JEDDAH: The three-day Comic Con Arabia 2022 ended on a high on Saturday, as visitors showed off their costume-making skills and stylish poses in a cosplay contest.
The competition was divided into three categories: Comic Con Arabia, best performance and best costume crafting and attracted 75 contestants, all vying for SR10,000 ($2,660) in total prize money.
Ibrahim Al-Sadaan, who traveled all the way from Eastern Province to attend the event, won the Comic Con Arabia category and with it a cash prize of SR5,000.
“I love cosplay,” the 25-year-old told Arab News. “I have been very passionate about it since a very young age.”
Al-Sadaan won the judges over with his portrayal of Scorpion, a villainous character from the Mortal Kombat fighting game franchise. He said his costume took six weeks to create and he spent a further week mastering his poses, but the victory came as no surprise.
“I have already represented the Kingdom in the Japanese international cosplay championship in Riyadh, and today was my sixth win,” he said.
The best performance and costume crafting prizes went to visitors dressed as Japanese manga characters Spy x Family and Jujutsu Kaisen respectively, each of whom won SR2,500.
The contestants were judged by three professional cosplayers: Taryn from Italy, Harry Field from the UK and Sakuraflor from the Netherlands.
Taryn has a large fan base in Jeddah and signed countless autographs in the meet and greet area.
“I will keep this precious memory in my heart and I am sure I will see you again in Saudi Arabia,” he said.
Field said Saudi comic fans had taken cosplay to another level with their creativity.
“I have had the opportunity to travel to so many places now, and I am really good at spotting upcoming communities and where things are going to be rising,” he told Arab News.
“Saudis have been doing amazing things within the esports and gaming events … and (their) cosplay level is absolutely amazing. People here have so much creativity that they bring in every character they make and bring to life.”
Sakuraflor said she was impressed by the passion shown by the fans.
“It is the most positive, kind and respectful fans I have ever met. They are super sweet and the energy is super high. I have seen the performances, I am impressed. They are going crazy and I love it.”
Among the other supervillains and superheroes on show were Spider-Man, Deadpool, the Joker and Wonder Woman, while several horror film characters, including Chucky, Harley Quinn and Leatherface, also made an appearance.