ByÂ Pratham Karkare:
Who doesn’tÂ love comics? We all admire Chacha Chaudhary, love Sabu and would argue with anyone that the creator of Tinkle was no less a genius than Sidney Sheldon himself. We grew up with Doga, Naag Raj and Shambu Shikari. Then as we were growing up, alongÂ came Batman, Superman and Spiderman. Things then got “MAD”-der.
Indian comics though being in existence since 1980s have somehow, always enjoyed a cult status rather than mainstream success enjoyed by Western comic books and graphic novels like The Archies, The Adventures of Tintin etc.Â However, Indian Comic Book Industry never faded out and slowly evolved, technically and content — wise through the efforts of various international and Indian groups. UK based Virgin Group and India’s Gotham Comic collaboration in 2006 led to the creation of Virgin Comics was one such effort. The creation of Campfire Graphic Novels in 2009, based in New Delhi was another important step.
Then came arguably, the next big thing in India after the Green Revolution, THE INDIAN COMIC CON (Yes, let the awesomeness of the words sink into your brain).
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, we finally have our own version of Comic Con called Indian Comic Con, thanks to Twenty Onwards Media. I first cameÂ to know aboutÂ Comic Con India through what the Britannica would like to be today, The Facebook (drop the ‘the’ shall we ) . From their immensely popular page on the website and Twenty Onwards Media’s highly efficient media consultant, I got an idea of what Comic Con India is all about .
The Indian Comic Con is a brainchild of Twenty Onwards Media, a startup media house involved in Print, Music and Television. In their own words , “We are alternative and niche, with a focus on content and content based solutions for the entertainment of the youngerÂ demographic in India”.
The first Indian Comic Con was held onÂ 19th and 20th Feb, 2011 atÂ Dilli Haat, inÂ New Delhi.It showcased stalls by several Indian publishing houses, including, but not restricted to,Â Amar Chitra Katha,Vimanika,Â Diamond Comics, Kshiraj Telang, Manta Ray, Level 10, Campfire and many other new and upcoming publishers. It witnessed an exclusive screening of the First Ever Documentary on Indian Comics ‘Chitrakatha’ on both days .There were almost 30 workshops – ranging from a workshop on writing comics to an interactive session; from fun stuff to the more academic ones.Â There were multiple workshops by Vimanika Comics and Amar Chitra Katha. Also, there were workshops by Vaibhav Kumaresh the creator of Simpoo Singh, Level 10 Comics, Campfire Comics,Â Orijit Sen, one of India’s First Graphic Novelists amongst others.
The 2ndÂ Annual Indian Comic Con is to be held onÂ 10-12, February 2012Â . It will be a three day affair and will be held atÂ Dilli Hat. But Indian Comic Con has something in store for all the comic buffs before the mega event . I am talking about the Comic Con Express (Again let the awesomeness of the words sink in ).
Comic Con Express is the lighter, tighter, travelling version of the Indian Comic Con. COMIC CON EXPRESS will be traveling toÂ MumbaiÂ this year and the convention will take place at WORLD TRADE CENTER, CUFFE PARADE, MUMBAI onÂ OCTOBER 22—23’ 2011.Â According to their website ,Â “By increasing local interaction and participation, Comic Con Express will give EVERYONE a taste of what a Comic Con is like! Every part of India has its own story to tell when it comes to comics and cartoons, and we would love to be the ones to explore and showcase these stories”.
So grab your favorite superhero mask and prepare yourself to be a part of the Indian Comic Con which promises to provide a much needed platform platform that the Indian Comic Industry deserves.