Bengaluru: Easily the most awaited comic culture celebration of the year, Comic Con 2016 started with a bang on Saturday at the KTPO Convention Centre in Whitefield. Gates opened at a comfortable 11 am, but enthusiastic fans made their way to the venue as early as 9, lining up outside for tickets. “I missed the show last year and have been waiting ever since. I couldn’t book the tickets online, so I came in early just in case!” exclaimed Rahul, who was one of the hundreds lined up outside the jam packed ticket counter.
The excitement was palpable with fans claiming that this year’s edition is the best they have seen so far. “Last year, we had a problem getting ticket, which were quite expensive. It’s a lot more reasonable this year and they accept card payments too, which is an added relief,” remarked Sanchita, a 21-year-old student from Mount Carmel College. Sanchita, who was all set for the Cosplay contest (quite the crowd-puller, they had over 400 entries), came dressed as silver-haired Gintoki Sakata, a fictional anime character. “Gintoki is a gag anime and the characters break the fourth wall, which I like,” she said.
She wasn’t the only one. The Cosplay contest proved quite the crowd-puller and by afternoon, the place was packed in people wearing elaborate costumes ranging from superheroes an super villains to video game and fictional characters like Mario and Alice in Wonderland. Dr Strange costumes stole the show, however, the recent Benedict Cumberbatch blockbuster has clearly made an impact on Bengalureans!
Rafiq, a participant from Hyderabad says that the character has always been special and larger than life. “I have loved the comic since I was a kid and I dress like him whenever I get the chance. He is intense and fascinating.” The fan added that due to unavailability of costumes domestically, most of the participants make their costumes from scratch.
The first day also witnessed multiple comic book launches, like Karma by TBS Planet, Rumi Volume 2 by Sufi Comics, Jataka Manga by ICBM Comics and Mighty Girl by Graphic India to name a few. Fans also interacted with artists, illustrators and designers at the Artist Alley. The ESL Gaming Zone was another crowd puller. A mix of online and offline tournaments, the champions of the Bengaluru edition will battle it out in the Masters, the season finale event that will take place in December at the Delhi Comic Con 2016.
Comic books have evolved over time: Demonakos
Gone are the days when comic books were meant just for children. Today, they’re far more than just a superhero story, say the International guests at the Bengaluru edition of Comic Con 2016.
“The political climate of a country does affect art and graphic novels are a form of art. Recent years have seen a lot of turmoil, terrorism and hate and the characters have evolved accordingly.” said Jim Demanakos, the founder of Emerald City Comicon and author of the Sharpnel Series, who is a special guest at the Bengaluru edition.
Joe Harris, creator and writer of the paranormal series X Files, agrees. “In a place like the United States, initially the comic culture was very white, in the sense, people who read comics, drew comics, published and sold comics had a pretty much homogenous culture but now there is diversity in terms of gender, sexual orientation and age. I think what has really fueled this boom in the culture is the influx of the new generation of people who are diverse. The internet has made the world so small.”
Comic book storylines have always gone through cycles in political upheavals, he remarks. “We live in interesting times and I am motivated as an artist to write about my surroundings and I hope I am able to infuse more of that in my upcoming work.”...