Comic-Con Africa 2019

The event of the year took place this past weekend at Comic-Con Africa 2019 from Saturday the 21st all the way to Heritage day, Tuesday the 24th of Septemeber. It was a super awesome experience and I had a great time at the event.

If you know me, after the success of CCA2018 my world revolved around Comic-Con Africa – It was like waiting for Christmas or my birthday and has become a huge part of my identity. This year I planned to soak up the geek at CCA for only 3 days out of the 4 day weekend but I had so much fun on day 1 that I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to attend every single day!

CCA2019, saw the con in a new venue Gallagar Convention Centre that was a lot bigger than last year. This year we got more; a dedicated kids section called KIDSCON, and designated halls for gaming (tabletop and electronic), the artist’s alley, and the main stage area with lots of stalls and other areas in between. We also had some pretty rad international personalities such as William Shatner, Nolan North, and Troy Baker as well as Daniel Gillies to name a few.

There was so much to do and see at CCA2019 and despite making it to all 4 days I did not manage to see enough! There were times where I wished my superpower could be splitting into two people just to cover more ground. Though the things I did see were super cool and the friends I made through the year leading up to CCA added to my experience.

At the start of each day, I got to hang out with the Friends of Comic Con Africa at the FOCCA Meet-up. Finally seeing friends I had made from behind a computer screen – chatting to them and having fun made the experience worthwhile. I must have spent the majority of the time at the con just bonding with others that like the same things as me.

Another highlight was meeting Ziyaad from Awali Comics. I have been fangirling over Awali for months and it was awesome to meet him and just chat about art and comics. I got my hands on issues 1 – 6 of Siri Watu with each one signed of course. I also saw the legendary Bill Masuku (who was hard to catch) and picked up my pre-order of Captain South Africa also signed. I saw these guys as well as some other local artists at a panel I caught which was one of my most memorable con moments. These guys are inspirational and maybe one day I will be up there with the greats!

It was awesome to play Boet Fighter again (I attended a beta test a few weeks ago) and was pleased with the improvements such as health and life pick-ups which were not included in the beta testing. I didn’t get much time to play anything else – the gaming area was massive and I wished I had taken the time to test out some other games but this is something I will improve on next year.

Like I said earlier, I did not plan on attending all 4 days. I had a hiccup with my contact lens on Day 2 and couldn’t see or do much. The Cosplay Hospital was an amazing idea and although I wasn’t cosplaying I was able to use the saline solution that was available in the kit they had to fix any cosplay mishaps. With Day 2 – not going as I had hoped, I wanted to attend Day 3 but didn’t have any tickets. At this point, my CCA Fairy God Mother (Thank you!) came through for me and helped me out with tickets so for my come back I decided to bring back Budget Mermaid from last year.

The night before, I attended CCA2018 I made a triton and painted shells on a t-shirt for a bit of Disney Bounding. I didn’t plan on wearing this again (as I often wear it to the gym: triton not included) but I ran out of clothes so I thought it would be fun! And it was, I still received compliments from people on my outfit and the triton even though the paint is chipping one year later – So, I think budget mermaid is here to stay. I also picked up a dinglehopper bow to match my outfit at Frockabilly by Cherry Lisa and a pin that reads ‘mermaids don’t have thigh gaps.’

For the most part, I scoured the stalls looking at the cool things that were on offer. With my teeny tiny student budget, I made the decision to only get what I absolutely wanted and that was the CCA19 exclusive Funko Pops. I first went in for Wonder Woman and Thor but ended up also buying a Kakashi for Player 2. By the end of the last day, I still had some money burning in my purse and the SSGSS Goku [Kamehameha] on my mind so I ran over to GammaTEK SA and grabbed the last one.

Player 2 took a page out of my book and made an arc reactor the night before and walked around as Tony Stark! So proud!

There was a lot going on over the 4 day weekend and I really loved hanging out with friends, taking pictures at the F.R.I.E.N.D.S couch or at the WWE stand and KFC stand. I also got a cool new CCA mug and was gifted a Daenerys Funko Pop and Joker cushion by my two awesome friends to add to my haul. I also met my favorite Lord Beerus (Gene Daffue,) my fellow mermaid Enslien Erasmus and Leigh-Anne Knipe who did an outstanding 3 cosplays (this girl’s my inspiration!) I also met my fellow admins from the FOCCA group which was lovely and got to spend time with my favorite admin Jonathan Harding (Fandom is Awesome.)

