under canopies right outside the centre itself while the panel sessions and masterclasses were held in halls within the main building.  The downside to that was that you had to go through a restaurant that was open for business and you had to be searched if you were carrying a bag.

Slave to the Elements

This was a strange setting, the previous conventions were all indoors and people were shielded from the elements. The sun was scorching and made most people uncomfortable, people had to look for sheds to prevent their brains from boiling any further. Thankfully, there was no rain, it would have been disastrous and unbearable. 

Poor Venue for Lagos Comic-Con

It was evident that the Mike Adenuga centre was not an ideal venue for the Lagos comic con. Why have two venues at a comic convention when a bigger venue could have sufficed? Honestly, I want to understand the rationale behind this decision. 

Are Local Heroes Not Cosplay-Worthy?

Thor and Captain America cosplay at Lagos Comic-Con 2019
Image via Lagos Comic-Con

The dearth of indigenous cosplayers pointed to the reality that African/Nigerian comic characters have not fully permeated the minds of every Nigerian geek. It is without a doubt a failure of the industry. There was a decline in the number of cosplays of indigenous comic characters sadly. It’ll be exciting to see local comic characters grow into household names that birth exciting merchandise and an eagerness by fans to come dressed as these characters. 

What Next?

The LCC has come and gone, it has put a smile on our faces and given us hope of a brighter future. People were happy and they had fun. It would have been business as usual if not for the well-organized panel sessions and masterclasses.

If I had to compare last year’s comic-con with this year’s, I’ll settle for last year’s. It was more fun, the atmosphere was welcoming, the venue was spacious and more people were involved.

It is my hope, that the Lagos Comic Convention, continues to improve as the years go by and I hope it attracts more attention from the rest of the world. It is also my hope that the scandal still hanging over Lagos Comic-Con and it’s convener, Ayodele Elegba is cleared in order to push the Nigerian and by extension African comic industry forward. 

Check out all recaps of Lagos Comic Convention on social media and the blogosphere in our specially curated recap post.

Watch the comprehensive recap of Lagos Comic-Con 2019 by Plat4om Videos below.

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