This year the ever-popular Middle East Film and Comic Convention grew bigger by 50% over last year! Impressive, but not surprising given the calibre and the diversity of celebrity guests and industry professionals coming to geek out.
With very impressive cosplay all round (check out the pics on the Game Hedz Facebook page), the fun activities, entertainment and cool swag on sale was awesome, but by far the stand out feature of this year’s Comic Con was the amount of home grown and local talent on show.
There was a large number of artists exhibiting their work, from original comic books to portraits and just sketches of their favourite characters. If this is anything to go by, the Middle East is going to have an explosion of content and skilled people to create it in the years to come – and the MEFCC could be a major catalyst. Here are some of the talented geeks I caught up with:
Lewis de Mesa
Lewis had a simple but very sticky idea: turn your favourite Star Wars characters into Arabs and Sheikhs – and put them on t-shirts. Boss. That’s not Lewis in the photo – but don’t you just love his local interpretation of a classic franchise? Check him out at artlifeflip.net
I met Imran Azhar at MEFCC a couple years ago when he just started his foray into comics – he’s still going strong with new titles and talent. Being Pakistani, his content is often related to his home but the other titles are original as well and often inspired by mythology of the region, like Sevara – a story of an immortal who after generations of sleep, has awoken to a world in need of saving. Definitely a company to watch. Visit azcorpentertainment.com for details.
The most ambitious project I came across was a mecha-based toy project called Deciders. Fronted writer Mike Fillion, designer Paul Bruwer and art director Kris Balerite, Deciders is a multi-tiered project that is meant to begin as a toy franchise – but with a universe attached that opens it up to comics, and even movies. The basic gist is that a colonised Mars of the future develops a justice system where disputes are solved by Mecha battles. Sci-Fi gold. The project is in development and looking for funding. Learn more at facebook.com/decidersdxb
Honestly there is more to MEFCC 2015 than could possibly be said here, including the appearance of William ‘Captain Kirk’ Shatner, among others. But the winners of this year’s conference were the people – the ordinary geeks with a dream to put themselves and this region on the pop culture map, and open the door for generations of geeks to follow.