Comic Con came after a long wait, buzzed non-stop for two days, and went. It left me with half a dozen new comics, two aching legs, and a bunch of comrades in this comics guerilla movement.
Honestly I had never felt attracted to the idea of a Comic Con, you don’t get attracted to things you don’t understand. But the two days when it unfolded before me were like a blurry rewind of the main events in the comics story in India so far, which ended in my going “Aaaaah” and “Ahhhhh” (the difference is slight but important – one is a moment of realization, one is a moment of joy).
I am among the newest members of this league, not as a comics-lover, but as a comics soldier in the mission to give comics their due. People have been making, publishing and writing about comics for a while now. Some for 2 years, some for 5, some for 15 ! The sound of it is almost intimidating, but in hindsight I could rest easy, for the people I met these two days did not believe in a hierarchy.
I went in with little expectation, as I said. With luck I made a chain of acquaintances, all of whom summarily received my business card. Some even knew me, thanks to the Bloggers for Comic Con page. Likewise I had heard of my fellows the same way. A moment of surreal camaraderie descended when we had a group of new faces all identifying each other, not by their names, but by their URL’s. “Oh, you’re Comicology”, for instance.
We were all united by our curiosity of two things here, one was to see in person the people whom we only knew by their work (I met Abhijeet Kini for instance, who is a lot larger than I thought), the other was by our curiosity to see how big the comics scene in India was, and try and predict for our sakes how big it could become. On the second matter we safely concluded that the next edition, in Delhi or Mumbai or Bangalore, would be epic. Many times bigger and with much more participaton since this one proved the viability of it all. Organisers broke even, fans arrived in droves, sales were brisk. All good, my friend.
Rain played spoilsport on the last day, and at least two people I knew saw nothing except the indoor venue. But as a fellow blogger wrote, rains on the Con was also a sign of heavenly benevolence. That is the way I would like to see it too (though that’s from someone who had already made 32 trips of every stall there).
And, let me not forget all the costumed freaks. I didn’t expect more than one or two hapless souls to come in fancy dress, but lo and behold, many did. Freaks that didn’t let nervous pansies like me get in the way of the ultimate act of devotion to their comics. Kudos all you all.
I would like to mention names here, of people I met, with whom I talked comics, and who made these two days really bright and optimistic for me. Akshay Dhar, Vijayendra Mohanty, Saad Akhtar, Himanshu Singhal, Vivek Goel and Mayank Khurana. Credits to Rafiq Raja, (“Oh, you’re Comicology”) who gave me a lot of his time, and from whom I hope to learn what goes into a successful comics website.
Just one grouse. Can we please do away with the term “Fanboy”?