Wikinews attends ComicCon in Bangalore, India
Friday, December 8, 2017
Wikinews attended the Bangalore convention on Saturday. Beginning on Saturday morning, it continued through to Sunday. Organised by , who organised Comic Con in 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 .
comic book artist and , known for sketching , , , and , was among the featured guests at the convention. Along with him, professional cosplayer Tabitha Lyons, who dressed up like DC Comics's on Saturday; freelancer comic book writer John Layman, writer of , published by ; creator of Gavin Aung Than; and creator of Brown Paperbag comics Sailesh Gopalan also attended the event as special guests.
The event started at 11 AM(0530 ). Crossing between the genres of science fiction, horror, anime, fantasy and comics, the event sprawled throughout all corners of the facility. Zone, zone, AXN Live RED Special Session, ' Last Jedi zone and 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 , Star Wars, and the Sherlock Holmes TV series. Most of the Marvel questions were about the upcoming live action movie .
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 conducted a quiz, and asked questions like, "Who was the mother of Nakul and Sahdev?" from the . After the quiz, people dressed as , 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 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".'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 "making girls in his basement with a secret recipe", he asked the audience rhetorically if Indian chef shared the recipe on his show. He said he had presented the same joke in
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 Spider-Man, , , , , Black Panther and from Marvel Comics; , , , Wonder Woman, , , and from ; , and from 's Harry Potter series; and from ; Sadness from 's ; - a ; ; , , and from manga; and from anime; from the ; V from 2005 movie , , a character from ; and more.50 thousand (about 650) prize money. Cosplayers dressed up like
The event finished at 8 PM.
Interview with Sailesh Gopalan, creator of Brown Paperbag comics
When did you decide you wanted to write comics?
((Sailesh Gopalan )) Um, I decided around three days before I started making Brown Paperbag [comics]. It was on a complete whim, I just wanted to start, I just wanted to try out something new. I was reading this webcomic last year in June. And it is called Blue Chair by Shen and I decided, you know, might as well try making my own webcomic and that is actually when I got into it.
((WN )) Why did you name it "Brown Paperbag"?
((SG )) So, brown is a colour we associate with with Indians, and, on top of that, in these old cartoons, people used to put this brown paper bag on the top of their head with two eye holes and that symbolises shame or embarrassment, which is an overarching theme all over my comics.
((WN )) How much time do you take to write a comic?
((SG )) Comic typically takes around three hours. From idea to the final output. Three, three and half hours.
((WN )) I have read your comics and most of them are related to satire, but you never entered into politics. Why is that so?
((SG )) So, the thing is, most of the comics that I have read that are form Indians that are in newspapers are all political and not enough importance has been given to just Indian daily lives, just the families and how they interact with society. So I have decided to stay away from politics in this comic just because I am not trying to send a message across, I am just trying to appeal to people's nostalgia, make them remember something that they experienced and just relate to it.
((WN )) Who is your inspiration?
((SG )) When it comes to webcomics, my inspiration has to be Shen from Blue Chair, and it is also called Shen Comics now. Then, The Awkward Yeti — Nick Seluk, then Sarah Andersen's comics — Sarah's Scribbles. Yeah, those are pretty much it. I only read the mainstream ones before I decided to start making my own, So I don't have a long list. [Laughs]
((WN )) Where did you upload your first comic?
((SG )) .
((WN )) Are you self-taught?
((SG )) Yes! For the most part, yeah. I mean, I am studying animation design, but when it comes to drawing, I completely just taught myself.
((WN )) Do you discuss your ideas before penning them down?
((SG )) With some people. I have a couple of friends, I talk to sometimes, but for most ideas, no. I just go for it. Yeah.
((WN )) What tools do you use to create your comics?
((SG )) I draw in , and I use a Wiacom tablet.
((WN )) I wanted to know what is your official website.
((SG )) I don't have an official website but it is all over on Facebook or Instagram and even on Webtoons, but I don't have a website yet, but I am planning to start one soon.
((WN )) What are some of your hobbies?
((SG )) Oh, it is just drawing, animating. I play , , but mostly just drawing and animating.
((WN )) There is one character in your comic, which is called as[...] Kabeer. Why did you name him Kabeer?
((SG )) So Kabeer is a religiously ambiguous name. Kabeer isn't overly seen as a Hindu or a Muslim or anything. So it is a middle point and I wanted to keep a character that everyone can relate to, not just someone who belongs to a certain religion. So for that ambiguity, that is why I came up with the name, plus I really like the name. That was actually, probably the main reason.
((WN )) There is this comic which you have titled "Folow my dreams, son", which was about a boy who wanted to become a footballer, but ends up getting a degree from FFS College of Engineering. So were there some challenges with your...
((SG )) Absolutely not! My parents have been super supportive from the start. Like they actually told me to leave studies and go for art because I was so passionate about art and design. So I have had a very very smooth sailing so far. No parental pressure at all. It has been amazing, yeah.
((WN )) If you had something to tell to your younger self, about your webcomics, what would you tell?
