Most of us grew up reading and re-reading The Adventures of Tintin, saving Gotham with Batman, having a glass of milk with Phantom or simply chuckling at Suppandi’s mishaps. Bangaloreans had the honour to relive these wonderful memories and create new ones at the annual Comic Con Bangalore hosted at the White Orchid Convention Centre, Manyata Tech Park, Bangalore. Being a patron of the Comic Con since its inception in Bangalore, I can safely say that this year, it was indeed “Bigger & Better”.
The registration and security check area had zealous crew members giving us a hearty welcome with hi-fives and fist-bumps screaming, “Welcome to Comic Con. We hope you have an awesome time!” With numerous stalls promoting comics, graphic novels and selling cool merchandise, Comic Con 2014 had a plethora of national and international content.
The auditorium was filled with comic-enthusiasts, most lined up to register for the Cosplay Contest which showcased numerous astounding cosplayers who had truly worked hard to emulate their favourite comic characters. There were quite a few cosplayers who had created their costumes from scratch; some took a whole year to finish.
There were about 300 stalls in the convention centre, selling exclusive superhero, football and gaming merchandise including Kook N Keech by Myntra, Wacom, Bombay Merch, Collectors Heritage, Chimp, Planet Superheroes, Lazy Ninja, Graphicurry and Carmocrat. There was even an Amar Chitra Katha castle which housed all the books of the ACK series and also hosted a wonderful ACK open quiz. The Star Wars zone did steal the show, what with actual light sabres and cosplayers as Obi Wan, Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader.
This year marked the release of more than fifteen Indian titles such as Ravanayan Finale – Part 2, Aghori – Issue 11, Odayan II – Yuddham, The Kaurava Empire, Rumi by Sufi Comics and The Caravan Prequel.
The best aspect of the convention was meeting some famous artists. David Lloyd, the British comic illustrator and writer of the popular V for Vendetta was thrilled to be in India and was pleasantly surprised to see a good number of comic lovers. Dan Parent, the man responsible for the incredible Archie Comics we all love, and Peter Kuper, the guy who made the amazing Spy vs. Spy novels, were more than happy to interact with their fans. They said that the people of Bangalore were very warm and they thoroughly enjoyed the food!
The man of the hour was Rob DenBleyker, one of the artists of the morbidly funny comic strip, which have, undoubtedly, taken over the internet – Cyanide & Happiness. He not only autographed our posters, but drew us a personal character each. In his interactive session with the audience, he spoke about the history of Cyanide & Happiness, revealed snapshots of the new CnH shorts to be released in November and was truly ecstatic to find an enormous fan base in Bangalore.
The last show of the day was a superb performance by Japanese cosplayers Miya Tomoko and Akiha Ura from Cure & World Cosplay. New releases, scrumptious food and meeting wonderful people; what’s not to like?