India’s first ever Comic Convention held at Dilli Haat, New Delhi in February 2011 was a feast for everyone’s eyes who has ever possessed a comic book or loves to read them, which was hosted by the Twenty Onwards Media.
The enthusiasm was such that fans were dressed up in their favourite hero costumes such as Chacha Chaudhary, Wolverine, Lord Krishna, Spiderman, Zombie, Kalki, Crime Master Gogo, Batman, Harley Quinn and many more as special prizes were given to those dressed at their best.
People were more than eager to get their photographs clicked with their beloved heroes. A gala event whose participants included well known publication houses such as Amar Chitra Katha, Diamond Comics, Manta Ray, Level 10 and many new publishers who are now coming up with new and latest comic characters.
An event which was attended by more than 15,000 people during the two days on 19-20 February, it was not just the children who were excited but parents and elderly folk were equally happy to roam around the stalls enquiring about the comical characters and their stories.
The ongoing workshops, interactive sessions, interviews, live displays by animation companies, and speeches by various comic book artists, animation experts and writers was enough to capture the imagination of all those present. A few animation and multi-media productions houses had also set up their stalls where they conducted seminars about animation design, creation and future of animation industry in India.
Cartoon artists too could be seen conducting workshops for children and animation academies were sharing information about new software along with animation course being offered. This occasion also offered the perfect opportunity to those who wish to pursue a future in exploring their creative sides and joining course in animation drawing and graphics.
People like us who have grown up reading Chacha Chaudhary, Phantom and Amar Chitra Katha couldn't help but think how the world of comics has advanced so much in the last decade. It was quite amazing to see how the publishers are coming up with new ideas to foretell Indian history, society and cultural values to educate the children by using such comical means.
The bad weather and heavy rains could not dampen the spirit of those attending the fair as the eagerness to learn something new was quite evident among the people. Kids dressed up in comic characters were seen running around taking shelter from rain with their undying fortitude to roam the stalls again once the rain stopped.
Well, imagination strikes fast as the hoardings were used as shelter from rain, an interesting sight to see.
The highlight of the event was the presentation of the Life Time Achievement award to Anant Pai or lovingly known as Uncle Pai, a renowned educationalist and creator of Indian comics by the famous cartoonist Pran Kumar Sharma, known for his Chacha Chaudhary comics. But sadly on 25th February 2011, this renowned creator of Amar Chitra Katha and Tinkle comics died of a massive heart attack leaving a legacy so huge that no one could ever fathom it.
The inaugural year of the first ever Comic con was greatly appreciated as it provided a much-needed dais for publishers, writers, cartoonist and illustrators to interact directly with the fans at an informal level. More is expected in February 2012 as this year saw fans getting massive discounts on comics and books alike and a place to find particular comics or complete their collectibles, but then they can expect much more in the coming years as this is just a beginning.