Published: 09th October 2017
The debutantes and the veterans, a look at what to expect from the fifth edition of Hyderabad Comic Con
With a new array of international artists and a bevy of national ones, the thrill of cosplaying returns to Hyderabad for the fifth time
It's time for the fifth edition of Maruti Suzuki Hyderabad Comic Con 2017! HITEX Exhibition Centre will witness one of the most sought-after pop culture events on October 14 and 15. Let's take a look at some first-time artists and veteran stallholders of the event
The viral Brown Paperbag is going to make an appearance at the Hyderabad Comic Con this year, but the founder Sailesh Gopalan is both thrilled and nervous. Thrilled because it's his debut at the event and nervous because "the internet keeps you from interacting personally, but sitting at my own booth at Comic Con, interacting with people and signing autographs, makes me nervous," says the 21-year-old, but he is ready for this learning experience. And if you are lucky, he might even do a quick doodle for you. Who knows?
Right strip: One of Sailesh's work
Sailesh, who started the page on a whim last year, feels that people are not utilising the internet enough to display their work. Though he does understand that it can be an "unforgiving place and if you don't keep your work relevant, you might become obscure," the Bengaluru-based artist maintains that it is a medium which offers a lot of scope. There is no such thing as lack of talent in the country, he maintains.
As an avid user of social media, I understand the community and what its likes and dislikes are
Check his work out at facebook.com/brownpaperbagcomics/
When Laharika Reddy got a text from the officials of Comic Con stating that they would like to discuss "showcasing her artwork" at their Hyderabad edition this year, she thought it was fake. She had been to Comic Con the previous year (even helped her cousins participate in cosplay!) but this was something else. For this architect by day and painter by night, painting is a stress buster, but that doesn't mean she isn't serious about it. "I often take only four to five orders per month because I like to take my time. I even assess the wall that they are destined to go on," says the 24-year-old, who will be putting up her own stall at Comic Con for the very first time. She will not only put her paintings up for purchase, she will be taking orders too (shoes with Minions, Spiderman and other prints will also be available).
Print talk: Shoes by Laharika Reddy
But it wasn't always like this for the graduate from Sri Venkateswara College of Architecture. When she started out she had no support. "I just believed in myself. I knew that one day I would prove myself. And looking at my progress, even my parents are surprised," she says, delightedly. But we sure aren't!
I started with tiny paintings and frames, but when the word got out through social media and appreciation flowed in, it boosted my confidence
Check out her work at facebook.com/
It was the love for comic books that always pulled 30-year-old Saloni Sinha towards Comic Con, but this time, she will be attending the event not only as a fan, but also to display her own artwork for the first time. "And for this, I'm even branching out into merchandise for the first time!" she confesses. Before this, she was one of the artists who was handpicked to work for the prestigious Saptan Stories, a collaborative effort by the British Council and Aardman Animations, an award-winning animation studio, as a part of the UK/India 2017. Her artwork, which often overlays reality with imagination, will be on T-shirts, fridge magnets, small notebooks and other different media. And she cannot wait to see what the response to her art will be like.
On display: Saloni Sinha's work
The only way to find your foothold in this world of art is to explore, says the NID alum, just like she did. "I have worked as the UI designer, former art director and illustrator for album covers and more. Exploring is the only way to understand what you want to do," says Saloni, who as a child of an army man, has been raised all over India.
I tend to draw inspiration from my experiences and my style is a mix of reality with fantasy, even mystical or dreamy sometimes
Check out her work at salonisinha.com
The Hoozinc Store
This isn’t the first time The Hoozinc Store will be displaying their pop culture merchandise at Comic Con. But Nikhil Kapur, the co-founder, is sure their first stall at the event gave their store in Banjara Hills a big boost, which until then was running solely on word of mouth. But that was long ago. Surely now, with quirky pop culture merchandise just a click away, the internet must be eating into their profits, right? "We did, in mid-2016, but now we are back on track," he says, crediting it to the fact that people still like to trust what they see. But we would think it's because Hoozinc, one of the first pop culture stores in Hyderabad, has diversified not only into cutlery and home decor products, but they even offer graffiti services (check out Up and Above or The Moonshine Project).
Grab 'em all: Some of Hoozinc's merchandise
And though their online store failed to take off because "products kept coming back from the customers for no reason at all," they are refocusing on their website again, along with plans to open another store in the city. This year, they plan to use the same strategy when it comes to their merchandise at Comic Con. Expect artwork related to pop culture, apart from the usual. And this year, the flavour of the season, as per the 28-year-old, will be Game of Thrones, Flash and "Wonder Woman, definitely her!" says Nikhil, who runs the store along with Chandni Mathur.
Initially, when there was not much awareness about pop culture, we were one of the first stores to set-up shop
Check them out at hoozinc.com
I Love Being A Hyderabadi
In 2013, Syed Saif attended the first ever Comic Con in Hyderabad and saw how every stall had merchandise related to Superman, Batman et al. "I thought we should have a Hyderabadi touch too," says the 26-year-old and thus, I Love Being A Hyderabadi was born. Quintessential Hyderabadi lingo on T-shirts, mugs, tote bags and more is what the brand is all about. And this lingo is what Syed gets from observing how people talk around him and the trends on social media, the former is one of the reasons why he loves Hyderabad, apart from the food and people, of course.
Typically yours: I Love Being A Hyderabadi's city-centric merchandise
To help prepare for winter, they will have hoodies for you to choose from and cut out badges, apart from their usual stuff. They launched their online store at Comic Con in 2014 and they plan to launch their brick-and-mortar store early next year. Not only this, along with the store, there will be a café serving authentic Iranian chai among other things that resonate with the City of Nizams. "It'll be about the pure 90s feel," he tells us. And in a time when quirky stuff like this is available a dime a dozen online, it is the customers asking Syed to open a store. Because of course, online merchandise takes at least a day or two days to arrive.
I was born in Hyderabad and I am every bit a Hyderabadi. I love how people talk to each other in the city
Check them out at beinghyderabadi.in
For mor informationa about the event click http://comicconhyderabad.com