Seven creepy sights at ComicCon Bangalore

When I got a chance to cover ComicCon Bangalore for Scroll, I wanted to do something fun with it. So thought will write what I love: creepiness in things. And here’s what I saw.


Sweet’s gone dead

Girls and women turned out at Cosplay not in demure, girly costumes but in kickass ones. Manga and Anime was popular as usual, as was horror. Here’s Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride for you peeps. Shivered us plenty.

(Photograph: ComicCon India)
Cold spots were a favourite haunt

Bangalore is known for one thing, the awesome weather. There’s only one period, from the second half of March and the first half of April, when the city heats up. And that’s precisely the period to which they shift ComicCon in Bangalore from a breezy September (we tell you!). The worse off were those who were sitting in panels on stage (including yours truly), with glaring lights on them, sweating while trying to swing the cool factor.

And then there were the unfortunate enthusiasts of Cosplay, who’d put on leather, rexin, wigs, paints and furs in order to look like their favourite characters. The attendees in their search for some relief, converged like a swarm of bees to cold spots, small, premium spaces in the White Orchid hall in Manyata Tech Park, where the air-conditioning was slightly more effective.  There they sat, on the carpeted ground, lounging.

“I’ve never seen Bangalore so hot,” said Jatin Varma, founder, ComicCon India, when I asked him why he shifted the event’s time to the hottest time of the year in Bangalore. “I thought it couldn’t get this hot!” Now you know, Jatin.

(Photograph: Ashwani Sharma) 
A scary crow indeed

There’s nothing like a good old-fashioned villain to get chills down your spine on a hot afternoon. So it was that we caught this young man in his rather innovative makeshift costume, doing Scarecrow from the Batman comics. And then there’s Dr Octopus from Spider-man 2. Evil is nice, no?

(Photograph: Ashwani Sharma) 


(Photograph: Jatin Varma) 
The bloody iron throne

Treachery and murder, killing and destruction, were rather popular with the visitors of Comic Con. The Iron Throne was in the house thanks to HBO’s promotion of the latest season of Game of Thrones on its premiere channel in India. For the visitors that meant a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of sitting on the Iron Throne which is made of the cruelest swords in Westeros, keeps giving you nicks and cuts, and means that you will have to kill and murder and shed blood in order to be there. And you won’t believe how many were eager to.

There was an hour-long line outside the booth to go sit on the throne and pose with the sword. This guy, however, did the Delhi thing. “I cut the line and sneaked in,” he told me with a smirk. “It’s free but who will wait for this long?” Yes, my dear. Wonder if your evil tactics will get you approval from GRR Martin.

(Photograph: Shweta Taneja) 
The divination lady
Then there was this lady, who fell into the part of Professor Sybill Trelawney and quite enjoyed telling anyone who would listen (as the professor did to all her students in the Harry Potter series) that their tea drudge indicated that there was death around the corner. We love a little dark drama, don’t you?

(Photograph: Ashwani Sharma) 
Sale of indigenous comics? Ghanta only.
We love pop culture and art in Western movies, comics, cartoons and culture. We love Japan for its anime and manga. And we weep over the poor quality of comics coming out of our own country. Without trying them out.

“I’m tired of mythology,” said a reader, “why can’t they publish something interesting in India?” I asked him what he reads. The answer: Lord of the Rings. Case closed. “There is interest, but most of the people want to buy posters of the cover, rather than a comic,” said Kailash, who publishes comic anthologies under the name Pulpocracy and rues not buying poster rights from the artist, for then he would’ve made enough money for his business to survive. People come, spend more than Rs 10,000 each, but on merchandise and international titles. Most indie stalls are empty.


(Photographs: Ashwani Sharma) 
And then there was Obelix

A cool relief after all the horror at the Con, this man made us laugh out loud. Not only had he sized up for his Cosplay, including some natural sweat and beef (though boar would have been more appropriate), but his costume was perfect as was his chilled out attitude, which made you want to revisit the Asterix series yet again. He certainly brought a smile to our sweaty faces.

(Photograph: Ashwani Sharma) 

To read the complete article, head to Scroll.


