As the popularity of Cosplay keeps growing in South Africa, participants from across the Western Cape are arming themselves with their best looks which will make the Mother City a cross-over episode like no other over Freedom Day weekend in April at the CTICC. Fans of all ages are invited to showcase their love for their favourite characters by dressing up in their favourite costumes and participating in the exciting cosplay events.
The cosplay community has been an integral part of Comic Con events worldwide with Comic Cons being a place for self-expression, free of judgement. Over con weekend, it’s not uncommon to see a regular person unleash their alter ego as a cosplayer dressed up as Harley Quinn ordering a coffee at their favourite shop before heading to the con – or seeing the Avengers walking through the streets to get to the con doors. Comic Con weekend is fun for all and lights up any city with colourful heroes from corner to corner.
From the store-bought Spider-mans and families of Hogwarts students, to the elite and intricate original character designs – where some outfits can take the better part of a year to craft – fans at Comic Cons cosplay by replicating characters from television series, movies, comics, anime or fictional books, and take characterisation to a whole new level as they aim to accurately portray each character. Physical acting, vocal characterisation, make-up, painting, and sewing are a few of the skills participants included to pull off their incredible looks.
But cosplay is not a craft exclusive to the elite. Comic Con Cape Town is calling on the Mother City to casually dress up as their favourite character at the CTICC from 27 to 30 April. Mask up and unleash your inner hero with your allies, and even compete in the Casual Cosplay Competition for fantastic prizes, held daily at 13:00 on the main stage, which invites store-bought costumes, or contestants who have upcycled an everyday outfit to portray a character.
In addition to the mainline offering of cosplay competitions, game developer Ubisoft will be hosting a special competition on Saturday at 14:00 on the Main Stage where fans who dress up as any character from a Ubisoft title can stand a chance to win some awesome prizes.
“With cosplay being an integral part of the Comic Con experience, we are excited to see the amazing costumes that the fans and the cosplay community will showcase.,” says Comic Con Cape Town Show Director, Carla Massmann. “We encourage all visitors at the festival to participate and make this year’s event a truly unforgettable experience” Massmann added.
For those looking to compete professionally there is the Comic Con Cape Town Regional Champions of Cosplay. Brought to you by Brother Sewing South Africa, this regional competition is hosted at Comic Con Cape Town between the 27th and 30th of April at the CTICC. It is going to be a battle of the giants, as new and established cosplayers compete for the title that will take them to the nationals in Johannesburg.
Although the title of “Comic Con Cape Town Regional Champion of Cosplay” will be won by only a single contestant who achieves the highest score, participants are also in the running to be awarded either of the runner-up titles which include:
1. Regional Champion of Armour, for a cosplay that consists of at least 70% armour,
2. Regional Champion of Needlework, for a cosplay that consists of at least 70% cloth.
Best Wig, Best Prop, Best Newcomer, Most Creative Techniques, and Judges Favourite are a few of the other awards also up for grabs.
Entries are now open and are set to close on the 14th of April, and hopefuls can enter at https://bit.ly/CCCT_Cosplayentries2023.
“As we host the first full Comic Con Cape Town this year, we’re anticipating a large number of entries into the competitions, and also for fans to join in on the fun and dress up as they enjoy the four-day festival at the CTICC,” Massmann continued.
An exciting part of a professional cosplayer’s journey will be the judging process where some of the world’s best-known Cosplayers and esteemed judges will interact with participants, and judge their creations.
On the judging panel, and one of the spotlight guests, is professional cosplayer Elizabeth Rage who is known for her stunning cosplay creations, which range from iconic characters in comic books, movies, and video games, to original and imaginative designs. Some of her most popular cosplays include Poison Ivy from Batman, Ramona Flowers from Scott Pilgrim, and Triss Merigold from The Witcher.
Joining her at the festival will be Italian cosplayer, Leon Chiro who discovered his passion for cosplay at a young age and began attending conventions in his hometown. Over the years, he has become one of the most renowned cosplayers in the world, known for his intricate costumes and attention to detail. Chiro has cosplayed a wide range of characters from popular video games, anime, and comics, including Dante from Devil May Cry, Cloud Strife from Final Fantasy VII, Ezio Auditore from Assassin’s Creed, and many more.
With Cape Town already being a hub for cosplay, including one enthusiast is a costume designer turned full-time cosplayer – Luke Andalis, better known as Ludus Cosplay. Cape Town local, Andalis, is now investing his time into cultivating the local costume and styling industry. After turning his hobby into a full-time career, in September of last year he took home the title of Comic Con Africa’s Cosplay Champion and will be representing South Africa at the highly anticipated world finals at C2E2 hosted in Chicago, late March this year.
Be sure to swing by Cosplay Central on the Comic Con Cape Town floor this April at CTICC, the main zone at the event where all cosplayers meet-up, take photos, and meet the International Cosplay Guests.