Cape Town. 070516. Kevin Goble, left as Briareos from the Applesees manga, left, poses with Grant King as Doomguy from the computer game Doom at FanCon Cape Town Comic Con, a two-day convention of comic book artists, graphic novelists and fan artists at the Lookout at the V&A Waterfront. Picture Leon Lestrade. Story Jan Cronje.

Cape Town - The inaugural FanCon Cape Town Comic Con started with a kapow! on Saturday with organisers welcoming the turnout by thousands of fans as “absolutely amazing”.

The two-day convention of comic book writers, graphic novelists and “geek and pop culture”, saw hundreds of attendees queue patiently for up to an hour to enter The Lookout at the V&A Waterfront.

Inside were dozens of stalls manned by local comic book artists, many who had self-published their work, as well as people selling fan art and pop-culture merchandise.

Fans also formed long lines to have comics signed by star international comic book writers including Jason Aaron (The Mighty Thor, Star Wars) and Ian Churchill (Supergirl, Teen Titans)

“I am stunned by the turnout,” said co-organiser Alizar Abrahams, of the Readers Den Comic Shop. “It’s something you couldn’t picture in advance, so we are over the moon.”

The Lookout has a capacity of 3 000 and at times yesterday organisers had to stop attendees entering until the crowds thinned out.

Many fans dressed up as their favourite comic book, movie or video game characters, with some telling Weekend Argus they spent more than six months perfecting their costumes.

Erin Pietersen, who came as heroine Lara Croft from the popular video game series Tomb Raider, said FanCon was a day to see and be seen.

“It’s an opportunity for people to come together and have fun,” she said, standing beside Jeremy Pietersen, who dressed up as The Rocketeer from the 1991 superhero film of the same name.

Exhibitors, meanwhile, had the chance to sell copies of their comics and artwork to fans first-hand.

Kay Carmichael is a Cape Town comic book artist who writes and illustrates the series Sophie the Giant Slayer.

“My comic has a small but quiet devoted fanbase,” she said as fans browsed through copies at her stall.

“It is a really nice opportunity to see and have that personal interaction with readers.”

Josh Ryba, who in 2013 illustrated and co-wrote with Daniel Browde the graphic novel Rebirth, about Jan van Riebeeck as a vampire, said he hoped the convention would give local comic book writers a boost.

“It is the first event like this that is specifically about comic books, so it is very encouraging to see so many people and such a long line outside.”

The event continues today between 10am and 6pm.

Panel discussions will take place throughout the day, while between 11am and 4pm comic book writers, including Anton Kannemeyer, Lauren Beukes, Jason Aaron, Ian Churchill and Jamie McKelvie, will sign copies of their work.

* Tickets are on sale at Computicket or at the door for R100.

Weekend Argus