With round glasses on a thin face and a lightning bolt-shaped scar on the forehead, Harry Potter at the seventh Delhi Comic Con was precise down to the last detail — except, of course, for the wizard’s vivid green eyes.
Though his heart beats for DC and Marvel comic heroes, school student Aayush Mall, with a wavy tuft of hair, was cajoled by friends into dressing up as the J K Rowling character for his strikingly similar looks.
“I am not really into Harry Potter, but when friends told me I look like him, I thought ‘why not’! It actually feels pretty amazing,” a beaming Aayush, surrounded by fans from the muggle world, wizards’ term for non-magic people, said.
Massive and colourful young crowds have been thronging the NSIC Grounds in Okhla at the Delhi chapter of Comic Con which opened its door to a star-studded weekend.
The three-day festival ending today has been choosing five best-dressed cosplayers — or costume players — every day across categories such as comic books/graphic novels, animated series/movies, manga/anime, sci-fi/fantasy and gaming.
“One lucky winner out of the chosen five get a chance to win Rs 50,000 cash prize each day. The winners get a chance to represent India at the Crown World Championship of Cosplay in Chicago,” the organisers said.
The grounds were lined with shops for superhero action figures, pop culture posters and other merchandise, and young fans dressed as their favourite characters walked among the visitors.
While Aayush, cosplaying for the first time, felt “more like Harry than himself”, a swaying Aman Kumar with long hair and a braided beard, aptly imitating Captain Jack Sparrow, dressed so for the love of Hollywood actor Johnny Depp.
“I started cosplaying in 2014, and have always cosplayed as Jack Sparrow except last year. I’m a huge fan of Johnny Depp and that’s why I grew my hair and beard,” Kumar, who is a Delhi-based fashion photographer and graphics designer, said.
Last year, he was dressed as White Walker, a character from the television series ‘Game of Thrones’.
In another corner posing for photograph requests was Harley Quinn, a deranged psychotic villain from DC’s ‘The Batman Universe’ joined by her boyfriend ‘The clown prince of crime’, The Joker, himself.
For first-time cosplayer Jahnvi Kataria, a Delhi student dressed as Quinn in a black and blood-red dress, it was all about matching the madness and passion of the psychologist turned psychopath.
“I have always come here as a visitor, but this time I wanted to do something of my own. And I just love Harley,” she said.
While Quinn was more playful and jolly, Karan, a VFX student, dressed as The Joker, had some wisdom to share and not the villain’s characteristic maniacal laughter.
Cosplaying for the second time, Karan said he chose the character from Batman because “ultimately everyone is wearing a mask to hide their true self”.
And, he is a big fan as well.
With almost 600 cosplayer registrations in the first two days, finding a Batman or two was not a difficult task.
Dressed as the Dark Knight, Aditya Mehra, a Mumbai-based real estate businessman, relates to the Caped Crusader as both of them “own a lot of property”.
“For the last three years I have dressed as the Batman.
No doubt I love Batman but also both of us deal in real estate so I feel a connection,” Mehra said before disappearing into the crowd of fans.
The conference, an annual event, also featured programmes such as artist interactions, stand up comedy and sections for Virtual Reality experiences.