By Kanika Katyal:
Comic Con India, in association with digital publishing hub, Readwhere, is organising a Free Comic Book Weekend where users will have the option of choosing any five comics for free, out of thousands of comics from over 50 publishers.
Publishers like Amar Chitra Katha, Campfire graphic novels, Angry Maushi, Diamond Comics, Meta Desi and many others have joined forces with the aim of expanding the scope and access to comics across India. Fans can download the comics online or through the Readwhere app on android and iOS from 8 a.m. on June 6 to 8 a.m. on June 8.
An array of workshops, fun-events, meet and greet sessions with the artists, is also lined up for the artists at Hardrock cafes in their cities.
Started in 2011, Comic Con India has been an extravagant comic-book exhibition. Last year, over 15,000 comic book fans took part and this year the number is expected to triple thanks to the number of participating publishers.
Jatin Varma, the founder of Comic Con India recalls his childhood relationship with comics, “I grew up on Tinkle, Tin-Tin, Commandos, Chacha Chaudhary. I used to love them so much that I used to try and submit stories to them, and obviously mostly get rejected.”
With the rise of the e-reader and browsing at stalls being replaced by browsing the web, he believes that the digital marketplace is a useful medium to reach out to people all over India. He also sees it as a good opportunity to get people to read comics.
“We are not asking you to step out of your house. So even if you are the laziest person out there, you don’t have to even get up from your bed, just use your phone!”
“You can also download more copies from multiple email IDs,” says the founder letting out hacks!
Most people think of comic books as a genre comprising of light, humorous content, only meant for children. But with a new range of comics coming up, this perception is changing. “I sell my comics with a disclaimer: not meant for kids! Because there are some hard words, and violence, and a lot of journalistic research goes into making them,” remarks Abhijeet Kinni, creator of our ‘desi’ superwoman Angry Maushi, who fights against all things ‘fudged-up’.
On the digitalization of the comic culture he adds, “People who are spending too much time on their phones and tablets, will get to read the stuff we create. We’re not losing out on people, we are gaining some more.”
Summing his thoughts on the initiative he signs off,
“Do you love not seeing people?
Do you love haggling for 100 bucks?
Do you love appreciating art?
Then orgasm all weekend with the Comic-Con Free Weekend!“