''Bhojpuri'' superhero at India''s first comic convention

New Delhi, Feb 18 (PTI) UbiMa - a part otter, parthuman - bhojpuri speaking comic-book superhero who protectsthe fictional city of ''Beehar'' from villains will be launchedat the India''s first comic book convention here.

Comic Con India that opens here on February 19 wouldsee the launch of two new comic books "Uud Bilaw Manus", (orUBiMa) and "Retrogade" along with a graphic novel, "The ItchYou Can''t Scratch."

The convention includes a book fair that features over50 publishers - representatives of global industry biggiessuch as Magna, Marvel, Archies and DC comics - along with thepopular Indian staple of Amar Chitra Katha and Vimanika amongothers.

"Almost everyone has fond childhood memories of theAmar Chitra Katha and Tinkle series with their legendary talesand iconic characters like Shikari Shambu. With thisconvention we are hoping to reach out to the youth, whichcontinues to embrace the comic form be it in the old printform, the graphic novel form or even the newer onlineversions," Jatin Varma, event organiser told PTI.

The two-day event, organisers say, is designedloosely on similar international conventions like the one inSan Diego in US in June last year which had legendary comicbook creator Stan Lee as a main attraction.

The event is expecting to see participation from over50 publishers, exhibitors along with speakers, comic artistsand other enthusiasts participating over a period of two days.

With no official estimates available of the existingcomic book industry here, Varma says he hopes the conventionwould also be able to gather figures.

"The comic book industry in general is growing with anew book or graphic novel springing up and bookstores andlibraries dedicating special sections to the genre.

"Some experts who have been working in the field claimthat the it is a 100 crore industry but there is nothingofficial estimate," says Varma.

The convention will have around 35 stalls whichinclude retailers selling comic books, games, and actionfigures and workshops by animators.

Highlights of the event are workshops for children aswell as a chance to meet Anant Pai, creator of Tinkle and AmarChitra Katha as well as Pran, who has created Diamond Comics.

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