A desi retort to splashy Comic Con

It's the Indie Comix Fest!

Driven by a determined bunch of young, talented artists, a creative desi response to the global biggie, Comic Con, is now in full blast. Its latest avatar here on Sunday, the Bengaluru Indie Comix Fest had the artists unleash their creative expressions, packaged in a splash of self-published graphic novels. 

Yes, they were not exactly in the Marvel league. But they had marked their paths to get there some day. At The Courtyard, as about two dozen comic artists and illustrators spread their ware, independent, uniquely Indian comicworld wizadry looked finally set to leave a defiant footprint. 

Society, relationships, gender dynamics, attachments, contemporary, and psychological illness... The artists had no dearth of themes, as they dived deep into graphic novel territory, exploring a thousand styles in a million colours and shades. 

For Chaitanya Modak, it was about ‘Sleep Sutra,’ an illustrated look at sleep as a distinct part of our lives. “We spend a third of our lives sleeping, dreaming, waking, getting in and out of consciousness. It is a mind map. Even euthanasia is about putting one sleep. And then, there is sleeplessness,” explained Modak, as he unveiled his book, uniquely shaped to suit the sleeping position. 

Sabari Venu’s ‘Mean-Curry’ comics had ample doses of his Malayalam-English wordplay, boxed into illustrated pages of acidic political satire. In a quirky way, those commentaries on some things social, most things political, had an engaging allure. 

In the graphic world of Raviraj Naik’s art, comic books took on an illustrated, documentary style. The title of his book on display, ‘A journey to reality’ was an apt introduction to what came next: An insider perspective on the mining scene in Goa. It was an artist filmmaker’s reality twist to a genre hitherto bracketed in fiction and fantasy. 

Comix Fest co-founder Bharath Murthy had always yearned to create an affordable platform for the independent graphic artists. “The idea was to make the platform an intimate space for artists to network, collaborate, come out with fresh forms of creative expressions,” Murthy explained to DH

The fest had its debut in Mumbai last year, before heading to Delhi and Bengaluru. Seven cities were part of the third edition. Besides, Bengaluru, Pune, Goa, Kolkata and Kochi are also now part of the network. The next fest in Bengaluru is scheduled for May 2019. 

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A desi retort to splashy Comic Con

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