Cosplay has never been as exciting and accessible as it is now. With thousands of shows, comics, and characters to choose from, local cosplayers are entering a league of their own at Comic Con Africa this year.
There is truly nothing as exciting as seeing your favourite fictional character brought to life by the hard work and imagination of another fan. This integral part of the pop culture experience has grown from a small group of enthusiasts and is now part of a large international community who not only dress up as fictional characters and creatures but also enter cosplay competitions that elevate them to the global stage.
Comic Con Africa aims to bring the cosplay community together by providing a platform for it to grow. “Our community is growing so fast. I see so many new faces at cons and on social media. It makes me very happy to know more and more people can enjoy dressing up”, says cosplayer Shelby Webber.
You are never too young or too old to cosplay. This unique form of performance art welcomes novices, professionals, and families alike. “I just love being able to build something I enjoy and sharing it with likeminded people who also enjoy it. It's always worth the effort and putting in the long hours making a costume when you get to see people's reactions”, says Justin Walter.
Whether you’re coming dressed as your favourite superhero for the experience, or you’re looking to show off your skills and compete, Comic Con Africa aims to stimulate and propel the community forward by hosting three major competitions that reward experience, passion, and attention to detail.
The Padawan Cosplay competition allows younger cosplayers, under the age of 16, to enter (yes, babies included). The outfits can be bought, made, or even items straight out of your cupboards that they wore to look like their favourite superhero.
The Casual Cosplay competition is for those who have bought or commissioned outfits and for those who would rather compete for fun as a family or group of friends.
The Cosplay Championships are highly contested as Comic Con Africa is the first stop on the “Quest for the Crown”, a global cosplay competition circuit that celebrates the very best in cosplay from all over the world. This year’s winner will follow in the footsteps of C2E2 Global Crown Championships of cosplay runner-up, Kinpatsu Cosplay, who was named the Africa Champion of Cosplay 2018.
Encouraging cosplayers around the country to take their cosplay to the next level, the 2019 Comic Con Africa Cosplay Championships competition has the most incredible prizes and representative categories.
“I do think that the winner will likely be someone who has a diverse set of skills that they use to their fullest potential in their cosplay and can portray their character accurately” says cosplayer Julia Smythe. “I always strive for both screen accuracy and/or historical accuracy depending on where the cosplay/character comes from.”
Creating costumes as accurately as possible is a huge achievement in the cosplay world. There is also a focus on performance, where people might showcase a particular talent related to their character. It is difficult to predict the winners of the 2019 Comic Con Africa Overall Champion of Cosplay, but the cosplay community has indicated that Adeptus Cosplay, Fredwolf Cosplay, Jinxkittie, and Bites Cosplay are the contenders to keep an eye on.
Learn more at Comic Con Africa.
Check out some of the amazing costumes we spotted last year here.
Feature image: Shelby Webber.