Mumbai Comic Con 2017 had a marvelous start on its second day, where streams of fans rushed to the event around 30 to 40 minutes before the gates opened. It was indeed a place of wonder and dreams for comic lovers that comes only once in a year. The volunteers greeted everyone on the entrance with fist bumps and high fives and with a lot of enthusiasm.
Passing on the torch from day one of the Comic Con, day two brought along more surprises and more guest speakers. Animation Xpress team attended the event to share the experiences, sights and sounds of the beautifully decorated hall and a little about the speakers that attended the event.
Sumit kumar and the cartoonist conundrum
Bakarmax founder and owner Sumit kumar spoke about his webcomics Bakarmax where he introduces a new topic every week. All of his comic strips can be found on his website; these are humorous and hence does not focus on superheroes at all. Bakarmax has more Indian oriented type comedy on day to day topics that can be easily accepted by the public, like State Bank of Comics, Daalman and many more.
Amar Chitra Katha:
There was a live stage session where the Amar Chitra Katha(ACK) team came and spoke about their 50 glorious years. Editor Reena Puri, art director Savio Mascarenhas, Amar Chitra Katha editor-in-chief Rajani Thindiath were present from the team. They had a trivia session based on their comics where the winners received new ACK issues.
ACK editor-in-chief Rajani Thindiath said, “We have introduced several new characters. We want to ensure that there are as many female characters along with male characters.” The team also discussed about their comic series Mahabharata as they have already finished the Valmiki’s Ramayana.
Thindiath praised the female teenage superhero Wingstar that has become a hit. The success of this 13 year old girl whose real name is Mapui is going really strong. She fights against crime but also has homework and prefers to be a regular girl than a superhero.
Savio spoke about the influence he received from the late Anant Pai, fondly called Uncle Pai who is the founder of Amar Chitra Katha. He also explained his work on the Ramayana comic series which was his greatest achievement. Pai reached out to audiences by asking them questions related to the comic genre which Savio found to be very profound. The ACK team also gave a small introduction about how Tinkle was established as well.
AXN had an interactive session on stage where they quizzed the crowd about their popular shows like Sherlock, Viking, Breaking Bad and gifted prizes to fans. In 2016, the brand repositioned itself with the tag line LIVE R.E.D. It’s meant to give a view to the audience about the range of shows AXN has to offer. The new logo and packaging spells out the colour red for this tagline. This new presentation by the channel has helped increase their viewership.
East India Comedy:
There was a huge crowd for East India Comedy co-founder Sahil Shah who entertained the audience with hilarious jokes and his self created sound effects.
Transformers comic book artist Andrew Griffith:
Comic book artist Andrew Griffith who has designed the Transformers comic book series
was on stage for the next session. He was in Mumbai for the first time and showed his disappointment about the character Bumblebee from Transformers being able to talk these days. Andrew gave some tips to the comic writers as well. He said, “ For a character to be interesting, it should have something original in it, have multiple dimensions and should look modern and confident.”
A session with ‘The Awkward Yeti’ founder Nick Seluk
It was an interesting sight to see two comic founders on stage, one interviewing the other!
Brown Paperbag creator Shailesh Gopalan questioned The Awkward Yeti founder Nick Seluk about his work and more.He revealed about his inspiration for the “Blue Yeti” character saying, “the Yeti is simply an exaggeration of my own personality. I choose it as it funny and cool. I like to observe people and I spend hours researching the way people speak.”
His ideas have a very organic thought that backs it up, added Nick Seluk. He used to work as a graphic designer in corporate for ten years but was dissatisfied. He wanted to start something of his own, so he left his job and started working on his very own comic book.
“ That idea stayed with me for six months and finally I began writing at a coffee shop. The moment I wrote, it immediately lifted my heart.” Gopalan mentioned that just like Seluk, he derived his ideas by observing his surroundings. For creating comics, he usually does a rough sketch of it and then converts them digitally using Photoshop. Seluk also admitted using Photoshop to make his work look visually attractive since his drawings are sloppy in the rough sketches.
Be YouNick Session:
The next session was with the popular youtubers “Be YouNick” team known for their funny videos had come for the first time to Comic Con. Be YouNick CEO Nikunj Lotia introduced the rest of his team and gave a background of how the team formed. Lotia discussed about some of the videos they have on YouTube like the Parody of Escobar which was a hit.
Pro-cosplayer Nicole Marie Jean and Michael
Pro-cosplayers Nicole Marie Jean in a black and white costume and Michael in Sandman’s attire arrived on stage for the next session; Jean said “It’s fun creating costumes rather than buying them. I have created 150 different costumes in eight years. It takes a lot of efforts but it’s a learning experience and I have slowly evolved into creating more advanced costumes.” This was the second day of Mumbai Comic Con 2017 in a nutshell!
Even while the day started to conclude, the Comic Con hall was still lit up with all kinds of merchandises based on characters from Minions, Batman, Frozen, Starwars, Game of Thrones like ties, cups, notebooks, figurines, masks, USB drives, notebooks and the list goes on. Batman was one of the most sold out among them due to its huge fan following. Not to forget the cosplayers dressed up in characters like Nightwing, Spiderman, Batman, Ironman, Lara Croft, Thor, Joker, Black Widow who made the Mumbai Con alive till the end. We will wait for the next year’s Comic Con with the same eagerness as you guys!