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Mumbai Comicon Express : A roundup with Comic Addicts

19 Sep

Welcome addicts, to more inside news for the Comic Con Express! Today we speak with the organisers behind this event, the brains and the brawn making it all happen, and we bring it fresh off the note-pad to you! 

1. We were there at the last con and it was a huge success, a sortie of comic addicts from around India! Did its success spur you to create Comic Con Mumbai or was it always on the cards?

   The decision was certainly based on the reaction of the fans and the participants, we felt we were in a position to make it happen and we did.

2. Is it going to have a different flavour from Comic Con Delhi or is it essentially the same dish in a different city?

   Its bit of both actually. The format is essentially the same, with exhibit spaces and workshops/sessions taking place every half hour or so. However, the feel of the event will be very different, unlike Delhi/dilli haat, this is an in-door venue in the heart of South Mumbai, we are trying to bring in local flavor. As Comic Con India we believe in promoting local talent and a lot of our talent is based in Mumbai

Apart from local flavour, the focus of Comic Con Mumbai is different from Delhi since we are incorporating  the entertainment and advertising industries into the con since both of these industries are big in Mumbai.

You’ll find the confirmed/announced participants on our site. Again, our approach is the same as it was 6 months back, the focus is on Indian comics, on the Indian industry. And this will be the first such event for Mumbai so like the first ever convention in Delhi, we’d like to highlight what’s happening in India, showcase the talent here.  

3. Heard Comic Con is going all out for Kids in Mumbai. What can they look forward to ?

   First tell me where did you hear this from? But yes we got a lot of complaints that ‘kids’ weren’t looked after last time, so we are planning a few childrens activities and there will be quite a few vendors catering to their needs. Lets get the kids hooked on to comics at an early stage!

4.Thats an excellent thought. Three cheers from Comic Addicts on this!
You guys have been doing rounds of various cities promoting Comic Con through workshops. How has the response been to this so far?

   On the whole, its been awesome, we face turn-out issues at times, but as we went out to different cities, the response was quite nice and completely unexpected. 

5. We would be looking forward to that. By the way which comics are launching in Comic Con Mumbai?

   So, far there are 7 titles! Which is awesome! We were worried that since the last convention wrapped up just 6 months ago and we hadn’t announced Mumbai at that time, there wouldn’t be too many launches, but its 7 confirmed already and a few more in the pipeline. We would be revealing the titles soon here.

6. Are you planning to get some international artists/creators at the Convention ?

   For Mumbai, no, we don’t want to shift the focus from Indian talent. Lets realize that beyond our fan circle, comic artists and writers aren’t recognized by the general public, even though they should be, which is why we are hell bent on making sure the best and the brightest in the industry are present at the convention in Mumbai 

7. Who all from Indian comic industry would be there?

   Pretty much everyone from last time and quite a few new names, which is quite encouraging. Lets hope our conventions spur more people to jump in. 

8. In the last convention, there was an after-party wherein Pran sir was given a lifetime achievement award, are there some plans for a similar after party?

   If you’d remember that was because the venue got rained out. Yes we do have a networking cocktail dinner planned in Mumbai for the participants and invited guests. But no awards. 

9. Tell us one thing that as per you is a must see – must do at the Mumbai Con?

   The feel to Mumbai is completely different from Delhi, one should check out all the exhibits and stay the whole day! Some really awesome workshops and sessions are planned. And we have some really innovative activities planned with our partners and yes, the prizes for different contests are bigger and better than Delhi! 

10. How big is cosplay going to be ? Any special prizes for cosplayers?

   Well you’ll certainly see all of our team out in costume, that should motivate a lot of people to turn up in costume, cosplay details come out next week. We are planning a special “make your own costume” workshop as well, since there really aren’t any costume vendors in India. There will be a lot of incentives for people to turn up in costume.  

11. Any plans for expansion to other cities?
   The next comic con express venue city is in the works, we are considering quite a few options.  

Thanks for talking to ComicAddicts. We hope to have a blast at Comic Con and wish you all the best!

M views: Why do we read Superhero comic books

5 May
– By Manks

I have been a superhero comic book reader since I can remember, and I have often been asked what draws me into their highly stylised and unrealistic world?

Each person has their own answer to this question, and no single answer is correct.

