Wakandacon festival takes inspiration from Black Panther to Chicago

Contributed by
Apr 12, 2018

Fresh off the end of Chicago-based comic convention C2E2, a new Marvel-inspired con is on the horizon. The fun-to-say Wakandacon, a three-day event bringing the Black Panther setting’s spirit of Afro-futurism, tech, and nerd culture is coming to Chicago for the first time this August.

With all the panels, booths, workshops, and live entertainment you’d expect from a convention, this black-owned and -operated convention “is a space for black people to look past the present and into our future,” said co-founder Ali Barthwell in the con’s statement.

Barthwell is one of three founding siblings alongside David and Matt, who “wanted a space to gather and talk about everything African-Americans are passionate about.” They are joined by entrepreneur Lisa Beasley and producer Taylor Witten as they attempt to respond to a hunger they’ve seen in their community for a convention like this.

Inspired by the outpouring of support for and the response to Black Panther by “some of the world's greatest thinkers and all of Black Twitter,” according to the website, Wakandacon will attempt to actualize and organize this online zeal in the real world.

Wakandacon is currently open for applications for vendors, sponsors, volunteers, and more on its website. For fans hoping to attend, a weekend pass to the event costs $35 -- but the first 1,000 sold are going for just $25. The debut Wakandacon runs August 3 to August 5 at the Hilton Downtown Chicago in Chicago, Ill. Just don't try taking any direct flights from Atlanta -- they might ship you to the real place.