Packed Panels, Featured Writers and Even More Cosplay – The 4th Annual Comic Con India 2014 – Day III

With the dust settled, the clouds parted and a good night’s sleep finally had, I sit down to reminisce about the third and final day of Comic Con Delhi 2014… Oh how I miss it already. Contrary to my beliefs Sunday’s crowds weren’t nearly as intense as I imagined. Indeed Saturday probably saw a lot more people fluttering in and jamming up the aisles. But despite the crowds being lesser than my expectations, the Con still had an amazing day – the Cosplayers (though they seemed to congregate much later in the day than before) came strong and proud and the panels were hands down the best of the Con (save the best for last I guess!).

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Sold Out Cubees, Signed Copies and More Cosplay – The 4th Annual Comic Con – Day II

Despite how encouraging yesterday was the three amigos at stall C12 could not have been prepared for the reaction that Delhi showed today. People came out in droves to check out Comic Con ok its second day. And they came ready and happy to spend many hours browsing the offerings and supporting the exhibitors. The independent publishers saw massive crowds pretty much all day and from most accounts, people saw the works and wares practically flying. And Meta Desi saw the surprising turn of events when our Cubees, which were put out simply as a novel gimmick, sold out of all but one character! (On a personal victory, Cowzilla and Dara – from “Holy Hell” – were amongst the most popular).

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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!).

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NaPoWriMo – Day IV – On To The Gamer Disco

Geeks and hipsters
Look at them abound
Mario Party, Mario Kart
Lets have another round

Street fighter in the corner
Guile’s the man for me
But if you ask my brother
He prefers Chun Li

There’s an 8-bit beat
Flowing through the air
There’s a Lego Darth Vader
In that girl’s hair

There’s Wii in the back
Lets play till we’re sore
I took the fitness test
It said I was 84

I have your wand, I have his sword
Lets do and play
And shame on you dear reader
If you thought that sounded gay

Another laugh, another joke
Another round at this table
Surely they have Dragon Age?
Surely they have Fable?

Time to go now, drink up
We’ll all be back again
This time we were foes
Next time we’ll be friends

Web Comic Review – Commissioned Comic

Ever find yourself thinking in D&D? Well, Commissioned Comic is pretty good at illustrating just what that might look like. I found myself genuinely intrigued watching the lines between real life and RPGs blend in this web series. I think the reason contemporary geeks might find it particularly appealing is that it envisages the hypothetical hilarity of pitting the contemporary geek – you know what I mean – still slightly socially inept, but not always the clichéd image – massively thick glasses, pale as all hell from a lack of sun, pimpled like we’ve never heard of Clearasil – against real life social “quests” like talking to that hot girl at the bar or confronting a nasty neighbourhood dog. I mean I can’t be the only one who has had day dreams of casting a “knock” spell on a locked door when you can’t find your keys or wished I had a particularly high CHARISMA or DIPLOMACY skill – you know, to get out of sticky situations, or into them if that’s your aim.  If you hadn’t guessed yet by the way, I am particularly partial to the Wizard/Mage classes. I haven’t played the classic D&D myself but have always been a huge fan of the many RPGs that D&D gameplay has inspired such the Baldur’s Gate series or Neverwinter Nights.

Back to the focus of our review though – Commissioned Comic, by artist Obsidian, is a nice concept. There are plenty of web comics that focus on gaming or revolve around the antics of classic characters, but this web comic takes a different perspective – that of an artist who is commissioned by different characters to do their portraits (thus the name) and his party of D&D gamers. As mentioned before though, its novelty lies in the mash-up of the realms of reality and imagination. However, though I love the gameplay dynamics, I didn’t find it particularly hilarious. Interesting yes, but not laugh out loud. I can see myself popping back once in a while, but I don’t see myself following religiously.

Apart from the comic series the site also makes available single sketches by the artist – the Art Barf! series. These could be anything really – dungeons settings, combat scenarios, character portraits, classes/races, monsters. They are stylistically quite different from the comic itself. In fact I would be hard pressed to club them all into the same artistic style – they seem to employ quite a diversity of brush strokes (theoretically speaking – I mean they’re created in Photoshop, not on a real aisle), thematic perspectives and color palettes.

The artwork has evolved since the comic started – going for more realistic detail. I suppose if I had been following for a while I may not have noticed, but since I read through a whole lot of the comic for the purposes of this review, it’s quite apparent, even though it’s not drastically different. This isn’t a feature unique to this particular comic. Many web comics evolve artistically as time progresses, while others choose to maintain an element of continuity. I suppose this is really a choice left to the artist. And yes sometimes more defined artwork can make the comic more appealing and attractive. But I would just mention as a thought that artists should be careful with this choice. It might not seem like a major change, but in my opinion the feel of a comic does depend to some extent on its look and artwork. For example – Cyanide & Happiness has a very distinct art style, and it suits their formula.

Checking out the comic and the Art Barf! art work is of course free, but they offer a host of extras for those who want to join the ranks of their premium members, including invites to Convention after parties, exclusive sketches and desktop backgrounds and high-resolution comics. Check out the comic here – Commissioned Comic