A three-day comic convention called Dastaan-e-Pakistan was held at Karachi's Dolmen City Mall this weekend, where enthusiasts dressed up as their favourite comic and film characters and enjoyed a meet-and-greet with the some artists from our local comic industry.
The arrangements for the convention, which was more like a meet-up between friends, were made at Kidz Dunya at the mall where stalls were set up by various artists in the alleyways of the play area. Digital artists Babrus Khan, Saad Irfan and Areesha Khawaja, who have over thousands of fans on Facebook, were amongst those that attended Dastaan-e-Pakistan.
"Dastaan-e-Pakistan's purpose is not only to promote comics in Pakistan but to promote all kinds of artistic and creative fields and all the talented people working within those fields," said Akbar Nazir Shoro, one of the organisers.
"The idea came into being when Kalaam Studios and Kidz Dunya came together to create a comic for younger readers, called 'Alif Dastaan'. We wanted to promote our comic and one thing lead to another and we decided to promote the entire industry itself!" Akbar added.
Amidst the stalls there were selling vintage DC and Marvel comics and graphic novels was a stall by Lucid Concepts, who recently released their first ever Pakistani comic book called 'Saker'.
"We always wanted to do a comic book on a Pakistani hero, so we came up with the idea of Saker," said Saad Irfan, one of the artists from Lucid Concepts who has around 11,000 fans on Facebook. "The idea behind the whole comic book was to create awareness about comic books, like the real ones, not four-page books or cartoons you see on Facebook but an actual 22 page comic book."
"We made this book in our free time, then pooled in for the printing cost from our own pockets. We will do five more issues and we need all the support we can get," Irfan added.
No comic con is complete without Cosplay, and all three days of Dastaan-e-Pakistan saw a number of enthusiasts with costumes and weapons most of them made themselves. Considering the fact that comic cons are not very common in Karachi, Dastaan-e-Pakistan had its pros and cons, one of the cons being the stuffy venue. On the other hand, like all interactive events, comic cons in Pakistan too are something that need more funding and support to help them grow.
Ainak Wala Jinn and Maula Jutt mugs by Dastaan-e-Pakista
A stall displaying vintage comics
Artists like Babrus Khan assemble on stage
A stall of art prints set up by Komal from Komalash Artwork
Cosplayers dressed up as Julian (Little Fighter 2), Captain Jack Sparrow (Pirates of the Carribean) and Bloody Nasreen (Shahan''
Prints by digital artists from Lucid Concepts
Enthusiasts taking part in a Duel Masters tournament
No Face (Spirited Away), Lady Two Face (DC) with Zaraki Kenpachi (Bleach) and Kaneki Ken (Tokyo Ghoul) posing with one of the organisers.
Leona (King of Fighters) poses with Ramona Hammers (Scott Pilgrim), Pyramid Head (Silent Hill) and Ryu (Street Fighter)
Merchandise and artwork designed by Abeer Kasiri of A.K Toonify
Uncle Sargam T-shirt by Dastaan-e-Pakistan
Left: Live digital painting by the digital artist Saad Irfan of Lucid Concepts. Right: Saad Irfan poses with Saker, the first comic book by Lucid Concepts that he did the artwork for along with Anas Riasat, Shahan Zaidi and Adnan Ali