The business hub World Trade Centre at Cuffe Parade transformed into a perfect family hangout spot this weekend. On the opening day of the comic convention Comic Con Express, the venue also hosted a Diwali fair next-door. As youngsters chose to go the Superhero way, their parents queued up to get the latest in home furnishings and household accessories at the fair next-door.
The second edition in the country and the first of its kind in Mumbai, the event saw characters like Darth Vader with his red saber rubbing shoulders with the world’s favourite pirate, Captain Jack Sparrow. Around 40 stalls exhibited works by Indian and international comic as well as graphic novel publishers.
With 5,000 odd people visiting on day one, stalls with the maximum sales at the event were not the graphic novels, but those selling comic merchandise. “It’s difficult to get your hands on to a lot of this stuff. I’m a huge Family Guy fan, so when I saw these broaches, I just knew I had to stock up,” says Abeer Aggarwal, an advertising professional.
Avenger Toys, a haunt for comic book fans in Bandra, which shut shop earlier this year, was another popular booth at the venue. With busts of Davy Jones and Iron Maiden on offer, the toyshop is up for a clearance sale at this venue. Kshitij Telang’s inventive DIY paper toys with illustrations of mythological figures reminiscent of Sita Sings The Blues (2008) took to most visitors’ fancy.
And though bookstores like Landmark, Crossword and Flipkart too have set shops here, it was the small, independent artists who got maximum eyeballs. Bollywood too took a backseat, as Bihari superhero Uud Bilaw Manus took on Ra.One the comic .
“We sold more than what we expected for two days on day one itself,” says an elated graphic novelist, Vijayendra Mohanty, author of the Ravanayan series. “Unlike the Delhi comic con, which was open air and left people sweating and huffing, this one actually encourages visitors to take more than one round of the venue,” feels Mohanty.
Day one ended with a session by renowned cartoonist Aabid Surti and a performance by rock band, Agnee.