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Vimanika in Action: A Comicon India retrospective

4 Mar

We sat down with Karan Vir Arora (Vimanika Comics) to take his perspective on recently concluded Comicon India.

Q: What did you think of the first edition of Comicon?
A: Well we just loved the 1st annual comic con in Dilli Haat ! we knew and believed in it from the day one that Jatin and his team could pull off such magnifico event , not only pull off but manage it superbly !

It was profitable for everyone ,we sold out! I mean people were ready to buy our wet posters and comics too!!(Post rain).

Not only did publishers and retailers get a chance to showcase their stuff but Aritists and writers too!

Q: What were your experiences during the con?
A: Well to start with as I landed at my stall and took out our comics people started to flock around and the stuff started to sell out like hot cakes like they were hungry tigers waiting for their hunt to arrive ,only this time comics were the hunt! I did not even get a chance to set up our stall!!

We also did quite a few workshops – how to write comics -was brilliantly presented by Kshitish and how to draw comics by Ratnakar singh and his team.And finally i did a interactive session with the fanboys and gals, post that i aswered loads of questions , Roamed around with Kalki in flesh and blood! -where people were holding on to him to get a shot with him,the model btw came all the way from Chandigarh to do this 🙂

It was lot of fun i was not free for a sec also ,selling comics,fans getting their pics clicked with us,signing autographs,taking workshops,interacting with the Media electronic and print and finally interacting with the Vimaniks!!! z

loved every bit of it ! Thats life!

Q:What are your plans for the next con?
A: Oh you gonna love what we got for next year ,its going to blow your mind ,lets just keep that a secret for now 🙂

Cause its only the beginning for Vimanika and Comic con India!!!

Exclusive: Level 10 on Comicon India

28 Feb
Shreyas and Suhas  , Level 10’s dynamic duo offer their perspective on Comicon India exclusively to the adventures team..

What is your take on Comicon india 2011?
Totally exceeded any and all expectations we had. We were kinda expecting a small intimate affair with a smattering of comic aficionados. We were caught surprised, and certainly did not expect the kind of footfall the con finally received. This may have had a lot to do with the location (Dilli Haat), but we sold out all our comics, that means as far as comic enthusiasts are concerned, they were present in droves!
 What did you do throughout the comicon?
Visited all the stalls, met with a lot of fans. It was almost like attending a small gathering of friends. Many of our comic followers I know only by their handle or name via facebook and emails. It was refreshing to put a face to the name and finally get a chance to talk comics with more of our ilk
Are you coming back next year? If yes what are your plans?
Absolutely! Next year we shall do more cosplay and of course carry a lot more books 🙂
What are your expectations from next comicon?

We expect more people to turn up. If this comic con taught us anything is that comic fans come in all shapes, sizes and ages and with this con, hopefully more fans would be enticed to crawl out of the woodwork and proclaim their love for this medium more openly. We have hidden in the shadows for too long, now India, nay the world shall bear witness to the eccentricities of the Indian Comic Buff! 

Ravanayan Creators on Comicon India

27 Feb
Vivek Goel and Vijayendra Mohanty

Vijayendra Mohanty and Vivek Goel, the brains behind the upcoming Ravanayan series share with us their first hand perspective on Comicon India:

What’s your take on the first comicon

VG: First of all, we actually did not planned to visit comic con, 3 weeks before the event i recieved an invitation frm Jatin Verma for Ravanayan, myself and Mohanty asking us to conduct a workshop. We spoke bout our presence in it and then decided to be a part of it as this would have been the biggest exposure for Ravanayan to all the comic fans in India under a single roof !! I then decided to make 2 exclusive posters of Ravanayan just for the comic con.

 It was truly an amazing experience for us being an insider of the industry and to actually participate in the convention. Though very small as compared to the san diago comic con etc. but no less than in spirit !!! You should have seen the cosplays and that too mostly among adults proving beautifully that comics are no longer just for kids 🙂 

VM: As Vivek says, I think that the Comic Con was a great success. It got looking in the general direction of the community and it made something of a splash in the media.

