Seventh Edition of the Lagos Comic Convention aka “Lagos Comic-Con”, regarded as Africa’s biggest geek and pop culture event, themed: Aspire, Dream, Prosper, took place recently at Landmark Event Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos, where Ayodele Elegba, Founder & Convener of the event said Lagos Comic-Con has helped to discourage armed robbery, kidnapping and other anti-social vices. CYRIACUS NNAJI reports.
With more than 10,000 participants from all walks of life including locals, foreigners and celebrity guests, the 7th Edition of the Lagos Comic-Con, unarguably lived up to the expectations of the organisers.
Ayodele Elegba, Founder & Convener, also the CEO of Spoof Animation, one of the leading Animation companies in Nigeria spoke on the history, aims and objectives of Lagos Comic-Con. He said that Lagos Comic-Con began seven years ago, in the city of Ikeja, Lagos based on his love for Comic books.
“So I began to think of what I can do for people like me who likes comic books, who love animation. I said, okay, what if I have event where we can get people together; that was how Lagos Comic-Con was born. It is called Lagos Comic-Con; that is a convention of people who are into Comics. For me I believe Comics is the foundation for Animation, Gaming and even Film because every of this industries use Comic books to tell their stories. Film-makers use comics, Advertises use comics. Well seven years; that is where we are,” Elegba said.
On how much local content goes into Lagos Comic-Con Elegba said, “One of the uniqueness about Lagos Comic-Con is that it is 100% local content. We try to encourage people to inject more local content in their works. We are all indigenous comic people, indigenous animators, and we are trying to use this to grow the industry in terms of local content. Yes, we have some people who come here to display their foreign comics, but majorly, it is a Nigerian and African event.”
On the acceptability and people’s response to Lagos Comic-Con he said the good thing about Lagos Com-Con is that every year we grow, the first year was 300 people, last year we had 4,500 people or thereabout, this year we are hoping to reach 10,000. The vendors, the exhibitors and the speakers are increasing, this year we have over200 speakers. It is getting bigger and bigger.
Talking of challenges he said, “Finance has also being a major challenge, getting sponsors is difficult so you have to look for other sources of support to make this event happen. Landmark is a very big event centre and you know how much it costs, very expensive venue, of course logistics, getting a very strong team, that would work with me to make sure that everything goes according to plan.
On plans to extend Comic-Con to other parts of the country, he said “We are trying to expand this to other zones, say, Northern zone, Lagos for Western zone and probably somewhere in the east as well. We are also looking for sponsorship partners, state governments, who wants us to come to their states and give us the enabling environment, because when you have an event like this it encourages the young people to do something with their lives, stay away from kidnapping, cultism, armed robbery and other negative tendencies.
Highlights of the day include master-classes in comic bookmaking, business of comic books, business of animation, film-making, master-classes in book publishing, avenue for getting mentoring both local and internationally.
“We have in our presence exhibitors, very rich gaming session, where winners can get as high as $10,000. We have celebrity guests having autograph signings, pictures, Red-carpets, there is award and all those things that make events glamorous,”Elegba said.