Started in India in 2013, as a virtual initiative that aims to expand the scope and access of comics across the world, Free Comic Book Weekend (FCBW), by Comic Con India has grown in more ways than one. Over this weekend (June 6 and June 7), comic enthusiasts can download their favourite comics on their compatible platforms for free.
"The market for e-comics is not very big in India, but the platform is certainly useful in reaching out to potential readers across the country," says Jatin Varma, founder, Comic Con India.
In the past two editions of FCBW, books by Diamond Comics, Amar Chitra Katha and Campfire have been immensely popular. "Last year, Chacha Chaudhary AndSky Divers by Diamond Comics, The Jungle Book by Campfire and Tinkle by ACK were the most downloaded comics," says Varma.
In the past Angry Maushi and Odayan's been popular.
The festival goes beyond the realm of a virtual network this year with several workshops and theme parties scheduled across India, in partnership with Hard Rock Cafe.
*Angry Maushi by Abhijeet Kini: The protagonist represents the enraged citizen, who takes matters into her own hands.
*Odayan by Pop Culture Publishing: Set against the backdrop of feudal Kerala, the comic series follows a mysterious criminal called Odayan, whose actual intentions remain unknown.
*Vricadium Retrieval Combat And Intelligence Agency by Chariot Comics: First-of-its-kind comic series that deals with themes of military battles and missions.
*Stan Lee's Chakra The Invincible: Raju, a young Mumbai-based boy vows to use the suit, created by his mentor, to protect Mumbai as he battles super-villains.