YOU MAY NOT KNOW THIS BUT THERE IS A GROWING COMMUNITY OF LOCAL COMIC MAKES WITH AN EVEN MORE RAPID GROWING FOLLOWERSHIP IN THE HEART OF LAGOS, NIGERIA. EVER HEARD OF COMIC CON LAGOS?
Comic plays a huge role in most children entertainment, enough to form early philosophies and ideas. Outside Nigeria and Africa, the comic industry is a huge market, bringing in billions of dollars yearly. With the rise of Japanese Mamga serving Animes across Asia, the industry is fast becoming a global force. Though still in the early stages, the Nigerian Creative and Entertainment Industry is rising into international recognition, posing as an alternative revenue channel for the oil dependent country, Nigerian creatives are year by year proving their worth through music, movies, literature and art.
Last year, a community of comic makers and lovers converged at the fourth edition of Comic con Lagos, a comic con San Diego-esque pop culture event. Like Comic Con San Diego, the event was packed with a more attendance than in the previous years. The event which started out in 2012 with a little below or above half a thousand attendees grew to over three thousand attendees in 2015, with lots of exhibitions by hundreds of local comic producers around the country, game zone, workshops and film screening.
The Nigerian Comic industry might just be housing the future of Africa’s new school entertainment, beyond print into motion picture and perhaps music. Comic Con San Diego started in 1970 and today has grown into a big international phenomenal convention attracting hundreds of thousands of attendees. With quite a gradual growth, the Nigerian Comic Industry is producing some relatable super heroes like Pestle & Motar (Mumu Juju), Avonome, Exo among many others, becoming house hold names. With events like Comic Con Lagos, comic makers and lovers are presented with a platform to share ideas, collaborate and co-create. This is the future of many Nigerian children. An obvious trend in the Nigerian Comic Industry is an effort preserve culture in storytelling, character lifestyle, language and even attire while mirroring popular international characters. Nigerian comics have characters and stories featuring Nigerian gods, culture and lifestyle.
This may just be the way out of the Nigeria’s fast eroding culture but many are expectant about 2017 edition of the annual event. We see comic as the super hero here and hope that beyond watering and nurturing Nigerian Homegrown Super Heroes, the local comic community explore the possibilities of spread into Nigerian movies and the almost nonexistent mainstream Nigerian children entertainment. This event is a portal to the future and we can only see big possibilities hopping in and out of it.