Wikinews attends ComicCon in Bangalore, India

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Friday, December 8, 2017

Cosplayers dressed up like Marvel comic's Loki and Spider-Man; depicting Loki's wish to rule the Earth.
Image: Acagastya. (Reuse terms.)

Wikinews attended the Bangalore Comic Con comic-book convention on Saturday. Beginning on Saturday morning, it continued through to Sunday. Organised by Comic Con India, who organised Comic Con in Hyderabad 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 John Layman.

Freelancer comic book artist and illustrator Scott Hampton, known for sketching Batman, Black Widow, Sandman, Hellraiser and Star Trek, was among the featured guests at the convention. Along with him, professional cosplayer Tabitha Lyons, who dressed up like DC Comics's Wonder Woman on Saturday; freelancer comic book writer John Layman, writer of Chew, published by Image Comics; creator of Zen Pencils Gavin Aung Than; and creator of Brown Paperbag comics Sailesh Gopalan also attended the event as special guests.

The event started at 11 AM IST (0530 UTC). Crossing between the genres of science fiction, horror, anime, fantasy and comics, the event sprawled throughout all corners of the facility. Marvel Zone, Amazon Video zone, AXN Live RED Special Session, Star Wars' Last Jedi zone and OnePlus 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 Marvel Cinematic Universe, Star Wars, and the Sherlock Holmes TV series. Most of the Marvel questions were about the upcoming live action movie Black Panther.

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 Amar Chitra Katha conducted a quiz, and asked questions like, "Who was the mother of Nakul and Sahdev?" from the Mahabharat. After the quiz, people dressed as Stormtroopers, soldiers from Star Wars, took the stage, for the launch of the limited edition of OnePlus 5T Star Wars.

Stormtroopers taking the stage during OnePlus 5T Star Wars limited edition launch.
Image: Acagastya. (Reuse terms.)

Before the cosplay contest, there was a performance by East India Comedy'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 The Powepuff Girls "making girls in his basement with a secret recipe", he asked the audience rhetorically if Indian chef Sanjeev Kapoor shared the recipe on his show. He said he had presented the same joke in 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".

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 50 thousand (about 650) prize money. Cosplayers dressed up like Spider-Man, Deadpool, Elektra, Iron Man, Bruce Banner, Black Panther and Loki from Marvel Comics; Katana, Batman, Robin, Wonder Woman, Harley Quinn, Scarecrow, Bane and Joker from DC Comics; Harry Potter, Hermione Granger and Luna Lovegood from JK Rowling's Harry Potter series; Mad Hatter and Red Queen from Alice in Wonderland; Sadness from Pixar's Inside Out; Blastoise - a Pokémon; Calvin and Hobbes; Naruto, Sasuke Uchiha, and Kakashi Hatake from Naruto manga; Vegeta and Gohan from Dragon Ball Z anime; Sherlock Holmes from the TV series adaptation; V from 2005 movie V for Vendetta, Maleficent, a character from Sleeping Beauty; and more.

The event finished at 8 PM.

Interviews[edit]

Interview with Sailesh Gopalan, creator of Brown Paperbag comics[edit]

Sailesh Gopalan.
Image: Acagastya. (Reuse terms.)
Wikinews

When did you decide you wanted to write comics?

Wikinews waves Left.png((Sailesh GopalanWikinews waves Right.png)) 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.

Wikinews waves Left.png((WNWikinews waves Right.png)) Why did you name it "Brown Paperbag"?

Wikinews waves Left.png((SGWikinews waves Right.png)) 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.

Wikinews waves Left.png((WNWikinews waves Right.png)) How much time do you take to write a comic?

Wikinews waves Left.png((SGWikinews waves Right.png)) Comic typically takes around three hours. From idea to the final output. Three, three and half hours.

Wikinews waves Left.png((WNWikinews waves Right.png)) I have read your comics and most of them are related to satire, but you never entered into politics. Why is that so?

Wikinews waves Left.png((SGWikinews waves Right.png)) 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.

Wikinews waves Left.png((WNWikinews waves Right.png)) Who is your inspiration?

Wikinews waves Left.png((SGWikinews waves Right.png)) 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]

Wikinews waves Left.png((WNWikinews waves Right.png)) Where did you upload your first comic?

Wikinews waves Left.png((SGWikinews waves Right.png)) Facebook.

