Ivan is on his way home to us from The 4th Annual Indian Comic Con. Wondering how fandom stacks up in India? Check out his travelogues documenting his experiences.
Indian Comic Con 2014 Travelog: Epilogue
The day after the hustle and bustle of Indian Comic Con, Mark Waid and Christy Blanch invited me to join them with their new friend Sumit Ray, who they met at the Indian Comic Con. He had offered to show them around and were taking him up on the offer. What followed was a completely unscripted experience that was more than I could’ve hoped for.
After a small stop to pick up more friends Aakshat Sinha & Bhanu Pratap we wound down the busy highways of Delhi until we left the main city behind.
We eventually made it to a suburb on the outskirts of another state in India and arrived at our destination - the headquarters of World Comics Network. It was a studio/apartment where cartoonist & founder Sharad Sharma lived and worked. The studio/apartment was equal parts workspace, comics museum, and home.
Soon, other people started to arrive, Shirkant Sablania, Kailash Iyer, Akshata Udiaver and more, all artists and writers that help Sharad with the World Comics Network. Then over tea they started to tell us all about where their organization has been and what they’ve done.
The World Comics Network has gone to conflict areas throughout the Middle East, Southeast Asia, South America, even the Antarctic, to teach people (some who have never read a comic) to create comics of their lives and experiences. Sharad and his team hold workshops and teach people that comics can be a way to communicate and voice the tragic, infuriating, and sometimes heartfelt experiences that people in these conflict regions have lived. And once created, these comics are printed and xeroxed to be placed on street posts, public walls, trees and anywhere else they can be seen. All in the hopes of sharing these stories with as many people as possible. The World Comics Network also collects some of these stories to print in a newspaper format to share even further through self distribution. We were told that some of comics produced have also gone on to be used as tools for advocacy, literacy, and even as ways to disseminate information for health organizations abroad.
Once we finished our discussion, it was time to eat and we were surprised with a home cooked Indian meal prepared by some of the artists and writers there. Needless to say it was absolutely delicious. The rest of our time we just talked about comics and they showed us some of the works the World Comics Network has produced.
And of course no Mark Waid visit can end with out a bit of signing and autographing that Mark was gracious enough to oblige.
The motto of the World Comics Network is “Comics Power!” which takes on many different meanings in the context of their organization. Power to share stories and ideas. Power to bring people of different backgrounds together. Power for change. Sharad and his team believe that comics do all these things and after seeing first hand how it brought all of us together to share ideas, hopes and even a meal I walked away believing in Comics Power.
To find out more about the World Comics Network please visit their website.
- Ivan Salazar, comiXologist
Indian Comic Con 2014 Travelog: Day 3
Today was the final day of the 4th Annual Indian Comic Con and it was packed! But before that our awesome show runner friend Sharuun took some of us to see the Qutb Minar the amazingly tall cultural landmark of Delhi (I was assured by Sharuun that the photo of me with the Qutb Minar is the tourist thing to do).
Now to the show. Those Bleeding Cool pics of the show floor were not kidding (imagine SDCC crowds in a space 1/5 the size). The floor was packed with tons of kids, teens and adults excited to walk the halls and experience the whole con.
There was a great retrospective with V for Vendetta's David Lloyd in which he talked about his creative process and the happy coincidences in creating the character of V (Cool Fact: V's smile happened because Lloyd couldn't remember how a Guy Fox mask looked exactly).
Finally got to check out a very popular exhibit at India Comic Con. This was the Charles M. Shulz Museum area - bringing a little bit of the fan-favorite Santa Rosa museum to India and spotlighting the great history of Snoopy & Shulz.
Chew's John Laymen had a massive line of people asking for his autograph, not always on books or comics he's done. Just autographs on sheets (and sometimes scraps) of paper, but he was happy to oblige.
The last day also brought some of the most impressive cosplay of the con with lots of people showing their skills and showcasing costumes like Judge Dredd, Two Face, Jasmine from Aladdin and even some Doctor Who!
In the end India Comic Con was a great experience. I was lucky enough to have two great booth helpers Suriya & Shaltki (Suriya even ended up getting food poisoning and still insisted on helping at the booth). It was also great to see so many comics, movies, TV fans of all-ages just be excited to attend a show with like-minded people and share in the collective comic con experience. It felt just like shows that I’ve been to in the US and seeing that same level of excitement in India is a wonderful thing.
- Ivan Salazar, comiXologist
Indian Comic Con 2014 Travelog: Day 2
Today’s Indian Comic Con started with a great surprise as one of the show runners took me and a couple of other exhibitors to visit India Gate and the Indian House of Parliament!
After a quick jaunt as 100% tourists we ran back to the convention center where awesome helpers Suriya & Shaltki helped me set up and prepare the huge number of attendees that would arrive that day. Today I got to talk to a number of Indian comiXology fans that were all super excited we were at the show and made sure to find us to tell us how much they loved and appreciated comiXology.