I didn’t have much time to see everything and I was sad to miss the cosplay competition. You might also be wondering why I didn’t mention much of the international stars – well for me I really found that I was starstruck by local artists and cosplayers I met at the event and that’s what made it special for me.

CCA2019 was a success in my books I had so much fun and even though I live down the road it was like a mini-holiday for me. A much-needed break. Of course in no way was it perfect some of my gripes were with the ventilation and walkways which were super narrow especially in Hall 3 (which Jonathan also talks about in his post on CCA19: Comic-Con Africa 2019 – in Review.)

Living in JHB and frequenting other conventions has also left me familiar with many of the vendors so to an extent I would have wanted more awesome hard to get merch obtained by CCA themselves (if possible). This is a minor though as my broke ass could probably not afford anything but still, some friends expressed frustration with the offerings.

As an artist and someone who spent most of her time in the artist alley, I would have liked a place for us to draw and purchase some epic art supplies. So maybe, if CCA is reading this – this would be an awesome a place to chill for a little while and draw. Like a play area for adults with booze, art supplies and drawing paper!

Other than this the con was great! I made a lot of memories and had an awesome time and am so freaking pumped for next year – I have even started watching cosplay tutorials to up my game. I will also like to personally plan my strategy better – Jatin Dayaram was the happiest person I saw after he got his PS controller signed .

To end this one-off I would like to say thank you to the organizers and the people who made this so special! Even if you weren’t mentioned by name you made my weekend.

Ster-Kinekor Subscription Club adds new locations!

Hey y’all so I have some good news! The SK Sun club has been rolled out to some new locations. You can now join the cool kids and sign up for the sub-club at these locations which include Gauteng, Mpumalanga, Western Cape, and Kwa-Zulu Natal:

  • Eastgate Shopping Centre (GAU
  • Sandton City (GAU)
  • Cresta Shopping Centre (GAU)
  • Brooklyn Mall (GAU)
  • Brooklyn Mall Nouveau (GAU)
  • I’langa Mall (MPL)
  • Gateway Mall (KZN)
  • Watercrest Mall (KZN)
  • Blue Route (WC)
  • Somerset Mall (WC)
  • Garden Route Mall (WC)

In my previous posts, I’ve spoken about my first impression about the club here: Ster-Kinekor Subscription Club at Eastgate and I properly crunched the numbers to see my savings here: Ster-Kinekor SubClub Update and I can still say at month 3, I am super happy with how the subscription works.

Just to recap or if you are reading about the SK Club for the first time, Ster Kinerkor has started a Subscription club that allows you to watch more movies. There are 2 types of subscriptions available the Fan Club and MORvies Club.

The Fan Club gets you 4 movies and 20% off popcorn and soda combo, for only R249 per month – these tickets can be used all on yourself or you can share them with the family. While the MORvies Fan Club gives you unlimited movies for only R349 per month, with 20% off popcorn and soda combo. That means you can watch up to 5 movies a day! This is a pretty sweet deal if you love going to the cinema as much as I do.

My most recent trips to the cinema allowed me to relive my childhood as I saw the epically beautiful Lion King live-action – which was a must to see on the big screen. Knowing the basic story line I was there for the visual effects and I don’t think waiting to watch it at home would have done if justice.

The other movie I caught was Good Boys, which I’ll describe as Superbad light. It was a heartwarming film despite the crass and it did well in playing out the kids innocence against the adult humor.

Like I’ve said before booking and watching the movie on the SK Club is simple. Find the movie you like – follow the booking prompts and select the SK Club vouchers at the bottom of the screen after you’ve selected your seats. (You will see the total amount on the right-hand side of your screen go down to R0.00 and you know you’ve added it correctly).

If you choose to add the regular combo with 20% off or want to add any extras you can continue and pay for those using your credit card at the end of the transaction.

Once your tickets are booked Ster-Kinekor sends a confirmation email with a code that you can use at one of the kiosks to print your tickets. All you’ve gotta do is punch the code in and it prints your tickets.

