When pages came to life

When pages came to life

Comic Culture

The City has always had a large section of people who have a passion for comics. But with Comic Con Express coming here for the first time, there was finally a reason for them to celebrate this love.

It was also a chance to boost the industry, by creating a platform that allowed interaction between comic fans and the writers, artists, illustrators and publishers of the comics itself.

One could tell that the comic lovers of Bangalore were waiting for such a platform by the sheer numbers that flocked to Koramangala Stadium for the two-day event. The event saw over 20 book launches, 70 stalls showcasing local, national and international content and tons of merchandise being sold. There were workshops, talks and gaming areas taking place throughout the day for those interested.

“Comics are a pop culture medium. But there is no specific place where people can read, talk and think comics in Bangalore. This serves as a great platform because even if you’re not a comic buff, you’re in the presence of comic books and characters from them,” says Vijayendra Mohanty of Holy Cow Entertainment, which launched its new book Aghori at the event. “We don’t have a strong comic culture in India. This is a really good start to introduce more people to the beautiful world of comics,” he adds.

From merchandise like action figures, T-shirts and posters to comics and graphic novels, the stadium seemed to have everything. In fact, the most popular event on both days was ‘Cosplay’, a costume competition that saw both children and adults dress up with equal eagerness as their favourite comic characters — like Spiderman, Batman and even Naruto characters from the Far-East.

The Vakil Brothers of Sufi Comics chose Bangalore as the launch pad for their second book, ‘The Wise Fool of Baghdad’. “The crowd has been extremely encouraging and we’ve got a great response to the book,” shares Mohammed Ali Vakil, who co-authored the book. “The comic is selling well because the theme is different. The art is inspired by miniature paintings from 8th-century Baghdad and we’ve given the pages a golden texture and floral borders to give the reader a feel of that time,” he adds. This was only one of the many innovative comics that saw the light of day at Comic Con.

Among other things, there was the unveiling of Amar Chitra Katha’s new series, ‘The Three Friends: The Story of Amir Hamza’; an exclusive sneak peek into their first feature film ‘Sons of Ram – Heroes will Rise’ and for the first time in India, Marvel Comics.
One of the most appreciated facts about the whole event was that it gave a lot of independent publishers a chance to show their work. “You can try hard but will probably never find a lot of these books in stores. It was a really good experience and a welcome change to the IT life in the City,” says Siddhesh Kabe, a visitor at the exhibition.