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A look at the Mumbai Film and Comic Convention 2014 from the viewpoint of of someone who has attended the MFCC since before it was called the MFCC.
Despite it being called ‘Comicon’, one thing needs to be made clear – Mumbai’s annual Convention is not a Comic book convention. The title it coined in the second year of its inception is more accurate; so welcome to the ‘Mumbai Film and Comic Convention’.
A successful event since it first took place back in 2011, MFCC has been a booming event with a distinct increase in footfalls by the year. So much so, that this year’s change in venue suddenly made sense the second you stepped in. While moving away from South Mumbai into Goregaon may seem like a step behind, the size of the hall at the Bombay Exhibition Centre admittedly made it clear why the event moved to the suburbs. The size was relatively larger and the number of stalls seemed to have quadrupled; and while this seemed impressive, the crowd stayed at a sparse yet steady flow. By the time the clock struck four, the crowd had clearly nearly doubled. By around 5.30, you could have mistaken MFCC to be Kurla Station at rush hour.
MFCC’s Title with its mascot – Wonder Bai.
While the turnout was impressive, the events themselves left a lot to be desired. Sure, the screening of Burka Avenger was interesting and the books launched this year were very impressive, the redundancy of the centre stage baffled most people. While someone’s talking, you have a girl dressed in a She-Hulk costume screeching about the sale in one of the stalls, followed by enthusiastic shoppers struggling to get a piece of the action. Personally, it’s hard to pinpoint an actual cause for the Sisyphic feeling that lulled over the event, but it was there, nonetheless.
The rise of merchandising, for one, baffles was baffling.
Not to seem hypocritical, since we all tend to buy curios and the occasional t-shirt at Comicon every year, but when merchandising stalls (read: t-shirt shops) start outnumbering those which have an actual reason for being at a convention in the first place, we’ve got a problem. An example: when a stall like that of Leaping Windows becomes hard to find, you know that there’s way too much faff in the convention. As a matter of fact, we never did find that stall by the end of the event.
Another occurrence that would amuse (if not thoroughly annoy) even the lightest of geeks was the presence of what we’d like to call ‘The Big Bang Theory’ crowd. Nothing against the show, but when people whose idea of the term ‘geek’ is limited to the stereotype of Sheldon and Leonard, you just end up with ignoramuses teeming the show floor. A lot of times, this crowd really is pretentious too – just a bunch of ‘cool’ kids who are there only because it's fashionable. Thankfully there were a few uber geeks around – people who really know their stuff. When you feel lost in an argument between two people discussing in-depth plot points of an oscure cult manga, you know you’re in the right place.
Although the merch overdose did seem to cheapen the event as a whole, the people at the event were its saving grace. Over-excited, ever-enthusiastic and full of the drive to show their love for their favourite pop culture idols, most of these people provided a constantly refreshing source of energy that was infectious, to say the least. Most of them look their geek best, and all of them willing to be clicked and shot by the media and news. And these are the people that actually make Comicon the event to attend for comic book lovers and pop culture geeks every year.
Our slideshow ‘Cosplay@MFCC’ is now live and accessible here.