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First Annual Comic Con India 2011

What is Comic Con?
It’s a convention about Comics! But its not just limited about Comics! Yes, primarily its about Comics, but as we all know, that Batman, Superman, X-men, Spiderman and all these have already taken over our entertainment in a big way. They are not limited to just Comics, but are in Movies, TV series, Books, Merchandise, games and what not! Comic Con, or Comics Convention, started in San Diego way back in 1970, and still goes one as one of the biggest event every year! But hey, Comics fans are everywhere and no one can stop them to organise their own Comic Con in their cities! So, we have Comic Con happening in New York, Baltimore, London, Emerald City and more.

Why a Comic Con India?
Yes, there are many Comics fans in India. We started with foreign comics when Indrajal Comics started publishing Phantom, and then generations grow on staple diet of Comics! There was a gap in between with new medium of entertainment like TV and Video Games make their way to India. But the recent scene is different. We have existing publications like Diamond Comics and Raj Comics still getting strong, with Raj Comics recently changed their style, art and storylines! Their Nagayan series was another example of this change! Amar Chitra Katha is back in business, with not only Comics, but DVDs, TV series and a motion picture as well. Then we got Vimanika Comics, another success story of bringing out more and more titles based on mix of Mythology and Fiction! They got Moksha and The Sixth published and liked by a lot of fans, and followed by some great line up including Kalki, Shiva, Dashavataar and so on! Then we have got another player, Comic Jump, whose co-founder Shreyas wins UTV’s business reality show The Pitch with the idea of Comics publication! There are various others, like Comix-India, who is yet to find a publisher, but still published 4 issues of independent Comics in India, using direct order to print service. So, the situation is different, and its not just a reboot of 70s comics era in India, but a fresh beginning of Indian Comics Age! We have so many Indian publications, artists, writers contributing to original stories for so much Indian Comics, and not just rip-off from western superheroes. The art is fresh, stores are fresh and original, this is keep getting better and better.
I remember when MTV started in India, I told my friends, that India will need its own MTV, and not just one channel playing English songs all day long! Those were the days when we were just beginning to see MTV, Prime Sports, Star TV and CNN. We just had two 30 min song diet from our very own DD, called Chitrahaar and Rangoli. Most of the Cable operators were just using one or two channels to show all the 4-5 channels, by switching it from their side 3-4 times a day. So, you may get MTV in the morning, then Star TV in afternoon and CNN in the evening… something like that. My friends laughed at me, and mentioned that I need to fix my brain, and stop dreaming! Well, now we have our very own MTV, and a lot of other music channels! But this is history. So, why am I mentioning this here? The  logic is quite clear, with the similar boom happening in Comics space, we need our very own Comic Con in India! And my dream, like the MTV one, has come true again! We are having own very own, first ever, Annual Comic Con India! Its happening in Delhi! Its happening now! The two days event is on 19th and 20th Feb 2011, that’s the coming weekend! It’s a must attend event for comics fans in India. Even if you are not a Comics fan, if you are in or around Delhi, and got some time in hand, you should visit the event! 

What’s in store @ Comic Con India? 
Well, its all about Comics! You can meet publishers, artists, writers and a lot of Comics Fans! There will be new comics launch, workshops, contests and lot more! If you are interested to go a little deep into how comics are created, there are various workshops about that! Even the creator of Legendary Chacha Chowdhury, Mr Pran and Brain behind Amar Chitra Katha, Uncle Pai is going to be there! Mr Anant Pai will receive the 1st Annual Indian Comics Convention Life Time Achievement Award, with Mr Pran as special speaker for the Award Ceremony! Vimanika is launching their graphic novel “The Legends of Karna: Book 2”, Pop Culture Publishing is launching “Itch You Can’t Scratch” with other launches as well! There are workshops every 30 minutes! Then there is a contest for Superhero character dress-up! Everyone who will go in a comic character costume will get a gift, with awards for the winners! There is so much to look forward to! Still thinking why you should attend? Look at the list of participants below:

And below is the list of Events for 19th February 2011, the first day, please note that the below image is taken from Comic Con India official website, so the "Read More" links on image will not work. You can always visit the official 19th Feb Even webpage for more information. I have given the details of these events below this image:

Highlights of some of the events on 19th February 2011, Saturday:

Vimanika Comics Mythological Comics writing Workshop - 1:00 PM 
Conducted by Kshitish Pahdy, writer for Vimanika Comics. Kshitish is a graphic novelist with over 4 years in the industry. He is currently writing on Moksha series for Vimanika Comics.  Kshitish has also translated over 70 comic titles and graphic novels.

