(Author: Libyan Gazette Editorial Staff)
Tripoli held Libya’s first-ever comic convention on September 23-25 gathering thousands of comic and cosplay fans.
The event was held at Tripoli’s international convention centre, which had booths set up around the centre displaying various comic book franchises, gaming stations and merchandise.
It was a group of eight friends who came up with the idea to set-up the Comic convention to share their love for comics with other Libyans.
“The idea for this exhibit and for Comic Con is animated stories, but then the idea grew. It isn’t just about animation anymore, but it grew and evolved to include films and also TV shows, and basically anything related to the entertainment media,” said Hesham Areef, the event supervisor.
It was 1970 when Comic Con first began in southern California, attracting multi-platform entertainers and many fans in one location.
Ever since, Comic Con has grown and spread to various cities across the world, such as London, New York and San Diego.
In April, Dubai held the fourth annual Middle East Comic Convention attracting over 60,000 people.
At Libya’s Comic Con attendees played video games, shopped for new merchandise, and participated in interactive activities. Cosplay was also a hit as many attendees dressed up in the costume of their favourite characters.
“Comic Con is an exhibit that brings together the ideas of drawings, cartoons, fictional characters, cosplay, and paintings, etc. I’m an avatar representing a fictional character called Ang, it’s from a Japanese comic and its idea is having power through controlling the earth’s four natures which are, water, air, fire, and earth,” said Mohamed Taher, one of the convention participants.
7000 tickets were sold on the first day of the convention, according to a local online newspaper, and 20,000 were estimated to have attended at least a portion of the three-day event.
Despite the overwhelming difficulties the country is struggling to overcome, the organizers of Libya’s Comic Con were able to get sponsorships from the Libyan Ministry of Culture in addition to support from Arete Foundation for Arts and Culture, a local non-governmental organization focused on arts and culture.
“The idea is really great to host the Comic Con here in Libya, but since it’s still the first time the application of the actual exhibit needs some work. But hopefully time after time it will get better, plus the turnout is amazing,” said Haitham, another Comic Con participant.