Indie Comix Fest: Where art follows passion

With a successful start in 2017, the second Indie Comix Fest took place on 1 May at YMCA, Colaba in Mumbai. A perfect platform that the new comics need, comic artists gathered from various nooks and corners making the event a hit.

The event was a contemporary cultural melting pot with over 25 comic book artists, writers, illustrators and self-publishing labels displaying their works. Anthologies, serialised floppies, hand-pressed zines, fold-out comics, screen-printed comics, posters, and a ton of other self-published content was seen at the desks of the participants where aspiring artists tried their hand at the comic art.

The Indie Comix Fest is organised by a bunch of volunteers including Bharath Murthy, Aniceto Pereira, Kailash Iyer and Chaitanya Modak on a non-profit basis to bring artists and readers together to share and showcase comics as a form of expression and celebrating the success of self-published comics.

“This is an attempt to encourage free expression in comic form wherein we want to contribute to the growth of comic culture in India. With this platform, readers and artists interact face to face. We are planning to do it on a larger scale, now spreading to three cities, including Bangalore and Delhi and wish to do it in Goa soon,” expressed Murthy.

The fest saw new releases with Abhijeet Kini’s Rhyme Fighters, Ahmed Sikander’s Monky Ink Blots; Karthik Narasimhan’s Doctor Endo’s Gallery of Amusing Thoughts; Omkar Mahashabde’s Aaj Ka Tazaa Scribble; Rahul Bhandare’s Circuit Therapy: The Code of Light; Archit Vaze’s The Butterfly Effect, Amit Kaikini’s Capacious Chair (Who Ate My Eggs & The Next Morning), Shrabani Dasgupta and Manmeet Sandhu’s Wild Tales for Weird Minds and OCTA by Blue Jackal among others.

Kini shared, “We get to know what other artists are up to and get to see new content. It’s a pleasure being part of Indie Comix Fest.” With his Rhyme Fighters creating quite a stir, volume three of the same is already here. “The plan is to bring up something new every two months,” he added.

A group of kids from the Maulana Azad School, Dharavi with their mentor Chaitanya Modak were the centre of attraction at the fest. These kids in the age group of 10-12 created their own comic stories which are collected together in a book published by Won-Tolla under the title Saturday Comix.

Maulana Azad School students with their mentor Chaitanya Modak

“These kids used to wait after classes every Saturday to conceptualise their stories and create storyboards, and that’s why the name, Saturday Comix,” says Modak beaming with pride.

Iyer brought down the curtains on the fest with a warm note saying, “When Bharath, Ceto, Chaitanya and I were putting together the first edition of the fest last year, we had no idea whether an event like this is even sustainable. Today, when I look around the room and see all the fantastic talent gathered here, I know we took the right step. Nearly a dozen new comics have been released today, in a variety of genres – horror, comedy, autobiographical, and some fairly experimental pieces as well. I strongly believe our next edition will see even more new releases!”

The event gathered attention from the expected audience and the organisers hope to boost the craze even more at the next Indie Comix Fest coming up on 13 May at Delhi.