As one of my friends pointed out, perhaps, in the years to come, the Con will attract a more dedicated adult audience. As it is, the people most enthusiastic about the event were people our age — the ones who grew up reading comics and battling misconceptions.

What did you do at Comicon?

VM: The one thing that we did most at the ComicCon was have fun. The convention was something of an oddity for me (and I suppose many others). The comic book fandom in India is not organised, except when the organisation in question is an online mailing list or a close-knit community of like-minded friends. So a space and an event dedicated especially to the comic book cause was a most welcome change. Our official purpose for being at the convention was to promote Ravanayan, our upcoming comic series, and that purpose was served beautifully.

VG: We did a workshop on ravanayan (i did a lecture on cover making) on the 1st day and did a signing session on the 2nd day where amazingly my friend and ravanayan colourist Yogesh was also present. I donned a horned headgear and a fake moustache to come into the charecter..Hope people enjoyed that.


What’s ahead for the Ravanayan Team?

VG: Strategy for ravanayan remains the same as i told u in the last interview, just the 1st issue will now come in double size in May 😉 
Publisher is very much finalised but this is still not the time to reveal it. March would be it.

Mark my words man, the next comic con would be huge !! The success of this event has paved the way for a much bigger event frm next year onwards. This was more like an experiment for all of us (publishers and artists) that is precisely why  most of the artist community just came as spectators. People will have a clearer idea what to do and expect from next time onwards.

You will not find us doing any workshop frm now on, as we will be inside a booth 😉

The time of just knowing the character and its comic books is gone, with events like these now titles will be known by their creators as these events give people like us to get connected to the random reader directly and vice versa.

For the 1st time in my life i had so many things to do and so many people to meet and 8 hours seemed too short. It felt like a 2nd home to me (its just the toilet was too far away..lolz)

Press Release : Campfire on Comicon Experience

22 Feb
Below is the press release which the gracious folks at campfire have provided adventures.
I have to agree with what they say, Comicon was a blast and Campfire was an integral part of its success.

Here’s wishing campfire all the best in the Indian Market and hope they return even stronger at the next con.

(click the image below to see it full size)

Adventures of a Young Blogger at Comicon..

20 Feb
It gives us immense pleasure to introduce the youngest member of our league of comic bloggers – just 15 and most sought after comic blogger at comicon – Nishkarsh Chugh..

Nishkarsh recounts his experience at comicon exclusively here..

Day 1 of the Comic Con witnessed Wolverine, terrorizing the Comic Con staff and people here and there. The first day ended pretty well with people having high hopes for the next day, as most of the major events were to take place on 20th. 

Next day began, at 11:00 AM- Dilli Haat was houseful, because of three main factors:
-Comic Con, the only event that makes India a normal country..
-Sunday, the only day in the week where all those except housewives have an off
-Comics, the only thing that adults and kids both read and of course, LOVE

So, I reached the convention at 3:15 and on reaching there got a call from Mayank. He was standing near the stage, with a bunch of people. It was just 3:20 when I reached there and Mayank called me under the shed, because the first drop of rain came down.

The feeling of the cool breeze and the smell of dust was making me feel awesome, it was like WOW! Now, I can enjoy even more!

But soon, I was becoming impatient, people were packin’ up LCD’s back and removing the stuff. I was kinda shocked, as rain wasn’t even stopping for a millisecond..

I quickly ran towards the stalls, grabbed up the most awaited LOK Book II from Vimanika, without even getting a pic clicked with Kalki there and then picked up a few stuff from the Comic Con stalls… I wasn’t even able to reach Diamond Comics because of the rain and we had to quickly get inside the Indoor Stalls..

The first Indoor Stall that I saw, was of Dial-a-Book, actually the most crowded stall of the convention, because they had all types of comics and a great staff too.. Next was Robosoft, the company that made ACK and Tinkle on my iPod.. 😀

Next up were Avenger Toys, from where I bought this Hulk figure and Level 10 Comics, which were actually completely sold out 😦

Suhas (Editor and Creative Head, L10) quickly recognized me as I wanted to buy whole of the Jump series but unfortunately, couldn’t as they were sold out!!