Another awesome thing about the SK Club is that you can use it at any of the participating cinemas. Although my Cinema of choice is Eastgate mall I used the SK Club at Santon City while I was in the area and felt like watching a movie, making it versatile.

What do you think about the movie subscription club from Ster Kinekor? If you would like to join follow the link Ster-Kinekor Subscription Club

Ster-Kinekor SubClub Update

It’s been about a month since I have subscribed to SK Club and here are my thoughts. Movies are my thang- I know some people are bookworms, others gym bunnies but what I love most about life is the cinematic experience.

Over the years my cinema trips have been sparse and I can definitely blame this on my student budget. Going to the cinema has become a treat for me, so when I heard about the SK club I was intrigued. Needless to say, I was sold and signed up, you can read all about that here: Ster-Kinekor Subscription Club at Eastgate. And after a month of using it, this is what my experience has been so far.

Firstly, I opted for the SK Fan club as opposed to Morvies. Although the Fan club offers less it checked all my boxes:

-Tickets I could use on my own or share ✔
-4 movie tickets per month ✔
-20% discount on a regular combo ✔
-2D and 3D movies included ✔

The SK Fan club allows me to take Player 2 along to the cinema with me- I kinda secretly wanted the Morvies Club (with unlimited tickets per month for the subscription member-only) but I’m learning to share and I really love sprawling out in a love nest.

With our busy schedules, P2 has a day job and I am studying while trying to juggle my new art business. Having 2 movies a month to look forward to, not only gives us that much-needed downtime but doesn’t take up a lot of time either.

We are saving! Which is the most important thing; every penny counts and we are saving around 43% on 3D movie tickets alone as well as the 20% on a regular combo which works out to R70,75 giving me a R14.15 savings.

I was actually surprised when I crunched the numbers and discovered exactly how much I was paying for the Fan Club and have decided it’s worth it for my lifestyle. Despite only Offering 2D and 3D movies, I don’t mind. I usually only watch 2D and 3D movies on a regular basis- IMAX is reserved for films I know deserve the experience.

The subscription club is only available in these locations Somerset, Garden Route Mall, and Eastgate at the moment and I’m sure it will roll out to other theaters soon. I’ve quite enjoyed my experience at East Gate SK. The staff are always willing to help, last time I visited I was a little late and still standing in the concession line when I asked one of the staff members how long the trailers ran before the film started and she was on the ball with the time!

If you would like to be one of the first like me, to sign up for an SK sub membership check it out here: Ster-Kinekor Subscription Club

What movies have you watched lately ? Let me know in the comments below so I can also check it out using my cool subscription 😊

How to make Wolverine Claws

Logan Cosplay

A few months back I managed to score tickets to the screening of Dark Phoenix with the awesome people at Comic Con Africa. I wasn’t going to dress up but- I do enjoy the last-minute scramble and decided to make a pair of Wolverine Claws as a fun craft. What was awesome about this project is that I made do with what I had around the house and ended up with something cool in the end. 

Template



First thing I needed was a stencil, and my good friend Pinterest does not disappoint. All I did was search ‘wolverine claws’ and printed the outline on a A4 sheet of paper. I then cut this out and traced it on cardboard. 

Cutting template



I used a regular cardboard box I had laying around in my garage – this was remanence of the move I did earlier this year. After tracing my pattern onto the cardboard I used scissors and a box cutter to cut the blade pieces out. But I wasn’t satisfied with the build, I found the cardboard a little too flimsy. So I went scouring the house once again to look for some better material.

Tracing template



I found an old drawing pad that had pretty sturdy cardboard at the back so I decided to give this a try. I repeated the process of tracing and cutting, but the cutting part was a pain! Craft scissors and a box cutter are probably not the tools for this but after a lot of suffering, I managed to gather 6 freshly cut pieces for my claws. To refine my work I used a high grit nail file to file down the edges and make them smoother, sandpaper can also be used but I fond this was an easier tool. 

Testing the fit



According to my pattern, the claws had two holes at the base to accommodate a handle. In order to make the holes in the cardboard, I chose to use a soldering iron that burnt the perfect sized holes into the claws. This can also be done by poking a hole with a knife and using a skewer to make it bigger. 

