JEDDAH: Named after the late American comic book writer, editor, publisher, and producer the convention saw cosplayers welcome visitors dressed as famous characters while opportunities were available to meet leading industry figures.
A giant Spider-Man has been suspended from the conference hall ceiling and other life-size figurines on show include the characters Iron Man, War Machine, and Black Panther.
All around the venue glass cases house exhibits that have featured in popular movies, such as the Baby Yoda puppet used in Star Wars filming, helmets from “Avengers: Endgame,” and parts of the outfit of character Harley Quinn (played by Margot Robbie) from the “Suicide Squad.”
One visitor to the event, Rawan Qarah, wore a Scarlet Witch costume. She said: “When comic cons started happening here, I couldn’t wait to come and participate. It’s always comfortable being here, as no one laughs at you.” She particularly enjoyed touring the artists’ booths.
Yasser Alireza and Zaid Adham were presenting a comic book series they have created called “Wayl,” a Middle Eastern psychological thriller with three editions.
Artist Alireza, 44, said he had been keen on drawing from a young age.
“At first, I was anxious about coming to my hometown but then when I got settled into my book I felt pride, and this means a lot. It really does feel magical, I wish I had the right words to describe what I am feeling. No matter what happens with our comic books, this is a dream come true. People are loving what we are doing.”
He pointed out that he was pleased to be a part of what he described as a new golden age of art in Saudi Arabia. “I would have never imagined doing something like this in Saudi. In my head I thought maybe my daughter might be able to do something like this.”
Writer of “Wayl,” Adham, said: “Our comic books are selling so quickly that we are beginning to worry we didn’t bring enough. We are self-established and self-funded and if all goes well, we will be releasing a full graphic novel by the end of the year.”
Other items on display at the convention include a collection of watches worn in movies, such as Doctor Strange’s timepiece, rare comic books from the 1950s and 1960s, and various lightsabers from Star Wars films.
Cosplayer Mohammed Qashqari wore a Gryffindor house uniform from the Harry Potter movies while another player donned a rival Slytherin outfit.
Fans also got the chance to meet celebrities, among them Michael Rooker who played Yondu Udonta in “Guardians of the Galaxy,” Lauren Ridloff who took the role of Makkari in “Eternals,” and Lexi Rabe who was Tony Stark’s daughter in “Avengers: Endgame.”