graphic novels

Seven creepy sights you should not have missed at ComicCon Bangalore

Our tantric paparazzo was on the prowl with her camera.

There were shivers aplenty and cold spots and sweat and blood at the Bangalore ComicCon this weekend. Here’s what we caught:

Sweet’s gone dead

Girls and women turned out at Cosplay not in demure, girly costumes but in kickass ones. Manga and Anime was popular as usual, as was horror. Here’s Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride for you peeps. Shivered us plenty.

(Photograph: ComicCon India)

Cold spots were a favourite haunt

Bangalore is known for one thing, the awesome weather. There’s only one period, from the second half of March and the first half of April, when the city heats up. And that’s precisely the period to which they shift ComicCon in Bangalore from a breezy September (we tell you!). The worse off were those who were sitting in panels on stage (including yours truly), with glaring lights on them, sweating while trying to swing the cool factor.

And then there were the unfortunate enthusiasts of Cosplay, who’d put on leather, rexin, wigs, paints and furs in order to look like their favourite characters. The attendees in their search for some relief, converged like a swarm of bees to cold spots, small, premium spaces in the White Orchid hall in Manyata Tech Park, where the air-conditioning was slightly more effective.  There they sat, on the carpeted ground, lounging.

“I’ve never seen Bangalore so hot,” said Jatin Varma, founder, ComicCon India, when I asked him why he shifted the event’s time to the hottest time of the year in Bangalore. “I thought it couldn’t get this hot!” Now you know, Jatin.

(Photograph: Ashwani Sharma) 

A scary crow indeed

There’s nothing like a good old-fashioned villain to get chills down your spine on a hot afternoon. So it was that we caught this young man in his rather innovative makeshift costume, doing Scarecrow from the Batman comics. And then there’s Dr Octopus from Spider-man 2. Evil is nice, no?

(Photograph: Ashwani Sharma) 

(Photograph: Jatin Varma) 

The bloody iron throne

Treachery and murder, killing and destruction, were rather popular with the visitors of Comic Con. The Iron Throne was in the house thanks to HBO’s promotion of the latest season of Game of Thrones on its premiere channel in India. For the visitors that meant a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of sitting on the Iron Throne which is made of the cruelest swords in Westeros, keeps giving you nicks and cuts, and means that you will have to kill and murder and shed blood in order to be there. And you won’t believe how many were eager to.

There was an hour-long line outside the booth to go sit on the throne and pose with the sword. This guy, however, did the Delhi thing. “I cut the line and sneaked in,” he told me with a smirk. “It’s free but who will wait for this long?” Yes, my dear. Wonder if your evil tactics will get you approval from GRR Martin.

(Photograph: Shweta Taneja) 

The divination lady

Then there was this lady, who fell into the part of Professor Sybill Trelawney and quite enjoyed telling anyone who would listen (as the professor did to all her students in the Harry Potter series) that their tea drudge indicated that there was death around the corner. We love a little dark drama, don’t you?

(Photograph: Ashwani Sharma) 

Sale of indigenous comics? Ghanta only.

We love pop culture and art in Western movies, comics, cartoons and culture. We love Japan for its anime and manga. And we weep over the poor quality of comics coming out of our own country. Without trying them out.

“I’m tired of mythology,” said a reader, “why can’t they publish something interesting in India?” I asked him what he reads. The answer: Lord of the Rings. Case closed. “There is interest, but most of the people want to buy posters of the cover, rather than a comic,” said Kailash, who publishes comic anthologies under the name Pulpocracy and rues not buying poster rights from the artist, for then he would’ve made enough money for his business to survive. People come, spend more than Rs 10,000 each, but on merchandise and international titles. Most indie stalls are empty.

(Photographs: Ashwani Sharma) 

And then there was Obelix

A cool relief after all the horror at the Con, this man made us laugh out loud. Not only had he sized up for his Cosplay, including some natural sweat and beef (though boar would have been more appropriate), but his costume was perfect as was his chilled out attitude, which made you want to revisit the Asterix series yet again. He certainly brought a smile to our sweaty faces.

(Photograph: Ashwani Sharma) 

Shweta Taneja is an author with a weakness for the occult, the eccentric and the oral traditions of Indian myths. Her latest book Cult of Chaos is a tantrik fantasy based in Delhi. 

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