Beyond the realm of reality

Beyond the realm of reality

Beyond the realm of reality

Bespectacled geeks, youngsters dressed as Batman, Hulk or a multitude of superheroes and characters from the pages of their favourite comic books and of course, the publishers, writers, illustrators and others who make the fantasy world possible — one and all came to witness the first annual edition of ‘Bangalore Comics Convention’ (Comic Con), held recently at the Koramangala Indoor Stadium.

While the venue itself was running overcapacity and the queues to enter were too long, the numbers that showed up across the two days reflected the growing love for comics and pop culture in the City.

There were stalls selling comic books, graphic novels, and merchandise like posters, t-shirts, mugs, bags, coasters and lots more.

   Exclusive book launches like Campfire’s ‘Julius Caesar’ graphic novel, ‘Mixtape’ and ‘Twelve’ by Manta Ray Comics and various others were also on the cards,
alongside sessions by author Jerry Pinto and talks on self-publishing by Abhijeet Kini, Akshay Dhar and Jatin Varma among other things.

   The ‘Cosplay’ costume contest and the final parade on day two saw participants living out their fantasies.

Another highlight was the Mario Gallery in honour of late Mario de Miranda.
Those who visited claim they had a great time and many spent their entire
weekend pushing their way through the crowds. “The kind of variety on display was awesome! It was a great vibe, some of the sessions I attended were insightful and I bought vintage comics I didn’t even know existed. But it was too crowded to truly enjoy,” notes Arnav, a self-proclaimed ‘nerd’ who attended.

   Most of the stall owners were content with the response, saying that they had actual sales rather than just enquiries. “It was very good and the turnout was huge, which was a pleasant surprise. We’re back after a gap of two years with four new books and we’re only left with a few copies. The response was overwhelming,” smiles Prateek Thomas of Manta Ray Comics.

“In India, people don’t know much about the comic scene, which is still at its
infant stage. Artists here are yet to get recognition. But this is as good a start as any other to make comics an offline experience too,” says Anju Sabu, the creator of an online comic strip called Oh Dakuwaqa!

   Tina Chengappa, who runs Kkharchapaani, a brand selling original prints of old Bollywood posters and vintage ads, feels otherwise.

 “This is my first exhibition and while there was a lot of interest because it’s unique, it didn’t translate to sales. These are all collector items and so rare that we can’t even ensure a second print if someone wants. But I’m hoping people come and
follow up later,” she says.