September 8th and 9th
I was quite excited when I heard there was going to be a Comic Con held in ‘Namma Bengaluru’. After all, a convention exclusive to all things geeky (other than electronics & IT) isn’t something we get a whole lot in the country. But the folks behind the expo are all coming from the right backgrounds. This was a comic convention run and managed by comic book lovers – so I my hopes were high.
To makes things even better, the two day event was free! Even better? It was held at Koramangala Indoor Stadium, 5 minutes from where I live!
(Note: These photos are from both the days I attended, but I’m writing this post as one)
I got to the venue at noon with my younger brother
Day 1, and the turnout was already impressive
As soon as I entered, I was hit with cosplayers (Cosplay = ‘costume’ + ‘play’)
Naruto’s universe meets Ash from ‘Pokemon’
More ‘Six paths of pain’ from Naruto
There were a lot of homegrown comic publishers in attendance
The one thing I was keen on seeing was the amazing Indian talent on display
I don’t know what these guys were up to though
Could have presented themselves better, but having visited their website, Readwhere is an e-publishing platform. Pretty neat, check them out!
Anything and everything to do with visual arts was also present, including some educational institutes.
Expensive USB sticks
Wacom, the modern-day sketch pad
There were many vendors dealing in pop-culture figurines and other merchandise. They were doing brisk business!
(L) One of the better Joker cosplayers I saw; (R) I initially thought he was a soldier from Metal Gear Solid, but he told me it was from Modern Warfare instead
One of the best cosplay that I saw at the Con: “Two Face”!
For some god forsaken reason, they switched off the lights inside the hall for a while.
Ms. K Cupcakes (+99167 90969) were selling creamy sweet goodness topped with edible superhero logos. I tried Wonder Woman. Wait…
This guy had a Wolverine-Batman crossover going on
Luffy from the insanely popular ‘One Piece’. Sure, longer hands and huge eyes would have completed the look, but not a bad attempt.
These cute girls dressed up as Velma and Daphne from ‘Scooby-Doo’
This guy attempted ‘Iron Man’ Tony Stark
Joker was hands down the most popular cosplay character here
Absolutely loved Graphicurry‘s works – we bought two of their portraits
We’re gonna be framing that ‘Pulp Fiction’ caricature
(L) Prasad Bhat, the founder of Graphicurry; (R) his brother… who works at Valve Software. Seriously. And yes, I asked him about ‘Half Life 3′. And no, he kept his mouth shut.
A lot of retro comics on display
Ahh, Indrajal comics. I remember reading ‘Phantom’ and ‘Mandrake the Magician’ when I was a young kid. My uncle collected so many, all thanks to the India-published issues by Indrajal.
They seem to have rich history of publishing several famous stories – both Indian and foreign
Harry Potter, pretty good; Ghost Rider… erm, that’s a tough character to cosplay – for obvious fire hazard reasons!
They had a stage which was used for presentations and book launches
Nickelodeon brought down Dora and Ninja Hattori for the (much) younger crowd
Plenty of independent artists had their work on display
Nithin Kumblekar, another amazing artist!
Probably the one group that left me the most impressed was the LiberaArtisti/Dragon Mill Media folk
They had some amazing work on display (www.dragonmillmedia.com)
These two characters are from their own comic book titled ‘Auto Pilot’
More awesome cosplay: Poison Ivy and The Riddler team up
But Batman was busy chasing (okay, posing) with the Joker
From one of my favourite anime series ‘Samurai Champloo’ – Mugen and Jin posing with a female character from ‘Bleach’
Cosplayers (and random attendees) pose
Taken on Sunday with my friend Chandresh. This was some nifty AR app on demo.
A lot of artsy merchandise on sale
Special editions and graphic novels available for sale
Muthu comics, a Tamil publisher
Blaft‘s Tamil pulp fiction
Sanjukta Arts’ “Pruthvi” – India’s first 3D comic
For a first year, Comic Con Express Bangalore 2012 was a really good show, and quite a success judging by the crowds. Although the cosplay was cool and a lot of great merchandise available for sale, the big takeaway for me from this show was the sheer amazing talent available in India! I know studios like Dreamworks Animation and several special effects houses get a lot of work done in India, and the animation industry is grows quite strong year after year – but you don’t see a whole lot of cool, funky, original content that’s intrinsically Indian.
Mainstream animation plays it safe the world over, mostly because of monetary returns (cute talking animals vs. violent storylines), but it was really cool to see independent animators and artists come up with great original work for the love of it. I wish I had enough money to buy every Indian comic creation on offer, or the resources to turn the ones I liked into animated features, but for now, all I can do is applaud their passion and support their craft in any (free) way I can.
The organizers have already confirmed they will be back next year with a three-day event, which I’m sure will be bigger and better. And mind you, there were many other vendors who set up stalls, I only showcased the ones I paid attention to.
Still, hats off to the organizers for bringing the Con to Bangalore. To end this post, here are a few more cosplayers my brother photographed using his phone at the end of Sunday.
(L) The guy really has the facial structure of agent Smith, doesn’t he? (R) I don’t know which characters they were cosplaying but they were one of the finalists on Sunday
Logan (a.k.a Wolverine) and Indian(a) Jones
Big Hulk meets tiny Hulk
So until next year… “Excelsior!“
Tags: animation, anime, bangalore, bengaluru, comic books, comic con express, comic con india, cosplay, events