Hyderabad Comic Con 2016 was flooded not with rains but with the comic fanatics who were eagerly waiting for this pop culture event since a year. Held on 24 and 25 September, 2016 at Hitex Exhibition Centre, like every year, this year too the show hosted a spectacular line-up of events including special international guest appearances, exclusive experiential and gaming zones, artist alley, fans sessions, cosplay, book launches and much more.
Comic Con India, founder, Jatin Varma shared, “Four years in Hyderabad and the fans in the city never disappoint! We at Comic Con India wish to thank them for their enthusiasm for helping us make this the best weekend of the year. As always we’ll be back next year bigger and better!”
As mentioned in the pre-event article, famous international personalities like Afshan Azad, Dan Parent, David Lloyd and Nicole Marie Jean attended and took special sessions at HCC 2016. Along with them, Baba Sehgal also dropped in on both the days hitting it up with the audience on the stage.
Being a Comic Con, one of the main attractions are the cosplayers and Comic Con India continued to give prizes to people in great costumes. The winner of the Cosplay Championship on both days who went out to receive the Rs 50,000 cash prize were Hari Teja as Batman and Akhil Macharla who cosplayed as Deadric from Skyrim.
AnimationXpress reached out to the comic publishers, artists and merchandisers to know more about their experience at the fourth edition of the Hyderabad Comic Con.
The author of the graphic novels like The Itch You Can’t Scratch and Amar Bari Tomar Bari Naxalbari, Sumit Kumar had his first time experience at the Hyderabad Comic Con. “Though I wasn’t expecting much, it was surprising that I managed to sell all my copies (100 to be precise). Since we were selling posters at cheap rates, 70 per cent of them got sold off,” says Kumar.
Chariot Comics founder Aniruddho Chakraborty who launched Damned at the con mentions, “The event was definitely better organised than last year and the crowd was more receptive. People were inquisitive to know more about the titles which lead to me selling out all the 100 to 150 copies.”
Skipping Hyderabad Comic Con in 2015, Angry Maushi creator who launched his new title Fanboys this year at HCC Abhijeet Kini says, “This time we had our stall in the Artist Alley and were selling comics, art prints and posters. For the first time, I was also doing commissioned sketches and it was warming to see that the crowd was more interested towards not just the comics but also the art collection.”
Kini managed to sell about 150 comic books; 90 of Fanboys and 60 of Angry Maushi. He goes on to mention that with Fanboys, he managed to tap into young age groups along with the older ones.
At Comic Con India, a lot of popular international character merchandises and art prints are observed. However there’s a dedicated artists alley wherein Indian artists display their original artworks which doesn’t necessarily have to be of superheroes. And among them was Saumin Suresh Patel whose main intention on attending cons is to interact with fans and create more awareness about his artworks. Patel happily chatters, “Hyderabad Comic Con was a bit weird this year as there were heavy rains just a day prior to the event. It was pleasing to see that the rains didn’t deter the fandoms from attending the event as I feel there was a larger footfall this time.”
Speaking about his stall and sales, Patel adds, “It was great to interact with so many people who not just appreciated my art but also went ahead and bought it. If you see my sales, it was 20 to 25 per cent but I am happy with it as I attend the Comic Con with a different intention.”
Not just comic publishers and artists, even the merchandisers found the crowd promising. “In spite of the rains, there was a good footfall with the visitors being much better than last time,” a happy Planet Superheroes founder Jaineel Aga comments. “Our ‘batarang’ collectible was a hot product and we managed to sell about 80 per cent of what we carried (approximately 1000 pieces across; from the cheapest to the most expensive ones).”
Placing its foot for the first time in the HITEC city’s Comic Con, Bombay Merch founder and MD Akshay Butani tells, “A lot of people came in but were interested in buying low ticket price items which ranged from Rs 150 to 500. Overall we managed to sell about 30 to 40 per cent of our stock which is not at all disheartening.”
When asked if most of the products bought by the customers were comic based, Butani comments, “The market in Hyderabad still needs to be more comic friendly as the city’s love for the pop culture is still in its nascent stage. However, we will surely be visiting the next Hyderabad Comic Con edition.”
Year by year, the awareness and fan lore of the pop culture event is increasing in Hyderabad and its heartening to see the growing positive response the indie comic publishers and Indian artists are receiving. Comic Con India’s next stop is Mumbai on 22 and 23 October, 2016.