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Cape Town’s FanCon 2018: A brief recap

In the last few years Cape Town has steadily been seeing a rise in geek and gaming events. FanCon 2018 is the third time the convention has graced the Mother City with its presence and this year is a testament to its surprising growth, providing us with a bigger and better experience than the years before.

This year’s FanCon was hosted at the CTICC 2, a large structure fitted with big windows that allowed the sun to bathe the interior in light for most of the day. I attended on the Saturday and found myself staying for a good three hours.

From art and cosplay to discussion panels and board games, FanCon had a decent range of curiosities to invest in. There was a massive variety of stalls (over 60), such as Reader’s Den, Battle Bunker and Steampunkt, selling their wonderful geek paraphernalia. Educational institutions such as City Varsity and Friends of Design academy also made an appearance.

Cosplay was a big focus again this year. Beyond the stalls selling cosplay-related gear or offering their services, various cosplay artists such as Kinpatsu Cosplay and Baka Sakura mingled with fans in-between their signings.

This was Cape Town FanCon 2018
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Cape Town Fancon 2018

Cape Town Fancon 2018

Cape Town Fancon 2018

Cape Town Fancon 2018

Cape Town Fancon 2018

Cape Town Fancon 2018

Cape Town Fancon 2018

Cape Town Fancon 2018

Cape Town Fancon 2018

Then of course there was the Cosplay competition, one of FanCon’s biggest attractions since it started in 2016 and this year was no exception. There was a great variety of amazingly dressed contestants, with people of all ages and walks of life taking part and celebrating their joint love for the world of make-believe. And that’s not to mention all the colourfully dressed attendees that wandered through the convention centre over the weekend, turning the CTICC into a vivid playground of imagination and geek delight.

There was also a modestly sized Board Game Zone that boasted some activity but it was undeniably dwarfed by the other attractions. I’m not sure how much interest the general FanCon attendee has in board games, but I think it‘s one facet that the convention can give a bit more attention to.

There were no video games to indulge in either but understandably I can see how such a digital medium could clash with the event’s more arts-focused and analogue theme.

But, as with previous FanCon iterations, the Artist’s Alley was also a big focus and, personally, my favourite part of the convention, boasting over fifty local and international talents and their imaginative works.

From beautiful hand-drawn illustrations to mesmerizing digital artworks, my mind was on constant imagination overdrive as I made my way through the various exhibitions. One exciting thing I noticed was the large range of African-inspired stories being produced by so many talented creatives such as Loyiso Mkize’s superhero story “Kwezi”, Luke Molver’s gritty “Nero”, and Kerry Lillienfield’s “TechNoir”.

All-in-all FanCon 2018 was a massive success and for the meagre entrance of R150 for the day or R230 for the weekend, the convention was more than a bargain.

Cape Town needs more events like these, which support our local talents and provide a space for the Capetonian geekdom to come together and celebrate their shared passions.

All images: Gearburn/Wiehahn Diederichs

Author Bio

Wiehahn Diederichs: Columnist
Capetonian freelance writer and photographer. Wiehahn is a lover of stories in all their forms, and has been an avid gamer since he took his first breath. If he is not working or gaming, he either pours his creative energy into his passion for music or plays foosball in some... More