OUT OF THE BOX: A Special Workshop with Amar Chitra Katha - 2:00 PM
Reena Puri, Editor, Amar Chitra Katha
Savio Mascarenhas, Art Director, Suppandi 48
Prachi Killekar, Senior Illustrator, Tinkle
Rajani Thindiath, Assistant Editor, Tinkle
Shalini Srinivasan, Writer, Amar Chitra Katha

Launch of Ud Bilaw Manus - UBiMa - 3:00 PM
UBiMa - Out of the streets and fields of 'Beehar' comes - Uud Bilaw Manus! (Otter-Human!) Boldly fighting evil and keeping the world safe!
UBiMa is the superhero that Indian people had been waiting! A good son, an honest citizen, and speaker of (approximately) an Indian language! Ubima's adventures are fun, pacey, and mostly without a proper ending, but, as I mentioned earlier, they're fun!
An Insight into the Making of the Forthcoming Campfire Graphic Novel - Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves Reloaded - 3:30 PM
This activity will cover the main aspects of the making of a graphic novel, and in this case, the forthcoming, much-awaited graphic novel by Campfire - Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves Reloaded. This book is an interesting re-telling of the classic tale Arabian Nights, and is set in modern-day Mumbai. This story will create nostalgic value for those who have read and loved the classic tale, and at the same time will be an interesting 'original' story for new readers who might be inspired to go back and read the actual classic after reading this graphic novel.
Campfire will take the audience through the process of making of this graphic novel - right from the concept to the writing to editing and finally to the art work. It will be staged by a hired MC who will take the audience through the process, while a visual presentation will be running in the background. The discussion by the Emcee will involve interviews with the artist, editor, owner of Campfire, etc.
Various images of art-in-progress will be shown to explain to the audience how much work goes into creating a book that is meant to make reading more fun for them. The whole activity has been thought about with the aim of sharing with the audience the spirit and passion that goes behind creating an enriching book for them.

GRASSROOTS Comics Workshop - 4:00 PM
GRASSROOTS Comics are visual stories drawn by the common people themselves. These comics are being used as "a communication tool" in many countries of the globe. They are in Black & White form, so easy to photocopy and distribute in a small group or community.
The idea of the workshop is to let people know about the idea behind the organization.

Vimanika Comics Interactive Session - 5:00 PM
Conducted By Karan Vir Arora, conceptual writer, Publisher and CEO of Vimanika Comics, the first Indian comics publisher in the USA . Karan Vir is also won the Star young Exellence in Innovation Entrepreneur Award by the 3rd Indira India International Innovation Summit. Karan Vir is also a dedicated researcher of Indian mythology, working with a team of archaeologists, researchers and Scholars to endow his comics with historical and cultural authenticity.
With over 7 years’ experience in the training industry, he brings with him the techniques needed to impart knowledge to our readers again making Vimanika comics  become a tool for not just entertainment but also knowledge.

The Animation Society of India Special Worshop - 5:30 PM
With the aim to introduce ANIMATION to the general public.  Audience members will be invited to participate in the making of a short film using a stop motion technique known as 'Pixillation'. The resulting film will be then be shown to the entire audience. This is by far the simplest technique to explain the entire concept of animation. The workshops will be so designed that participants with no prior knowledge of animation or film making will be able to contribute and participate in the process.

Workshop by creators of Ravanayan - 6:30 PM
Vijayendra Mohanty and Vivek Goel have been parts of the comic book fandom since childhood. Their love for comics drew them together for the creation of Ravanayan, a soon-to-release imaginary retelling of the story of one Hindu itihasa's most prominent antagonists -- Ravana. Previously, Mohanty and Goel have also collaborated on comic book projects like the first season of Northern Song (Level 10 Comics).
The two will be at the Delhi Comic Con to talk about the ingredients that go into the making of a comic book, the khichdi of collaboration, and the general ups and downs of a career in comics. Goel will throw some light on the art aspect and Mohanty will talk about the storytelling.
There are no accidents AKA Chitrakatha Session at the ComicCon - 7:00 PM
Chitrakatha: Indian Comics Beyond Balloons and panels will reveal its first teaser at the ComicCon and then we will showcase and share some of the most interesting stories behind the history of Indian Comic Books and Chitrakatha the documentary project.
It's going to be one fun-filled conversational session with Comics lovers where the makers of this documentary will discuss why the age old saying - There are no accidents, still holds true when one talks about Indian Comic Books and this documentary.
How chasing a train in 1940s made a slum kid one of the first Indian comic book creators and how a couple of idle machines helped and brought in the comic book culture in India. We will be sharing the intriguing stories of creators who created some of the most loyal imaginary friends we all still have in common.
And yes, if you are interested, we would also tell you how watching Kab, Kyon aur Kahaan - A Dharmendra movie one Sunday afternoon on DD in the late 1980s made Chitrakatha possible.
We will tell you why - There are no accidents.
Now the second and concluding day on 20th February 2011, Sunday. Again, the links on image will not work, but I have given the highlights of events below the image:

Highlight of Events on 20th February 2011, Sunday:

The Amination Society of India Workshop - 11:00 AM
With the aim to introduce ANIMATION to the general public. The workshops will be so designed that participants with no prior knowledge of animation or film making will be able to contribute and participate in the process.

