October 26-2016
Mumbai Comic Con 2016: A drab experience with good comic and artist line-up

With actor Ajay Devgn and the crew of his upcoming movie Shivaay being present at the Mumbai Comic Con, the sixth edition of the Mumbai con ended on a high note. With the approach of this year’s most awaited releases: Doctor Strange and The Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, we got to witness new instalments at the convention.

Promoting Fantastic Beasts was Warner Bros’ Wand Master Training Booth where people learnt to use wands to create official spells, The Doctor Strange zone where fans could pose as Marvel Cinematic Universe’s newest entrant and ‘Become Iron Man’, which was an augmented reality experience, that used ground-breaking technology to enable fans to suit up just like Tony Stark.

Doctor strange MCC

As these were the three exciting new ventures, the overall experience seemed a bit dull this time if compared to last year’s edition. With the Independent Artist Alley near the stage area where blazing sounds from the speakers were ready to welcome you, one could not strike a conversation with the comic publishers without yelling at top of their voice. Well, that’s the price one has to pay for getting noticed by the fans.

On the extreme opposite side of the stage was the International guests’ ‘Meet and Greet’ area and adjoining to it was Artists Alley. While the placement seemed perfect to attract fans, there wasn’t much to attract comic lovers.

Along with comics, cosplayers were one of the highlights of MCC 2016. There were about 10 comic book launches including Priya’s Mirror by Rattapallax, Black Mumba & Brigands by Ram Iyer, Aghori – The Lost Years by Holy Cow Entertainment, and Adhish Epiphany & Jasmine Builds on Shifting Sands by Red Streak Publications.

While for some comic publishers and artists this year’s Comic Con had been a good one, some were a tad disappointed. ICBM’s Aniruddho Chakraborty and Aayumi Productions Pankaj Naik after one hiatus decided to make their presence felt at Mumbai and they were not left disappointed. Both had to say that as compared to 2014, the 2016 was a much better year for them, with Chakraborty selling all the comic books.

A satisfied Holy Cow Entertainment’s Vivek Goel said, “This year has been better for us because of the fact that people also bought my original artwork pieces. The crowd remains the same every year but the potential buyers take it well.”

Miracle Men

Miracle Men

While Black Mumba got sold out, Miracle Men sketched by artist Anand RK was a hot selling product too. Ram Iyer commented, “We believe that there is a market existing for comics, it’s just that comics need to be foregrounded. While I am happy with the work and platform Comic Con India is providing, I can just hope that they encourage more creativity and creators (someone who has great idea and skill).” He does mention about the fact that the Comic Con Awards are being missed.

A happy Sumit Kumar sums up his experience in one line, “If a meteor plans to kill me, I am checked in and ready to depart.”

Artists Saumin Suresh Patel, Sayali Horambe and Sophie Almez also had a good show this year. Whereas on the other hand comic publishers: Pulpocracy’s Kailash Iyer and Pressure Cooker’s Shikhant Sablania felt that last year was better than 2016. Sablania said that if compared to the recent Hyderabad Comic Con, MCC 2016 was better.

One key observation was that it’s not that Mumbai is not ready to intake comic books. If the comic is worth the money and is well executed not just in terms of art but also storyline, fans will put their money on it. And this could be observed from the sale of Miracle Men which is merely a six pager graphic novel sold at Rs 250 (given the efforts gone into making it, it’s cheap).

We wish Comic Con India good luck for their next stop at Bengaluru on 12 and 13 November and hope that next year they come in with more comics and artists stalls with innovative promotions at Mumbai.