Thirty five writers, animators and publishers of comics, a giant toy corner, rare memorabilia on display, all day workshops on comics and a whole lot of stuff up for grabs. Heaven is just around the corner for comic book junkies in the Capital, as the city gets ready to host the first-ever Annual Indian Comic Convention.
Starting on February 19, at Dilli Haat, the Comic-Con has been conceptualised by Delhi-based Jatin Verma. “We were booked out two months after we announced the plan,” says Verma, 26. Besides Indian publishers such as Level 10, Amar Chitra Katha, Diamond Comics, Archies, Marvel Comics and retailers of DC Comics will also be present.
“We attended international conventions, such as the San Diego Comic-Con and wanted something like them in India,” says Karan Vir Arora, of Vinamika Comics, associate organisers. Arora says four years back the comic industry in India had all but disappeared, with big companies close to shutting down.
“But now it is slowly growing again, and this event will give it a much-needed push,” he adds. For Sumit Kumar, a former writer for Savita Bhabhi (an animated porn site banned last year), the event will help people treat comics as an organised industry. “Earlier illustrators were treated as a secondary unit, at least people now see the art as integral to the story,” says Kumar.
The audience may be niche, but the organisers are optimistic. “We invested more than Rs15 lakh, but the entry fee is nominal (Rs 15), there are free workshops and Dilli Haat should bring in people besides comic fans,” adds Verma.
Upcoming graphic novels to watch out for
The Itch You Can’t Scratch
Publishers: Twenty Onwards Media
It’s the story of a 20-something Delhi boy finding his way in life. The author, a former writer for animated porn site Savita Bhabhi, says, “I’m from an average family, my father’s a bank manager. I went to engineering college, got into cartooning, tried a business and so on. This is the story about what all of us go through when we are finding our way in life.”
The USP is that the book is in Hindi and English, a conversational language that most Indians will connect with.
The Legend of Karna
Karan Vir Arora
Publishers: Vinamika Comics
The story has two timelines – the present and a mythological past. The Karna of the present has nightmares of the Karna of myth and comes to India in search of answers. The author, who also started Vinamika Comics, says, “How the story unveils is what will grip the readers.”
The Harappa Files
Publishers: HarperCollins India
The novel charts a country on the brink of the Nano revolution. While Delhi-ites are too scared to cross the road, what with the traffic, the threat of the Nano makes matters worse. A slice of novel, the artist/author captures images of everyday life in a delightful tale.
Kabul Disco by Nicolas Wild: A hilarious look at an artist who finds himself in war-struck Kabul. A graphic satire.
Palestine by Joe Sacco: Semi-autobiograohical, the author takes a walk through West Bank and the Gaza Strip to look at the history of Palestine and the people
Frank Miller's Sin City : Check out the books even if you’ve seen the movie. Set in Basin City, this dark, gritty series will keep you at the edge of your seat.