Saudi Arabia hosted its first ever Comic Con over the weekend, and thanks to video news coverage, we get to have a peek at what was happening on the convention floor!
Besides the norms we see at Cons worldwide - such as booths hawking collectibles, cosplay and guest stars (in this instance, Western film and TV stars like Mads Mikkelsen, Charles Dance, Julian Glover and Giancarlo Esposito), there was even the “Transforming Car” from Letrons on show!
But what lit my eyes open with a smile, was what looked to be “Artist Alley” tables where designers/artists showcased their own fanart - which to me is a splendid occurrence, as it goes beyond the consumer-focused activities from the big(ger) brands, and adds depth to fandom and the pursuit of the arts, IMHO.
"The oil rich nation of Saudi Arabia hosted its first comic con to show off its other riches -- young people that love the arts."
"Masks, costumes and characters of all types gather in the Red Sea city of Jeddah for the opening day of Saudi Arabia's first Comic-Con event. The international pop culture event seeks to break stereotypes about the Islamic kingdom."
"Saudi Arabia’s first-ever Comic Con, held on February 17-19, 2017, in the Red Sea coastal city of Jeddah, received enthusiastic response, with more than 20,000 visitors. The event was held under the aegis of the Saudi General Authority for Entertainment (GAE), in line with the Kingdom’s 2030 vision to bring first-class entertainment to Saudi citizens. (Arab News video)"
"The three-day international pop culture event, Comic-Con, has for the first time opened in Saudi Arabia. Thousands came out to enjoy events centered around Japanese anime, pop art, video gaming and film. The Comic-Con festival began in the United States in 1970, and has since spread around the world. Saudi Arabia's General Entertainment Authority said they're aiming to provide more entertainment in the country."
Now that we’ve seen the news-coverage, scroll down for videos from the organisers themselves, who had also kept a pretty strong-looking social media connection (Instagram / Twitter) during the 3-day event for SCC, something folks might not realise (or perhaps choose not to realise) could easily mean a record of their achievements for the project, rather than just haphazard snapping of activities with no description or context, but that’s just the blogger in me hahaha
I’d fondly remember when Singapore held their first STCC back in 2008 (when I had a booth too), and the absolute thrill of having an event such as this, where folks can gather and geekout together with other like-minded folks - beyond the confines of their favourite toy-shop, or weekly comicbook shop drops - and enjoy the company of fellow fanboys and fangirls!
As the years grew on, folks no doubt had their complaints (Singapore’s always ready to “complain” but hardly praise, don’t we?), likes and dislikes, and of course “comparisons” … but at the end of the day, I’d prefer to hold on to the notion of a shared fandom, and sense of geek-(for lack of a better term)-community, that still provides us - from all walks of life and financial status - a chance to enjoy our escape, together.
Well, that is the “dream” anyways :)
Source: Facebook / CNN