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My Trip To Comic Con Dubai 2014!!

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My trip to the Middle East Film & Comic Con Dubai 2014 on a press pass!!

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My Trip To Comic Con Dubai 2014!!

  1. 1. My Trip To Comic Con Dubai 2014! By Emaan What should one expect when you happen to be at your first ever comic book convention for an entire weekend with a rather private manga infatuation history and a (OMG) press pass? Well the answer is… ABSOLUTE MAGIC. On 3rd of April I stepped into a surreal universe of whose existence I was previously oblivious to and (have since concluded) been much deprived. My ardent love and (in the past) rather unhealthy obsession with manga has always been an unwelcome and awkward extension of myself for my friends and family. Sadly they could not comprehend my fascination with ‘cartoons’, a baffling contradiction to the serious persona I project, and hence over time I learned to curb my ravings of Tamahome and Kail, till they became beloved memories for solitary perusal. But that is till I entered the Geekdom, that is Comic Con. Comic Con is a gathering to celebrate pure ‘geekiness’. Yes it is a platform to display artists, films/television and elements of pop culture like video games, web comics, anime and manga but what possibly everybody can immediately discover, as I did when I entered past the scary bouncers and through the large wooden entry doors at Dubai World Trade Centre is a rather perfervid sense of nostalgia. For me it was a rollercoaster of tender and sometimes hilarious memories flooding my brain at the Hollywood Collectibles exhibit. The time when as a toddler I tried to wear a set of underpants on top of my pants because that’s what Superman did duh! Or looking at the bat mobile and remembering the time at the theatre in around seventh grade during Batman Begins, when Bruce Wayne’s parents were murdered (oh that scene!) and my best friend and me fought for the last Kleenex.
  2. 2. [At the Hollywood Collectible exhibit, Batman cast miniatures.] Of course for me the veritable paradise at the Con and the exhibit where I can sheepishly claim I spent predominant of my time was at the Kinokuniya, the manga store. It was like going to a reunion party. From Bleach, to (I furiously bush as I type this) Vampire Knight, to Anatoli Story, to Howl’s Moving Castle! There was something surreal and soul-stirring in finding all my secret joys sitting innocuously on the display with their glossy illustrated covers beaming and beckoning. But perhaps the most enchanting experience at the Con was the random conversations I would strike with people as I waited in queues or happened to pick up the same manga as. It was an epiphany to see and talk to people of all ages and nationalities fervently discuss manga as art (and not cartoons) with intricate plots from epic fantasy scales to simple romances. On Saturday I met a Russian university student, Anna with whom I had an hour-long debate on whether One Piece was the best manga ever or Bleach? (Just to confirm I still believe its One Piece!). [When I found Fushigi Yugi the Manga I couldn’t really go back home without it could I?]
  3. 3. As a journalist I of course got to attend the exclusive press conference and listen to the Celebrity guests: Seth Green, Giancarlo Esposito, Michael Jai White, Sylvester McCoy, Tony Jaa, Taylor Kitsch and Max Landis from only two feet away! But I also got to explore the facets that made the Con. I interviewed regional artists like the local Emirati girls, Sohra and Amna from Zabeel Institute Of Management & Technology, behind the ‘Untitled Project’ and their amazing art and T-shirts. They have been coming to the MEFCC since 3 years but it was their first year as exhibitors. Another fascinating exhibit was ‘Graphicurry’, a quirky and cool caricature tribute to pop culture icons, founded and designed by Bengaluru based founder & designer Prasad Bhatt who has come to the Con from India to share his art with the UAE. I also visited tons of exciting workshops where I learned the unromantic technicalities behind cinematic magic and also happened to make a 3D clay model of Shaun the Sheep (at least a distant cousin maybe). It also allowed me to interact with Con guests like Shawna from New Zealand who has been going to Comic Cons all over the world since the tender young age of 16 and though she thinks the MEFCC is a nice experience it is incomparable to the San Diego Comic Con! Yet for its third anniversary the MEFCC’s surprisingly immense popularity only gives us reason to hope of its growing. But regardless of it reaching San Diego’s potential or not you will definitely find me at the MEFCC 2015!! (Most probably at the Kinokuniya) [Presenting… The distant cousin of Shaun the Sheep]
  4. 4. [Vintage copies of Fantastic Four and Iron Man being auctioned at 2 million AED!] [Cosplaying guest getting final touches at the Cosplay Tent]

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