New Delhi: The sixth edition of the Delhi Comic Con today opened on a disappointing note for fans, with the event turning out to be a low-key affair, both in terms of star guests as well as merchandise stalls.
While last year, the crowd was treated to the likes of Kristain Nairn who played Hodor in 'Game of Thrones' and Rob Denbleyker of 'Cyanide and Happiness' fame, this year they had to settle for a handful of comic creators. The last minute withdrawal of Paul Blackthorne of popular American Television series 'Arrow' was the biggest setback for fans. "I was here last year as well and it is disappointing that we are not getting to see any stars this time. Paul Blackthrone was supposed to come but I believe he cancelled at the last moment. My friends and I booked tickets specifically to see him," says 21-year-old Anima, who is a student at the Jamia Milia Islamia University here.
For first time visitor Pranav, it was overwhelming to walk amidst fellow comic buffs dressed up as their favourite pop-culture characters, but he says Blackthorne's absence was unfortunate. "It is crazy how I see my favourite Batman in so many different avatars here. But, I am disappointed because Paul
Blackthorne couln't come," says Pranav.
The actor, who played Captain Russell in Bollywood film 'Lagaan', sent a video message on Facebook on December 6 regretting his inability to attend the three-day event here, due to his pre-occupation with shooting. "Delhi, Delhi, Delhi! I'm so sorry that I cannot be with you for the convention this weekend because I'm busy here doing all this Arrow-y kind of stuff...Another time, apologies. Love you, guys!" Blackthorne says in the video.
The merchandise section seemed to be disappointing for Prachi Singh, a student of University of Delhi. Prachi, who had previously been to the Bangalore Comic Con failed to locate enough of 'Harry Potter' merchandise, particularly ones on the latest, "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them".
"The Delhi Edition is pretty amazing but they do not have a 'Beast Store' which was there in Bangalore. Where to find Harry Potter here? I was really looking for it. I was here specifically for merchandise stores and I wanted to buy 'Beasts', but there is not much stuff for that," she says. A session with Bollywood actor and director Amol Gupte, which was scheduled for today, was also dropped. Gupte was supposed to visit the event with the cast and crew of their upcoming film "Sniff". Nevertheless, there were many fans who were not discouraged by the absence of stars, and were there to celebrate and relive their childhood fandom.
28-year-old Manmeet, who works as a manager in the hospitality sector, was brimming with excitement to see his favourite superheroes walking around. "Since childhood it is a dream for people to see their favorite comic stars for real. But, once we start working, the enthusiasm fades away. Comic Con lets us revive our childhood days, and I am always excited to come here.
"Although there are not stars like last year, I am not disappointed. If they would have been here, it would have been an icing on the cake. I loved Spiderman last year, this time Dead-Pool (though a little fat) is pretty amazing!" says Manmeet.
The fantasy event, that brings together all things geek under one roof, seeks to expand India's popular culture and help the industries involved grow and deliver "fun experiences" to comic buffs across India. Comic Con is set to continue till December 11.