The strong foreign presence

The strong foreign presence

Comic conventions are catching on all around the world and whether fans of comic books, graphic novels or pop culture in general, everybody shows up for the right reasons.

When ‘Comic Con India’ began a few years ago, the intention was to avoid the expense of travelling abroad to a comic convention. Though it seemed like the scope for this would be limited in our country, ‘Comic Con’ which was held last weekend, surprisingly saw a strong international presence too.

A lot of participants from abroad had taken stalls — like ‘Dark Horse Comics’ and ‘Diamond Select Toys’ from the USA and ‘Robot & Spark’ and ‘Renovada Merch’ from the UAE to name a few. Makoto Nagao, CEO of ‘11ne Entertainment’, says that he was shocked by the number of people in Bangalore who knew about the world of Japanese anime.

“I’ve had a great response here and it’s gone very well. ‘Naruto’ is the most popular manga series here and the action figures are fast moving,” he says, adding, “I just decided to try out the Indian market because I feel that the future is bright. People are just beginning to appreciate Japanese comics and kids really want to own the merchandise.”

Jerome Saincantin, a translator for Cinebook UK, compares the convention here to others around the world. “From what I have seen here, it’s similar to the ‘Comic Cons’ held in England and America. But they’re very different from the French ones, which are usually in an open area, have more comic-related décor and have the whole town is involved. Here, it’s essentially one venue where everyone comes and looks around,” explains Jerome, who also gave a talk on popular cinebook characters like ‘Lucky Like’, ‘Iznogoud’ and upcoming titles by the publication.

“I’m genuinely surprised that so many people are here because I didn’t know what kind of response to expect. Plus, I’ve actually had decent sales. People who are here are obviously fans and it’s a positive sign to see the convention go so smoothly,” he adds.

Ryan, a 12-year-old from California, was seen walking around in a Superman costume, complete with the red cape. In Bangalore for a family holiday, he says, “Back home, there are a lot more kids dressed up as cool characters and I can’t wait till October arrives to be a part of that. I found it hard to run around here.”

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