... That’s a wrap! First-ever Saudi Comic Con ends with many memorable moments

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Attendees crowd around a Transformer at the Comic Con expo in Jeddah on Saturday. (Arab News photo)
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Attendees reached around 7,000 per day at Comic Con expo in Jeddah. (Reuters)
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(from left) Naif Alkhairallah, author/comic artist of the Black Bonds, Stan Berkowitz, an Emmy award winning writer and Arican Wegter the moderator of the panel discussion on creating Arabic superheroes. (Arab News photo)
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Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen with a copy of Arab News.
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Updated 08 April 2017
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... That’s a wrap! First-ever Saudi Comic Con ends with many memorable moments

JEDDAH: With memorable moments and positive vibes, the curtain came down on the first-ever Saudi Comic Con (SCC).
The three-day convention wrapped up Saturday with 20,000 visitors — nerds, geeks and gamers — sharing their passion for comics through the government-backed SCC in the Red Sea port city under the umbrella of the Saudi General Authority for Entertainment (GAE), which is part and parcel of the Kingdom’s 2030 vision to bring first-class entertainment to Saudi citizens.
“The overwhelming number of people and families who attended, and the memorable moments we have seen captured online, show the potential of bringing popular occasions such as these to our country,” said Amr Al-Madani, CEO of GAE.
“We would like to congratulate the organizers, the staff on the ground and of course everyone attending, all of whom were instrumental in ensuring the event was such an overwhelming success,” he added.

VIDEO: Saudi Comic Con gets enthusiastic response from public

Exhibitors manned 95 booths and 60 artist tables showcasing various comic artworks and books featuring famous superheroes and Japanese animation characters. International exhibitors shared their long experiences in comic cons with Saudi Arabia’s first convention.

“No Lands,” was one of the many international exhibitors that made it to the Kingdom for three days of entertainment.
“Look, I can tell you that we do a lot of Comic Cons; we do the London one, Madrid one, Barcelona, Roma and such, and we have seen a lot of it,” said exhibitor Sergio Azzi from the No Lands booth, who is half-Italian half-Lebanese and was born in Jeddah before his parents left the Kingdom. “And for the first time (in Saudi Arabia) it’s simply amazing, because not only was the organization great, but the crowd was really, really awesome. We didn’t expect it to be so good.”
Apart from the number of attendees, which reached around 7,000 per day, Azzi was surprised by the amount of fantasy fans.
“The people were all so nice,” he said. “I’m sure that the event itself will prompt controversial opinions, but seeing it from the inside, everyone was enjoying themselves. We will sure be here next year.”
Azzi, who was astonished by the number of Saudis speaking fluent English, said that he was not concerned about the means of communication.
“Being an Italian, I can talk with my hands,” he said laughing. “I have to admit that were are quite surprised at the amount English-speaking people, even though given that the young crowds are more and more informed and skilled.”
He added that the other thing that surprised him and his partner at the booth was the large number of Saudi artists, whom they look forward to working with.
“We can’t wait to see more Arabic comics and animations,” he said.


Music festival finale at Jeddah Season eclipses all expectations

Updated 56 sec ago
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Music festival finale at Jeddah Season eclipses all expectations

  • Attendees filled King Abdullah Sports City despite the heat, but nothing could prepare them for what was to come
  • Fans were wowed by performances including 50 Cent, Tyga, DJ Steve Aoki and Janet Jackson

JEDDAH: Seven megastars closed the Jeddah Season with a bang for the Jeddah World Festival on Thursday.

Attendees filled King Abdullah Sports City despite the heat, but nothing could prepare them for what was to come. 

R3wire and Varski appeared on stage and cheers erupted from the crowd. They played remixes of songs like “We Will Rock You” by Queen and The White Stripes’ “Seven Nation Army” before mixing “One Kiss” by Dua Lipa and Calvin Harris.

Once the mood was set, superstar singer Janet Jackson stormed onto the stage. She sang and danced to hits like “All For You” and her latest track “Made for Now.”

After her powerful performance, she was replaced by English heart-throb Liam Payne. Once a part of One Direction, Payne is now a solo artist.

He performed a mix of songs, showing his vocal range and inspiring the crowd to sway with him when he sang a cover of “Shape of You” by Ed Sheeran.

“The crowd here in Jeddah is amazing,” he said while performing.

After a short intermission, American rapper Tyga delivered his second performance in Jeddah after his debut on July 12.

The audience was waiting especially for him, and when he appeared on stage people made sure to show the rapper all their love with loud cheers.

Tyga performed some of the fans’ favorite tracks, including “Ice Cream Man”, “Taste”, “Rock City” and “Hookah.”

Without a moment’s rest, rapper Future began to spit fire on the stage as soon as Tyga stepped off. The rapper, 35, performed his famous tracks like “Jumpman”, “Low Life” and “Mask Off.”

Legendary rapper 50 Cent then transported the audience to the early 2000s as he performed his tracks “P.I.M.P” and “Candy Shop” before the crowd exploded with energy when the intro to “In Da Club” began to play. 

Although Chris Brown’s time on stage was short-lived and bittersweet, with the singer only performing four tracks, fans still swayed to the rhythm of his huge hit “Loyal” featuring Lil Wayne and Tyga.

Lastly, legendary DJ and producer Steve Aoki set the stage alight with an immense set-list.

The crowd jumped and surged to the beat of his opening track, “Moshi Moshi,” before moving to another classic, “Bella Ciao.”

Even though members of the crowd were exhausted after being at the venue for seven hours, their energy was refuelled as Aoki hyped them up with his high-octane performance.

Aoki created a brand new track with Saudi singer Daliah Mubarak and remixed two special songs for the Jeddah World Festival, including a mix of Egypt’s beloved singer Abdel Halim Hafez.