Comic Books & More Summit is poised to mark a starry convergence of industry stalwarts

In a bid to witness the resurgence of the comic book industry, highlight the best practices and more importantly, bring together the stakeholders of the industry under one roof, right from the comic creators to merchandisers to publishers to discuss the scope, challenges and ways to leverage the Indian comic industry, Animationxpress is thrilled to bring to you India’s first ever comic book-centric web summit Comic Books & More (CBAM- pronounced SeaBAAM) Summit.

In the dire times of the pandemic, we’ve seen a steady yet rise of comic book consumption. The boom and bust cycle that India’s comic book industry has gone through is a story in itself. Comic books have come as a saviour to many; right from being an escape from reality to being a travel buddy to being a stressbuster.

While the US, South Korea, Japan where the comic/webtoon/manga industry has been embraced and is thriving, India is a nation where comics have been available for a long time, but the industry and its talented artists and creators have yet to attain their rightful places under the sun.

The CBAM Summit will see an eclectic gathering of stalwarts who have held in the reigns of the “chitra katha” scenario firmly even in the teeth of uncertainties. Beginning with the keynote session Cracking the World of Comics, AnimationXpress founder chairman and editor-in-chief Anil Wanvari’s conversing with the award-winning author Ram Venkatesan. We will get to hear from the author of Aghori, Black Mumba, Grafity’s Wall on what made him enter this magical world leaving aside his successful career as a chemical engineer, what’s the key to crack the code of success – creatively and financially, how can comic artists collaborate with the famous publishing houses like DC & Marvel and most importantly, how can the Indian industry make its foothold stronger on the global map.

The web summit will see noted names like Chariot Comics founder Aniruddho Chakraborty, Abhijeet Kini Studios founder Abhijeet Kini, Bakarmax founder Sumit Kumar, Vimanika Comics CEO/publisher and editor-in-chief Karan Vir Arora, Amar Chitra Katha associate aditor Sanjana Kapur, Indusverse chief design officer and artist Saumin Suresh Patel and illustrator and graphic novelist Charbak Dipta imparting insights about the art of storytelling and tricks and tips to sustain in the world of comics.

Wacom India senior director Rajiv Malik will talk about Creativity in Online Education with Wanvari.

Having left an indelible mark on generations after generations, comic books or graphic novels, occupy a special place in zeitgeist. Right from the story to visuals to the fonts used, all the elements play an important role to make or break the comic. The session will cast a fresh look at the models and case studies that can help sustain it in the long run.

The popularity of the comic book characters have inspired a business that continues to thrive among its patrons. Gizmos and figurines have given a new life to these characters. DreamTheatre founder and CEO Jiggy George, Green Gold Animation founder and CEO Rajiv Chilaka, Black White Orange COO & co-founder Mitali Desai and
Entertainment Store co-founder Satish Khemchandani will explore the various facets of licensing and merchandising in India.

Tinkle editor-in-chief Kuriakose Vaisian, Press India managing editor (Children’s publishing division) and co-founder of The Bridge Richa Shah, Mayapuri Group CEO Shekhar Chopra, Diamond Comics advisor Bharat Gauba and Diamond Comics director Aanshul Verma will take the viewers through the journey of finding the ingredients that made these comic books sustain for decades and what goes into it and how are they keeping the content fresh for the younger generation. This session, Forever Young, will be moderated by FICCI chairman of AVGC Forum and Punnaryug Artvision founder Ashish Kulkarni.

Young comic book enthusiasts, Shaurya Makhijani, Pratima Tawde, Jai Shah, Sarah Mascarenhas and
Rayyaan Shetty, will also be sharing their take on the comic books, experiences with it and what exactly do they want!

Chitakar College of Education associate professor cum academic co-ordinator Dr. Parul Sood, Efundu founder Vijay Srinivas Prativadi, psychologist and counsellor Kumkum Jagadish, Jasudben M L School and Bloomingdales Pre-Primary educationist and principal Damayanti Bhattacharya and The Danceworx assistant artistic director and HOD Jaison Mathew will share their point of view on whether comic books can be inculcated in the teaching field and if it can be beneficial for the kids. How arts can help shape up and broaden the horizon of these young minds. No ‘kid’ding: It’s all about comics and Teaching the comic way sessions will be moderated by parentune founder and CEO Nitin Pandey.

In the Digital Publishers and Distributors, Pratilipi co-founder/CEO Ranjeet Pratap Singh, Amar Chitra Katha head of digital strategy Deepesh Kothari, Global Comix director of business development Eric Tapper and River Comics CEO J M Thakar will be discussing how the digital paradigm can be leveraged to further grow the comic book industry. Experts will put their heads together to aggregate the regional language comicverse with a rounded perspective on the past, present and the future of comics in regional languages.

Day 2 will witness regional comic book creators, Fenil Comics founder Fenil Sherdiwala, Chintoo Comics co-creator Charuhas Pandit, Mojaroo comics app co-founder and ComicsbySatra creator Satrajit Choudhury, graphic novelist and illustrator Harsho Mohan Chattoraj and Amar Chitra Katha executive editor Reena Puri, will be discussing about the power of India’s diversity & languages. The session will be moderated by writer and podcaster Vijayendra Mohanty.

International comic book artist and creator of ‘Bheriya’ Dheeraj Verma will conduct a special masterclass on Comic Art & Writing spanning writing, characters, visuals and font style.

Cosplay culture has taken roots in the Indian subcontinent with increased fervour. With fans sporting the costumes of their favourite characters, the undying buzz for cosplay has captured the imagination of millions. Filmmaker and multidisciplinary artist Sameer Bundela, professional concept and game artist Medha Srivastava, AltF4Cosplay lead costume design Stephanie Vander Heyden, Super Sugoii co-founder Rachita Saha, veterinarian and cosplayer Dr Tanya Shringarpure, will be discussing all aspects of this growing trend along with their experiences. The rise in cosplay industry will be moderated by game designer and cosplayer Vijay Sinha.

Kross Komics co-founder and CEO Thomas Kim will be sharing his viewpoints and journey with Wanvari during the fireside chat on Augmenting the Kross culture.

Moderated by Abhijeet Kini, Webcomics – Raising independent Voices, will see illustrators, animators and comic artists Bob & Bobby, The Beast Legion creator Jazyl Homavazir, ‘Zal’ comic strip creator Cyrus Daruwala, webcomic artist, children’s book illustrator and storyteller Srishti Sharma, sharing their thoughts on how can budding artists leverage the power of the internet to further their craft, how well does the web platform serve the comic book creators.

Satirists and political cartoonists have indeed been the bastions of free speech. Keeping the establishment in check through illustrations, they have indeed dissented in style. The Indian Express chief political cartoonist E.P. Unny will be shedding light on the thrills and challenges of being a political cartoonist.

Comic Book adaptations have ineluctably proved to a recipe of success with countless examples demonstrating the viability of this model. Rakshak writer/creator Shamik Dasgupta, Indusverse CCO Alok Sharma, Toonz Media Group techno-creative consultant (animation & VFX) Hari Varma, Priya’s Shakti creator Ram Devineni and Yali DreamWorks co-founder Vivek Rangachari will be exploring this subject and discussing as to what sort of content is suitable for adaptations.

With a starry convergence of pacemakers and industry veterans, the CBAM summit will indeed be a vantage point for the rather elusive yet wondrous industry.