The Rise of Geekdom

Never was there a better time to be a comic book fan. Movies like Chris Nolan’s The Dark Knight, Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man and Bryan Singer’s X-Men have changed the face of Hollywood action movies. Not only have these superhero movies evolved over time giving us the likes of Marvel Cinematic Universe (with announcements of releases till 2020) but also more obscure and risky comics like The Guardians of the Galaxy are getting high-budget feature films. And that’s just Hollywood. While fans all over the world celebrate being a geek in their own ways and at their own conventions, the comic book culture of Dhaka is blooming with movies being released at the theatres on time and book stores actually bringing in the latest issues and merchandise regularly.
The annual Comicon, dubbed Age of Brilliance this year, was held at the Chairmanbari Field in Banani for a stretch of three consecutive days starting on December 11. This event gave comic book fans alongside anime, film and TV show fanatics an opportunity to come together at a single venue to share their love for modern pop culture. Fans of different ages were present exploring all the various things Comicon 2014 had in store.
One of the two highlights of this year’s convention was the stalls set up by local businesses. There were numerous booths, strategically placed on the edges of the field, selling t-shirts, books, posters, stationery and memorabilia items among other things. There was something for everybody. Naruto hoodies, Iron Man t-shirts, Batman themed bookmarks and notepads, a miniature replica of the TARDIS of Doctor Who fame as well as action figures from many different movies, TV shows and, of course, comic books. Imagine walking past stalls with every single one of them offering to sell at least one pop culture related item that you’d like nothing more than to own for yourself. Yes, and that too at an event in Dhaka.Comic-01
The other highlight was the Cosplayers. The cosplay culture began in Bangladesh two years prior at the first Comicon in 2012. The 2012 comic con was much smaller in scale and held at The Bench in Gulshan. Although it hosted a small number of stalls and displayed a limited collection of pop culture memorabilia from private collectors, what outshined everything at the event was the cosplay done by local fans. This year though, the cosplay alone stole the show.
For one thing, there were going to be cosplayers dressed up in Batman and Joker costumes or even Spider-man masks but the most surprising thing was that many obscure and cult characters were glimpsed here and there. The fans didn’t stop only at comic books either. For starters, there was Willy Wonka from Tim Burton’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Zabuza Momochi from the anime Naruto. Arsenal, Green Arrow’s sidekick and Sherlock Holmes from the popular BBC show also made it to Comicon. There was a group cosplaying as Batman’s rogues’ gallery. A handful of children aged between three to four years were seen accompanied by their parents cosplaying as various characters. There was an exceptionally adorable Darth Vader and a rather cute Supergirl among this bunch.
It is remarkable how much cosplay has changed and improved in less than three years in Dhaka. The costumes were much, much better when compared to the ones from Comicon 2012. It’s also evident that cosplayers take makeup more seriously now. The makeup on most cosplayers was surprisingly good. The overall quality of cosplay at Comicon 2014 was much better than the previous conventions in Dhaka.
Akin to other parts of the world, pop culture has become a phenomenon to be celebrated here in Dhaka as well. Comicon 2014 more than served its purpose by bringing fans together from all over Bangladesh. As well as introducing a whole new world of entertainment to the uninitiated. It has evolved much in three years. It is definitely bigger and way better than when it first started. This only goes to show that more people are aware of the event. Furthermore, the sheer number of attendees stood to prove that geeks will, one day, inherit the world i.e. if they haven’t already.