On the first day of the Third Annual Comic Con, we bit into superhero cupcakes, browsed through aghori comics and laughed out loud at the Starship Trooper bobble heads on display. It's the time of year when bizarre is beautiful and humour has a graphic edge. The weekend will see comic launches, artist seminars, cos players and, hopefully, more cupcakes.
Given that the Kumbh Mela is the flavour of the month, it was only fitting that the first three comic book launches centered around deities, demons and psychedelic sadhus. While Vimanika Comics launched the second volume of Dashaavtar, which are tweaked versions of the 10 avatars of Vishnu, Rudra Matsa Entertainment launched the first book in their anime series on the Pandavas, titled Pandavas P5. It was, however, Kuru Genesis, a new comic book by Ari Jayaprakash and Anisha Shridhar, with it's heavy aghori (a sect of Indian ascetics whose devotional practice involves skulls and human corpses) influences and a dark storyline set in a dystopian Kolkata of the future that caught our eye.
If the comic launches were dominated by the pantheon of gods, Comic Con itself was an ode to the gods of retail. Emblazoned posters, bobble heads of various characters and other comic-geek paraphernalia jostled for space. From imitation lightsabers from Star Wars and spears from 300 to gruesome figurines from the noir-slasher series Saw, all tastes were catered to.
As the sun set, cos players started emerging into the open. One began to spot characters from comic books, movies, and TV shows among the crowds. While miniature Spidermen ran around squealing and bumping into poles and people, and Goths and Twilight vampires gathered in corners, a man dressed as Alan from Hangover walked a baby doll in a carrier.