Did a major part of your childhood consist of wearing a cape and running around in your house, boldly claiming that you can save the world? Did you save up money not to spend on parties and clothes but to buy the latest editions of DC or Marvel comics? Did you go to bed dreaming about being able to fly or having an all-powerful hammer as a super cool accessory and fighting evil warlocks and space bots and being the saviour of the planet Earth? Did you sometimes secretly wish that a spider bit you just because there is a teeny tiny possibility that you might actually get gifted with superpowers? Well, if the answer is yes to most of these questions, congratulations, you are a comic book and pop culture geek.
To celebrate the love for superheroes, supervillains and all other sidekicks, there happens to be one such event that caters to all the fandom and all the craze. The 8th edition of the annual comic book and pop culture festival more popularly known as Comic Con kicked off in Benguluru on 17th November, 2018. Comic aficionados, television and gaming enthusiasts, artists and authors joined together as one whole community to watch the fanciful event unfold at the KTPO Trade Centre.
The comic universe has the power to transfer you to a fantastical world filled with extraordinary creatures with incredible powers and serves as a medium to escape the mundane aspects of life. From international favourites such as Batman and Iron Man to desi counterparts such as Super Commando Dhruva and Devi, the comic ecosystem is full of exciting new tales and pursuits. The Indian comic industry is at its nascent stage and is slowly booming and gathering momentum with the help of digital media where all the youth stay connected and updated on the latest new comic characters and series. The Indian comic industry does owe its success to the international franchises that have popularised the geek culture; however, Indian comics are heavily backed up by Indian mythology and add their own spice to it that distinguishes it from its foreign counterparts. It is important that the Indian comic industry plays with its strengths. Inspirations from temple architecture and the plethora of stories we have at our disposal when cooked up together result in great comic series filled with designs inspired by our culture and also packed with memorable and relatable characters, add a local twist to the comics canon.
Cosplay or costume play has, in the recent past, become one of the most anticipated segments of Comic Con where you can see people spending a mere couple of hours to come up with a decent outfit to spending weeks and months to come up with an incredibly fascinating costume that draws all the attention. People from different parts of the country mark their calendars and come together wearing the skins of popular characters from comics and TV shows and also emulating their characteristics to seem more like a real version of them.
Jatin Verma, the founder of Comic Con India, believes that cosplay is one of the most popular features of the event and that over 2000 people dress up and compete in the costume contests. This is a great way to help people connect with their favourite comic characters and celebrate their love and enthusiasm for these franchises. Comic Con Bengaluru was a two day event filled with high energy, where people clamoured around cosplayers to take pictures, or to buy quality merchandise from the stalls that were put up and experience the different comic universes in the various zones set up around the place.
With the recent demise of the beloved Stan Lee, the comic con team put up a panel discussion to talk about Lee’s life and his awe inspiring work. Comic book creators like Vanessa Del Rey and Don Watters were also on the panel along with other creators like Ryan O’Sullivan and Ron Marz. Several tributes were made by the fans to Stan Lee and the unforgettable world he has created.
However, there were certain disagreeable grunts made by people who attended the event saying that it was too commercialised and that their favourite characters were not given enough importance. Despite these minor inconveniences, comic con in Bengaluru still managed to warm everyone’s hearts and also renew the love and craze for the comic universe all over again. Comic Con is a great way to have a relaxed and a fun filled weekend whilst reminiscing our favourite childhood shows, movies and comics.
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