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

Attendees crowd around a Transformer at the Comic Con expo in Jeddah on Saturday. (Arab News photo)
Attendees reached around 7,000 per day at Comic Con expo in Jeddah. (Reuters)
(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)
Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen with a copy of Arab News.

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.

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