Thanks to the ambition of Oleksandr and Maria Shagura, Kyiv is hosting its own Comic Con this weekend (6 – 7 June 2015), with blackjack and own marketplace, which is going to sell everything that geeks desire: from comics, to souvenirs and crafted products.
The project has started with a crowdfunding campaign. This is how Maria and Oleksandr decided to raise money for the festival. People voted with their money: the idea was supported by more than 200 fans, and the necessary amount was raised. So the project took off, thanks to the backers.
Oleksandr Shagura explains: “There was a great desire to promote the comics culture, and to organise a large offline event that could give an impulse to Ukrainian artists, game designers, writers, craftsmen. Both, as a hobby, and as a business too. For instance, we announced a competition for young comic artists and received tens of wonderful designs. However, for all participants of the competition comics is just a hobby, or a passion. They can’t even imagine that some businesses and publishers are looking at their work, hoping for the partnerships with the authors.”
Maria Shagura adds: “Besides, we wanted to organise a global event, dedicated to this popular culture. Not just for one particular aspect of it, but for a popular culture as a whole. This is a new experience for our country. We have had events that are focused on one particular fandom of Comics, but didn’t try to unite them on a single stage.”
Dicsover Ukrainian Comics
Oleksandr: “Of course, there going to be lots of Ukrainian comics on the festival. Notably, many Ukrainian freelancers are working for foreign comics, video games, and film. So, they have hands-on experience working with the biggest brands, but not many know them back in Ukraine. As a result, it is much harder to find such artists, compared to those published locally.
Meet the heroes
Everyone, who gives talks at the festival, is a celebrity in their domains. For example, writers Arenev and Silin, – nominees of the EuroCon awards, – the largest European fantasy literature congress. Serhiy Krykun – was awarded the Best Illustration Artist title at the EuroCon 2015. Roman Guro – a wonderful artist who worked in Germany on the creation of FarCry.
Also, Mark Rein-Hagen is going to visit us, one of the most famous game designers in the world and the creator of a role-playing game Vampire: The Masquerade. However, these celebrities are known only among people who follow the subject. There will be also other famous personalities, the work of whom have seen or heard almost all Ukrainians, – but didn’t know who they are. Those include a genius imitator of voices, – Yuriy Kovalenko (Dr. Sound). He has voiced-over most of the male voices in Ukrainian translations of Simpsons, South Park, Ninja Turtles, and countless other projects.
We are going to host a great meeting with directors and actors of Ukrainian dubbing so that the audience could finally get to know them. Regarding famous actors (I believe this is what your question was really about), we are waiting for a Canadian actress Katheryn Winnick, the main character of the “Vikings” TV series, and many other TV shows and films. There are also will be national celebrities.
Great entertainment from dawn till dusk
Our main goal is to make sure that the visitors will be able to have a great time at the conference from early morning till late evening, not just for a few hours. So we prepare the conference program with this goal in mind. You can watch a film, listen to music, check out the workshops or watch the work of artists, play video games or take part in tournaments, learn something new from the history of comics, then go outside to shoot a bow, and to have a launch in one of our cafes. Then come back, and start again.
The key word here is ‘interactivity’. Every visitor will be able to try professional creative devices, – and win prizes, try to make a sculpture, – and take it home, play in Hearthstone – and get a gift, try to beat a master in a role-playing game, – and win a souvenir, play table games, and even to create an animation film. We hope that this will make our festival quite different to other Comic Cons, which usually have an exhibition format.”
Maria: “We are striving to make the comfort of each visitor our end goal. It’s important to us that a visitor could spend a whole day here. There will be a full-scale food court catered for various tastes, and lounge areas to chill out and relax.”
Comics Con took place in Kyiv this weekend, 6 – 7 of June. Hosted at Ukrainian House, 2 Khreshchatyk street. Best costumes from the first Ukrainian Comic Con for you.
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