With its license to relive the magic of comics and literally wear the mettle of superheroes, the first annual Bangalore Comic Con has much in store for fans of graphic art
Can never get enough of the Caped Crusader and the 75 year old legacy of the blue tights-red cape-superpowers endowed Kal-El? Pledged loyalty to the Star Wars clan or eagerly following the making of the Assassin’s Creed movie? Let your heart go out to the do-righter cowboy Woody when he is faced with having to leave his friends in Toy Story? Pride yourself on being a fan of Goku, from the Dragon Ball Z saga, for only he could kick God’ behind?
Then, block your dates for June 1-2 as the first annual Bangalore Comic Con gears up to unleash a range of comics, international publishers, workshops, book launches and merchandise, from 11 am - 7 pm, at the Koramangala Indoor Stadium, near National Games Village.
Comic lovers are in for a treat as the annual Comic Con arrives in the city just eight months after its travelling edition, the Comic Con Express, chugged into the city last September. “Our Express version saw a footfall of nearly 30,000 last year and this encouraged us to create a dedicated annual event for Bangalore. We also plan to add one new city to our roster each year and this time, the choice is between Pune, Kolkata, Chennai and Hyderabad,” says Jatin Varma, founder, Comic Con India. Varma, along with artist Abhijeet Kini (Angry Maushi) and writer Akshay Dhar (Ground Zero), will speak at a Comic Con exclusive on the emerging trend of self-publishing.
A novel addition to this year’s conference is international presence by way of Cinebook (UK), Darkhorse Comics (USA), Diamond Select Toys (USA), Robot & Spark (UAE) and Renovada Merch (UAE). Comic Con Bangalore also plans to throw open the doors to the world of graphic novel creation through a session with Jerry Pinto of Scholastic, who crafted ‘When Crows are White’. Homeboy George Mathen aka Appupen will present his latest silent novel ‘The Legends of Halahala’ and the makers of Tinkle Digest will share updates on their latest work. A comics quiz by Marrs and an Amar Chitra Katha quiz are also on the cards. Alicia Souza, who regales Bangaloreans with quirky illustrations and quips on her two furry loves, Lola Bear and Charles-B, sees the Comic Con movement giving a much needed thrust to the ‘underground’ comics scene, as she puts it. “It is interesting to see comic lovers being knowledgeable about what they read and more girls joining the comics lovers brigade,” she says.
In an age where graphic storytelling is a niche art, Tejas Menon, a media professional and a serious comics fan, believes Comic Con plays not only brings comic lovers together but also connects closet comic creators with publishers. “What sets apart the international editions of Comic Con from what we have here is the involvement of the movie and the television industry. Production houses host movie panels and screen trailers and exclusive footage of sci-fi and fantasy movies and this promotes the event on a large scale. While movie exclusives and merchandise are crowd pullers, the focus should be on comics,” he adds.
Comic Con India is considering the possibility of including panel discussions on films in the coming two years. “The Indian market does not generate revenues that would encourage international studios to bring in exclusive content. Same applies for popular television shows, as most of them run in syndication, the channels here are not inclined to spend money on bringing down the star cast when the returns are limited. Despite such odds, we are slowly and steadily convincing international companies to take our market seriously and bet on it long term,” explains Varma.
The highlight of Comic Con Bangalore is the costume contest, ‘Cosplay’, that is bound to have comic buffs turning out their wardrobes and running to their neighbours for sabres, capes, masks, et al. And due recognition awaits in the form of assured gifts for all who turn out in costume and five winners, one each from the categories of comic book, anime, animated series, sci-fi and gaming, stand a chance to win a trip to Goa. And 10,000 lucky visitors can stake their claim to a limited edition Comic Con Swag bag.
This one here is definitely no comedy of errors.
Title- Julius Caesar Published By: Campfire Publishing
Title- Aghori- Book#3 (Series of the year nominee) Published By: Holy Cow Entertainment
Title- Mixtape Published By: New, upcoming and established creators
Title- Defective Detectives Published By: Tinkle Tall Tales
Title- Shikari Shambu Published By: Tinkle Tall Tales
Title- Butterfingers Published By: Tinkle Tall Tales
Title- The Princely Buffalo Published By: Trendy Toons
Title- The Caravan Published By: Anitrax Media
Title- Ravanayan Finale Published by: Holy Cow Entertainment