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Sumit Kumar's come as Kato, The Green Hornet's sidekick . He's put on a black suit on a hot day and has fashioned a mask with an airline sleep-mask that keeps sliding down his nose. Otherwise, he insists he's completely normal. "I come from a very normal family.
My father works in a bank. Our television set has a crochet cover," he says. They've got a wooden "home sweet home" souvenir and have had their photo clicked in folk dress in Shimla. They're that normal.

Couple of years ago, Kumar contributed three stories to the pornographic Savita Bhabhi series. His mum doesn't know. "I just wrote the stories," he says, "My porn was so pathetic, they said they'd write it themselves." His first graphic novel about his evolution into a graphic artist (it has a "halka sa mention with doodle" of Savita Bhabhi), The Itch You Can't Scratch, is one of the several novels and series released at the first Comics Convention in India being held at Dilli Haat over the weekend.
The organizers of the convention — Jatin Varma and Twenty Onwards Media — are the people behind Random Magazine and the Golden Kela Awards. "We've had a comic tradition. It's a good idea bringing it all together," says Kumar.
There are comic books, workshops , sale of T-shirts and action figures . There's Bazaar ka Sair (Hindi, National Book Trust) and the yet-tobe-released Damned Book 1 by a new Delhi-based art collective calling itself Abstraktsia. "It's for 15 and above. There's no nudity but it's a little dark," says Bhanu Pratap, 23, the youngest of the collective. Five people worked on the same comic using different styles.

Myths are big with many of the publishers — including Campfire and Wilco launching a series on them. Mumbai-based Vimanika's been doing it for three years now. "We invested a lot of money to pick the industry up and ran the show without profit. We have broken even now but we need to make profit," says Karan Vir, "Visionary" as it says on his card, for Vimanika. "There was no space for history or myths. Amar Chitra Katha did it, but art-wise it was flat," he says. The creator of Amar Chitra Katha and Tinkle , Anant Pai, will be awarded the Special L i f e t i m e Achievement Award. There is a best costume contest and not just for kids. Sameer Bundela, sweating in clothes approximating a Rorschach costume, is decidedly no kid. Rorsharch, a character created in 1986 by DC Comics, is one of the Watchmen.

He dresses in a trench coat, wears gloves and hat. The cloth face he wears has the inkblot of the Rorshach test and keeps changing. He's a crime-fighter . Bundela's life is altogether more ordinary. He is 21, a final-year student of animation at a Noida college. He's "quite a big but not a very big" comic book fan. He doesn't know if he'll wear the costume on Sunday too. 'It's very hot and the clothes aren't helping." By late afternoon, Bundela's Rorshach has competition from Shashank's Rorshach.

 There were kids in Batman and Superman costumes. Trishna Wahemgbam and Naina Bhan, both first-year students of history at Miranda House, came as Joker (from Batman) and Wonder Woman, respectively. "I think she is a hot superhero," says Bhan, "I couldn't come as Catwoman. Didn't have enough leather." But they'd all have a tough time beating Dhanesh's Jafar (from Aladdin). The only thing missing in his look was Iago, the parrot .
Savita Bhabhi  Episode 31  Sexy Secretary | page 10

There are workshops with writers , illustrators and animators lined up. The Comic Con is not just for the young. Dheeraj Verma who created Bheriya for Raj Comics in the early 90s, will be taking one on creating characters. He's been attending Comic Cons in America where he's worked with Marvel Comics and Avatar Press. "I'm excited it has started in India. This is the first time, next year it'll be huge," he says.


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