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 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!