Naiccon goes to Wondercon2019
If you’re a fan of gaming, animation, comic books, movies, cosplay, vloging and technology, then you must be familiar with East Africa’s First Comic Convention and the official home of geeks and nerds since 2014. We caught up with Naiccon’s Brian Barasa for a chat about the Wondercon 2019 experience:
How would you describe the general feel at the exhibition?
The exhibition was larger than life. There was an energy surging through the halls that just made you feel at home if you were a geek. There was so much to see and do from comic books, toys, collectibles, signed artwork, board games. It was a lot to take in!
How was the convention in terms of program scheduling?
The program was quite intense. There was of course the main exhibition floor and then additional panel rooms where different panel sessions were held. This ranged from cosplay panels/competitions, how to be a geek in the workplace, special TV show panels like the Simpsons and more. There were also guest appearances and signings.
With a host of exhibitors who were in attendance, which ones stood out to you and why?
Oh man, so first and foremost the DC Comics stand. I’m a huge DC fan and most definitely that stood out for me. I got to see the Shazam Costume as well as snap up a few free comic books. Next was the Comic Con Museum display. There was the Batmobile from the first Batman movie featuring Michael Keaton. The other that stood out for me was Stranger Comics which, apart from having a kickass display, had a series of comics and graphic novels based on African Fiction. The clincher is that HBO have gotten the rights to turn it into a TV show.
Any special guest appearances who particularly caught your attention?
Without a doubt this had to be Zachary Levi who plays Shazam and Mark Strong who plays his nemesis Dr. Sivana. We also spent some time with comedian Alonso McAuley and Nyambi from the CBS series The Good Fight. I can’t also forget getting to see Kevin Conroy who is the iconic voice of Batman in the DC Animated Universe (DCAU).
Tell us a bit about NAICCON’s representation as an exhibitor.
Through our distribution arm “Nerd Soko” we represented African creative works to a brand new audience. Africa has always been a place where stories are told and we want to share that with the rest of the world. We had comic books from Kenyan studio “Avandu Vosi” i.e. Rovik & “Beast from Venus” plus artwork from the comic book “Shadow Walkers” from Makn Productions and “The Dawn” from Vanguard Artz. The comics and art were received very well. There is a hunger for new content that already exists and we intend to satisfy that hunger.
What ideas do you think NAICCON can take away from the WonderCon experience?
I think one of the things that we learned from this is experience is that Geek culture is for everyone -young or old, military man or student- and we need to find more innovative ways to encourage this culture and integrate everyone into it.
What did you most enjoy overall ?
The most exciting thing for me was seeing the Batmobile. I have grown up playing with Batman figurines, watched the movies, read the comic books ad dreamed of being Batman, but seeing the Batmobile in person was a dream come true. The kid in me got a reawakening. I can’t say I saw anything that bothered me. I was in Geek heaven and all was blissful, hahaha.
What plans does NAICCON have to rev up interest and participation based on what you know from your WonderCon experiences and Kenya’s access to this field of interest?
Our desire has always been to focus on the fans. To make sure that they have an experience at Naiccon that they wouldn’t have anywhere else. We will continue to do this and always give our audience something new to look forward to every year.