NEW DELHI — Spiderman was there. As was Batman. The super-villain Joker rubbed shoulders with Wicked Lulu from the League of Legends. Thousands of fans cheered and clicked pictures with their favorite comic characters Dec. 5 at India’s annual comic book fest at a sprawling fairground in southeast New Delhi.
The fifth Delhi Comic Con had something for everyone who attended on this mild, wintry day. Die-hard fans came dressed as their favorite comic characters. Others crowded the more than 200 stalls selling comic books, graphic novels and merchandise on cartoon characters. There was live entertainment as well.
Crowds of college students and young people cheered and roared as Kristian Nairn, best known for his role as Hodor in “Game of Thrones,” ascended a stage and addressed them. Nairn was mobbed as eager fans pushed to get themselves clicked with the star of the popular television series.
Huge crowds lined up for a shot at the arcade game “Star Wars: Battle Pods,” which was making its appearance just weeks before the worldwide release of the latest film in the space adventure series.
The single-seater pod lets the gamer play out space flight sequences from the Star Wars trilogy, accompanied by the feeling of acceleration, surround sound acoustics and vibrating seats.
Indian mythological heroes, dressed in gaudy costumes with bejeweled crowns and sparkly clothes, added to the carnival atmosphere, ready to oblige fans with an autograph, a selfie or a photograph.
Indian comics have seen a revival in the last decade thanks to new funding and technologies for printing, animation, digitizing and distribution.
Jatin Varma, founder of Comic Con India, said the number of people attending the New Delhi event grows each year. He said he expected more than 40,000 people to attend the three-day fest.
Gaurav Bharadwaj, a 42-year-old New Delhi resident who came to the event with his wife and 4-year-old son, said he was surprised by the huge crowds. Both father and son sported Superman t-shirts and Batman masks.
“Everywhere I turn, I run into a Batman or a Superman or a Spiderman. I never realized there were so many fans in Delhi alone,” Bharadwaj said.