Ten Years of Cyprus Comic Con

2014. Cyprus Comic Con was just an idea among a group of close friends. The desire to bring like-minded people together – a few hundred if we were lucky. To have something to look forward to together each year on our beautiful island. We could never have imagined CCC would grow the way it did and with so much heart. Some of us may remember the anime music nights and get togethers that preceded it all… the first times we met up and dared to cosplay out in the open… to wear what we love quite literally on our sleeve in a country where so many of us felt so alone and so misunderstood so much of the time. Coming up through school. Through university. Seeing friends leave Cyprus for studies, to work, never to return.

2014 and the show is on. Entrance is free. The high emotion and tears of joy when it wasn’t hundreds but thousands that blocked every city street around our venue, European University Cyprus. Cosplayers, artists, gamers, otakus and everyone else inbetween. All subcultures – all walks of alternative culture and lifestyle. The melting pot effect in full swing. Electricity in the air. Smiles everywhere. Immortalised by videographer Damien Heraclides in our very first cosplay music video;

2015 and we need a new venue. Filoxenia is big enough (we all think). 2016 and it’s two days – we’re invited to join EuroCosplay (with everlasting thanks to Sergey Dexter for brokering the conversation)  – for the very first time a Cypriot cosplayer, Nyree (Manic Crafts), represents our island on the world stage at MCM London Comic Con amid a sea of over 100,000 like-minded people from all over the globe. This in the wake of 12,000 people storming the gates of our humble local con on our tiny little island home. Filoxenia wasn’t as big as we thought. We’re politely asked to leave – “please look for another venue” they say. Once again immortalised by Damien;

2017 and we find ourselves at the gates of the Cyprus State Fair. The only venue in our entire country that is now large enough to host us all. It is the definition of an apocalyptic wasteland. That’s fine. We’ll make do… after all some of us are fans of post-apocalyptic fiction and video games. Fallout anyone? It’ll make for great cosplay photos! We meet Hafthor “The Mountain” Bjornsson – he bench presses some of us. We sweat. It’s hot. We grin and we bear it and 15,000 of us have another beautiful weekend together – for many of us the best one of our year. This time the talented Deniz Akansoy records the moment:

2019 and the show is back after a short break at a cooler time of year. We’re now needing to use almost all of the space the Cyprus State Fair has to offer. There are 17,000 of us present. For the first time we’re seeing new friends from neighbouring countries coming to join us in celebrating our weekend our way. Anthony Daniels of Star Wars fame joins us in the same year he headlines MCM London Comic Con. There are knights duking it out in full armour in the brand new Medieval Zone. It rains. We’re all drenched at the after party but it all works out nonetheless – thanks once again to Deniz for locking in the memories:

2023 and we have somehow gotten through those lost years. Buggy Boop Boop is christened and somehow survives over 20,000 of us coming together to see each other again after so much time forced apart. This time there are even more new nakama flying in (full planeloads in some cases) from all over the place. The very first Mediterranean Cosplay Championship takes place and cosplayers join us from as far away as Serbia for the chance to win an all expenses paid trip to the biggest cosplay celebration on Earth – World Cosplay Summit in Japan (with thanks to longstanding supporter Cablenet). Our judges crown our very own Eva (Insoriel Cosplay) as the first MCC winner! We’re so, so proud as she also goes on to represent Cyprus in France at the European Cosplay Gathering during Toulouse Game Show. And where on Earth did that wrestling ring come from?!

A milestone has been reached. Our little convention now stands at well over 10,000 square metres with attendance that surpasses that of similar events in other far larger countries. A testament to a full decade of blood, sweat, tears and love from an ever-expanding family of friends, volunteers all,  supporting what they believe in as well as the sheer art, entertainment and camaraderie on display from the countless creative, enterprising and wonderful people, communities and businesses that participate each year.

2024? 2024! : )