Event Review: Comic Con Bangalore 2014

The Incredible Hulk

The Incredible Hulk

A very fit Captain Haddock.

A very fit Captain Haddock.

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.

With CnH creator Rob DenBleyker.

With CnH artist Rob DenBleyker.

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?

Princess Fiona, away from her swamp.

Princess Fiona, away from her swamp.

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Review of ‘The Bartimaeus Trilogy’

– By Meghana Mavathur (2nd Year, Civil)

The Bartimaeus trilogy is a fantasy series written by Jonathan Stroud, comprising of 3 books published in series from 2003 to 2005. A prequel was written for the series in 2010.

The series follows the journey of 3 major characters and narrates the story through their perspective. The first of these characters is the namesake of the series, Bartimaeus himself. Bartimaeus is a djinni of middle-ranking power, whose scalding sarcasm and rapier wit make this series a must read. One of the most exquisitely created characters in recent times, he blurs the lines between humour and pathos and keeps the reader enthralled right through the series. It helps that he’s over 5,000 years old and all those years of experience contribute to his sheer sense of snobbishness and self-appreciation. These lines aptly give us an idea of his character, his vice, virtue, hamartia, hubris and starkly scanty humility. 
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Movie Review: 12 Years a Slave

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– By Abishek Shenoy (Editorial Board)

This movie is definitely worth a watch considering all the buzz it is generating! Director Steve McQueen has brought forth a gem inthe form of his third film.

The film is set between the years 1841-1853 and is based on the true story of Solomon Northup, a free-born African-American from New York.

Solomon’s(Chiwetel Ejiofor) life takes a drastic downward turn while his family is away. Enticed with a short term job as a violinist by two duplicitous slave traders, he makes his way to Washington. It turns out to be kidnapping ruse and Solomon is unwittingly forced into the slave trade.

So begins an arduous 12 years of his life – changing hands between ruthless slavers and bearing the wrath of his masters, in stark contrast to his life as a free man. His eyes are now opened to the repression slaves suffer and the utter squalor they live in.

Solomon’s fate now depends solely on him contacting his friends back in New York, informing them about his condition and whereabouts. But the draconian slave laws at the time thwart his every attempt to reach out.

Watch this emotional drama to see just how it ends!

12yr

Chiwetel Ejiofor as Solomon gives a moving performance, one that deserves all the accolades he has received. A very talented ensemble cast was put together consisting of Benedict Cumberbatch, Michael Fassbender, Paul Giamatti, Lupita Nyong’o and Brad Pitt. Fassbender has put up an exceptional portrayal of Edwin Epps, the gruesome and callous slaver and owner of Solomon for the most part of his life as a slave.

This movie is thick with emotion and there are many intense moments which will tug at your heartstrings. It also does not shy away from portraying with bold realism the harsh cruelty the slaves had to suffer.

The only grudge that can be held with this film is the ambiguity of the passage of time. You never really realise that 12 years have passed until the very end. A couple of dates thrown in here and there probably would have helped.

Nevertheless, it makes for a great watch! Do not miss it!

Event Review: Bangalore Open Air 2013

– By Shruti Eswar (Review Team)

The entrance of Jayamahal Palace Hotel on July 6, 2013 was packed with around 3000 metalheads, both young and old in an assortment of band shirts from Sodom to Cannibal Corpse to Dream Theater, Tool and Periphery; some even sported Pink Floyd and Porcupine Tree. The line-up for the evening reassured that Bangalore’s truly the Metal Capital of India. The turn-out was certainly a pleasant surprise, especially for a young metalhead like me. The evening started off with the Wacken Metal Battle which, as the name suggests, were the qualifiers to represent our country in the most prestigious Metal Festival of the world – Wacken Open Air in Germany. First up was Sycorax, the Thrash Metal band from Darjeeling followed by the popular Thrash Metallers Devoid who did emerge winners.

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Movie Review: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

– By Samaravel I (Review Team)

It isn’t an easy task to convert a 300+ page novel into 3 films of 150+ minutes duration each while taking into account of every little detail that proves crucial to the entire fantasy.

Desolation Of Smaug begins with Bilbo,the Dwarves and Gandalf continuing on their quest to find the Dragon(Smaug). While being chased by the Orcs & captured by the Elves, they finally retake the Arkenstone from it.

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Movie Review: Prisoners

– By Pulkit Chandra (Review Team)

How far would you go for your family? What would you do when you have no faith left in authorities looking for your lost daughter or perhaps kidnapped? Hollywood and Bollywood love the idea of revenge being portrayed as superhuman skills born out of vengeance (putting the Kryptonian Superman to shame). And then there is this movie about vengeance – giving the procedural movie plots a hard time.

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