Next was Kshiraj Telang, whom I interviewed 1 day before the Con. Practically, Kshiraj’s stall was the most popularized and liked stall, by newspapers and Facebookers 😀

When I first stepped into Dilli Haat, a guy handed me a brochure for Kshiraj’s stall, so as I said, it was the most popular stall out there… Kshiraj, being a freelance artist and animator was both offering and showing his services along with his wife. (They made quite a good team together).

Now, coming to the serious topics: THE RAINS

It was later discovered that Ororo Munroe was also there at the con, hiding between the cloud and makin’ it rain almost endlessly.. I couldn’t even Cosplay or attend any workshop because of rains :(.
Summing up this long long post on the end of the final day of Con, heres a short and simple walk-through to the Con

Best Stalls out there in my opinion:
-Vimanika Comics
-Comic Con India (Happily Unmarried, Pop Culture Publishing and RANDOM)
-Avenger Toys
-World Comics India
-Kshiraj Telang
-Timeout India
and some more..
I missed some major stalls like Diamond and Times Group Books, also Green Gold, Level 10, Buzzinga and Campfire.. whereas the ACK stall kinda disappointed me as there were no special stuff out there.. They launched nothing new and were kinda carrying all the old stuff..

Due to the rains, all the participants and bloggers were called at Habitat Center for a dinner at 8:30 but I couldn’t make it because of my schools…

Nevertheless, the first Indian annual Comic Con was literally a blockbuster and more posts coming right through..
Stay Tooned 😀

Nishkarsh Chugh
(Gotham Comics India:

ComiCon India : The Rain Song.

20 Feb
– The song sung by our very own Awesome Andy!

Day two of the Comic Con and I must say, the storm clouds are gathering. No seriously, the storm clouds are gathering. What started as a bright sunny day has turned into a clouded affair, the cool breeze whips through the trees and lightens the sweat off my brow. Meanwhile the crowds keep growing thicker and thicker. Had someone told me a year ago that one day I would be standing in the line for a Comic Con in India, I would have laughed in their face. And then I would have elaborated in a certain manner on the doomed state of affairs in the Comic Book Industry in India today. But I stand corrected. The Comic Con has happened and there is right as rain a line stretching out in front of all manner of venues.
But inside the mood is festive. No gathering clouds can dampen these spirits. The Sunday has brought out the Delhites in all of us. Papa, Mama, Chotu and Munni are all out in their raiments surverying and sampling the many delights of the Comic Con. Its a vicious cycle for the poor parents who I suspect dont really gather what the big deal is anyway. The kids however do their part and a fresh tantrum can be heard breaking out at every alternate stall.
Speaking of Stalls, a surprise discovery was seeing Level Ten comics standing with an empty stall so early in the day. Suspecting somthing omnious I approached with caution only to be greeted by a jubiliant grin. They stand sold out. The toys are still doing brisk business, and Avenger Toys has created a niche for itself in the indoor section. World Comic Books interestingly has expanded a stall with robust sales helping propel them forwards into the new Year. Good omens and signs all and a smile grows out slowly on my face.
Yes, it is working. The spell that was cast has taken effect. And I can feel the magic let loose seeping in. Dont you just love it when a plan comes together?
Cosplay still abounds with a few Indian heroes making the mark. Kalki is a steady attraction with kids eagerly waiting to get clicked alongside the hero. Superman was a surprise find, I would have chatted him up but he seemed busy on a call. Could be important so I figured I’d catch him some other time. So I left the Man of Steel to his musings and caught a glance of Chacha Choudhary as well. In all probability schooling some amateur with his vast intellect. 
Eventually I landed up near the main stage just in time to catch the launch of “Random” collected volume. Random magazine as a concept was inspired from Mad, featuring quick humor and satire. Present at the launch was the creator of titular comdedy character Simpoo Singh who led the audience around with a few laughs and elaborated on how he came up with the character. Thunder growls above me and Indra reminds me that I best find shelter or lose all I have written. A final crack and the heavens open up. Dodging raindrops and fleeing crowds I found my own makeshift shelter. That is right ladies and genteel folk come rain, hail or snow…the adventures will continue. Within my shelter, hidden from the elements I now stand, surrounded by crowds both anxious and eager. Whispers float around of a “washout” and “what will happen now” but I’m not worried. No rain is wet enough to put out the fire in a fanboy’s heart.
Besides, its the rains. To my uncertain eye, the Gods have blessed this endeavor. The Gods have blessed these efforts. No greater blessing than one that comes from the heavens. The rain is slowly but surely letting up and already I can see the Comic Con come back to life. As I suspected, this festival is far from over.
Sieg Zeon!!!

