Cyprus really does live in the 21st century. This is not said ironically. When it comes to popular culture, the Cypriots deserve a place in the front row of the Avant-Garde thanks to the organisers of the Cyprus Comic Con, that fair for playful personalities who express their joy through pictures, games and costumes. The time had already come around for the third Cyprus Comic Con that took place on the 3rd and 4th September. Nearly 14,000 people came to Nicosia’s Filoxenia Conference Centre to be beamed into another universe. The traditional media contributed very little to this success, because this cultural highlight was hardly mentioned in the news, if at all, till after the event. One is reminded of the prophet who is without honour only in his hometown and his own home. It would have been a good opportunity to remind people that, in this field, Cyprus leads. The German Comic Con, for example, is only 2 years old while Cyprus has just celebrated it’s CCC’s third birthday.
Now I did not used to be a “comic” fan. Before I had written the script for the graphic novel “Aphrodite – The naked truth“, my lifetime consumption of this type of literature comprised about three books. I prefer to read longer texts instead of crawling through boxes and bubbles. But the more I looked into this creative process, the more I witnessed the devotion of the artists who tell stories with pictures, arranging them like movies, the more I was impressed with it. My cooperation with artist David Selwood, who still draws with pencils instead of a graphic tablet, has helped me to become more of a comic lover. Meeting with the different art forms on the Cyprus Comic Con developed my interest further.
In Cyprus there is a vibrancy in that world of artists and fans, collectors and cosplayers (lovers of costumed role-playing), gamers and fantasy freaks. Here we see come to life that playful character of the Cypriots as it is turned into art, into an experimental, fragmentary, unorthodox art – A cultural trend that quietly breaks away from fixed social moulds.
All photos © CIPS / Marcos Gittis
Text editing: Bill Warry