Special Interactive Session with Creators of Level 10 Comics - 11:30 AM
Level 10 Studios will introduce Level 10 Comics and Comic Jump and also talk about their special edition Comic Jump Independent that featured content by independent comic book creators from across the country. They'll be talking about the importance of creator owned content for the future of Indian Comics and how they are trying to position Level 10 Comics as a platform for showcasing Creator content and usher in the next generation of brilliant concepts. 

Launch of The Random Humor Digest Anthology - 2:00 PM
The Random Book, is not just any random book, it's the hand-picked, assimilated, distilled and unabridged collection of the best of Random Humor Digest. All the best articles (and some that we could not publish earlier for legal reasons) as well as stuff with Simpoo and Lola from our secret vaults, in one neat, glossy, hardbound package to best suit bathroom-libraries all across the nation!

Special Workshop with Mr. Vaibhav Kumaresh, Renowned Animator - 2:30 PM
He plans to share with the audiences the process of how animation films are made. It will start with the screening of different types of films: ads, channel promos, public service films, as well as music videos. That will be followed by case studies from hand drawn 2D animation, clay/ puppet animation as well as digital 3D animation films. Questions from the audiences are most welcome!

Special Interactive Session with Vishwajyoti Ghosh, Author of Times New Roman & Countrymen and Delhi Calm - 3:30 PM
Mr. Ghosh will be talking about his book Delhi Calm - A graphic novel that re-imagines Delhi in the 1970s
Imagine waking up one morning to learn that all your rights as a citizen are suspended this moment onwards. Imagine living the way the State tells you to-being told how, where and when to laugh, live or love. Imagine constant surveillance-all your acts, words, thoughts watched, all forms of expression subverted for the purpose of nation-building. 'Work More, Talk Less', yell microphones as you walk down the streets... But do not worry-Delhi is still calm. It is the India of the mid-1970s. Three young men with vastly different perspectives, but all dreaming of 'change', cross paths during this time. Do they sink as individuals or swim as a collective?
Was William Penn right to say that 'Democracy dies in the hearts of democrats, before it dies in the hands of a dictator'? Find out in Vishwajyoti Ghosh's powerful graphic re-imagining of one of the most seminal moments in the history of Indian democracy.

Launch of “The Itch You Can’t Scratch” By Sumit Kumar - 4:00 PM
A Former Writer For Savita Bhabhi, Sumit Kumar Takes The Reader Through His Short But Eventful Life. From The Absurd To The Comical, From Mundane Activities To Mind Blowing Realizations, From Entrepreneurship To Embarrassment. This Is A Self Effacing, Honest View Of The Life Of A Young, Confused Man Suffering From An Acute Case of The Itch You Can't Scratch

Why and how to start a webcomic - 7:00 PM
Can't sketch, but want to start a comic? Get on the Internet and start a webcomic, where horrible art is appreciated and stick figures are the most popular character design! The workshop will be on how to start your own webcomic and make it successful. From recording ideas to publicizing your comic on Twitter/Facebook.

Then, there is Contest for Best Dressed Comics Character, where every participants will get a surprise gift, with great prizes for winners! And the best news is, this contest is on both days, so double the chances of winning!

You can get more detailed and latest information on Comic Con India official website!
I am going to be there, all day long, for both days! With so many events, I am still thinking how am I going to visit the stalls? I am not able to decide which event to miss, so that I can visit stalls, meet artists, writers, and buy some comics! Let’s see what I can do! But if you are coming, chances are you will meet me at the centre, where the workshops are being held!
Make your plan to attend it, be a part of history! Remember, this is First Annual Comic Con India! You can always attend next year, but that won’t be the first one! 
Be there on 19th and 20th Feb, at Dilli Haat, New Delhi (Opposite INA Market). 

[I am not associated with the event organisers, or any other comics publisher. I am just a comics fan, and wants to show my support to the event! I have used information and images from Comic Con India website, including the event list and participants. If anyone think I am violating any copyright, please do let me know and I will remove the objectionable portion/links from my Blog.] 


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