4 and 5 March, 2017 observed Pune city’s biggest pop culture event – ‘Alto Pune Comic Con 2017’ which took place at Deccan College Convention Hall. The show hosted a spectacular lineup of events including special international guest appearances, exclusive experiential and gaming zones, artist alley, fans sessions, cosplay, book launches and much more. “I am extremely happy as we have received a grand response from comics fans and artists from across the world. Pune fans are fantastic; there was so much love for comics and pop-culture in the air! We are so looking forward to be back next year and every year as Pune now has its own Annual Comics Convention!” said Comic Con India, founder, Jatin Varma. British comics artist, David Lloyd who is best known for ‘V for Vendetta’ took a special session at PCC 2017. Tech fans were in for a treat as illustrator and caricature artist Malcolm Rebello took a Live Drawing session on Wacom Tablet. DJ Abhishek Mantra, actor and standup comedian, Gaurav Gera were also there at Pune Comic Con 2017. Gera performed his ‘Chutki & Shopkeeper’ act live at the show. This being a comic convention, you might be wondering where are the comics? Pune witnessed the launch of five comic book titles. These were Damned and Jataka Manga #1 by ICBM Comics, Caster by Holy Cow Entertainment, Guns-Fists-Blades Trilogy and Fanboys by Abhijeet Kini. Fans could also buy international comic books from Dorling Kindersley India, Viz Media By Simon & Schuster, DC, Darkhorse & Vertigo Comics By Random House India and many more. As for the cosplay competition, Comic Con India had created five categories to increase one’s chances of winning gifts. Each day, one winner was chosen from each of the five categories and the winners got a voucher of Rs 2500 (each) for their Spirit of Cosplay. Also, both days, one lucky winner out of the chosen five won Rs 50,000 and a chance to enter ‘Indian Championships of Cosplay’. The Winner of ‘Indian Championships of Cosplay’ will compete and represent the country at the Annual Crown Championships of Cosplay at Chicago Comics & Entertainment Expo. The winners of the cosplay contest of day one are: Gaming – Ankit Singh as Azir from League of Legends; Sci-fi – Vishwajeet Sathye as Star Lord; Movies/TV show – Gauri as Moana; Anime – San Ramsankar as Alphamon; Comic Book – Zara Rebello as Domino. The grand prize was bagged by Ankit Singh as Azir. The winners of the cosplay contest of day one are: Anime – Nishad Nadkarni as Genos; Comic – Shrey Srivastav; Sci Fi – Eshan Kulkarni as Robert Baratheon; Gaming – San Ramsankar as Alphamon; Movies/TV Show – Saurabh Rawat as John Snow. San Ramsankar as Alphamon took the grand prize. There was also Nodwin gaming zone where people could experience virtual reality and at the Amazon.in gaming zone, games like Fifa 17, Battlefield 1, Titanfall 2 were featured. There was also a 360 Attraction Dome observed where fans could enjoy an immersive experience. The new format of interactive amusement attraction, delivered the audience an incredible 360 VR immersive adventure that is a shared social experience by combining a fully immersive dome screen, surround sound and motion chairs. It also showcased the trailer of Mahabharata, a movie which is still in development. The other main attractions of the event were the Baahubali Zone and first of its kind Logan Movie fan experience zone. At the Baahubali zone, the team from the super hit franchise showcased a VR Experience called The Sword Of Baahubali, based on the World of Baahubali depicted in the movies. The Zone also provided an opportunity for all the visitors to get a peek into all our transmedia content like graphic novels, novel trilogy, animation series, merchandise. At the AXN Live R.E.D zone, fans got to witness some of their favorite characters from iconic shows like Billions, Justified, Supernatural, The Voice, Dexter and Sherlock. People also got a chance to experience Sherlock’s eccentric lifestyle and win lots of goodies amongst other things. At the convention, fans got to buy merchandise from the best and most exclusive international merchandisers from across the globe. Also, there were exclusive Indian merchandisers including Bewakoof.com, Macmerise, MC Sid Razz, Redwolf, Posterboy, Uptown 18, Vivid Swans, Access O Risingg, The Yellow Studio, Comic Sense XYZ, Wacom, Pop Art Factory, 3D Masti, Geek Goodies and many more. Though it was blistering hot, the comic convention was filled with fans. As far as the sale of comics and merchandises is concerned, the response was a mixed one. According to the comic book publishers, this year Pune had a more informed crowd who were eager to get their hands on comics. However one thing which both comic publishers and merchandisers felt was that being a city of students, the purchasing power was less. Like last year, this year too Pune’s venue had an open air and indoor setting where all the stalls were situated inside and the stage, experience zones, food court were outside. Cosplayers had to face a lot of issues due to the heat. To avoid the heat, heavy suited cosplayers were observed only in the later part of the day. All-in-all it was a nice event where all the pop-culture lovers get the chance to meet their fellow kinds and interact with their favourite comic publishers and cosplayers.