ComiCon India : First look

19 Feb

ComicCon India: First Look
Like all great Indian things, the Comic Con too starts slow. It’s a fine morning in Dilli Haat, the festive nature of the place lends a hand to my already bouyant spirit and I take my first steps into India’s first ever Comic Con. Im a little hyped, definitely excited and above all else slightly intimidated. It is one thing entirely to read comics from afar and lash out at the author or the artist for some small nuance you did not like. But here, here I get to meet and greet people who have pioneered the Indian Comic Book Industry for so long.
The old faithful Diamond Comics already has it’s stall set up and I’m drawn there almost subconciously to the bright covers and bold font. Chacha Choudhary prudly adorns the shelves alongside Pinki and Billoo. While right next stall graphic novels are up for sale. New publishers hitherto unknown are making their mark. Unknown logos and unknown comics are popping up all around. Truly this is comic lover’s paradise. The stage is set up for the show, and although the actors have not all arrived, the audience has begun to appear. A slow trickle right now but then hey I have no right to complain seeing I myself could not make it on time. Tardiness is now almost second nature to us and hopefully by the end of the day and many many more articles later…the trickle would have turned into a flood.
I take a moment to shake hands with Rorsharch. While Jaffar glares at me silent and omnious from his stall. Although the sun is rising and the mercury is climbing the enthusiasm of these costumed cavaliers is far from flagging. The crowd has started to build now, little by little Delhi seems to be waking up to its first Comic Con. But just when I thought that this was it. I was in for a surprise.
Hidden from public view a gallery of stalls and goodies awaits those who can discover the indoor section. Stalls featuring some of the most unique toys/collectibles catch the eye immediately. Darth Vader calls out to me from behind a cage of plastic in his trademark voice.
“Give in to the Dark Side!”
He whispers in my ear and I almost succumb to the lure by handing over my watch, my wallet and my phone just so that I can afford the Dark Lord. Unfortunately I still come up short. So snatching a card from Avenger Toys for later I wander the corridors, a little smug with myself at having resisted the lure of the Dark Side. Yeah, I feel definitely Jedi’ish.
But there’s much more than Star Wars. Level Ten comics stands out from the rest with its catchy artwork and Im tempted to immediately blow up five hundred bucks for a copy of their first monthly compilation. But reason prevails and my grumbling stomach reminds me that today it’s either comics or food.
Ill probably buy the comic anyway. Who needs food when there is art to feed your soul.
But toys and flashy posters is not all there is to this place. You see glimpses of a budding comic book industry aching to be let out of its shell. World Comics India is one such stall, their slogan “Comic Power” resonates with my own feelings. Their work serves to remind me of the untapped talent that seethes within us all. Glimpses of great artwork and storylines peep out from every stall. There is animation, there are toys, there are posters and of course there are a plethora of comics. There is only the faintest trace of possible disappointment for a newcomer. For I see all these great comics trapped within formats which are only lacking if at all in production value. 
That is the one difference you might note. Some of us have become so used to the idea of DC/Marvel level production that to see these slightly overpriced and yet slightly unpolished products might be a turn off. But what we all must realize is that the true value of these comics lies not in their polish, lies not in their finish. But it lies the fact that this here is the first time comic book artists have gathered at such a grand scale. This is the first time these works of art are probably seeing the light of the day. The first  time artists and writers have been allowed this degree of exposure. This is the first time the Indian Comic Book Industry has shown signs of maturity and foresight. It is time for a change. Maybe even a revolution. I can feel it my bones. Change carried on winds of spring. But no revolution, no change is complete without its revolutionaries. The call goes out to all of you. Join the cause. Join the revolution.
Comic Con is here. Where are you?