One of the reasons why we come back to the Superhero comics are because they inspire us. These larger than life creations struggling daily through the worst the world has to offer them, and coming out on top. Their never say die attitude.. ….even after they are literally dead ( there’a  joke here somewhere on the state on Superhero comics – Blackest Night I am looking at you!)

Lets look at some of the tragedies that have befallen the Bat-Characters for example

The most poignant tragedy is perhaps the murder of Bruce Wayne parents, which drove him to haunt the criminals as Batman. This in itself is a commendable feat. But then

When Bane Broke Batman

 Bane conspired and used many of Batman’s enemies to tire him out and when Bruce was at his limts, struck and broke Batman’s back, paralysing Bruce ( Storyline – Knightfall)

Bruce fought through the depression of being beaten , the pain of paralysis and re-learned how to operate as a Bat from scratch (Knightsend).. He did not give up! 

I still remember the scene where after every new fight he would go to Gotham’s tower and attempt to jump, giving up each time. He just didnt have the strenghth of will left anymore. For the first time in his life he was scared. He thought he was invincible and Bane had shattered his illusion.

Richard Grayson ( Robin / Nightwing) : The original robin, after the tragedy of his parents death willingly followed Batman’s directions to become one of the most respected superhero amongst DC community. He IS the next generation leader of DCU heroes. He possesses all the skills of batman without the angst. In his career he has faced deaths of friends and family, yet he trudges on.

Death of Tim Drake’s (Robin) father

 Timothy Drake ( also known as Robin III) suffered a horrible fate when he couldnt save his dad (Jake Drake) from getting killed by the boomerang.
It is incredibly difficult for me to imagine anyone continue to operate under such immense grief and regret. Yet he still does.

Barbara Gordon (Batgirl/Oracle) is the epitome of courage in the Bat family. She was shot by the Joker in The Killing joke, paraylsing her forver. For a long time she was depressed about losing her legs and not being able to operate as Batgirl.

But then one day she decided not to mourn anymore, but use whatever she has to help in whichever way she can. She took the guise of Oracle and started using her techinical know-how to help all vigilantes. She even formed an all female Superteam called Birds of Prey to go where she couldnt and do what she couldnt.
She is now far more successful as Oracle in fighting crime than she ever was as Batgirl. She has become the information hub for all superheroes and a crucial member of the Justice League.
She took an awful incident and converted it into an oppurtunity. Inspirational stories doesnt get better than this!

Commisioner James Gordon has been suffering since he has come to Gotham. He lost his wife and son to a divorce. He was tortured by the joker and made to see enlarged pictures of his wounded adopted daughter Barbara Gordon in an effort to drive him insane. His second wife, Sarah was murdered by the Joker, which even let Batman to allow Gordon to have a free shot at joker if he wanetd to.Through all of this, his sense of duty and ethical compass has been unwavering. He is an inspiration to Batman himself .

This panel says a lot of things about the Bat-world, Two of most tragic personalities in Batman’s life : Jason Todd ( Robin II) and Hush ( Dr. Elliot) ..
We all know Jason’s story: He was killed by the joker , revived  by the vagaries of fate. Even though he is on the wrong side of the law, in his mind he is still fighting for the innocents. Even death couldn’t stop this now anti-hero
She’s been a villian, She’s been a hero, and then she realised someone tampered with her mind to subdue her criminal mentalities. So whatever she’s doing isn’t of her own accord. She also had to give away her child as it was too dangerous for the child to be associated with her. Is there a greater pain than being forced to split from your child? But she endures. 

And these characters are just the tip of the Superhero comics.. They get knocked down but they get up again, no one’s gonna keep them down..
If you aren’t reading superhero comics, you are missing out on inspirational tales that would shame many a “book” reader.
Remember: Nicolas cage , Jerry seinfeld and  Barack Obama all have one thing in common.. They all love superhero comics.. Don’t deprive yourself of these tales because they are just “superhero tales”. 

M Take : Why should you have picked up Nextwave when you had the chance..

28 Apr
Created by Warren Ellis and Stuart Immonen.
– By Manks
Nextwave is one of the most unadulterated fun title I have read in my entire comic reading life. Sadly however , like most fun comics out there, it met an untimely demise. After Transmetropolitan this is my second most favorite comic out there by Warren Ellis.  And he is not even the reason to check this book out. Stuart Immonen has done his career best work to date on this title. Yes true believer, if you missed out on Nextwave when it came out, its time you rectify your mistake.

