All fun and games and cosplays at the MEFCC 2023 comic-con festival

The region’s biggest comic con festival’s highlight was a star-studded medial panel from Hollywood

Pokemon, Batman, Stranger Things, Harry Potter – all these share a common thread: they comprise today’s pop culture. Stories of heroes vs villains, good vs evil and right vs wrong get vehemently followed by passionate fans comprising children, teenagers and even adults. And to celebrate this fictional religion, the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) hosted the 11th edition of the Middle East Film and Comic Con (MEFCC) from 3rd to 5th March 2023.

The Middle East Film and Comic Con festival 2023 was the biggest edition yet, recording thousands in footfall. The event highlight comprised a star-studded media panel of actors such as Andy Serkis, Matt Smith, David Harbour, May Calamawy and Anthony Daniels while attendees entertained each other by donning their favourite character cosplays.

A separate section called Artist Alley celebrated local and global artists such as Greg Capullo (Batman, Spawn, Death Metal & Death of the Family), Ryan Ottley (Spiderman, Invincible & Hulk), Jock (Batman, Wolverine & Judge), Ken Lashley (X-Men, Black Panther, Spiderman, Batman, Suicide Squad & Superman), Mike Peraza (Ducktales, The Little Mermaid, Goof Troop & Aladdin) among many others. Guests could network with fellow manga and comic artists or get commissioned work done on demand.

The MEFCC 2023 also housed a Cine Club for future directors and film aficionados to gather to enjoy fireside chats and a Creative Academy that offered aspiring artists, cosplayers and animators a chance to learn from the best in the industry. The 11th edition saw the introduction of a new Gaming Arena dedicated to gamers. And for those with rock and roll topping the preference list, a Festival Stage was set up to enjoy dance classes by celebrity choreographers and host smartphone gaming tournaments.

Team TCI got an opportunity to attend the event, and the media panel was a treat to the eyes. It was insightful to listen to Marvel-backed artists talk about their upcoming shows and the methods of preparation behind playing a reel-life character. The anime and Hollywood movie character-inspired cosplays by fellow attendees gave the impression of being in a world-class studio rather than a fan-centric comic-con event. Trying a hand at the 90s gaming consoles of Pac-Man and Mortal Kombat made us recall our childhood days. The only unfulfilled aspect was Team TCI not donning our favourite cosplay character in the region’s biggest comic con festival, which we’ll attempt to rectify by the next edition of the MEFCC.

Here’s a highlight reel of the MEFCC 2023 through Team TCI’s eyes.

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