By Manpreet Bhamra
Comic Con, one of the year’s most awaited events is all set to make a grand entry. A word of caution, don’t try to judge Comic Con based on its brand name – it is one of the most exciting meetups for comic fans on a massive scale.
But it has more to it than just comics and it includes other popular genres such as cartoons, books, movies, serials, anime and manga. It is a place where people who are huge fans of comic superheroes unite under one roof.
Comic Con focuses on popular culture that is based on the tastes of ordinary people. Some of the stalls one is going to see at the event are, gaming competitions with cash prizes, VR (Virtual Reality), artists, and a lot of stalls selling merchandise such as T-shirts, figures, key chains, and badges.
This year, Mumbai Comic Con is going to take place on 11-12 November, 2017 at the BEC (Bombay Exhibition Center) in Goregaon East which is expecting a footfall of more than thousands of comic fans. The tickets and the guest list would be going live soon. The tickets range from Rs 350- Rs 650. The regular tickets are cheaper than the “Super Fan” tickets. The Super Fan tickets cost around 650 rupees.
It is very strategically planned; not only is it cheaper, and limited in numbers, but it also gives you a cape, and a sling bag to boast. “It is worth the money because Comic Con happens only once a year. I travel all the way from Kharghar then live in Mumbai for these two days only to attend Comic Con”, says Chirag Mishra, a huge fan of Comic Con.
Fans also dedicate two entire days to the event, leaving all their work aside. The event runtime is almost 12 hours long! The promotions are in full flow. Comic Con India has a separate website for the month called Fandom Month.
The event has contests running all year round. Some of the prizes the people can win are, Wacom tablet, and signed book copies of celebrities. There are various workshops especially held for the fans that revolve around a theme called “cosplay”. “Cosplay”, is a combination of two words – Costume and Play. One wouldn’t feel less of a mini celeb on these two days, as a lot of people love getting their pictures clicked with cosplayers and it is interesting to note that for some, cosplay is a source of income. In fact, this is so popular, that people start working out almost three months before the comic con to look like the character they want to cosplay! These are the only two days people get a chance to dress up as their favourite characters
Akanksha Sachan, a graduate in Fashion Designing from International Institute of Fashion Technology, Delhi, chose to think out of the box and customize costumes for her clients rather than going with the mainstream trend of having her own boutique. “India doesn’t have enough people who can tailor make costumes how we want it. Being a huge geek myself I decided to take the job into her own hands,” laughs Akansha.
Mumbai Comic Con had an impressive celebrity guest line up last year. Some of the eminent personalities who visited Comic Con Mumbai in 2016 were, Cameron Stewart, the artist of DC’s Batman and Robin (issues 7-9) and Anniruddho Chakraborty, Co-Founder of Chariot Comics, who had an interactive session with the crowd in the process of creating a comic. Many Bollywood celebrities also attend the festival, such as Ajay Devgn who launched his comic book series, “Shivaay”, which also helped him in the promotion of his movie with the same name.
Comic Con is not free of its criticisms. Teenagers especially save money to buy merchandise from the event, but after seeing the prices they only come back with free souvenirs. According to a parent, spending 350 rupees to attend the event for a few hours is a waste of money.
If you’re an avid follower of Comic Con India or have never been to one before, maybe you could block the dates on your calendar and be a part of this comic mayhem. See you there!
Written by: Manpreet Bhamra, 1st Year Student at MA in Media & Communication, Department of Extension Education, SNDT Women’s University.