Making Holes



The next step was to paint the claws, first with a base coat- I used basic acrylic paint in black for the base and topped that off with a coat of silver acrylic paint. I did not see the need to prep the cardboard I chose to use, as it wasn’t too absorbent but you can use a coat of gesso to prep most items you want to paint on. I also did not seal the claws in either but a varnish can work if you want to seal the paint job in. I let that dry overnight before getting back to work on it the next day.

Base Coat



In order to make the handles I used two bamboo skewers, that I broke in half to make four pieces. I trimmed the edges as best I could with a scissor and filed the uneven edge. I then used the soldering iron once again to burn the edges so that no one gets a splinter. I then assembled my claws by sliding one claw in at a time onto two skewer pieces. After they were put together I used hot glue to hold everything in place and painted the handles black.

Painted Claws

I absolutely loved this little art project! Player 2 got to wear them and the claws received many compliments and I am going to be making more pairs for friends but I will be upping my game and will be using some sturdier materials in the future. 

Logan Cosplay



For myself, however, I decided to do a Storm inspired makeup look:

Thank you for checking this post out. I hope you liked it, let me know what your thoughts and if you would try this out for yourself?

Ster-Kinekor Subscription Club at Eastgate

If you’ve been here a while you will know that I love the cinema experience and it just got better. Ster-Kinekor has launched a new subscription service that could have you watching as many movies as you want!

There are currently 2 types of subscription packages available. The Fan Club at Watercrest, Ilanga and Eastgate, gets you 4 movies and 20% off popcorn and soda combo, for only R249 per month – these tickets can be used all on yourself or you can share them with the family.

MORvies Club is the second type of subscription available at Somerset, Garden Route Mall and Eastgate that gives you unlimited movies for only R349 per month, with 20% off popcorn and soda comb. That means you can watch up to 5 movies a day! With so many great titles hitting the big screen this winter the SK subscription is a brilliant way of seeing the latest flicks and saving.

I decided to sign up for the Fan Club at Eastgate so le boyfriend can take advantage of the service with me. Signing up was super easy too – I headed over to Ster-Kinekor, scrolled down to the bottom of the page and clicked on the SK subscription club tab.

The next screen explained the benefits of the Fan club and the MORvies club. After deciding which package I wanted I clicked on the “JOIN FAN CLUB NOW” button where it asked me to login into my SK account (PS if you don’t have one it will ask you to create one with a simple sign up.)

After that I just had to follow 3 easy steps before getting my hands on my subscription. First, I got to review my subscription, then I needed to confirm my personal details and finally I made an online payment for my subscription with the secure payment facility on the SK site. Then it was time to book my tickets!

Because the subscription is linked to my SK account booking my tickets were a breeze! I started my booking by selecting my cinema, Eastgate and picking the film I wanted. I decided to check out the latest Pixar movie Toy Story 4.

After selecting my seats I was able to select the SK fan club for both my tickets in the “ADD MOVIE CARDS OR VOUCHERS” box under the seating. I then proceeded to the next step and added my popcorn and soda combo with 20% off! I was set and proceeded to the checkout to pay for my snacks and received a reference number. Once at Eastgate Sterkinekor all I had to do was scan my reference number in, where I got my ticket and collected my snacks.



What loved about my entire experience was the service from Ster-Kinekor. It was simple and I didn’t have any hiccups along the way. I know signing up for new services does not always run smoothly in my experience but this went off without a hitch. I had a crazy weekend preparing for Geek Fest and all I wanted was some timeout at the cinema and it was effortless to sign up.

Ster-Kinekor Eastgate

The subscription also fits my lifestyle -with titles like Spiderman: Far From Home, The Lion King, Midsommer and many others releasing over the next few months I am bound to be at the cinema often. The subscription helps me save some cash and also enjoy a great cinematic experience at one of SKs best cinemas Eastgate. The subscription also doesn’t limit you to a particular time or day so I was able to catch Toy Story 4 at 10 pm on a Saturday night which worked with my schedule.

I am looking forward to watching more movies soon, with Far From Home releasing this week I am going to use my SK Fan Club Sub are you?

