Comic Con India has taken another leap in expanding pop culture celebration in India. The team and the founder Jatin Varma have come up with the Alto Indian Championship of Cosplay 2017, which will be a fitting finale to the Cosplay competitions held during the different Comic Con events held in Hyderabad, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Delhi in 2016. The competition will prove to be the next big gathering of all cosplay lovers that are spread across the country. The event will be free of cost for attendees and will take place on 12 February 2017 at Ansal Plaza between 12 p.m. and 8 p.m.
The competition will have nine finalists competing against one another for the final prize: the opportunity to represent India at the Annual Crown Championships of Cosplay at Chicago Comics & Entertainment Expo. The Annual Crown Championship of Cosplay will be held during 21-23 April 2017 and will have contestants representing counties like the USA, France, Austria, China, Singapore, Indonesia and Australia. This pioneering attempt made by Jatin Varma and his team is a boon for the Indian niche of cosplayers, since its aim is to enable “local cospalyers to become professionals”.
Jatin Varma in a conversation with Guardian 20 shared his optimistic and ambitious vision. “The overarching aim is to expand the ecosystem, get more people interested in cosplaying. As part of that goal, it’s important to support fans who wish to do this professionally; the national championship will certainly help achieve that.” An all embracing and encompassing space is being created through the series of events in the nation. The important question though is whether the “ecosystem” really has the strength of numbers to sustain itself; in cultural activities like this one it is the passion of the mass that counts most. “The numbers provide that evidence,” Varma adds, “in 2011 we had about 20 cosplayers at our first ever convention, now we get cosplayers in the thousands in a year at all our shows. The fact that we are creating a standalone event dedicated to cosplay, should clearly indicate a massive audience for cosplay in India.”
“I think the future is even more exciting than the present, cosplay will boom in India, it already is to a certain extent. Fans are passionate about a lot of things and this ends up being a great outlet for that passion. And Comic Con India would be right there fostering and supporting the entire eco-system!”
The event to be held at Ansal will also be showcasing a Fan Cosplay Contest which shall be open for all. It will enable fans that are not a part of the Championship to also participate, thus acting as an impetus for more people to attend. The occasion focuses on encouraging as many people as possible and also has a prize of Rs 15,000 for the Fan Cosplay Contest. The competition shall be open to various categories of cosplayers: Comic book, graphic novel, animated series, animated movies, manga/anime, sci-fi/fantacy and gaming. There will also be other categories like the Best Joker and Best Couple cosplay.
This isn’t all, the team has also organised a workshop which is going to be held on Sunday, 5 February 2017. The Cosplay workshop 101 – A special cosplay workshop with JMoon MakerSpace and TJ — The Joker will be held at Social in Defence Colony, New Delhi. The workshop will inform and educate aspiring cosplayers over important matters such as where and how to obtain costumes and props. The workshop will be a goldmine for those who want to find quick ways to make good costumes, and will be conducted by experienced cosplayers who have participated in the previously held Comic Con cosplay competitions.
There is a clear indication of the fact that this is just the beginning. The Comic Con India team aims to establish within India a cosplay culture which shall be encouraged and sustained via such competitions. The aim is not simply to entertain once and for all, but to incorporate India into the thriving global culture of cosplay. Varma has much to say on the subject of the future as well, “I think the future is even more exciting than the present, cosplay will boom in India, it already is to a certain extent. Fans are passionate about a lot of things and this ends up being a great outlet for that passion. And Comic Con India would be right there fostering and supporting the entire eco-system!”