Characters come alive

comic world

Characters come alive

The scent of freshly-printed graphic novels and posters clung to the air, even as the neatly-packed action figures tried to entice customers to spend on them. As people sauntered around White Orchids Convention Centre, during the fourth annual Bangalore Comic Con, they couldn’t help but be awed by the magnificent spread that had been laid out. “So far, comic conventions have been a cult-thing, and you hear about them from places like San Francisco and Tokyo. It’s exciting that we have our own Comic Con now, a place where all the ‘freaky’ and introverted people can come together and talk!” said Winona, a design student who has been looking forward to the event for several months now.

Amar Chitra Katha, which keeps people of all ages entertained, had one of the largest spaces at the venue. And Raj Comics had a book launch that attracted much attention.

However it was the international line-up that sent the fans in a tizzy. Edwin said he bought the three-day pass just for the line-up. Shreanca and Sahitya, who were paying tribute to popular web comic ‘Cyanide and Happiness’, didn’t expect to meet one of its illustrators, Rob Denbleyker, at the event. “We didn’t know he was coming and when we got to know he was here, we got all excited. He loved our costume and even signed it!” said Shreanca. The other guests included Dan Parent, an artist and writer for Archie comics, David Lloyd, illustrator of ‘V for Vendetta’, Peter Kruper, an illustrator and writer for ‘Spy vs Spy’ and Sana Amanat, an editor of Marvel Entertainment.

As the evening waned, contestants cosplayed, showcasing their love for their favourite comic character. Nibhal, who came as Neo from the ‘Matrix’, said, “I was really looking forward to cosplaying this year. It’s at these kind of events that you can be anyone you want. I wouldn’t be able to walk in like this anywhere else.”

The cosplayers took a lot of pain to perfect their costumes. Aidan, dressed up as Itachi Uchiha from popular anime/manga series Naruto, said he spent Rs 2, 500 on his contacts alone. Ajay spent two weeks handmaking his costume for the character of Sasori from Naruto from thermocol and table tennis balls. “I had my trench coat custom made a month ago and I made the straps that are on my leg,” said Nibhal.

There were some who decided to go past their comfort zone and try something new. Dressed as Gintoki Sakata from Gintama, Anamika Rathore said, “Crossplaying is becoming really famous in the world of cosplay and I wanted to go beyond my comfort zone. It isn’t hard to play a male character - it depends on how confident you are about yourself.”

Hardcore fans like Jheel Shah said she loved ‘Game of Thrones’, so much that she learnt ‘Dothraki’, a fictional language in the series. Fans who didn’t cosplay had a fun time as well.

 “It’s my first time here and I just went around and bought loads of boxers, T-shirts and badges! It’s really awesome,” said Deepali.

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