What is the series all about?
Nextwave is all about enjoying the Superhero comics for what they are. Unlike other superhero titles which are trying to mirror current situations and introduce faux seriousness and melodrama, Nextwave does not even pretend to take itself seriously. Nextwave  features extreme violence and comedy, and simultaneously satirizes and celebrates Marvel’s superhero comics.
 In an interview, Ellis said, “I took The Authority and I stripped out all the plots, logic, character and sanity”.”It’s an absolute distillation of the superhero genre. No plot lines, characters, emotions, nothing whatsoever. It’s people posing in the street for no good reason. It is people getting kicked, and then exploding. It is a pure comic book, and I will fight anyone who says otherwise. And afterwards, they will explode”
One of the best bit about this comic apart from the irreverent take on the Marvel universe was that a complete story was told in just two issues, instead of the usual 4-6 issues. I rue the fact that this comic only lasted 12 issues and there is very dim possibility of seeing some fresh material on the stands anytime soon.
Anything that I say to convince you to track down the collection of Nextwave pales in comparison to the actual comic. So for once I would let the comic do the talking instead of me.
Let me introduce the cast of NEXTWAVE
Monica Rambeau, the former Captain Marvel and leader of Nextwave: 
Was with the Avengers once  and wouldn’t let anyone forget it. The following gives the glimpse of the reason why she couldn’t continue working with the avengers – According to her!!
Tabitha Smith, formerly of X-Force;
 Uses chat language (OMG, ZOMG, OHNOES) when talking
Also shouts Tick, tick, tick, tick– BOOM! when using her powers.
Oh and if you didn’t catch it she can make things go BOOM..
Aaron Stack, the Machine Man;
Breakout character of Nextwave. Ellis redefined the personality of The Machine man for a generation.
Calls humans fleshy ones and takes pride in his “Roboty ” parts
Favourate Phrase: My Robot Brain Needs Beer
Has a self absorbed attitude
Elsa Bloodstone
Monster Hunter extraordinaire
Made fun of by Tabetha
Ogled at by Aaron Stack
Is deadly serious about her work, perhaps the only one
The Captain
A new character
Previously called Captain ☠☠☠☠ (The obscured words being so horrible that Captain America allegedly beat seven shades of it out of him and left him in a dumpster with a bar of soap in his mouth)
Superhuman strength and flight
They were recruited by ( H.A.T.E Highest Anti-Terrorism Effort), to fight Unusual Weapons of Mass Destruction (U.W.M.D.s).
Dirk Angstrom, Leader of H.A.T.E  (Nick fury wannabe )
But in reality H.A.T.E is Evil, controlled by the Beyond Corporation (TM) formerly S.I.L.E.N.T ( a terrorist group). Once Nextwave members figure that out they decide to take the fight to HATE and Beyond corp by destroying as many UWMD’s as possible.
If you would have read Nextwave when it came out, you would have seen  these images..
A giant Dinosaur-Dragon thing wearing Purple Underpants
The same dragon-dinosaur thingie wanting to put Tabetha in his pants
Cuddly Bears of Death

Stuart’s Amazing work ( yes these are Elvis head M.O.D.O.K s and Naked Ninjas)

I cannot even begin to tell you how fun this comic is, though I have tried to give you a slight glimpse of the awesomeness that is NEXTWAVE

Exclusive Preview : Jump issue 3 (season 2) – Shaurya..

22 Apr
Level 10 comics have kindly shared the previews form their upcoming comic anthology Jump (season 2 volume 3), series – Shaurya..

If you haven’t been reading level 10 comics, you are missing out on a revolutionary comic company in India. They are doing a tremendous job in bringing back the comic culture that we used to love and enjoy so much..

Their stories have been fresh and energetic. They have been experimenting with art styles recently, which is good as far as we are concerned.. slowly and steadily they are becoming a force to reckon with.

We at Comic Addicts love Jump anthology and wait for it every month with bated breath …Watch out for our special article focusing on Jump and level 10 next week right here!

We are also going to make a very special announcement relating to Level 10 next week.. so stay tuned and enjoy the preview pages below..

Don’t forget to tell us what you thought of these pages!!