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Preview: Comic Con 2013

This year, Comic Con India will see a host of international publishers, some very interesting talks and a few good launches.

7 Feb, 2013

Siddhant Mehta

Contributing Writer

Here at NH7, we are the masters of the Con! With the Third Annual Indian Comic Con set to take place once again in Dilli Haat, Delhi, from February 8 to February 10, we know just what to do to make the best of it. Last year’s Comic Con (which we previewed here) was a really significant event because legends of the industry such as Robert Crumb and Gary Groth (read our full interview with him here) came all the way to Delhi to talk to us about comic books. This year however, there are no international guests, but Comic Con will be graced by Pran, the creator of Chacha Chaudhry, as well as some luminaries of the Indian comic book scene such as Samit Basu (writer of Simoquin Prophecies) and Orijit Sen (one of the founders of Pao Collective). While the upcoming Comic Con doesn’t quite have the star power that the previous Comic Con had, there are still things to look forward to which we will highlight below.

Friday, February 8
Ever wonder what goes into writing a comic book? Well, you can catch a special panel discussion about this, which will be moderated by Tinkle Digest editor, Neel Debdutt Paul. The panel will be made up of Samit Basu, writer Anant Singh and Jason Quinn from Campfire Comics and it’s quite likely that aspiring writers will be able to gain some insight on the process of comic creation. You can catch this panel discussion at 2:30pm. The panel discussion that will indeed be more likely to draw a crowd, takes place at 5pm and it’s got the potential to ask some interesting questions. This panel discussion is about indie and alternative comics and their growing importance in comics, and it will be moderated by V.K. Karthika, who is an editor at Harper Collins. What sets this apart from other panel discussions, is the fact that it’s going to feature editors and representatives of top alternative comics companies such as Drawn and Quarterly, First Second Books, Fantagraphics and Self Made Hero. This is an excellent opportunity to pick the brains of representatives of some of the best alternative comics in the world.

Comics launched on the day - Dashavtaar Vol 2 and War of The Independents (Vimanika Comics), Kuru Genesis (Ari Jayprakash), Pandavas P5 (Rudra Matsa).

We spoke to Jatin Varma, one of the organisers of Comic Con to find out more about how the international publishers came on board

We really wanted to have people who don’t have a physical presence in India represented at Comic Con. We’ve been contacting publishers left and right for a long time, and with Top Cow and Image Comics we lucked out. The thing is, those comics do have a fans in India but they’re not as inaccessible as say Marvel or DC so it was slightly easier to convince them to come in.

Apart from this, we had already met Gary Groth of Fantagraphics and Chris Oliveros of Drawn and Quarterly last year, so we decided to ask them again since we have a good rapport with them and they agreed. The rest of the publishers are people we’ve contacted based on their comics. We really like the work they do, like Self-Made Hero, they have a great collection and I think we’ve got a lot of takers for that kind of stuff in India.

Check out this video of War Of The Independents below.

Saturday, February 9
The second day of Comic Con needs to carry the momentum of the first day forward, but it remains to be seen if that can happen with this lineup of activities. The Comic Con Awards for 2012 are going to be presented at 2:30pm on Saturday and this is a feel-good moment for the Indian Comics Community because it brings everyone together for a little while at least. Once again, panel discussions by international representatives will dominate the day with manga publisher Vertical Inc.‘s Ed Chavez telling us all why manga fans love this genre so much (even though that seems pretty obvious) at 4:30pm. This will be immediately followed up  by a talk by President and COO of Top Cow Comics, Matt Hawkins about how Top Cow nurtures its talent.

Comics launched on the day - Tinkle Hindi (Tinkle Comics), Mother Theresa: Angel Of The Slums (Campfire Comics), Timpa: Legacy of The Gods and The Soothsayer of Sealdah (Pop Culture Comics), The Unhappy Tiger – Stories from the Hitopadesha! (Amar Chitra Katha)

Check out the cover of Pop Culture Comics’ The Sootsayer of Sealdah.

Sunday, February 10
There might not be a marquee guest like there was in last year’s Comic Con, but day three of Comic Con 2013 is all about recognizing some of India’s greatest talents. Hearing about how artists such as Abhijeet Kini (Angry Maushi), Akshay Dhar (Ground Zero) and Ari Jayprakash (Kuru Chronicles) have self-published their work, and why they are opting for it will be pretty informative for anyone who has wanted to make a comic but never could. The discussion will take place from 12 noon to 12:30pm. The day will also see two important talks, starting at 3pm. Indian comic legend and Chacha Chaudhry creator Pran will be the first to speak and will talks about his lengthy career. The second talk on the day will begin at 4.30pm and feature writer Amir Soltani, who has written the graphic novel Zahra’s Paradise. This, coupled with the finale where people will be awarded prizes for the cosplay competition will wind up Comic Con India for this year.

Apart from the launch of a Tinkle Tall Tales comic, no other comics will be launched on the day. Most launches or sessions will do with stuff other than comics.

Here’s a page from Zahra’s Paradise.

Team NH7 is in Delhi for Comic Con 2013. Check back for more from Comic Con 2013.

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