The first ever pop culture convention in India took place on February 19–20, 2011 in New Delhi. The event was inaugurated by Dr. Bipin Chandra, the chairman of the National Book Trust, and hosted by Twenty Onwards Media. The 2011 Delhi Comic Con showcased stalls by 25 exhibitors, mostly Indian publishing houses such as Diamond Comics, Amar Chintra Katha, Vimanika, Level 10, Manta Ray, and others.
The program of the inaugural Comic Con included a comic book exhibition, meetings and panels with comic book artists and writers, workshops, interactive sessions, and a cosplay competition. One of the show’s special guests was Uncle Pai, renowned Indian educationalist and a pioneer in Indian comics. The two-day event attracted about 5,000 visitors.
Over the years, the convention has expanded to other cities including Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Pune. In 2014, the organizers of Comic Con India entered into a joint venture with ReedPOP, a department of the world leader in the exhibition industry Reed Exhibitions. Along with Comic Con India, ReedPOP organizes pop culture conventions in several cities across North America, five Australian cities, Vienna, Paris, and more.
Currently, Comic Con India comprises five comic-based conventions for Indian pop culture fans:
- Comic Con Hyderabad
- Comic Con Delhi (the flagship edition)
- Comic Con Mumbai (formerly known as Mumbai Film & Comics Convention)
- Comic Con Bangalore (Bengaluru)
- Comic Con Express Pune
Each of Comic Con India’s editions is a full-fledged multi-genre convention with its own program and special guests. Every year, organizers invite famous comic book writers, artists and publishers, professional cosplayers, actors, filmmakers, film producers from across the globe. For example, the 2015 Comic Con Bangalore featured Natalia Tena (the Harry Potter film series, Game of Thrones) and Daniel Portman (Game of Thrones).