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HindustanTimes Thu,23 Oct 2014

Capital’s comic triumph

Soumya Mukerji, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, February 07, 2013
First Published: 20:00 IST(7/2/2013) | Last Updated: 01:47 IST(8/2/2013)

One half of Delhi’s busy thinking up Valentine’s Day things right now, and the other half’s saying ha, ha, ha. Since it’s Comic Con time too. The 3rd Delhi edition of the convention begins in the city today, and participants — independent artists, authors, publishers, fans of comic books and now graphic novelists too — already know it’ll be bigger than the Mumbai and Bengaluru editions of the fest. Not because those that come dressed in their favourite superhero costumes are more khaata-peeta here, but because this city has, in the past, proven far more lucrative for all.

“Delhi has a bigger audience of comic lovers, and a more targeted one. I’ve sold more copies in Delhi than at the Mumbai edition,” says Jazyl Homavazir, artist-animator, as surprising as it is, going by Mumbai’s reading culture. “Yes, awareness is greater in Mumbai but when it comes to sales, Delhi wins. The convention is at a much grander scale here, and the venue (Dilli Haat), more popular. This time, international publishers are coming to judge portfolios,” he adds. You know it isn’t a speak-well-do-well statement, for Neel Debdutt Paul, editor of Tinkle Digest, Amar Chitra Katha, also says that. “The Delhi chapter is my favourite, and Mumbai, least favourite. The crowds know a lot in Delhi, there’s more business, and meeting up people from the fraternity under the winter sun feels good,” he says.
Perhaps it is this that has made organisers up the stall costs for independent artists, publishers and comic merchandise sellers in Delhi by as much as 150-200% this time. “While views can be subjective, yes, Delhi’s doing well. In Mumbai, finding an apt venue is difficult and in Bangalore, the convention is still young with only one edition so far. In Delhi, we can guarantee good business,” explains Jatin Varma, the brain behind the Indian chapter of the convention.

Ode to the hero in every delhi girl
On the left is a little comic story of our very own Delhi girl, the superwoman who fights many villains each day and still manages to enjoy life in the city with her plate of golgappas. Created especially for HT City by Comic Con India artist Abhijeet Kini (of Uud Bilaw Manus fame), it shows everyday evil and harassment in the form of comic villains Penguin, Dr Octopus, Bane, Green Goblin and others lying defeated. “She’s a very ordinary, desi girl but knows how to fight battles, win them and live life to the hilt,”says Kini.

What’s in store for visitors
Comic Curio

There’s interesting, irreverent comic-themed merchandise such as tees, mugs, prints and posters, bags and even iconic comic-book covers and lithographs this time, with some proceeds going to the cause of the girl child thanks to the gender-sensitisation wave. launches and workshops Pran, the creator of iconic characters such as Chacha Chaudhary, Pinki and Billoo, will interact with visitors. There’s a kids zone with a lot of art, craft and quizzes, and launches include Mother Teresa — Angel Of The Slums, the prelude to Kuru Genesis, I am Kalki, The Unhappy Tiger: Stories from the Hitopadesha.

Superhero fancy dress
A contest that they call Cosplay (short for costume play) gives fans a chance to dress as their favourite comic character and win big. conners’ honours The Comic Con India awards reward promising young work in the field.

Catch it here
What:
3rd Annual Indian Comics Convention
When: February 8,9,10
Timings: 10am to 10pm
Where: Dilli Haat (opposite INA Market), Sri Aurobindo Marg
Nearest metro station: INA on Yellow Line

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