Considering the lack of a comic book reading culture in the country, it is no less than a surprise that some comic book enthusiasts have managed to put together Pakistan’s first ever comic con.
The festival, or more likely a fan convention, will encompass a congregation of fans of various mediums, such as television, film, music, comic books, actors and even entire genres. Comic cons held in the United States, such as New York Comic Con, San Diego Comic Con and Wizard Con, are considered a Mecca for fans and are one of the grandest platforms for them to articulate their admiration.
Comic Con PK, which is being held from December 27 to 28 at the Defence Public Library — is an endeavour to increase awareness about the art and mediums of comics in Pakistan.
Mudassar Butt, the principal organiser of the event, spoke to The Express Tribune, elucidating how the event came about.
“We had just held the 2nd Literary Festival in DHA, Lahore, and after the event, all the organisers were sitting together and brainstorming ideas on what our next event should be. We knew we needed to regulate an affair that would knock everyone’s socks off,” remarked Butt.
Being a comic artist himself and ardent fan of the medium, he said there was only one event that could achieve the said feat — Pakistan’s first ever comic con.
Pitching the idea to around 40 to 50 of his friends within the artiste community, he realised he wasn’t the only one geared up for such an event.
Major General (retd) Mustafa Zaidi who is the director of the DHA Library, was initially unsure about the initiative and after being convinced by agroup of, rather persistent, teenagers he was on board.
Surveying the enthusiasm that was brought on by the possibility of a comic con in Lahore, Zaidi gave the organisers his thumbs-up for the event.
The two-day event will showcase some of the best digital and comic book artistes from Pakistan.
“We have Lucid Concepts, Mud Toonz, the team behind the cult Bloody Nasreen, Adnan Ali and many more,” confirmed the organiser.
He was quick to denote that he left no stone unturned in ensuring that international artists feature in the event. He talked to Zenescope, the American comic book and graphic novel publisher, and Omar Mirza, a well-known Pakistani artist based in New York City with the intention of welcoming them to the inaugural edition.
“Unfortunately, they were unable to make it to this edition but Omar Mirza has been gracious enough to send us some of his artwork and comics, which will be readily available at the event,” stated Butt. Mirza is also the creator of the Zindaan series.
What is heartening is that the organisers have already received the backing of the coordinators of the world’s most premier comic cons.
“I was in talks with artists and people, such as Francesco and Faro Kane, who were associated with the San Diego Comic Con, Wizard Con and Denver Comic Con, and they have given me their blessings. They also mentioned that if the event proves to be successful, they most definitely will visit next year,” exclaimed Butt.
He was hopeful that the event would be an inspiring success, resulting in the facilitation and elevation of comic book knowledge and digital art in Pakistan.
“I anticipate that one day there will be a cartoon channel in Pakistan, which has content exclusively created by Pakistani artists,” says Butt.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 28th, 2014.