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Costumes, comics and geek culture

Sri Lankan talent: Lionborn; (below) writer-illustrator Sachi Ediriweera

Sri Lankan talent: Lionborn; (below) writer-illustrator Sachi Ediriweera  

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Writer-illustrator Sachi Ediriweera is among the three international artists at Mumbai Comic Con

Sachi Ediriweera had an eye for illustrations since he was a child. While watching cartoon films on television, he used to draw the characters on paper simultaneously. But Lionborn, which claims to be the first English graphic novel in Sri Lanka, was never a part of the writer’s long-term plans.

A reimagination of Sri Lankan historical character, Sinhabahu, Lionborn is a tale of mystery and betrayal. We follow the protagonist, Sheerdas and his return to his home town of Vanga, after his sister, Sivali is wrongfully arrested in connection to a young girl’s disappearance. His investigation leads him to a web of secrets, deceit and uncovering the dark and murderous past of his father. The book was released in August 2017 at the Lanka Comic Con.

The Sri Lankan writer and illustrator is among the three international artists to participate in the ninth edition of the Mumbai Comic Con. Larry Hama, writer and editor of G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, and former Saturday Night Live, and Alison Sampson, a UK-based comic book artist who has worked for publishers such as DC/ Vertigo, Dark Horse, IDW, and Boom, will also be present, along with a range of Indian artists and creators.

In an email interview with The Hindu, Ediriweera said that the process of creating Lionborn was both "testing and gratifying". “I spent a few weeks plotting a story and drawing pages. Once I got hooked, I kept doing it,” he says.

Being his first project, mistakes were inevitable. During the creative process, he redrew 44 pages but with an awareness that writing and illustrating a graphic novel takes time. It's his filmmaking background that aided him in the process. His short films Wildlings Within (2014) and Garden of Bones (2016) have been screened at international film festivals such as Clujshorts Film Festival, Romania and World Arts Film Festival, Florida.

Being his first visit to India, Ediriweera is excited to experience "the local geek culture, showcase his work and chat with like-minded comic book fans" in Mumbai. He is also open to collaborations with Indian artists. “I'm more interested in working with someone who'd consider the artist a creative voice instead of someone who just draws the scripts. Maybe that's just the storyteller inside me,” Ediriweera explains.

The Cosplay Contest , arguably the most exciting part of a comic con, where participants dress up as characters, will have a prize of ₹2 lakh per day for the best-dressed attendees. Each day, the winners of the Mumbai qualifier will also be eligible to participate in the Indian Championship of Cosplay 2019, followed by a chance to represent India at the Crown World Championship of Cosplay in Chicago. The second contest, the Mumbai Cosplay Championship 2019 is a celebration of pop culture. Participants can register on-ground at the venue each day, and then compete to eventually win the grand prize

Mumbai Comic Con, December 7 and 8 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Bombay Exhibition Centre, NESCO, Goregaon East. Tickets can be purchased at www.insider.in

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Printable version | Dec 9, 2019 11:26:59 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/art/costumes-comics-and-geek-culture/article30151263.ece

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