Friday, December 8, 2017

Wikinews attended the Bangalore Comic Con comic-book convention on Saturday. Beginning on Saturday morning, it continued through to Sunday. Organised by Comic Con India, who organised Comic Con in Hyderabad in October and Mumbai in November, this event was held at Karnataka Trade Promotion Organisation (KTPO)’s convention hall. Wikinews spoke to convention guests Sailesh Gopalan and John Layman.

Freelancer comic book artist and illustrator Scott Hampton, known for sketching Batman, Black Widow, Sandman, Hellraiser and Star Trek, was among the featured guests at the convention. Along with him, professional cosplayer Tabitha Lyons, who dressed up like DC Comics’s Wonder Woman on Saturday; freelancer comic book writer John Layman, writer of Chew, published by Image Comics; creator of Zen Pencils Gavin Aung Than; and creator of Brown Paperbag comics Sailesh Gopalan also attended the event as special guests.

The event started at 11 AM IST (0530 UTC). Crossing between the genres of science fiction, horror, anime, fantasy and comics, the event sprawled throughout all corners of the facility. Marvel Zone, Amazon Video zone, AXN Live RED Special Session, Star Wars’ Last Jedi zone and OnePlus smartphone zone attracted large number of audience. OnePlus, who were one of the sponsors of the event, had an exclusive launch of their new smartphone OnePlus 5T Star Wars, limited edition at about 5:30 PM. Marvel, Star Wars and AXN Live RED zones had quizzes about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Star Wars, and the Sherlock Holmes TV series. Most of the Marvel questions were about the upcoming live action movie Black Panther.

Holy Cow entertainment launched latest issues of their comics Age of Immortals and Caster. The Comic Con panel included sessions with Sailesh Gopalan about webcomics, Zen pencils creator Gavin Aung Than, as well as Scott Hampton. Focusing on Indian mythology, Indian comic book publisher Amar Chitra Katha conducted a quiz, and asked questions like, “Who was the mother of Nakul and Sahdev?” from the Mahabharat. After the quiz, people dressed as Stormtroopers, soldiers from Star Wars, took the stage, for the launch of the limited edition of OnePlus 5T Star Wars.

Before the cosplay contest, there was a performance by East India Comedy’s stand-up comedian Sahil Shah. Despite some of the audience being juveniles, Shah cracked some adult jokes, and used cuss words. After a joke about professor Utonium from The Powepuff Girls “making girls in his basement with a secret recipe”, he asked the audience rhetorically if Indian chef Sanjeev Kapoor shared the recipe on his show. He said he had presented the same joke in Delhi, but people did not get it, hinting about the sex ratio. He later added “it was because I said in English”, a comment towards Delhi’s literacy rate. However, Shah told the Bangalore audience in Hindi. Some other jokes stereotyped certain ethnic groups, and classed of the Indian society, discussing the cussing habits of people in Delhi and comparing it with that of Mumbai. He also made fun of US president Donald Trump, saying “the Americans voted for an orange alien”.

After Shah’s performance, the cosplay contest started, with about 280 people registering for the competition in five categories including comics/graphic novels, movies/television shows, gaming, anime/manga and science fiction/fantasy. The winner of cosplay competition is to represent Bangalore in the upcoming National Indian Championships of Cosplay, along with ?50 thousand (about €650) prize money. Cosplayers dressed up like Spider-Man, Deadpool, Elektra, Iron Man, Bruce Banner, Black Panther and Loki from Marvel Comics; Katana, Batman, Robin, Wonder Woman, Harley Quinn, Scarecrow, Bane and Joker from DC Comics; Harry Potter, Hermione Granger and Luna Lovegood from JK Rowling’s Harry Potter series; Mad Hatter and Red Queen from Alice in Wonderland; Sadness from Pixar’s Inside Out; Blastoise – a Pokémon; Calvin and Hobbes; Naruto, Sasuke Uchiha, and Kakashi Hatake from Naruto manga; Vegeta and Gohan from Dragon Ball Z anime; Sherlock Holmes from the TV series adaptation; V from 2005 movie V for Vendetta, Maleficent, a character from Sleeping Beauty; and more.

The event finished at 8 PM.