Comic Republic’s ‘Comic Connect’...

Comic Republic’s ‘Comic Connect’ 2018 Knocks It Out Of The Park

For the second year running, Nigeria’s leading comic studio, Comic Republic held it’s own convention at the Freedom Park, Lagos. But hold on. A comic studio in Nigeria? With their own convention? If that sounds ambitious, it’s probably because it is. But if you’ve followed the Naija comic scene, and particularly Comic Republic’s footprint in said industry, you’ll find this kind of ambition and drive is not new with the guys at ‘CR’ as they’re called by fans.

From converting an actual Nigerian DJ with a cult following into one of their leading titles, to the licensing of their main character ‘Guardian Prime’ with Aviva Notebooks,  – CR’s pragmatic approach to the unique comic business landscape of Nigeria is nothing short of ambitious. And with a 100k downloads of FREE comics on their website, it made sense to create a physical event to bring together their teeming fans.

The Comic Connect this year was a mashup of different activities – Digital Art Festival, Digital Art Battle, and of course The Cosplay – all with 100k cash prizes and the Comic Cliniq, where newbie comic creators, artists and writers got one-on-one free consultion from the head honchos at Comic Republic.

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@djsoseofficial in the building! #ComicConnectAfrica

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We also got a glimpse into their  latest project: The new animated movie for ‘Guardian Prime’, which looks really peng by the way. Even though Guardian looks like he packed a few chubby pounds in the opening sequence, we learn its a work in the progress and the final version will have the Superhero look as buff as he is in the award-winning comic titles.

The panel sessions also saw industry heavyweights like Niyi Akinmolayan of AntHill Studios, Kenneth Uphopho, festival director of LagosFringe, Oye Akindeinde of Boomplay, including Ayo Jaiyesimi, Gbenga Awomodu, Brian Barasa and Tunji Andrews, all turn for the interactive sessions discussing comics and the opportunities in tech, music, theater, festivals and animations.

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The comics and graphic novels industry guys are so progressive…which is why you will see me at all their events even though I don’t make comics. They are always organizing workshops, conventions, meetups and really empowering themselves mostly free of charge. They also support each other. You will never find me in gatherings that don’t share this ideal. Shout out to @comicrepublicmedia for inviting me to this panel…Comic connect Africa is a fantastic event and I can’t wait to see it grow larger. There’s a lot Nollywood can learn from this. This is how you grow industry. Our engagements can’t just be at red carpet premieres gossiping about each other. Also, not all seminars and workshops should be money making ventures.

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Full house at the panel session. #ComicConnectAfrica

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How else to end the Comic Connect if not with a party? Tagged the ‘Beatz AfterParty’ with the title character DJ Sose on the wheels of steel, artists, geeks and nerds turned it all the way up at the Freedom Park.

As the comic industry in Nigeria expands and startups like Comic Republic continue to contribute to the creative landscape with their content online and offline, the future looks promising for comic heads across Nigeria and Africa.