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‘The culture surrounding cosplay is very inclusive and supportive’

Culture‘The culture surrounding cosplay is very inclusive and supportive’

The 3-day Delhi Comic Con 2022 held at the NSIC Exhibition Grounds witnessed the euphoria to the fullest after a hiatus of 2 years.

Delhi Comic Con 2022 brought together the lovers of comic books, manga, anime, and superhero films. The 3-day event held at the NSIC Exhibition Grounds witnessed the euphoria to the fullest after a hiatus of 2 years. This year’s edition featured some thrilling experience zones by Warner Bros for DC’s Shazam, 20th Century Studios’ Avatar: The Way of Water figurines at display, Prime Video’s top international shows such as Jack Ryan S3, The Boys, and The Lord of The Rings: The Rings of Power’s fun engaging games, Universal Pictures’ Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, among other attractions.

Avatar_ The Way of Water’ at Delhi Comic Con 2022

Pop culture enthusiasts cosplayed and put on a spectacular show with much excitement and zeal. Speaking about the rise of cosplay culture, cosplay artist and enthusiast Karan Desai opined, “I think that the culture surrounding cosplay is very inclusive and supportive. People from various strides of life and communities simply can dress up in their favourite character and feel regarded and admired without any sort of apprehension. The community is still niche but with the events like comic con and the steady flow of superhero movies, it’s slowly becoming more mainstream.” Desai, who came to the Delhi Comic Con dressed as Dr. Strange, added, “My Doctor Strange costume is completely hand stitched from scratch. Besides Doctor Strange, I have also cosplayed as Star Lord, Hagrid, Jin Sakai from Ghost of Tsushima, Shanks from One Piece and Cyclops from X-Men.”

Matt Hawkins
Rick Leonardi

This year at the Delhi Comic Con, a lineup of comic book creators and artists were present such as the legendary Rick Leonardi who has worked on various series for Marvel and DC Comics like Cloak and Dagger, The Uncanny X-Men, The New Mutants, Spider-Man 2099, Nightwing, Batgirl, etc. “I was invited by Jatin and his group. It’s a lovely privilege to come here and I am very happy to be here on the 10th anniversary of Comic-Con India. Both in the United States as well as here in India a lot of people had been waiting to come back to the show over the last couple of years owing to the pandemic. So there is a lot of built-up energy which is quite evident now that we are back here. It’s really wonderful to see all the enthusiasm,” rejoiced Leonardi.
Sharing his thoughts about the rapid changes happening over the last two decades, Leonardi explained, “What business are we really in now? Are we in the business of selling magazines? Or are we in the business of introducing characters as franchises into the cultural mainstream to be exploited in other mediums such as movies, cartoons, merchandize, videogames, and so forth? Are we just the thin edge of something that expands behind us? Maybe one of the things that we are actually tasked with going is keeping the copyrights alive on characters until such time when their turn arrives in movies. A character like Iron Man who could have supposed would become so big but his time did arrive.”
Matt Hawkins, who is a legend in his own right, was also present at the Delhi Comic Con 2022. He is the President / COO of Top Cow Productions, Inc. since 1998. He has written over 30 franchises for Top Cow and Image Comics. “I attended the New Delhi Comic-Con in 2013 and then I did the Mumbai one sometime after that. So, this is my third time. I really like the show. The first time I came it was on Ron Marz’ recommendation me and Jatin (Varma) saw me back then and they have brought me this time as well,” recollected Hawkins.
The pandemic kept Matt from traveling for almost two years. But, his love for videogames kept him engaged during the period. “Well, I work in seclusion as a writer and so I am used to it. For me nothing has changed in that sense. But it was weird being stuck at the home for so long and so it feels wonderful to be back after the pandemic. One nice thing is that right now people seem to want to get out and do things,” added Hawkins.
The noted Indian actor Adil Hussain also attended the Delhi Comic Con this year. “This is my first ever experience at the Comic Con in Delhi and I had a great time interacting with the audience on ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ series,” rejoiced Hussain. Standup comedian Zakir Khan added, “It was an incredible experience. Comic Con has always made me feel at home. With ComicCon marking its tenth anniversary, it brings me immense joy to be a part of it.” Rapper Fotty Seven said, “I have always loved Comic Con, as a fan and as a visitor. This time around, I got to be a part of it as a performer, and it has been a delight.”
Jatin Varma, Founder, Comic Con India, is chuffed by the event’s success. “It’s surreal for me to see how we have completed a decade with Comic Con in India. We started our first convention in Delhi back in 2011 and it all comes full circle here with one of our biggest shows yet again. We saw a total of 45,000 attendees across the three days. It only goes to show the strength of our community. And it is going to grow only bigger from heron, especially for our next event in Mumbai,” summed up Varma.

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