Toon fan frenzy at Comic Con

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The past weekend was a treat for the comic and gaming enthusiasts of the capital as the fourth edition of Comic Con India witnessed a huge gathering of comic writers, illustrators, artists and readers at the Thyagraj Stadium, INA.

The three-day long event saw a good turnout of youngsters, who came to collect and flaunt the latest memorabilia and limited edition comic books from across the globe. Apart from the exciting cosplays, the other interesting highlight of this year’s Comic Con was the international pavilion, where many globally renowned personalities like Mark Waid (known for his work with Marvel Comics) and David Lloyd (illustrator of the story V for Vendetta) interacted with young comic book fans.
Like every year, the Comic Con was aimed to generate a bigger market for those who are in the business of Indian comic book publishing, and the organisers claim that over the years there has been a positive change in the comics and graphic novel industry in India. The rise in demand of quality comic books in Indian market is a testimony to this fact, mentions Jatin Varma, founder, Comic Con India.
He says, “The potential for Indian comics is huge and with the rise in popularity of Comic Con conventions we have seen Indian comics coming of age with unique characters and more original storylines.

There’s still a lot more to do, but we certainly are maturing.”
Whereas, Vivek Goel, winner of best colourist award from the Holy Cow Entertainment Pvt. Ltd., points out that there is a marked rise in number of Indian comics and graphic novels and this industry is reportedly seeing a ten per cent growth each year.
He says, “There was a downfall in the comic books market in India for many years and for quite sometime there was a void because people were flooded with foreign cartoon shows and online comic content. But, the print industry will never fade out because at the end of the day every comic lover swears by his\her collection of comic books. Events like Comic Con India prove that there is a huge demand for Indian comic books and characters, and if a publishing house can provide quality work, consistency and good content, this industry can flourish. Another major hurdle here is the physical distribution of copies — in India, we still have to get a good system in place to provide smooth sales of comic books across the country.”
In order to revive and promote the growth of Indian comics and indigenous characters, an online initiative called ‘Save Indian Comics’ has also started gaining steam among the comic lovers. The founders of this project want people to come up and sign a petition to support artists and Indian comic books, and a team from Hyderabad was specially present in Delhi to spread the word at this comic convention.
Yashwant Golecha, a team member of Save Indian Comics initiative, informs, “In current times, there are only two big comic book publishing house that are still functional in India — Raj comics and Diamond comics. The rest of the vernacular and national comic book houses have shut shop or are releasing very limited copies each year. There is a huge potential in this segment and Indian comic fans enjoy reading tales of their home-grown characters. Sadly, the demand is more than the supply, so the industry is growing at a slow pace. Through this cause, we are trying to bridge the gap between writers, artists, publishers and fans so they can revive the old characters and present them in a new format to bring back the golden age of Indian comics.”

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