Wikinews waves Left.png((WNWikinews waves Right.png)) Are you self-taught?

Wikinews waves Left.png((SGWikinews waves Right.png)) Yes! For the most part, yeah. I mean, I am studying animation design, but when it comes to drawing, I completely just taught myself.

Wikinews waves Left.png((WNWikinews waves Right.png)) Do you discuss your ideas before penning them down?

Wikinews waves Left.png((SGWikinews waves Right.png)) With some people. I have a couple of friends, I talk to sometimes, but for most ideas, no. I just go for it. Yeah.

Wikinews waves Left.png((WNWikinews waves Right.png)) What tools do you use to create your comics?

Wikinews waves Left.png((SGWikinews waves Right.png)) I draw in Adobe Photoshop, and I use a Wiacom tablet.

Wikinews waves Left.png((WNWikinews waves Right.png)) I wanted to know what is your official website.

Wikinews waves Left.png((SGWikinews waves Right.png)) 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.

Wikinews waves Left.png((WNWikinews waves Right.png)) What are some of your hobbies?

Wikinews waves Left.png((SGWikinews waves Right.png)) Oh, it is just drawing, animating. I play football, basketball, but mostly just drawing and animating.

Wikinews waves Left.png((WNWikinews waves Right.png)) There is one character in your comic, which is called as[...] Kabeer. Why did you name him Kabeer?

Wikinews waves Left.png((SGWikinews waves Right.png)) 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.

Wikinews waves Left.png((WNWikinews waves Right.png)) 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...

Wikinews waves Left.png((SGWikinews waves Right.png)) 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.

Wikinews waves Left.png((WNWikinews waves Right.png)) If you had something to tell to your younger self, about your webcomics, what would you tell?

Wikinews waves Left.png((SGWikinews waves Right.png)) 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...

Wikinews waves Left.png((WNWikinews waves Right.png)) Would you mind if I take a photo?

Wikinews waves Left.png((SGWikinews waves Right.png)) Absolutely not.

Interview with freelancer comic writer John Layman[edit]

Freelance comic writer John Layman.
Image: Acagastya. (Reuse terms.)
Wikinews

How did you get into comics?

Wikinews waves Left.png((John LaymanWikinews waves Right.png)) My first job, I moved to San Diego 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 Spawn had a TV show, or Judge Dredd 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.

Wikinews waves Left.png((WNWikinews waves Right.png)) What other companies do you have worked for?

Wikinews waves Left.png((JLWikinews waves Right.png)) 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.

Wikinews waves Left.png((WNWikinews waves Right.png)) Why did you choose freelancing and not stick to one company?

Wikinews waves Left.png((JLWikinews waves Right.png)) 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.

Wikinews waves Left.png((WNWikinews waves Right.png)) If you had an option, like, if there was no one to command you, would you still continue freelancing?

Wikinews waves Left.png((JLWikinews waves Right.png)) 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.

Wikinews waves Left.png((WNWikinews waves Right.png)) Which is the first character you'd created when you were a kid?

Wikinews waves Left.png((JLWikinews waves Right.png)) 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.

Wikinews waves Left.png((WNWikinews waves Right.png)) If you had something to tell something to your younger self, what would you tell?

Wikinews waves Left.png((JLWikinews waves Right.png)) 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.

Wikinews waves Left.png((WNWikinews waves Right.png)) All these years, since the technology has taken over, how has the comic book industry changed in your opinion?

Wikinews waves Left.png((JLWikinews waves Right.png)) 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.

Wikinews waves Left.png((WNWikinews waves Right.png)) Who was your inspiration?

Wikinews waves Left.png((JLWikinews waves Right.png)) Um, Kurt Vonnegut and Fredric Brown. They're both science fiction writers.

Wikinews waves Left.png((WNWikinews waves Right.png)) Are you self-taught?

Wikinews waves Left.png((JLWikinews waves Right.png)) 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.

Wikinews waves Left.png((WNWikinews waves Right.png)) Which is your favourite superhero?

Wikinews waves Left.png((JLWikinews waves Right.png)) Plastic Man. And Batman. And Spider-Man.

Wikinews waves Left.png((WNWikinews waves Right.png)) If you had a chance to become a superhero, which one would you choose?

