GET COMICAL

Tickle your funny bone with a festival that celebrates comics and more, says MALLIKA SARNA

 

What started as a fun-filled weekend is now back as a month-long celebration. Comic Con India organises pop culture events in five cities across the country which feature comics, merchandise, international guests, gaming and cosplay.  For the past two years, the festival has also gone online.

Starting from August 1, the fandom month is an extension of the Free Comic Book Weekend initiative which was started in the past with the aim of increasing the scope and access to comics across India.

The first Comic Con India was held in February  2011 in Delhi and was hosted at the open-air craft bazaar, Dilli Haat, in the capital. Held over two days, it featured 25 exhibitors and attracted close to 5000 visitors. But since a virtual presence is essential to reach out to people across the country, the format has gone online. “Every year during the summer-monsoon months of June and July, we initiate small digital initiatives which are to promote Indian comics. We started with weekend activation two years back which was called the Free Comic Weekend and last year it became a week-long digital activation. This year, we are taking a certain part of Comic Con and bringing it online with a month-long celebration,”  says Jatin Varma, founder, Comic Con India.

The ongoing initiative has multiple to-dos in store for the fans, ranging from shopping online, talks on comics and creators, movies and television and also some fun offline events such as workshops.

“The idea is that as we go into the Comic Con season,  which starts in October, we are doing a sort of online Comic Con which is called the Fandom Month to kind of reach out to the fans, to re-connect with them and get them prepared for the upcoming season,” adds Varma.

Comic Con attracts a plethora of fans who come forward to celebrate the world of comics every year. “The event will be basically held for those people who are aficionados and die-hards. We reach out to a lot of college going students and teenagers. The 16 to 25 age group is essentially our core audience. Now, we do five shows in a year and close to two lakh people come to our shows in Delhi, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Pune,” says Varma.

During this month, the fans will be able to participate in multiple digital contests ranging from trivia,  fan art to even making memes. Each participant will have the opportunity to win prizes from a prize pool of over five lakh. There will also be a geeky shopping section where fans can access specially curated offers on everything from books to merchandise via Amazon.in.

“There will be offline workshops in select cities with different creators on board. In Bengaluru, we have a workshop with the comic creator Sailesh Gopalan. He will talk about how people can create their own comics,” he iterates.

News and Image source: The Pioneer

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