When it comes to cosplay in South Africa, Johannesburg and Cape Town unsurprisingly are the chief centres, with the largest, most active communities. This isn’t to say there isn’t a lot of passion and talent spread throughout the country. That was abundantly clear this past weekend at ICON By the Sea, Durban’s annual tabletop gaming and comic convention. Local cosplayers – and some visitors from elsewhere – braved the heat of this year’s apparently endless Summer, and brought their A-game to the 2017 event.
Creativity, technical competence and a sense of camaraderie were obvious among the cosplayers. What was most pleasantly surprising, though, was the diversity on display. Age, race and gender were irrelevant when it came to participation. There were kids, adults, family cosplays; even crossplay.
Some con attendees clearly just relished the chance to dress up and let their geek flag fly high. For the more competitively minded, there was a two-day cosplay contest judged by Kate B, Soraya and Noori from the Durban cosplay scene.
These were the category winners at this year’s competition:
Anime and manga: Kelsey Atkins (JinxKitty Cosplay) as Gengar from Pokemon
Gaming: Noelle Adams (pfangirl) as Lara Croft from Rise of the Tomb Raider
Western Pop Culture: Light River Cosplay as Aurora from Disney’s Sleeping Beauty
Best Overall: Kelsey Atkins (JinxKitty Cosplay)
Well done to the winners, and everyone who clearly put in a lot of effort despite Durban’s infamous malaise-inducing humidity.
Here’s a selection of the cosplay seen at ICON By the Sea 2017.