The 3rd Annual Indian Comic Con is over.
Space for dissent. Geek paradise. Niche titles. Tamil Pulp Fiction. Yoda head gear and all things kooky. From Samit Basu to Matt Hawkins, pre-launches to re-launches, the Delhi chapter of the popular two-day event had it all.
Stalls exhibiting, promoting and selling comics, graphic novels, merchandise; workshops and interactive sessions every hour at the dedicated stage area in the capital’s Dilli Haat. From Top Cow to Fantagraphics, Vertical Inc. to Self Made Hero, some of the best international comic publishers participated in the three days fest.
One of the most interesting sessions included artist Abhijeet Kini, writer Akshay Dhar and Ari Jayaprakash talking about self-publishing.
The creator of Angry Maushi, Kini lashed out against an online book seller: “It doesn’t help with distribution and actually contributes to killing of the independent genre.”
Talking about creativity and business, Dhar, at the end of his first stage of the publishing journey, said, “Self-publishing is a billion times harder than getting your stuff published.”
Jayaprakash, the creator of the Kuru Chronicles, had perhaps the best advice for anyone confused about whether to self-publish or not, “Even if you go bankrupt, just do it!”
Brightly coloured tees with quirky messages were the order of the day. Garima Verma, a yearly visitor to the Comic fest, confessed, “I’ve already bought half a dozen t-shirts. The bright February winter sun is to blame!”
The fest attracted a record 300,000 vistors. The Indian Comic Con is famous for managing to draw people from all walks of life. From people who splurge on comics in mint condition to fans who were just there to meet their favourite artist or cartoon character.
Bhumika Popli, a photographer who had come with friends, said, “The Comic Con fest is one of the best places to click people of all ages dressed up as cartoon characters. People don’t shy from getting themselves photographed.”
The fancier the costume, the more the attention. Some participants in the costume contest, the Cosplayers, had ingeniously used everyday items to create their get-ups. From a cardboard Optimus Prime to an acrylic Joker mask, the visitors to the fest were one creative lot.
Other highlights included MTV VJ Jose Covaco, who judged the contestants on the second day. Dressed up as Replacement Man, Covaco said with a straight face, “It’s not easy dressing up as idiots. Being funny takes a lot of work.”
For once, Delhi Haat’s momos had competition in the form of colourful Superhero cupcakes. Priced at Rs.75 apiece, the cupcakes stall had a steady flow of buyers fighting to buy and eat their favourite cartoon characters.
Delhi Haat can go back to selling overpriced silver and tasty dumplings. But the last three days at least it will be remembered for something a little more quirky than the usual.