Mumbai Film and Comic Con – As Seen By a N00b

Dear Reader,

This article is very late in its arrival. You have to understand, its delay was not intentional. It’s just that when the holiday season comes around, one is usually very incapacitated mentally. That coupled with procrastination and the inability to understand the idea behind deadlines, made me delay the whole process further and further till the editor started to make voodoo dolls that strangely resembled me. While the year-end for me wasn’t as eventful as I hoped it would be, Mumbai Film and Comic Con, 2014 was.

Not having attended the first day, I arrived on Saturday, expectations soaring high and excitement soaring even higher.



My first impression was of the number of people who showed up. The number of people, geeks, nerds and posers who show up at every single such event never fails to amaze me.  Though the venue was large enough to handle it, but soon one would realise that instead of leisurely ambling along the aisles and soaking it all in, one was being pushed from one point to another.

For the last few years I have been reading the accounts of those visited the San Diego Comic Con and the other large international Comic Cons. They claimed that it had become a massive corporate entity which barely cared for comics and mostly functioned as a front for the merchandising and marketing teams of major movie studios. I have to say, and rather sadly I might add, that I saw shades of the same at Mumbai.

The place was chock full of shops that hocked all the geek memorabilia the heart could desire and more. It boasted life sized figures of the Avengers that people queued to take pictures with. It had a Star Wars experience centre, which looked quite unremarkable,  but even more people queued up there to have their picture taken. The artists’ alley, featuring some great original work, in comparison was relatively empty.



I always hope to pick up the next Indian graphic novel at one of the stalls at Comic Con. But to be honest, none of the offerings at this Con interested me in the slightest. It was at Comic Con that I first discovered Appupen. It was at a Comic Con that the potential of the Indian comics collective is immense. It is disappointing to realize that though this industry has potential, they still fail to give us, the nerds, the fans, anything more than a handful of good releases every year.

So far it seems as if all I did at the Mumbai Con was find things to complain about. But that is not true! The international guests that the Con had lined up this year were fantastic. Nick Spencer, Dan Goldman, Nicolas Wild and Mark Gatiss, who received a rock star’s welcome from the audience, made it a must-see event. The sessions with the international guests were handled by knowledgeable professionals and were engaging enough to always keep a crowd gathered in front of the stage. Too bad there was no planned seating for more than a hundred people or so. Everyone else had to stand, and props to them as they toughed it out to catch these artists and writers live. As always the cosplayers were great, what some lacked in imagination or design they made up for in sheer enthusiasm.


Nick Spencer



A short talk with Nick Spencer told me he was excited about the possible adaptation of Thief of Thieves to the small screen. Thief creator Robert Kirkman and the team that is adapting The Walking Dead may be bringing the series to our television screens soon. When asked the difference between working at Image Comics and DC or Marvel he said that Image was better because he worked on a comic he created and had no real rules or constrictions. Nick Spencer pitched his first comic in 1998, but it wasn’t till 2008 when a pitch was accepted and was published as Existence 2.0 in 2009. I asked him what he did in the decade between and he replied that he did a bunch of things that gained him a lot of life experience such running for owning a hostel, dabbling music, owning a bar and also running for city council in hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio.


Dan Goldman



Dan Goldman revealed that he is not currently working on any new webcomics at the moment, nor will he be working in non-fiction in the near future. He is however working on the second part of his Red Light Properties graphic novel, which should come out in June, 2015. He seemed a little let down that the Mumbai Comic Con had not stocked the first part. Fans of his webcomic Kelly will be happy to know that even though it has been five years since it was last updated, Goldman says it is his intention to continue Kelly. “The problem with Kelly was that, I was at 54% of the entire book, and then I had a hard drive crash, everything’s lost,” rues Goldman.

He said that even though it might take him a few more years to complete it Kelly was in his heart and he intended to finish it. Speaking of ACT-I-VATE, the American webcomics collective of which he was a co-founder, Goldman admitted that he hasn’t been actively involved with it for a few years but was proud of the talent that had come through there and the fact that it had inspired others to set up similar collectives, such as the ones he encountered in Brazil.

Three comics Dan Goldman recommends: Lone Wolf and Cub (a manga by Kazuo Koike), 20th Century Boys (a manga by Naoki Urasawa) and To The Heart of the Storm (Will Eisner).


Mark Gatiss



Tired of hearing the Who-Lock questions and the incessant Sherlock shipping speculation I led with a question about Spaced, in which he made a small appearance. Gatiss expressed delight at having worked with Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright and said that he was only waiting for a call and he would work with them again. When I asked if Sherlock‘s Mycroft was inspired by Yes, Minister‘s Humphrey Appleby, he accepted that the similarities were there, but Mycroft was more powerful now. Finally I asked him if thought the displeasure some fans felt with Season 3 of Sherlock were justified. With a smile on his face he replied, “fuck off”.


– by Shombuddha Majumdar
Shom here is yet another procrastinating Bengali who believes that writing will provide him with a livelihood even though he fails to understand deadlines. The boy with a sense of humour and brains to match, this Bengali (not so secretly) hopes to become a filmmaker someday.