Decades after the first science fiction fans eagerly swapped their favourite comic books at the first Comic Con in 1970, the festival has grown to become the mecca where thousands of pop-culture fans gather to celebrate and engage with different illustrators and creators. Comic Con Cape Town, in collaboration with Fancon, will provide fans with the opportunity to meet and engage with local and international illustrators and artists, as well as get their hands on limited-edition comics at the CTICC from the 27th and 30th of April. 

One of the foundations of any Comic Con is what is known as the “Artist Alley”. In this section of the show floor, fans are able to experience the art work of illustrators and comic books artists come to life. Should a fan particularly like an artist, they are able to purchase prints of existing art, or even commission a unique piece of art. Those seeking inspiration are able to speak to the artist directly and exchange over techniques or enquire about the process. The Artist Alley is more than just an art market – the Artist Alley is an explosive collaboration of ideas and awe.

With FanCon curating the Comic Con Cape Town Artist Alley floor and stage programme, FanCon organiser Mahdi Abrahams said “An exciting programme of content is being planned for the Artist Alley stage, and attending fans can expect a range of art activations, topical panel talks, signing sessions, drawing sessions, creator interviews, spotlight Q&A’s with international guests, not to mention the opportunity to interact and purchase artwork directly from the expansive range of local and international talent”. Abrahams added “Artist Alley at Comic Con Cape Town will be sure to be one of the highlights of the show!”

With two and a half months until the start of the mother-of-all pop culture events in the City of Cape Town, fans can look forward to engaging with international comic book artists – having works for the largest comic book publications; Marvel and DC Comics.

Fans can meet and greet British comic book artist Ian Churchill (X-Men: Age of Apocolypse, Deadpool, Star Wars: Han Solo, and more) and American illustratorMark Brooks (Ultimate Spider-Man Annual, Ultimate X-Men, Ultimate Fantastic Four, and more). Also joining as an international artist is Zimbabwean-based illustrator, Bill Masuku whose work includes the Captain South Africa series and Razor-Man, just to name a few.

Boasting international acclaim and adding a local flair, South African artists at Comic Con Cape Town include Sean Izaakse (Thunderbolts, Dark Knights of Steel, and Fantastic Four), Loyiso Mkize (the Kwezi series), Clyde Beech (Where is Lulu?, and Undi Ki Lina Sta?), Karl Mostert (Batman: Urban Legends, DCeased: Unkillables, and I Am Batman), Mohale Mashingo (Marvel’s Black Panther Sins of the King, and Moon Girl: Endangered Species), Warren Louw (Harley Quinn, Vampirella, and Sacred Six) and one very special announcement.

Artist Alley traditionally sheds light on artists who produce fictional work, but this year Comic Con Cape Town is also excited to welcome renowned cartoonistJonathan Shapiro, better known as Zapiro. A South African icon for describing the country’s political climate through cartoons in a signature art style.

“We are thrilled to have such a talented and diverse group of artists joining us for Comic Con Cape Town,” said Carla Massmann, Comic Con Cape Town’s show director. “Our Artist Alley is the heart of the show, and we are excited to give attendees the opportunity to meet and interact with such talented creators.” Massmann added.

Stepping out of traditional art and into modern digital art, Comic Con Cape Town is proud have the Cape Town international Animation Festival (CTIAF) co-located with the event. Boasting a programme which highlights artist of an international standard, Comic Con Cape Town patrons will also be able to gain access to exclusive screenings on some days of the event.

Down the hall from Artist Alley lies a celebration of urban culture where the geeks meet the streets. As one of the newer additions to the highly successful Comic Con Africa (in Johannesburg), StreetCon is the place where street artists and festival-goers come together to shape modern culture as we know it.

Adding his twist on the culture will be award winning Capetonian illustrator, street artist and letterer, Keith Vlahakis. Inspired by 90’s pop culture, his signature lettering style can be found on numerous ads and bespoke typographic design products.

‘’Although StreetCon is a newcomer to the festival, we are pleased to see the interest that fans have taken in this offering, celebrating the mash up between urban culture and pop culture. South Africa’s unique street culture sets us apart from others across the world, and we’re excited to play a part in ensuring that we continuously grow this unique form of expression and style,’’ says Comic Con Cape Town’s Marketing Manager, Calvin van den Berg.

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