From international artistes to cosplay and merchandise, here’s what to expect from the Bengaluru Comic Con

Major artists include Akshara Ashok of Happy Fluff Comics and Jonathan Kunz of War and Peas  
Comic Con 2019
Comic Con 2019

After a gap of two years, Bengaluru gears up for the biggest comic festival in the country. Since its announcement, fans have been eagerly waiting to be part of the festival and Jatin Varma, founder of Comic Con India, is glad he is able to bring the event back to the city. Since its first edition in Bengaluru in 2012, Comic Con has featured multiple celebrities including Natalia Tena and Daniel Portaman (Game of Thrones), professional wrestler Ashley Elizabeth Fliehr (better known by her ring name Charlotte Flair) and Scott Hampton (illustrator of Batman and Star Trek). “I am looking forward to seeing all the fans once again and I am expecting too see many first-time visitors,” says Jatin.

The founder explains that the upcoming edition will feature new experiences, comics book stalls and much more. The major attractions include merchandise stalls, cosplay and panel discussions among others. Comic Con is known for big reveals and even though Jatin agrees that it is true, he shares the intention of this edition is to get things back to normal and let the fans experience the festival once again. “As we go forward into next year with more shows, we will certainly be aiming to add more reveals,” he adds. 

The event will feature artists who will be part of the festival for the first time and also some who have participated before. The lineup includes Jonathan Kunz (War and Peas), Bhaghya Babu (Awkwerrrd), Sailesh Gopalan (Brown Paperbag), Akshara Ashok (Happy Fluff Comics) and more. We speak to some of them to know the works they will showcase and what the audience can expect.

Sailesh Gopalan - Brown Paperbag

Sailesh Gopalan, a cartoonist from Mumbai, started publishing his slice-of-life webcomic Brown Paperbag in June 2016. It is made of gag-a-day pages that are inspired by everyday events in a traditional Indian family. Kabir and Ananya, two disgruntled teenagers who constantly contend with their overbearing and intrusive parents, are the main characters of the webcomic.

Could you tell us about the work you are going to showcase at the event?
I’ll have prints of several Brown Paperbag comics episodes. I also plan to do some live sketching and generally engage with the crowd.

Have you been part of Comic Con before? If yes, can fans expect something different from you this time?
Yes, I’ve been part of Comic Con India since 2017! I can’t say I’m planning anything too different, but I’m excited to be there and meet everyone!

What are your expectations from the event?
I’m looking forward to meeting all the amazing guests and artists, and excited to reconnect with the absolutely wonderful people hosting the event!

How important do you think Comic Con is, especially for Indian artists?
It’s a great platfor m to showcase your work and meet others from the industry. I’ve made countless professional connections through Comic Con!

Are you currently working on any new projects?
Apart from Brown Paperbag Comics, I also cofounded Studio Sideline, an animation studio in Bengaluru. I’ve been branching out beyond webcomics and with Studio Sideline we’re hoping to make waves in the animation industry in India.

Bhaghya Babu - Awkwerrrd

Bhaghya Babu, from Kochi, created the webcomic series Awkwerrrd to share stories that highlight Malayali culture and its people by finding humour in the everyday. She thinks it’s crucial to have representation in all media because accurate portrayal can help dispel negative perceptions.

Could you talk about the work you are displaying at the event?
We released a line of limited edition Awkwerrrd t-shirts which we’ll be bringing to the show. Another product that we launched are our Malayalam Alphabet Coloring Books for both kids and adults.

What else can we expect from you at the event?
This is the second year Awkwerrrd will be attending Comic Con. This time, we’re bringing all new merchandise and hope to cover as many stalls and meet as many creators as possible.

What are you most looking forward to at the event?
After two years of isolation, I really look forward to catching up with readers and other comic enthusiasts. I am also hoping to witness some cool cosplay and insightful panel discussions. I am thrilled about the novelty stalls and merch, and generally looking to have a damn good time.

Can you comment on the importance of Comic Con for Indian artists?
The comic creator community in India is relatively small and tight-knight. Events like Comic Con gives us a chance to meet like-minded individuals who share the same interests and likes.

Tell us a little bit about your forthcoming projects.
Currently, I’m exploring a SouthPark-style narrative — animated talking heads with a focus on dialogue. My artistic style and content have evolved through the years, from black and white panels to
animated videos. Experimentation has become a necessity when dealing with an ever-evolving platform like Instagram.

Jonathan Kunz - War and Peas

Comic book creators Jonathan Kunz and Elizabeth Pich launched the War and Peas comic book series back in 2011. They publish a new episode of their comics every Sunday, which are full of amusing twists and unexpected conclusions.

Give us a glimpse of what you will showcase at the event.
Since I will be coming to India on a flight, I won’t be able to bring any merchandise, articles or books. People who drop by at my booth can get a signed copy of the posters I have and take a photo with me.

What will the highlights be for you during your visit?
I’m hoping for a great community event and I’m looking forward to meeting the fans and discovering
new artists. Yes, the Indian food is a good argument to come to Bengaluru as well!

What difference does an event like Comic Con make, especially for Indian artists?
I think it’s very important especially after many festivals have been canceled due to Covid. Although my comics are mostly read online, I think it’s super important to meet in person and talk about art.

What other projects do you have in the pipeline?
Elizabeth and I are working on a new book filled with silly poems. It’s really dif ferent to the webcomics you might know from our Instagram account, but they’ll be great – we have so much fun making them!

Akshara Ashok - Happy Fluff Comics

The popular Happy Fluff Comics were created by Akshara Ashok. The popular series follows the life of Fluff, a girl-next-door who bravely highlights issues and events we encounter on a daily basis but rarely share in public. Akshara began drawing Fluff as a form of self-expression in 2017 and became an immediate Internet sensation.

What will you be showcasing at the event?
I will be having a few calendars, badges and small things from my merch and all of them will follow the theme that my comics are based on.

Have you been a part of Comic Con before?
No, this is the first time I am participating. I have never been to Comic Con before even as an audience
member. I am not really a social person so it is going to be a bit overwhelming.

How does an event like Comic Con help artists?
I think it is a great way to support your favourite comic creators. While creating comics, there are a lot of artists like me who don’t put their face on it unlike video creators and reel creators. So, it is nice for people to know that there is a face behind the comics that people consume on a daily basis.

What else are you currently working on?
I am currently working on the calendar which will hopefully be part of the upcoming event.

What are your expectations from the event?
I hope the event is really enjoyable. I just need to prepare myself mentally because I am a very introverted person. I hope I and everyone at the event has a good time.


Stand-up performances by Sapan Verma (November 20) and Raunak Rajani (November 19)

International guests include Jonathan Kunz (War and Peas), Raymund Bermudez (DC and Marvel Comics) and Yanick Paquette (DC and Marvel Comics)

Indian guests include Gaurav Basu (Acid Toad), Bhaghya Babu (Awkwerrrd), Sumit Kumar (Bakarmax), Sailesh Gopalan (Brown Paperbag) and many more.

Cosplay, merchandise and comic stalls, and gaming arenas.

₹799 upwards. November 19 and 20. At KTPO Trade Center, Whitefield


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