Comicon India: Live updates

19 Feb
If you are missing on comicon India this weekend… let us bring comicon to you!..

Keep refreshing hourly for comicon updates right here!! Cheers

– We have reached the comicon venue.. stalls are being set up.. people starting to come in.. its an amazing feeling to be a part of India comicon!! Pictures would be following shortly! Stay tuned..

– The day begins with Vimanika inaugrating comic con

-I can see so many stalls , merchandise from Avenger toys , happily unmarried, Buzzinga…..

– Comic Publisher stalls – Diamond , Amar Chitra Katha, Vimanika, Manta ray, Level 10 … so many to explore

– I am missing Raj Comics.. I wanted Nagraj to be here..

-Did an interview with Campfire Editor in Chief – Andrew… Look for it on the blog sometime soon..

– Holy crap.. people are actually dressed in costumes.. i just met two rorscharch’s, Jaffar (Alladin’s villain) and Ichigo (Bleach!).. There was some swordplay involved as well. zanpoktu style… This is getting exciting..

– Workshops happening on the event floor.. Abhijeet Kini on floor right now.. talking about making comics

—– to be updated  as and when we can..

India Comic Con – How it measures up ?

13 Feb
With the upcoming India comicon , we thought we would look at some of the things that make international comicons such pleasure to visit

We also attempt to see whether the Indian comicon would live up to its hype?
Publisher Panels
This is one of the most important attribute of any Comicon. Every publisher worth his salt does panels wherein they interact with fans and release some teasers for upcoming series.
 New titles are announced, New plans for older titles , Upcoming events, editorial changes and  New creative teams ..
DC and Marvel generally have a company wide panel as well as some focusing on their best selling characters / teams. For e.g.: DC generally have their company panel called DC nation, then a panel each for Superman, Batman , Green Lantern etc.. Which focus on the specific characters and upcoming events in their life.
This is a fun filled interaction between comic fans and creators which Whets your appetite for whats coming your way in next few months. ..
India comicon: While publisher panels are not expected to be that extensive, but there is no doubt we would see a host of announcements and upcoming news from various publishers participating. So the first version of the Indian comicon  is shaping up to be a good one!
Creator booths
No comicon is complete without a chance to interact with your favourite creator. There are creator booths where you can go and talk to your favourite writer/artists. If you are lucky you can walk with a special on demand sketch from your favourite artists , pictures with your fav creators and autographs from your favorite writers.

This is where you want to discuss that great idea for the graphic novel you have been having with an industry professional or market your sketching skills by showcasing your portfolio to the people who can make a difference !

India comicon: Again we can expect a lot of creator booths in the upcoming India comicon.

Fans dressed in colorful costumes add glamour to Comicons! Did you ever want to dress up like your favorite comic character? Comicons are where you can fulfill your whim without anyone judging you!
India comicon: I wasn’t sure we would get cosplay in our version of the comicon, because it just might be too much for us Indians to handle. But I was pleasantly surprised to find that there is a costume contest as well in India comicon.. So people get ready to dress like your favorite comic character!
Massive discounts and those hard to find items
Looking for that particular comic / collectible that is missing your collection? Head to your nearest comicon. It’s a good bet that you would be able to find it with many comic shops setting up booths throughout the comicon avenue! 

India comicon: I don’t expect a lot of stalls and a lot of hard to find items. But there are definitely stalls in place for people like us. I would have to wait and watch for this one!

Booth babes
How can a comicon be complete without Booth Babes? Those attractive women hired by publishers to dress up as comic characters to entice people to buy their comics? To be honest we don’t know whether they succeed in selling comics, but we do know they succeed in pulling crowds!
India comicon: I don’t think this is going to happen. Simply because of cultural differences.  Sad, very sad!
This is the first edition of India comicon, and to be honest we don’t expect them to rival long running cons abroad. But we commend their effort and hope the future editions grow bigger and better with more and more publishers signing up and maybe then one day we might challenge the mighty SDCC itself!
Here’s wishing the comic culture grows in India. We wish India comicon – all the best!
For news and reviews related to Indian comic scene.. stay tuned to our blog. Your premiere resource to Indian comic scene.