Television

The rise of the Zombies at Comic Con

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MUMBAI: The recently concluded Mumbai Film and Comics Convention (MFCC) aka Comic Con proved to be a crowd-puller, much like its predecessor last year.  

Held over two days 21 and 22 December at the Goregaon Exhibition Centre in Mumbai, Comic Con had Wonderbai, our very own ‘desi’ interpretation of popular comic Wonder Woman as its mascot.

Inside, visitors were greeted by life-size statues of Marvel Comics’ superheroes Iron Man and The Hulk in their ‘signature’ poses.

Apart from world-renowned names like Marvel Comics and DC Comics, the event was also marked by the presence of indigenous creative entities such as Graphicurry, Manta Ray and Wontolla.

One of the highlights was the promotion of ‘Zombie Rising: Volume I’, graphic novel and prequel to India’s first original zombie film ‘Rise of the Zombie’ by actor, co-director and 9XO channel head Luke Kenny and writer and co-director Devika Singh.

While also announcing that the sequel to ‘Rise of the Zombie’ is “in the works”, Kenny said: “The prequel comic, the film, and an upcoming video game aim to serve as a new vision to a western genre and Indianising it. It is the Comic Con audience that we are aiming at and not necessarily the Bollywood audience. Presenting it to the public at a time when ‘The Walking Dead’ (a hit US TV series about zombies) is at the peak of its popularity is an added advantage.”

Singh on her part said: “With a limited audience for this genre, a majority of the audience has to be educated before they can acquire a taste for Zombie films that border between blood and gore. The entire genre of zombies is still a rarity in India, a niche on its own; we aim to expose as many Indians as we can to this genre; especially now that successful films like ‘Warm Bodies’ and TV shows like ‘The Returned’ are taking the world by storm.”

Incidentally, ‘Rise of the Zombie’ is a film about a wildlife photographer who transforms into a zombie after being infected by one. Both Kenny’s performance and Singh’s writing have been lauded on the social media circuit.

The other high point was Tere Bin Laden writer-director Abhishek Sharma’s announcement of an “unconventional spinoff” to his 2010 cult comedy titled ‘Tere Bin Laden 3’. Said Sharma, “The two films, even though extremely similar, exist in two different universes,” without giving away any more details.

However, when a member of the audience asked the also present host-actor Manish Paul, who plays one of the leads in Sharma’s upcoming film, to name the character he plays, Sharma answered out of turn: “Since my name is so common in India that you will find apartment buildings sharing it, Manish has decided to give all his future characters my last name – Sharma.”

The humor wasn’t lost on the crowd which burst out into peals of laughter even as another spectator asked Paul whether he would ever return to television after making a debut on the big screen. “I will continue hosting, and balance films alongside. I am currently working on a new TV show, but am not at liberty to say more,” replied Paul.

Leaving aside the event itself, Comic Con has garnered 5 lakh likes on its official Facebook page.

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