Let me know your thoughts on the SK Sub service in the comments below. If you would like to be part of the cool kids you can subscribe here: Ster-Kinekor Subscription Club

PS. It would make my day if you followed me on my socials:

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Game of Thrones – Thoughts on the finale

I’ve had a little while to let this all settle in and to be honest I’m still left with an empty feeling after the finale aired two weeks ago.

In a Facebook status the morning after I watched the show I said this :

And after a lot of thought, I still stand by my sentiments. When Game of Thrones first graced our scenes with its intricate storytelling, shockingly dark themes and a lavish feast for the eyes; everyone was mesmerized by its charm. It took television to new heights back in 2011 (2012 for me when I binged it along with season 2.)

One of the things that drew me in was the shock factor from many of the scenes. How blunt and to the point, it was with its portrayal of sex, nudity, and violence. It had the ability to make you mad long after watching an episode. And when Ned Stark was beheaded in S1E10 it shook the seven kingdoms and thensome.



Storytelling like this increased the audiences emotional involvement in the narrative and subsequently closed the aesthetic distance between viewers and the show.

Eliciting strong emotions to character arcs such as Jon Snow – who never wanted anything more than to be called a Stark or Daenerys Targaryen – a girl who was once sold as a bride, but became the breaker of chains. Through use of these techniques the writers drew the audience in and decreased the aesthetic distance between the viewers and the characters.

Game of Thrones has always set itself apart from anything we’ve seen before. It also forged a narrative where no character (despite the amount of character construction) was safe from being killed off. It built itself on evoking emotions from its audience only to tear them down – but this is what made the show.

I remember so badly wanting Joffrey to meet a gruesome demise and wished Sansa would just shut the hell up. I hated Jamie for the longest time, but began to warm up to him only to roll my eyes and hate him once again when he hit it and quit it with  Brienne of Tarth.

After years and years of conditioning its audience in the world of GOT – Where could it possibly go from here? Downhill that’s where.

Just kidding, but to many fans, this is exactly what they are feeling. I, have a different opinion and a few things to point out. First, I want to talk about the ending. – what was expected and what we got were slightly two different things.

For all the horizon of expectations and some real ‘that doesn’t make any sense at all,’ moments I’m still not mad at GOT. And here’s why:

As stated earlier GOT has prided itself on the unexpected, taking fans on a ride that could keep even casual viewers up at night. With years of building up an audience perhaps GOT never wanted to be predictable.

The forerunners for the throne were definitely Dany, Jon, and Cersei. Tyrion even had a hat thrown into the dragon pit, with fans hoping if the other 3 killed off each other he might make a good king.

With fan theories spreading like wildfire it could have been easy to predict an ending that also emphasized fan service. However, what I feel D&D did was true to GOT’s narrative.

It evokes emotion. Maybe not happiness, glee or relief but it evoked something. Many, feel it wasn’t a rightful end and I can sympathize with that, but what most fans might be missing is the mere fact that it left us feeling. The final season of GOT  triggering an emotional response from its loyal fans  (as it has always done) is what makes its narrative powerful.

We may not be ecstatic about the outcome but we are still left in an emotional state. But despite this, it still didn’t make a lot of sense and its not something I can ignore.   

Every generation establishes a framework within which to understand, interpret and evaluate film and tv series. This includes a familiarity of certain conventions and expectations regarding style and genre. This is referred to as the horizon of expectations.

GOT having shattered many of those conventions and expectations still seems to have failed in its last season. The reason for this failure comes from the violation of its aesthetic distance.

Unrealistic dialogue, questionable character deaths, the fast pace of it all even bad lighting in S8E3 all contributed to the increase of aesthetic distance in the last season.

This created a defamiliarization with the narrative of the show and weakened the emotional involvement by fans – as a result, this left many upset and some disappointed (like me) with the culmination of GOT.

I am not mad with how my beloved series played out in the end but I do however wish they had taken more time to complete it. The season felt rushed, with little to no build up to pivotal moments – is what disappointed me.

I had no problem with major plot points such as Jon’s heritage not holding a larger stake in the grand scheme of things, I actually admired the deviation from fan service or expectations. The bottom line is that the show could have quite possibly been better, but this is what we’ve got, and it leaves a lot of us feeling empty.