Wikinews waves Left.png((JLWikinews waves Right.png)) Um, probably someone who could fly. Maybe someone who could be invisible. I don't wanna be Batman. Batman's got too many issues.

Wikinews waves Left.png((WNWikinews waves Right.png)) What would you recommend to the new people getting into comic writing and drawing?

Wikinews waves Left.png((JLWikinews waves Right.png)) 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.

Wikinews waves Left.png((WNWikinews waves Right.png)) Would you mind if I take a photo?

Wikinews waves Left.png((JLWikinews waves Right.png)) No, of course not. Yeah.

Photo gallery[edit]

Special guests[edit]

Freelancer comic book artist Scott Hampton.
Image: Acagastya. (Reuse terms.)
Professional cosplayer Tabitha Lyons dressed up as DC Comics's Wonder Woman (right) with cosplayer dressed as V from V for Vendetta.
Image: Acagastya. (Reuse terms.)
Freelancer comic book writer John Layman.
Image: Acagastya. (Reuse terms.)
Sailesh Gopalan, creator of Brown Paperbag comics.
Image: Acagastya. (Reuse terms.)


Other photos[edit]

Cosplayers[edit]

Red Queen or the Queen of Hearts (left) and the Mad Hatter from Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland.
Image: Acagastya. (Reuse terms.)
Shikari Shambu, a hunter appearing in Tinkle comics (left).
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Witches from JK Rowling's Harry Potter universe.
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Edward Elric from Fullmetal Alchemist.
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V from 2005's V for Vendetta.
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A German soldier from World War game.
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Wonder Woman (right). .
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Powerpuff girls -- Buttercup(left), Blossom (middle), Bubbles (right).
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Pirates from The Pirates of the Caribbean.
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Superman from DC Comics's titular comic.
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Superman and Batman from DC Comics.
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Spider-Man from Marvel Cinematic Universe's Spider-Man: Homecoming.
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Spider-Man from Marvel Cinematic Universe's Spider-Man: Homecoming.
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Moana from Disney Animation Studio's latest titular movie.
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Deadpool, the "merc with a mouth" from Marvel's titular comics.
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Deadpool and Spider-Man.
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A stormtrooper, from Star Wars.
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A character from Legend of Zelda.
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Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty.
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Star-Lord from Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy.
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Joker from Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight.
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Loki, from Marvel Comics.
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Loki and Spider-Man.
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The Amazing Spider-Man meeting Spider-Man.
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Loki and Spider-Man.
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Cosplay competition[edit]

(From left) Harry Potter, Star Lord (from Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy, Elsa (from Disney's Frozen) and Harley Quinn from DC/Warner Bros. Suicide Squad.
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(From Left) Hermione Granger, Harry Potter, and Luna Lovegood.
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(From right) Batman (from DC's titular comics); Red Queen and the Mad Hatter from Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland.
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The Queen of Hearts from Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland.
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Lara Croft from Tomb Raider.
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Katana from DC/Warner Bros. Suicide Squad.
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Deadpool from Marvel Comics and Katana.
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Sadness from Pixar's Inside Out.
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Iron Man from Marvel's titular comics.
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Joker, a villain from DC Comics.
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Deathstroke, a villain from DC Comics.
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Scarecrow from Christopher Nolan's Batman Begins.
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Ice King from Adventure Time.
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Bruce Banner from Marvel's The Avengers.
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Sting, a professional WWE wrestler.
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Blastoise shooting bubbles, a Pokémon.
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(left) Robin, Batman's sidekick from DC Comics.
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Vegeta from Japanese anime Dragon Ball Z,
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Calvin (left) and imaginary tiger, Hobbes (right).
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Calvin (left) and imaginary tiger, Hobbes (right).
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Elektra from Marvel Comics.
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Sasuke Uchiha from Naruto Shippūden.
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Sherlock Holmes.
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Multiple cosplayers blending two or more universes[edit]

Luna Lovegood (left), a witch from Harry Potter universe; Link from Legend of Zelda (middle); and DC Comics's Joker (right).
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Eleven, from Stranger Things (left) who can move things using psychokinetics.
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Spider-Man and V.
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Disney Queen Elsa from Frozen (left) and DC's Wonder Woman (right).
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Spider-Man with Pikachu.
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Also[edit]


Sources[edit]

Wikinews
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
Wikinews
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
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