Right afterwards I joined thrillbent's Mark Waid for a discussion on digital comics and the future of digital publishing. Which got a good amount of attention from independent Indian comics creators looking to reach global audiences (comiXology Submit anyone?). But yeah, that’s me on stage in India next to Mark, nbd.
And in the end cosplay was huge once again with such great costumes as Lady Thor & Lady Loki, an awesome Gambit comiXology fan, and even the Powerpuff Girls. Seriously some of these people couldn’t walk a foot without being bombarded with photo requests.
Tomorrow’s “Family Day” at Indian Comic Con which I’ve been told is the busiest day of their convention! Will report again tomorrow!
- Ivan Salazar, comiXologist
Indian Comic Con 2014 Travelog: Day 1
Indian Comic Con 2014 kicked off today and rather than report with regular old photos thought’d I’d spice it up a bit and make some IRL comic book panels to frame today’s events!
Plenty of people showed up excited to visit the guests like V for Vendetta's David Lloyd and Daredevil's Mark Waid as well as check out all of cool comics and cosplay at the show.
Awesome booth workers Shaltki & Suriya assisted at the booth and helped me understand what’s popular in terms of superhero and comics in India. Apparently Iron Man is huuuge!
Equally huge at Indian Comic Con was cosplay - as the cosplay contest was the biggest draw of the day with lots of neat costumes like Wolverine, Maleficent, Female Joker from The Dark Knight Movie and more. We even got visited by the world eater himself GALACTUS!
Lots of fun and plenty of excited fans for Day 1 with Day 2 looking to be even crazier! More to come tomorrow!
- Ivan Salazar, comiXologist
Indian Comic Con 2014 Travelog: Day 0
Ivan here! A little weary from nearly 24 hours of traveling but still excited because tomorrow starts up comiXology’s 1st Indian Comic Con! Started the day flying from LA to Newark where I ran into thrillbent's Mark Waid. Then started our second (longer) leg of the journey - jetting across the atlantic! We were asked to lower our window shades because as the captain put it “We'll be flying into the sun…” to which I immediately thought “YOU FOOL THE SHADES WILL DO NOTHING!”
We eventually touched down in New Delhi narrowly avoiding a lighting storm that at 40K ft. was equally beautiful and terrifying. Then once Indian Customs made sure Mark and I were no threats to national security we were whisked off by our Indian Comic Con colleagues who were waiting for us with signs.
Tomorrow starts the real thing!
For Immediate Release:
Comic Con India 2014:
ComiXology Takes Comics Further to Comic Con India in New Dehli, India Feb 7th - 9th
ComiXology will be in attendance showcasing the comiXology platform to the burgeoning Indian digital comics fanbase & giving away free comics
February 6th, 2014 – New Delhi, India / New York, NY. – Hot off the heels of a successful journey to the Festival de la Bande Dessinée d’Angoulême, comiXology – the revolutionary digital comics platform and currently the #1 Top-Grossing iPad Book App in India – sets its sights to attend Comic Con India for the first time, taking another step in the global outreach to comics fans everywhere.
“We’re excited to attend Comic Con India and greet the astounding number of comiXology fans we have there,” said comiXology co-founder & CEO David Steinberger. “There is huge demand for comics in India and many have turned to our worldwide platform to get their comics.”
Exhbiting at booth D9, comiXology will also will be taking part in the following panel at Comic Con India:
Digital Comics & Its Scope
Saturday, February 8th, 2:45 pm
Speakers: Ivan Salazar (comiXology), Mark Waid (Thrillbent), & Manish Dhingra (Readware)
ComiXology capped off 2013 by charting as iTunes’ #1 Top Grossing non-game iPad App for 2013 in the U.S., and the Top-Grossing iPad Book App for 2013 in France, Belgium, Germany, Spain and the UK. They recently revealed that 51% of their user base for 2013 came from outside the United States.
This is comiXology’s first appearance at Comic Con India which will play host to some of the biggest creators in the comic book industry including the Eisner & Harvey Award-winning Mark Waid (Thrillbent’s Insufferable) as well as acclaimed creators David Lloyd, Gabriel Bá, Fábio Moon, and John Layman. Comic Con India will run from February 7th to the 9th in New Delhi, India.
With over 45,000 comics and graphic novels from more than 75 publishers, comiXology offers the widest selection of digital comics in the world. ComiXology’s immense catalog and unique Guided View reading experience is available across the iPhone, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire, Windows 8, and www.comixology.com – making it the best digital platform for comic and graphic novel fans worldwide.
ComiXology has revolutionized the comic book and graphic novel industry by delivering a cloud-based digital comics platform that makes discovering, buying, and reading comics more fun than ever before. ComiXology’s Guided View™ reading technology transforms the comic book medium into an immersive and cinematic experience, helping comiXology become a top ten grossing iPad app in 2011 and 2012 and the top grossing non-game iPad app in 2012 and 2013. Offering the broadest library of comic book content from over 75 publishers – and independent creators as well – comiXology will not stop until everyone on the face of the planet has become a comic book fan. A privately held company, comiXology is based in New York City, with offices in Los Angeles and Paris. For more information, visit www.comixology.com.