FB page for Skull Rosary

Just a few months ago, I announced my upcoming graphic novel The Skull Rosary. To build up some excitement (not only for you guys, but also for myself!) I have just launched its FB page! If you read this, and click on the FB link too, I hope do press that all important LIKE button. The graphic novel releases in May 2012 and will be done in collaboration with artist Vivek Goel and his indie production house Holy Cow Pvt Ltd. I am thinking how I can Do keep coming back to know what more is happening in this!

And a sneak update: The Skull Rosary comprises of five stories and I have already completed one of them! It sounds beautiful to my ears, but you never know what happens when its thrown out there! Fingers crossed.

Were House Volume 1 released!

My first comic short story it out in the market. It’s a horror comic anthology of three authors with artist Vivek Goel. You can order it online at Flipkart


Would love to hear some feedback on it!

Werehouse out in the papers

The excitement is building up for the May end release of Werehouse-The house of monsters. One of the three horror stories in the anthology are mine and I am quite excited about it as it’s my first horror comic coming out. Here’s what the Mumbai Mirror journalist had to say:

Endangered fury

A graphic novel ropes in some endangered Indian species and narrates tragic tales of the human civilisation through their perspective


Posted On Sunday, May 01, 2011 at 06:56:15 PM

w e have seen it all. From Benicio Del Toro playing the werewolf in the film The Wolfman (2010) to Rahul Roy becoming the weretiger in the film Junoon (1992). Cursed creatures have always been portrayed brutally devouring numerous innocent humans to satisfy their lust for blood. A graphic novel on similar lines of therianthropy (metamorphosis of humans into other animals by the process of changing forms through shape-shifting), titled Were House — Volume I, will be launched this month. The novel moves away from the cliched transformations of humans into wolves and tigers and introduces some lesser known but endangered Indian animals such as the Snow Leopard and the Dhol (Indian wild dog), along with a rat, as new therianthropes.
Graphic artist and creator of Ravanayan, Vivek Goel is self-publishing the novel under his newly formed publishing house, Holy Cow Entertainment based in Mumbai. With specie after specie becoming extinct from the world, the novel takes us closer to the heart of animals through therianthropes. Instead of being cursed, the creatures have been blessed with the power to change shapes. “We have conveniently exploited every possible living creature for our own selfish needs. But we hardly know what and how they feel about humans,” says Goel. “I thought it will be interesting to see the world through their eyes.” There is a lot of blood and gore in the story and it justifies the creatures’ need to kill as mere survival instinct instead of a mad blood-lust like that of werewolves and weretigers.

To read the full story, click here.

Writing horror

Trying to write a horror story but the characters keep bringing in more drama in than a horror requires. Controlling the people is becoming a problem. An extract I will most probably delete from the story:

‘Oh my Gawd! Are you smiling Mr Mishra!’

Mohan looked up with a start. He had been so deeply sunk into his own thoughts that he hadn’t noticed Mrs Gowda walk into the teacher’s room with her gang of lady teachers. It was almost lunch time, he noticed, looking up at the huge black clock on the broken wall at the far end.

‘What’s the special occasion, Mr Mishra. You seem to be smiling to yourself.’

Mrs Gowda looked excited at the prospect of needling Mr Mishra. Her breasts jutted out like beaks of twin crows from her black sari blouse. That and her huge body, draped in a tight chiffon sari, blocked the remnants of sunlight streaming from the window behind. Mohan looked up towards her sneering face.

‘Yes, yes, tell us Mr Mishra, we want to know too’ echoed the other me-toos who hung around Mrs Gowrah, looking up to her. His stretched lips sunk back into a frown.

‘No, Mrs Gowda. It was nothing.’

He hated this room. He hated these Pink Lizards. He wanted to throttle them all

‘Hmm. I seem to have made a mistake. Mr Mishra could never smile. He has no sense of humour.’ She said, laughing. The other girls followed their crow leader into a cacophony of laughter.

Most days, he would have been depressed by this. But he didn’t mind. Not today. Today, he had found the perfect solution. Murder. The path that will set him free. He stared on his computer screen and pretending to type.


He quickly pressed the Delete key looking around hurriedly to ensure that no one had noticed. It was definitely on his mind. Murder. He rolled the word in his tongue and smiled and puckered his lips. It was a delicious thought.