Superheroes don their capes as second Saudi Comic Con comes to Jeddah

Saudi Comic Con's international guests from left to right: Ian Somerhalder, Wagner Moura and Gustaf Skarsgard.
Updated 21 March 2018
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Superheroes don their capes as second Saudi Comic Con comes to Jeddah

JEDDAH: Excitement is building among comics fans as the second installment of Saudi Comic Con (SCC) is set to sweep over Jeddah from Thursday (March 22-24).
Last year’s SCC, the first event of its kind in Saudi Arabia, drew in more than 22,000 lovers of comics, manga, anime and film. Cosplayers dressed as their favorite characters, Marvel superheroes were sighted on the ground, artists met and networked, while children and adults basked in the all-encompassing presence of Star Wars and manga figures around the hall.
The three-day convention is an initiative sponsored by the General Entertainment Authority (GEA) and organized by Time Entertainment. It aims to give comic fans a place to plant their roots, to support local authors and storytellers, and provide entertainment, coinciding with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s Vision 2030.
“This year’s Comic Con is bigger, better and will hopefully witness an increase in attendees," Time Entertainment told Arab News. “It will be more engaging, especially toward local artists as we’ve given them greater exposure.”
This year’s event promises fans a flurry of new experiences with three international stars: The Vampire Diaries’ Ian Somerhalder, Narcos’ Wagner Moura and Vikings’ Gustaf Skarsgard.
Netflix will hold a public event for the first time in Saudi Arabia, while famous DC universe characters will make an appearance, including Batman, Superman, Green Lantern, the Joker and the Flash. There will be many competitions, including a gaming league on Thursday, and a cosplaying competition on Friday for males and females who will be able to participate in separate sections to showcase their talents.
Obada Awad, Time Entertainment CEO, said there was a huge demand for such an event: “Saudi Comic Con is a phenomenon that changed the entertainment scene in the country and paved the way for different types of entertainment in the Kingdom,” he said.
Notably, SCC received the award for Best International Event held in the Kingdom in 2017 from the GEA.

For more information about the three day event, visit http://www.saudicomiccon.com/index_en


Sharqiah Season features interactive Van Gogh show at Ithra

A Vincent Van Gogh interactive exhibition opened at the King Abdul Aziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) as part of the 17-day Sharqiah Season in the Eastern Province. (Supplied)
Updated 6 min 26 sec ago
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Sharqiah Season features interactive Van Gogh show at Ithra

  • The initiative is lin line with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 program

DAHRAN: The story of Vincent Van Gogh has been brought to life in an interactive exhibition at the King Abdul Aziz Center for World Culture (Ithra), through mesmerizing images projected on the walls and the voice of Lebanese actor of Jihad Al-Atrash.
Al-Atrash, who is famous for his role in “Grendizer” in the Arabic cartoon channel Spacetoon, narrates the story in Arabic, while Van Gogh’s famous paintings, such as “The Starry Night” and “Sunflowers,” fill the walls.
“It’s not only entertainment, it’s also cultural and educational,” said Khalil Itani, project manager of the exhibition, which is part of Sharqiah Season, a 17-day festival that’s taking place in the Eastern Province.
“There will be an English voiceover soon. The 30 minutes and 40 seconds describes the important timelines of Van Gogh, his struggles and achievements, his thoughts. He was an awakened and spiritual person, but he was very sad; no one understood him. Also, the voiceover explains each phase of his life and the most important paintings of his, and explains these paintings and their story, and the techniques and colors.”
Itani told Arab News that many artists have visited the exhibition. “It’s very inspiring too for artists to know how he lived — this is the added value of the Van Gogh exhibition in Ithra.”
Raghad Al-Blowi, a 20-year-old Saudi visitor, said that Van Gogh was one of her most cherished artists, and her favorite painting is “The Starry Night.” Commenting on the Arabic narration, she said: “It makes visitors really get into it in Arabic more. Locals can understand and learn about Van Gogh.”
Colombian visitor Audrey Rincon said that she also enjoyed the exhibit. “It is different from the usual exhibitions, because the paintings are displayed in an interactive and creative way. And he is my favorite painter. I love the colors he used in his paintings, and ‘Sunflowers’ is my favorite painting.”
Sharqiah Season is organized by the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage in collaboration with the General Entertainment Authority, General Sports Authority and General Culture Authority. The initiative is in line with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 program, which aims to improve the quality of life for Saudis by providing enriching cultural pursuits and shows.
The festival, which began on March 14 and runs until March 30, has seen more than 80 entertainment and sporting events take place across nine different cities.