The colourful Bangalore Comic Con 2015, which was held recently in the City, has left its mark on the young and the old. Spread across 80,000 sq feet, the comic convention was a unique experience for manga, anime, comic book and graphic novel lovers.
The huge attractions this year at the White Orchid Convention Centre were the two internationally acclaimed actors – Daniel Portman, best known for his role as Podrick Payne in the popular TV series ‘Game of Thrones’ and Natalia Tena, best known as the affable ‘Tonks’ in the Harry Potter series. They both took part in special sessions and signed autographs for enamoured fans. Another attraction was the ‘Game of Thrones’ special photo-op booth which had a replica of the Iron Throne.
A special chat with Mark Millar, Ron Marz and Vandana Verma from NASA on space exploration (especially on Mars), were organised through video chat. Bollywood actors Rana Daggubati and Tamannaah Bhatia also participated in a special session on their upcoming film ‘Baahubali’.
For the sheer love of comics, over 11 new titles got launched at the convention. Some of these were – ‘Shaitaan’ by Holy Cow Entertainment, ‘Sirji Comics’ by The Literary Seminary, ‘Mystri PI’ by Graphic India, ‘Kaal’ by Aayumi Productions, ‘Chronicles of Ideapreneurs’ by HCL, ‘Palm’s Foster Home For Peculiar’, ‘TnT’ (Taranath Tantrik) by Speech Bubble Entertainment, ‘The Traversers’, ‘Memoirs’ by The Old Tome, ‘Leo and Capri’ by Aa Foundation, ‘Ground Zero Three’ by MetaDesi Comics and Parshu Battlefield by Orange Radious.
Comic Con India Awards honoured Aabid Surti, a National Award-winning Indian author, artist, cartoonist and playwright, with the Lifetime Achievement Award this year. He personally came and received his award and shared his experiences with fans. He said, “I call this a rare award because only Comic Con India can think of honouring creators of comic characters and cartoonists every year. For me, this award is more precious than any other award.”
But it was the fans who came dressed as their favourite comic and manga characters who stole the show. Dressed as various popular anime and cartoon characters, it was a show of creativity and the best use of waste products. Manish was dressed like Batman, his favourite movie series. He had donned a mask made out of waste products that was lying in his house. He said that he has attended three Comic Cons so far and they get bigger and better each time.
There was something for everyone. From creative merchandise in the form of craft items, popular comic character badges to comic books, everything was exhibited at the venue. While there were many youngsters who enjoyed the fest, there were a few older folks too.
Radhika, in her 40s, has attended two Comic Cons so far. Although it’s not a place she would visit on a weekend, she was forced to drop in because of her teenage daughter. “The popular culture in India is growing and this fest is a witness to it. I had attended the last Comic Con as well, but this time, I wish the fest had more emphasis on comics than just the entertainment aspect. Having said that, comics are the best way to get children to read. In this tech-savvy world, the reading habit has taken a backseat; but with various genres of comics coming up, one can ensure that a child’s reading habit is nurtured.”