Ye Hamara Con Hai – The 4th Annual Comic Con India 2014 – Day I

After a rather hilarious and strangely exhilarating day at the Comic Con in Delhi I sit down to ponder over the day’s events and maybe highlight a few choice memories with you, my dear readers.

Comic Con India hasn’t been running long – today was Day I of the 4th Annual Con – But in these few years I’m glad to see the strides that the community has made – the organizers as well as the visitors. In sharp contrast to the first Con I attended (held at Dilli Haat) it was great to see how the independent publishers, artists and authors have really grown in presence and can really hold their own. Gone (I hope) are the days that Merch alone rules the floor and its time for the indie guys to shine. For example, Meta Desi Comics, which is carrying my first attempt at writing a comic – ‘Holy Hell‘ (written along with Akshay Dhar and carried in Ground Zero Vol. II) had a pretty good day not just selling issues but also in general interest; which is fantastic because they’ve only really been in the game a year-year and a half. I know this because when I wasn’t roaming the convention floor looking for offers and checking out the cosplayers I was chilling in booth C12 annoying my writing partner and buddy Akshay (come check us out!).

And the fans in Delhi play no small part in this transition – The opinion from many of the artists and publishers who were at the Mumbai Con earlier this year was that the Delhi fans really put their money where their mouths were (or to be more specific, where their eyes were). It’s great to hear that Delhi is becoming a place where the “general population” is becoming so much more accepting of independent Indian comics, as opposed to simply Marvel/DC merch.

While it was great to see the indie boys shine, I was a little disappointed with the layout generally. The showcase authors – the big names from abroad – seemed to be relegated to the opposite side of the convention floor with the Playstation gaming booth and the massive Peanuts stall. I barely even noticed them on my way in and once I got to the other side, there was so much activity and merch that I was little pressed to return. The “front” seemed almost abandoned comparatively. I wish they had spaced it out so that it wasn’t so one-sided. Hopefully this will change tomorrow when the big names have their panels and extra exposure, but still, what a shame. (I must say though – tomorrow I come prepared with my copy of V for David Lloyd ). The upside of the venue though was that since it was a closed event, the people who attended weren’t barely interested/disinterested walk-ins, like at Dilli Haat, but people who actually chose to be there. I’m sure half of them were just there because of the novelty of being there, but rather more than I expected showed up as real fans. And hopefully some of the former left as the latter.

But what talk of Comic Con is complete without Cosplayers – and my did they come out in droves. It really was quite a sight to see so many people come out in costume – that too home-made as opposed to primarily bought. People were creative and thorough and its easy to see that the “fringe” culture of being a geek and cosplayer is hardly the embarrassing taboo it used to be. From complex and big to small and fun, they seemed to have it all. And to inspire our homemade heroes, World Cosplay even had some professional japanese cosplayers roaming the floor in proper make up and dress (and oh my god were they cute!).

Day I unfortunately was light on the panel front, but I’m looking forward to John Layman (creator and genius behind CHEW) on Day II and of course the conversation with David Llyod (the mind behind V for Vendetta) on Day III.

If you find yourself with the time, make it down to Tyagraj Stadium (former CWG venue) for the two days that remain. And if you’re coming in costume take the time to put in that extra touch. Who knows, you might win the big trip to the New York Comic Con!

Goodbye fellow Geeks and do return for more on Days II and III – passes are available at the venue but you can also check out Comic Con India to book online.

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