Kyiv Comic Con 2021 — a photo essay

September 4 and 5, 2021 is the time when Kyiv celebrates a geek culture festival, Comic Con Ukraine. It is a worldwide popular festival format dedicated to famous TV series, movies, computer games, and comics. A journalist and a photographer of AIN.UA will tell and show you how it was.

Here and below are pictures of Olha Zakrevska, special for AIN.UA.

This year, it is third Comic Con Ukraine: in 2018, it has gathered 20,000 participants, and in 2019, there were over 30,000 participants. Last year, the festival was postponed due to Covid restrictions. Finally, in September 2021, it happened: visitors came to a large (37,000 sq. m) territory of the Platforma Art Factory, wearing masks — both medical and festival ones. There is no official number of visitors yet, but we saw massive lines of people starting at the Art Factory entry and almost reaching the Darynok market.

If you were there for the first time, you would not miss it — everywhere were people with their kids in superhero costumes, people with light swords, elven hears, and horned helmets.

On the territory of the former Darnytsia silk factory, after you passed the entry of Comic Con Ukraine, you could easily lose yourself, in particular, if you stood in a line of other pop culture and games fans. But in general, the location was divided into zones as in past years: photo zones; food court; the main and other stages; board and computer games zones; merchandise zone; kid pool with Lego, etc.

Many visitors were wearing masks, wigs, and make-up. At every comic con, you always want to enjoy cosplayers — people who are ready to spend so much time and energy to craft a costume and attributes of their beloved series, anime, or game characters.

And every time, you can see new looks and classic ones — Star Wars fans, for example, have cosplayed Boba Fett, the best headhunter in the Galaxy, several times.

Always popular universes and heroes were also there — World of Warcraft, Marvel, DC, and different avatars of Joker. To be honest, we recognized not all of them.

The most beloved character of Comic Con Ukraine 2021 was Loki from the Marvel universe, thanks to the recently aired Disney series. There were Loki-president, Loki-god from Asgard, Loki-girl, and even Loki-crocodile.

Have you ever wondered who these characters are in real life?


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♬ original sound – Remiru

We interviewed some cosplayers about their looks and preparations.

Cosplayer — @somnium_vita, look: Dark Sun Gwyndolin, an optional boss in Dark Souls game:

I love Dark Souls games so much, and I always wanted to play a boss from there. So, I chose a character hated by half of the fans, and the other half thinks he is too easy:)

His costume was a challenge to me; it is very complicated because it has so many small details and elements like beads wings, expensive materials, and different types of lace. I could not use a cheap fabric because anyone would see it for sure. Only fabrics cost me about 10 to 15K hryvnias. I have put the costume together for two years and spent about 300 work hours on it. And it is very complicated to wear it actually — I merely can’t see because of the mask 🙂

Cosplayer — @karindos345, look: Scrap Baby from Five Nights at Freddy’s 6:

I worked on the costume for six months. The hardest part was the head. Its framework is made from foam rubber covered with EVA foam [Editor’s note: ethylene-vinyl acetate foam, similar to rubber and often used for cosplay costumes], plus fabric and LEDs for eyes. When I watched a video on YouTube about a girl from Italy who has made a similar costume, I was so excited and decided to make one for myself. Why not?

Cosplayers — a couple of @Liorra and @Matagot, looks: Iris and Olgierd von Everec from the Hearts of Stone add-on to the Witcher 3 game:

We wanted to make these costumes in the past year, but it took us about nine months to manufacture all the details. The hardest part was the fabric. We needed to embroider the whole of it for our costumes. All the furniture was crafted only for these costumes. The coat [Editor’s note: for Olgierd’s look] is handmade; it took five months.

We also tried to be maximally similar to the characters because we like their love story so much.

Cosplayer — @rekfelus, look: Tirion Fordring, Paladin from World of Warcraft:

I have chosen this character because I look like him because of my body parameters, and I like him. He is the honor and justice itself, and a cool guy, by the way 🙂 The costume manufacturing took me about two years, including small pauses. The hardest part was pauldrons; it was a disaster. It was so difficult to replicate them.

Besides the Cosplay Show (the winners are listed in the official public), there was an unbelievable number of other activities at Comic Con Ukraine. There were interviews, autograph sessions, and photo sessions with stars: Richard K. Morgan, a British sci-fi writer, author of Altered Carbon novel, which was adapted into a Netflix series recently, and Natalia Tena, a Game of Thrones and Harry Potter star.

On the first festival day, the main stage was headlined by the Polish Percival Schuttenbach band — they wrote the soundtrack for The Witcher 3. The band was named after a character of one of Andrzej Sapkowski’s books about Geralt the Witcher.

At Comic Con Ukraine, you could take a picture with the large Tor’s hammer and Jabba Hutt, on the throne, under Dune sands, and even as a Funko toy in a box. You could play board games with your friends, shoot a bow, watch real knight fights, and also find a girlfriend.

We at AIN.UA hope that comic cons and other geek events in Ukraine will live long and prosper.