Like Star-Lord dancing to the tune of “Come and Get Your Love”, Asus Lanka Comic Con sauntered into the weekend of August 26-27 putting a smile on many a geek culture aficionado’s face. Organised by the Geek Club of Sri Lanka, this is the third time Lanka Comic Con happened. The Sri Lanka Exhibition and Convention Center played host to all manner of geek culture, and it was never better.
You had a section for table-top games such as board games, card games or wargames with miniature figures on miniature battlefields. There was also a science fair where scientific experiments were demonstrated with the pomp and flair of a magician.
Panel discussions at the Con addressed interesting intellectual topics like ‘Inclusion and Diversity in the US Comics Industry’ with former DC Comics editor Joan Hilty. Other panels included how Sri Lankan writers can take on the world through e-books and developing fantasy and Sci Fi literature in Sinhala. There was even a self-defense demonstration.
There was also an opportunity to meet Jayanthi Kuru-Utumpala, the only Sri Lankan to ever summit Mount Everest, and her fellow mountaineer, Johann Peries. They weren’t the only celebrities. Sri Lanka’s revered veteran heavy metal band Stigmata, was also present on both days to many fans’ delight and they gave a rousing concert at Saturday’s end.
But really, the true stars of Lanka Comic Con were the attending cosplayers. Decked out in costumes that were more works-of-art than clothing, many that had taken months to create, they brought awe and wonder to the Comic Con floor. All were impressive with their patience and dedication to the characters they portrayed. Sri Lankan cosplay has come to a place where you wouldn’t be wrong to say it’s as good as it is anywhere in the world. Especially when Hollywood recognises the talent. Roar spoke to some of these characters on Day 1.
The Joker and Harley Quinn came to Comic Con last year as well, thanks to Oshitha Narangoda and Nimasha Perera. But this time, the Joker decided to don local garb for his holiday and Harley went for her classic animated series look that was in the Batman Arkham Origins video game. Oshitha told Roar that he wanted to bring a different Joker this time, and so he thought of the Hawaiian Joker from the comics—with a Sri Lankan twist. And Nimasha said that she started on working on this Harley right after last year’s Comic-Con, where a different Harley was met with great success. Image credit: Roar/Thiva Arunagirinathan
Mermaid Man came to LCC thanks to Jeevan Sukumaran. We heard he tried to take on the Krav Maga guys. Jeevan said he just wanted to do something different. “I thought, what hero would be funny and isn’t like a typical hero? So why not a retired hero?” Image credit: Roar/Thiva Arunagirinathan
In the film, Wonder Woman took on the Germans and persevered. At Lanka Comic Con, she had to face undue online hate, but she emerged a winner, when her efforts were appreciated by the director of Wonder Woman (2017), Patty Jenkins herself. She looks a lot like Amaya Suriyapperuma. Image credit: Roar/Thiva Arunagirinathan
This Wonder Woman who looks like Seshani Cooray also got love from Patty Jenkins. She’s with Mera, Queen of Atlantis, who’s the spitting image of Gayani Kaushalya Perera. Image credit: Roar/Thiva Arunagirinathan
Anung Un Rama, better known as Hellboy, took a break from the BPRD to drop by Comic Con. We understand we have Harindu Gunawardena to thank for him. Harindu told Roar that Hellboy was a character that was somewhat forgotten and with the upcoming movie reboot he wanted to bring the character back. It didn’t hurt that the cosplay made a great a crowd pleaser, too. Image credit: Roar/Thiva Arunagirinathan
Here, Hellboy is pictured with Thranduil, the Elvenking, who was here on Aishwarya Tennekoon’s invitation. Aishwarya said that Thranduil was one of his favourite characters, and that’s why he wanted to bring Thranduil to Comic Con. He said that it took him two months to make the costume out of EVA foam and wire. Aishwarya also assists with many other cosplays, including Thranduil’s son Legolas, who was cosplayed by Ushan Gunasekara this year. Image credit: Roar/Thiva Arunagirinathan
You wouldn’t see mother-daughter duo Dark Princess Leia and Padme Amidala outside a “con”. They’re here thanks to Asmara and Shenelle, who said that Lanka Comic Con has been great for them, and that everything’s been “really cool”. Image credit: Roar/Thiva Arunagirinathan
Chakrapani Marage brought The Mad Hatter to Comic Con. She said that she must have taken about 500 selfies with people on the first day. Some parts of the costume— like the contact lenses and the wig—were sourced from the US, but the rest were all made by her. Image credit: Roar/Thiva Arunagirinathan
Liara T’soni from Mass Effect was there thanks to Opula Fonseka. Opula is a cosplay veteran. She was happy that the event had shifted to a larger, more comfortable location this time, and reiterated how cosplayers should be encouraged for their efforts if we are to keep seeing this art in Sri Lanka. Image credit: Roar/Thiva Arunagirinathan
Deadpool had a lot of incarnations at this con, but we’re pretty sure Sohan Gunarathne had something to do with this one. Sohan was responsible for Sarongpool, but this time around it was the full-suited Deadpool who came this way. When speaking to Roar he mentioned that sometimes even he’s not sure where he begins and Deadpool ends. With so many Deadpools around, he said a Deadpool-verse could be coming soon. Image credit: Roar/Thiva Arunagirinathan
This is Ezio Auditore da Firenze of Assassin’s Creed fame, but he looks a lot like Malinka Jayasekera. Malinka said that some of Ezio’s characteristics from his last appearance are things that he can relate to, and that’s why Ezio means so much. According to him, Pettah is the cosplayer’s friend when it comes to sourcing materials. Image credit: Roar/Thiva Arunagirinathan
Michael Constance brought Nick Fury to comic con, taking a break from all the spycraft. Michael said that he loves Nick Fury because the character suits him, and that although comic-cons like the Dubai Comic Con are much grander, Sri Lanka’s comic con is clearly on the way up. Image credit: Roar/Thiva Arunagirinathan
Among the interstellar travellers at LCC, we also had the TARDIS from Doctor Who. While the TARDIS’ human avatar is known as Idris, at Lanka Comic Con she was called – Lake. She told Roar that she had watched Doctor Who as a child but really got into again after she met her husband. Originally from Australia, she attended the first comic con with her husband, and she’s loved it ever since.
When Batman came to Sri Lanka, he went local, as you can see in this picture of “Bajaar Batman” who was at LCC because of Sunera Thejan Senadheera. Image credit: Roar/Dilina Amaruwan