Comic-Con is the biggest and most famous convention for fans of comic books, movies, video games, anime, manga, and possibly everything geek! The convention has it’s roots in comic books, but it’s come to stand for “geek” culture as a whole, and today we’ve annual Comic-Cons that take place all around the world!
It was a huge surprise for me when I heard this year the con will be held in Pune. I’ve always wanted to see a comic convention and this got me super excited because it was being held in my own city. There have been comic cons in different cities throughout India but never in Pune so, I loved that fact a lot.
Comic cons have gained a lot of popularity in the last 10 years mainly because of the rise of “pop” or popular culture. With more people being exposed to all different forms of media content, the demand for groups pertaining to that content also rises. Television shows such as House, Big Bang Theory, Sherlock, etc. are all the hype now. These shows have a vast fan following and this forms the basis of popular culture. The first comic cons were probably attended by enthusiasts of a particular content and since being a “geek” was frowned upon back then, they weren’t that popular, mainstream press would also look the other way. Now, pop culture is the new normal. People are heavily influenced by television shows, movies, and comics. Quoting their favorite character, or instances of the shows, or the themes in the shows, all appeal heavily to the general public. Nowadays, if a guy doesn’t know about Game of Thrones, others will probably think there’s something wrong with him.
Films like Ironman, Avengers, Thor have gained tremendous success and have been made more famous than Batman and Spiderman, Superman even. Video games are played by everyone. If a TV show actor/actress is shown playing a video game, the game in turn gains huge popularity. This makes the general public to want to play these games as well. In the TV show House of Cards, President Frank Underwood is shown playing Call of Duty! Well enough about the that, let’s talk about PUNE COMIC CON.
First in line for the event, I was waiting as the ticketing counter started. Eager to get my super fan tickets. I was told I will receive a goodie bag with a “Super Fan” cape and badge. I was not disappointed. After getting it, I immediately wore the cape. Near the entrance, there was a welcoming area and God, the volunteers are so enthusiastic! All of them shouting at the top of their voices “Welcome to Comic Con” and high-fiving everyone in sight! After that, the hall is where the “real” fun began. As I entered, I saw numerous stalls, all selling merchandises from all my favorite shows and video games! I immediately went to the “Scholastic” stall and bought enough Star Wars merchandise to last for a year. There were a huge number of people cos-playing as their favorite characters too. I clicked a pic with Ironman, Female-Kakashi, Bellatrix, Madara, and so many others.
The best part about comic con, is meeting people in the business. I’ve been reading comic books all my life. Now, my interest has moved on to graphic novels. Ramayan 3392 A.D. By Shamik Dasgupta and Ravana: Roar of the Demon King by Abhimanyu Singh Sisodia are two of my most favorite graphic novels. So, when I saw all the stalls for graphic novels, I was super excited. I bought Sita Daughter of the Earth by Nagpal Saraswati among a few others. The next place where I literally got goosebumps was when I visited a manga stall. They had original Naruto manga volumes. Right from the first. Overpriced, yes but the manga fan inside me couldn’t resist. I bought a novel on Naruto’s adventures titled “Naruto: Tales of a Gutsy Ninja“. My inner fanboy is now satiated.
Next, I bought a few T-shirts, posters, badges and frames from various other stalls. I bought a few for my friends as well. A DOTA 2 poster for Gaurav Singh and a Tokyo Ghoul poster for Arun. Next I was really intrigued by a stall who were selling an Indian version of the popular card game called “Cards Against Humanity”. Mind you, the game is R rated and should be played at your own risk. *wink* *wink*.
I got signed posters by Peter Nguyen and Ivan Brandon. Peter Nguyen is the artist behind Batman: Arkham Unhinged #9. He has also worked on famous comics such as Secret Six, Gotham City Sirens, Return of Bruce Wayne, and Catwoman. Interacting with such a personality was truly a dream come true. He drew a batman sketch for me as well! Thanks a lot Peter!
Ivan Brandon on the other hand is the artist behind Wolverine Rot, Deadpool, Doc Savage, Secret Invasion, Batman, Nemesis and Final Crisis. He is also the co creator of Drifter, of which I got his signed poster! He couldn’t draw anything there cause of the huge crowd behind me. Anyway, thanks for the poster Ivan! Hope to see you again next year.
Lastly, it’s near to the end of the first day. I went to attend the cosplay competition. There was a huge turnout of cosplayers. Many had purchased full costumes while others had made everything from scratch. I loved the Ironman cosplay a lot. He had even done a mechanical workaround for the head piece and had glowing LEDs on his palms. A few others had stitched their own costumes and were much worthy of the appreciation. I was disappointed because there weren’t cosplays for generic superheroes like Superman, Green Lantern, etc. I guess Deadpool is to blame for that because there were at least 10 Deadpool cosplayers including a female deadpool! The Ironman cosplayer won the best cosplay award and he will be competing in the Middle East Comic Con as well this year. I envy him so much.
With a huge haul, I got out of the event with a big smile on my face. Did you attend the event as well? How did you like it? Let us know in the comments below.