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  • Updated: 4 weeks ago

2021 Lagos Comic Convention: A Creative Convergence To Remember

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Sydney Elike

A graduate of Theatre Arts, Writer, Movie Buff, Avid Reader, and Video Game Enthusiast. 

The 2021 edition of the Lagos Comic Convention was a colourful gathering of creatives, with a never-ending showcase of talents from some of the most brilliant minds in the comic industry.

Taking place at the NECA House complex, Alausa in Lagos, the event saw many comic book powerhouses in the country display some of their finest artistic works.

Also in attendance were comic book aficionadoes, writers, and everyone who share a love of characters birthed to give the masses something extraordinary to believe in.

The event was not restricted to comic book enthusiasts alone as other entertainment genres like animation and video games were also part and parcel of the presentations and display.

Different panelists were given sessions to enlighten and educate the public on issues surrounding the comic industry and a Yoruba musical performance was enacted after which the organizers talked about how the Yoruba culture has impacted the entertainment industry in general.

Panelists Tackle Issue Of Open Source Software

In one of the sessions, three comic book titans shed light on the theme, 'Embracing the Use of Open Source Software in African Production', answering questions on some of the major challenges comic creatives and animators face with the issue of expensive licensing software.

What is Open Source Software?

Open Soft Software refers to a computer software released under a license in which the copyright holder gives users the right to use, study, change and distribute the software and its source code to anyone and for any purpose.

Open Source Software & The Challenges Facing Nigerian Animators

Speaking on the challenges animators face, Dayo Clement, Animator Director at Utricle Studios, cited expensive licensing software, using Maya as an example. According to him, the fact that it was expensive was part of the reasons animation studios preferred to stay under the radar.

Commenting on the issue, Revolution Media CEO Sewedo Nupowaku, stated that it was not an easy feat to stay afloat in the animation business. He revealed that all the animation studios in the country were small to medium-sized while hinting that they were other alternative software that could be used in animation as against the expensive licensed ones. They are the ones known as Open Source Software.

Responding to a question about the possibility of foreign entertainment heavyweights sharing the necessary technology to boost the Nigerian animation industry, Clement said that he didn't think it was feasible and suggested an instance of them creating a cheaper version of the expensive licensing software with the basic necessities for the animation work.

Nupowaku on the other hand opined that "we should be creating our own software" instead of relying on foreign entertainment companies to do that for us.

Comic Book Brands Talk About Their Niche

One of the major attractions of the 2021 comic convention was the numerous stands of the different comic book brands in the country. Proudly showing off their artistic creations, these individuals gave off an aura of pride and confidence as they revealed what makes them tick.

Speaking with AllNews Nigeria, Jessica Tagbajumi, Author and Story Writer at Kugali Media (the brand collaborating with Disney on the highly-anticipated animated series Iwaju) talked about what makes them unique when it comes to the comic content.

"We are very pan-African first of all. We have comics from Liberia, Senegal, Ghana, Nigeria. Our art style is also very different...

"Apart from obviously the story being very captivating, we also want to make it rich and authentic to Africa. So, it's kind of a reflection of what we experience as Africans as well.

"There's so much to explore in our comic libraries. As I said, we're very pan-African, very conscious about our culture, our language", she said.

 

Additionally, a representative from Epoch Studios said, "The way Epoch Comics stands out from all the other comic brands out there is that first of all, we have a message that we're putting out there.

"We have a message of morality. We are strong on morality. We're strong on human values. If you look at our content, you won't find anything that is sexually explicit or even sexually suggestive in any way.

"Our content is clean. And then another thing we don't mess with at Epoch is the quality of our work. If you walk around and come to our stand, after seeing everything, it's not hard to tell that we pay good attention to details in terms of quality.

"The quality of our work sometimes makes people ask if we printed them here. We actually did, just that we made sure that they came out in the quality that we wanted."

A Colourful & Vibrant Cosplay

Comic enthusiasts were dressed in the costumes of popular characters from their favourite comics/movies, with the little children not wanting to be left behind as they also showed up and mounted the stage to the admiration of the crowd.

Addressing the audience, the cosplay participants educated them on the heroes they showcased and the reasons why they chose them.

Perhaps the most significant of them all were two young men who were dressed as the two of the most popular characters from Marvel Comics.

While one wore the regalia of the enigmatic Dr. Strange (played by Benedict Cumberbatch in the MCU films), the other donned the attire of T'Challa himself a.k.a. Black Panther (played by the late Chadwick Boseman).

On why he chose the Wakandan hero, the light-skinned comic fan stated that it was because the character transcended the big screen and gave Africans a larger-than-life character to believe in. He also paid tribute to Boseman who passed away from colon cancer last year.

Below are more pictures from the event:

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