As avid comic strip enthusiasts and hardcore cartoon lovers, it made paramount (no pun intended to the studio) sense for Newsilike to attend the 2013 Mumbai Film and Comics Convention. Held at the Mumbai Exhibition Centre in Goregaon East, it was surreal to witness fellow fan boys converge upon this fantastical arena that promised to enthral us. Having reached the venue early, we quickly understood that this was no “convention” – it was more an exhibition. The comic con is an event that attracts a niche audience – Star Wars fanatics, Batman and the Joker loyalists and all sorts. These are people who know their cartoons and comics at the back of their hand. This made for a tremendously vibrant atmosphere the event – an energy that kept getting more magnetic with every passing minute.
The exhibitors were fantastic too, showcasing large varieties of merchandise from comic book and cartoon characters. One stall that caught our attention was Hysteria Online, visible just as one walks into the venue. These guys typified some of the products being sold at the venue at other stalls such as SuperheroToyStore.com – bobble heads, posters, badges, tees, keychains, hoodies, wallets and a lot more. Its a treat for every superhero lover. There were also a large cluster of up and coming t-shirt brands, most of whom have been around for about the same time span. Companies such as Red Wolf, 27th Alphabet, Lazy Ninja are young, energetic and fresh companies set up by youth in their mid 20’s. Upon speaking to Ameya Thakur, Managing Partner at Red Wolf, we understood so many of these t-shirt company founders were ex engineering students. It showed us the kind of entrepreneurial vibe and spirit India is experiencing.
At the expense of having a bad sense of humour, we feel the event at certain “cons” to it. Most of the events, held at the stage area, were product launches and lacked punch. We came in with lofty expectations, which were somewhat mollified by the Amar Chitra Katha app launch performance. However, on the whole, most of the book and comic launches were dull and drab. The lack of any panel discussions and debates seemed to be a major talking point at the event. Sunainaa Chaddha, an attendee at MFCC, said this, “I was disheartened that there were no panel discussions. I grew up on Amar Chitra Katha and Tinkle comics. I would love to have asked questions about the characters, their evolution and future plans”. TV shows like the Simpsons have hit 25 years of being on the air. One of the reasons for its longevity is obviously because they have evolved with the times. Our children of today too need to feel connected to their comics and characters, and engage in discussions about them. We also found some of the original merchandise and stalls to be on the costly side. So do come prepared with plenty of cash if you wish to splurge on your favourite stuff.
On the whole, we found the event to be a fun outing – it may not bring you back for both days unless there are specific things that interest you. If you want to shop till you drop, then this is the place to be, as the products on offer are fantastic. Oh yes, and if you do meet the Jedi warriors bouncing around the venue with light sabers, please say hello.