((SG )) Read more. Right now I am reading a lot of different kinds of comics so I can look at different ways of story telling. If I had done that earlier, maybe I could have, maybe, I don't know, some stories could have turned out better. When I look at some of my older comics, I feel like, 'Okay this could have been done a little better' sometimes. So, that's it. Otherwise nothing. Like I said, I had a smooth life, I don't give a f...
((WN )) Would you mind if I take a photo?
((SG )) Absolutely not.
Interview with freelancer comic writer John Layman
How did you get into comics?
((John Layman )) My first job, I moved to because that is where the comic book con is. After college, I moved to San Diego, at it was much smaller, but I didn't know how to get into comics because it was the pre internet or internet was just coming in to being and it was like 1990. So I got a job at the newspaper, and I would do geek stories. Whenever like had a TV show, or had a movie or the Comic Con rolled in town, I would write an article about it. And eventually I attracted attention of the local comic book company which was Jim Lee's WildStorm productions. They hired me as an assistant editor and then I worked my way up to editor, and then DC bought us. And suddenly I was a DC editor. So I had done that for about five years and then I had always wanted to write, I figured I knew how so I went freelance and then I started writing in about 2001. And I have been writing ever since.
((WN )) What other companies do you have worked for?
((JL )) DC, Marvel, Dark Horse, IDW, Avatar, Dark Horse, Dynamite, ...[a fellow volunteer suggests X-Men] well, companies, like Boom! I have basically worked for every, nearly every major comic book company in America.
((WN )) Why did you choose freelancing and not stick to one company?
((JL )) Because I don't want to work for a boss. I don't want to wear pants. I don't want people to tell me what to do. Like if I don't want a job, I can just [shows middle finger] you know, I can just walk away. But, it's hard because if you don't have work, you don't get paid. So you are always hustling. But there is a freedom of being your own boss.
((WN )) If you had an option, like, if there was no one to command you, would you still continue freelancing?
((JL )) I, no. I actually, a few years ago, I got a company job and after being freelancer, like no I don't wanna go into an office, I don't wanna do hours, like you get being used to be your own boss, I could never go back to a real job.
((WN )) Which is the first character you'd created when you were a kid?
((JL )) Oh! You know, I can't — that's been so long ago I don't even keep track that anymore. I mean I had some old dumb things that I don't even pay attention to anymore because I look back at them and they are so amateurish, you know I don't have a certain character I have created at an age that I remember.
((WN )) If you had something to tell something to your younger self, what would you tell?
((JL )) To my younger self? Just keep going. Because there's a lot of years where, you know, you are not making money and you are working real hard and you don't think you are ever gonna get there, but just keep at it, and you will get there.
((WN )) All these years, since the technology has taken over, how has the comic book industry changed in your opinion?
((JL )) Well, when I first started; it has got much easier, and it has gotten more global. Like I could work with someone in India and it wouldn't matter because with Wi-Fi and with e-mail and instant message, you know, the old days, you had to FedEx pages, and you had to scan them, and it would take literally twenty minutes to save a giant file on Photoshop and then you would have to upload film and then you would have to drive the film to FedEx. Now, everyone's got their own scanner. Everyone can do things by email. You can upload files by FTP. Like I work with people all around the world now, and before, you almost had to kind of work with the Americans and now its really easy to be global.
((WN )) Who was your inspiration?
((JL )) Um, and . They're both science fiction writers.
((WN )) Are you self-taught?
((JL )) Oh, yeah, yeah. Well, as an editor, I read scripts. Again and again and again and you read bad scripts and you read good scripts and you learn from everything. Like even a bad script can teach you what not to do. So I studied all the scripts I read and learned from that. And you learn from mistakes. You, sometimes you write a bad script and then you figure out what you did wrong, you do better next time.
((WN )) Which is your favourite superhero?
((JL )) Plastic Man. And Batman. And Spider-Man.
((WN )) If you had a chance to become a superhero, which one would you choose?
((JL )) Um, probably someone who could fly. Maybe someone who could be invisible. I don't wanna be Batman. Batman's got too many issues.
((WN )) What would you recommend to the new people getting into comic writing and drawing?
((JL )) Oh! Well that's two different questions. Like do you want to write? My advice is figure out what you want to do and then focus on that because some people try to do everything and they don't do it well because they are trying to do everything. So figure out really what you want to do and just fine-tune that.
((WN )) Would you mind if I take a photo?
((JL )) No, of course not. Yeah.
Multiple cosplayers blending two or more universes
- All media from Bangalore's Comic Con, 2017: Category:2017 Bangalore ComicCon (media).
- "Comic Con India" — , December 5, 2017 (date of access)
- "COSPLAY - Comic Con Bangalore" — , December 5, 2017 (date of access)
- "Bengaluru Comic Con 2017" — , December 5, 2017 (date of access)
- "Guest - Comic Con Bangalore" — , December 5, 2017 (date of access)
- "Exhibitors - Comic Con Bangalore" — , December 5, 2017 (date of access)
- "Schedule - Comic Con Bangalore" — , December 5, 2017 (date of access)
- "Heroes and villains descend on Comic Con" — , December 03, 2017
- Divya Kala Bhavani. "Hyderabad Comic Con 2017: comics frolic with tehzeeb" — , October 14, 2017