Where fantasy comes to life

The three-day Comic Con event last week was a big hit among Delhiites. A special guest was Vladimir Furdik, who plays Night King on Game of Thrones

The very entrance to the large gates read “SUPERHEROES ENTER HERE” and “SUPERVILLAINS ENTER HERE” and the walkway was adorned with a large blow-up figure of a minion. The atmosphere was nothing short of magnetic and the air was charged with excitement. The long walkway leading to the grounds was lined with Comic Con volunteers ushering the crowd and distributing free Doritos.

Despite it being the last day of the three-day long event, the place was buzzing with life — from people simply lounging on the lawns to cosplayers taking pictures with enthusiastic children, and adults flocking to take pictures with life-size superhero mannequins. Whether some were attending simply out of curiosity, others were regulars. It was clear that no one could help but partake in the fun. Young boys were taking pictures with the Superman statue holding up a car, and so were their fathers.

Inside of the convention was every fan’s dream come true. With barely any space to get from point A to point B, there were long queues snaking through the compound of NSIC, waiting to take pictures with life-size statues of Aquaman and Mera. Some even came dressed as Arthur Curry, taking inspiration from Jason Momoa’s styling in the films. A little away from the Aquaman photo station was a stage scattered with statues of Ironman, Hulk and Captain America, where fans were posing as the remaining Avengers and taking pictures. In the background, the newly released trailer of Avengers: Endgame, the final movie in the series was playing. Robert Downey Jr’s voice echoing “Part of the journey is the end,” reminding everyone exactly how emotional and full of fantasy an event like Comic Con is.

“This is special because one year in the day, you get to be as crazy as you want. I’m a big fan of this show and this is the only place I can flaunt it,” said 16-year-old Vihaansh, who was dressed as a Titan from the popular manga show Attack on Titans. With paint on his face and body, sporting a wig, he was walking around the open grounds without a shirt on. His dedication to his costume and his role was fairly obvious.

As people lined up to take pictures with him, he said, “I’m a huge fan of manga, so I had to come here. This is my second day at Comic Con, and I’ve registered for the cosplay event as well.” Hearing a fierce-looking Titan speak so politely was quite disarming for all the people who had gathered around him for photos. Sanskriti, 18, was cosplaying as Hinata from Naruto. “This is such a reputed event! This is my first time at Comic Con and I’ve always wanted to attend. I figured I should cosplay as well,” she smiled.

Another reason this year’s Comic Con was much awaited was that the Night King played by Vladimir Furdik from famed HBO fantasy series Game of Thrones was coming to grace the event. His interactive session with the audience was the high point, among appearances by other notable figures like Peter Nguyen and Varun Thakur.

Children and adults alike had showed up for the event, all robust in their garb and attitude. Some wearing only Thor’s helmet or clutching a makeshift wand, and others in full body spandex costumes, cosplaying as Spiderman or Deadpool. The most common ones, as always, were Harry Potter characters, Sherlock, Harley Quinn and Joker costumes.

Something or the other was happening in every nook and cranny. Children were getting their faces painted, a guy dressed as the nun from Conjuring was doing the ‘floss’ while others eagerly took boomerang videos and uploaded their Instagram stories. Trailers of movies were being played and replayed on full volume at different stalls and photo booths, and at least a few scores of different brands had put up their own stalls of merchandise on the grounds. New start-ups like WearYourMind and Princtopus, alongside the likes of Scholastic and Hot Wheels stations, were all crowded with enthusiastic fans and customers.

People were busy buying t-shirts and masks, costumes, dreamcatchers, and action figures. Mere toys for some, but worthy collectibles for true fans.
The biting cold of the evening and the swirling dust from all the footfall didn’t deter the fangirls and boys in the least. Instead, the environment dipped to a low and meditative level when all the attendees gathered to observe a moment of silence for the late Stan Lee, creator of the Marvel universe. The intensity of the atmosphere was palpable. So many people, gathered in a place for the simple reason of merry-making and unapologetic fun, all quieted down, to pay their respects.

The hours trickled by, but the crowd did not seem to dissipate. The enthusiasm for the events remained at its pinnacle for the entire duration of the evening. People of all ages and sizes walking around, casually armed with wands and swords, exchanging pleasantries with one another and smiling at those passing by. Three Stormtroopers brandishing their lightsabres were taking a quiet moment in the corner, while a very convincing Wade Wilson got showered with attention a few feet away. The ambience was one of frivolity and no judgement. A ‘go-as-you-like’ for all ages. Jatin Verma, the man behind Comic Con India, remarked, “The city never fails to surprise…”

+ posts