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What did you think of the ending? I would love to know your feelings about the last season and how it should have ended.

My screening of the last episode fell on my significant others birthday so I decided to do a small GOT themed party with friends (including a tabletop dragon pit for roasting marshmallows of course.) Keep a lookout for my GOT Party post and how whipped all the food up in a future blog post.

Bohemian Rhapsody Review

Hi friends!
Here’s a new section that I am adding to the blog. One of my loves is watching movies and tv series – mostly because I’m an overthinker and getting transported into a different world visually not only helps me turn off but it also lights up that part of my brain where I have a huge appreciation for cinematics.

We’ll be starting off this new section with a much-anticipated movie that will be hitting the big screen on November 30th. I was lucky to catch the World Premier Pre-screening of Bohemian Rhapsody over a month before its official release.

 


A biopic (and I love me a biopic) about the lead singer Freddie Mercury and the band Queen. It follows the life of Mercury from his small beginnings,  through to his process as an artist and his larger than life personality he intensified with the success of Queen.  All entwined with the personal struggles he faced with his identity, loneliness, and sexuality. See the trailer below:

My background with Queen

Sadly, the real Freddie Mercury died in 1991 so I have never been able to experience the massive icon that he was but thanks to my dad I was exposed to Queen’s music from a young age. I remember getting all excited at age 4 to watch a Queen concert (without Freddie ) on TV and that’s where I fell in love with guitarist Brian May’s mad guitar skills. A couple of years ago I attended a Queen tribute show at Johburg Theatre, where my interest in Mercury actually took off. I started watching more of their music videos and interviews with Freddie and to my utter surprise, I had been walking around for 25 years not knowing he was Parsi Indian!

 

 

With my background on Queen and Mercury, I went into this movie really excited to see what I have read about his flamboyant life in articles, come to life on the big screen. I didn’t follow the production of the film too closely but I was aware that the living band members worked closely with the production team in order to get a close-to-damn-it portrayal of the rock legend. Also having cast Rami Malek in the lead role was a great choice from the get-go in terms of looks but I was still holding my breath to see his performance.

Thoughts on the film

The movie is a  glimpse into the life of Freddie Mercury, from the formation of Queen, his writing and recording process and the many successes of the band. This is pretty much the chronological order the movie follows but it also touches on issues fans may not have known about him and his personal trials with loneliness which is a theme seen throughout the film.  It is a story about a man who was unapologetically himself, he pushed boundaries and knew what he wanted but still had a human condition that needed a form of anesthesia in order to cope.

Although the film touches on realistic problems that contrast his ostentatious life and makes the character real, it also plays it safe and doesn’t explore certain issues that I would have like to have seen a deeper look into. BoRhap is a film honoring his memory but what would have made a bigger impact is if we saw more inner turmoil as he dealt with issues such as identity and finding himself.

Rami Malek

Let’s talk Malek for a moment. If anyone had to play Mercury it had to be him. Looking at images from the film we can definitely see that he looks like Mercury but could he act, I wondered? And yes, he can! I know Malek from the unhinged role of Elliot in Mr. Robot and I did not know that he was so versatile as an actor. He brought the essence of Mercury to the big screen and I think he did an amazing job with this character. Speaking for myself, I could see Malek in the character but there were certain instances in the film where Mercury just shone out. Especially in the scenes on stage, parading around with the microphone and stand, that was brilliant.

 

 

 

Okay, so to wrap this up. I loved the film (my biased is showing because I love historical movies,) the music fills the cinema and creates this atmosphere of anticipation and excitement and that’s all I needed. Despite the few hollow areas of the movie, I would recommend you go see it if you love Queen or biopics. One thing that I took away from this movie is that it doesn’t matter where you come from the important thing is, if I work hard at my dreams I could also do something half as significant as Mercury did in his short life.

 

Thanks for reading!

What are your thoughts on Bohemian Rhapsody? Will you be watching it? The movie releases on 30th November at my favorite cinema Ster-kinkor.

Before I go, I’d like to say a big thanks to Melanie Pretorius for the tickets and Ster-kinekor for hosting the event.