The Indie Comix Fest brought the fourth rendition of their festival to Bengaluru over the weekend to showcase the work of independent comic creators
Published: 19th September 2022 05:54 AM  |   Last Updated: 19th September 2022 05:54 AM   |  A+A-
Attendees at a previous rendition of ICF Bengaluru
BENGALURU:  Comics hold a strange place in the Indian art industry. In countries like the United States, comics have been a major proponent of pop culture for decades. To a level that multi-million dollar movies are being made based on the Marvel and DC comics. In Japan with animation being a medium for storytelling, there lies an entire industry surrounding manga (Japanese comics), which is widely read globally.

However, many feel that this country and city are yet to look at comics, especially independent comics, as important tools of creative expression on the mainstream scale. To shed more light on comic creators, the Indie Comix Fest (ICF) brought its fourth rendition of the festival to Bengaluru. It was held at Rangoli Metro Art Center over the weekend.
“In India, the industry isn’t growing at a very fast pace, and comics, as works of art, are still kind of looked down upon. A festival like ICF is essential at encouraging the culture surrounding independent comics in the country,” says Shoubhik Ghosh, a creator of comics, who had previously taken part in ICF Mumbai and Pune in 2018. Rahil Mohsin, who has been attending ICF Bengaluru since its first rendition in 2018, feels the footfall for the festival has increased progressively over the years.
“Since the first year, there have been more and more people attending the event. There is a fairly large number of folks who are interested in celebrating art and culture. While we have bigger events like Comic Con, festivals like ICF give the local artists a necessary push,” says Mohsin, who has written for comics for many years but now primarily works as an artist in projects.
Since the inception of the festival in 2017, festival cofounder Bharath Murthy feels the Bengaluru edition always garners the biggest crowd. “We have organised ICF at multiple metropolitan cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai and Kolkata as well as smaller cities like Pune and Kochi, but none attracts a crowd as large as Bengaluru does. This city has consistently gotten the most responsive audience.
Delhi is a close second,” shares Murthy, a Bengaluru artist whose work has been picked up by major publications. Adding to Murthy’s point of view, comic creator Chinmayi Kaushik, says, “As a native Bengalurean, I can attest to the fact that people love comics and graphic novels here. The city loved this event.” Apart from having big crowds and pushing local artists, comic illustrator Nitya Menon feels ICF opens up collaborative opportunities for creators as well.
“ICF is a great place to meet new people who share your interests, and it opens up opportunities to collaborate on future projects also. For example, the last ICF event I went to was in Kochi in 2019, and there, I met fellow artistes Nithin Mathew and Sanif Asif Ali, with whom I went on to collaborate during the pandemic, and we made an anthology of comics named Hope On,” shares Menon.
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