යමාටෝ වන් : ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේ ප්‍රථම ඇනිමේ හා මාන්ගා ව්‍යාපාරික ව්‍යත්නය

‍යමාටෝ වන් සමූහය. අරිගතො! 

‍යමාටෝ වන් සමූහය. අරිගතො! 

නව ව්‍යාපාරයක් පටන් ගන්නවට වඩා කරන්න අපහසු දේවල් බොහොමයක් තියනවා. යුද්ධ කරන එක, ස්වයං සැත්කම්, ට්‍රාන්ස්ෆෝමර්ස් බලන එක වගේ දේවල්. හැබැයි ව්‍යාපාරයක් පටන් ගන්න ඕනම කෙනෙකුට සුළු සුළු අභියෝගයන්ට මුහුණ දෙන්න වෙනවා. විශේෂයෙන්ම ඔවුන් කරන සෑම දේකම වැරදි නිතර හොයන්න සැදි පැහැදී ඉන්න අය ඉන්න අය ඉන්න නගරයක. ඔබට ස්ථීර හා පූර්ණකලීන ආදායමක් ලැබෙන වෘත්තීයයක් අත හරින්න වෙනවා වගේම දවසකට පැය 12කට වඩා මහන්සි වෙලා වැඩ කරන්න සිද්ධ වෙනවා. ඒ මදිවට ඔබ වටේ ඉන්න 'යාළුවෝ' බලන් ඉන්නේ ඔබට කොයි වෙලාවේ වැරදෙයිද කියලා.

ඒත් ඔබ කරන දේ ඔබ දිගටම කරගන යනවා. එහෙම කරගන ගිහින් ඔබ කොහොම හරි සාර්ථක වෙනවා.

"හුඟක් දෙනෙක් අපිට උපදෙස් දෙනකොට කිව්වේ ඇනිමේ වලට ලංකාවේ එච්චර ඉල්ලුමක් නැහැ කියලා," යමාටෝ වන් හි  සම නිර්මාතෘ වන ටැමි ෆුකී අපට පැවසුවා. "ඒ වුනාට අපි කල්පනා කළේ  ඇනිමේ/ මාන්ගා වලට ඇති තරම් රසිකයෝ නැතිවෙන්න විදිහක් නෑ කියන එක. ඒ අයට අවශ්‍ය අවකාශය නෑ කියන එක අපි තේරුම් ගත්තා."

ටැමි සහ තව නිර්මාතෘ කෙනෙක් වන ක්ලින්ටන් ඩි ක්‍රෙට්සර් හට ලංකාවේ සමර්පිත ඇනිමේ හා මාන්ගා ව්‍යාපාරයක් පටන් ගන්න ඔනේ කියන අදහස අවුරුදු ගානක ඉඳන් තිබුනා. ඒක ලංකාවේ ගැටවර වයසේ අයට හා වැඩිහිටියන්ට එකසේ රසවිඳින්න පුළුවන් අළුත් විනෝදාත්මක දෙයක්. "සාමන්‍යයෙන් කුඩා දරුවන්ට අරන් දෙන්න පුළුවන් සෙල්ලම් බඩු තියන සාප්පු ඕන තරම් තියනවා වුනත් නව යොවුන් පරපුරට හා ගැටවර වයසේ ළමයින්ට හරියන තෑගි හොයන්න සාමන්‍යයෙන් අමාරුයි නේ?"

සමහර අය ඇනිමේ දකින්නේ ළාමක දෙයක් විදිහට වුනත්, ටැමි හා ක්ලින්ටන්ට එය ඔනෑම වයසක කෙනෙක්ට රසව්ඳින්න පුළුවන් දෙයක්. 

ඔවුන් ගාව ප්‍රේම කථා, ත්‍රාසජනක කථා,  ක්‍රීඩා වටා නිර්මාණය වන කථා (ස්ලෑම් ඩන්ක්, ඉනීශල් ඩී) චරිතකථාමයන් (ඔසාමු ටෙසුකා) හා ආහාර සම්බන්ධ මාතෘකා (යකිටාටෙ ) වැනි  විවිධ මතෘකා ආවරණය කරන නිකුත් කිරීම් තියෙනවා. 

සැපයුම තිබුනට වෙළඳපළේ ඉල්ලීම තිබුනද?

හුඟක් දෙනෙක් අපිට උපදෙස් දෙනකොට කිව්වේ ඇනිමේ වලට ලංකාවේ එච්චර ඉල්ලුමක් නැහැ කියලා
— ටැමි ෆුකී
ව්‍යාර්ථ අදියරෙන් පසුව මේ වෑයම ඉදිරියට ගෙන යන්න ඔනේ කියලා තීරණය කරපු ඔවුන් 2016 වසරේදී ලංකා කොමික් කොන් උළෙලෙහි ප්‍රදර්ශන කුටියක් මිලදී ගත්තා. “අපි බලාපොරොත්තු වුනේ අඩුම ගණනේ උළෙලට ආ අයගෙන් සුළුතරයක් හෝ ඇනිමේ ගැන දැනුම තියන අය වෙයි කියලා.” ටැමි අපිට පැවසුවා. “එදා තමයි අපිට තේරුනේ අපි ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේ ඉන්න ඇනිමේ/ මාන්ගා රසිකත්වය කොච්චර අවතක්සේරු කළාද කියන එක. ඔවුන්ගේ ඇනිමේ හා මාන්ගා දැනුම, එයට ලැදිකම ගැන අපි හුඟක් මවිත වුනා.”

යමාටෝ වන් දැන් ලංකාවේ ජනප්‍රියම මාන්ගා අලෙවිකරුවන් වෙලා. ඔවුන් ෆේස්බුක් හරහා ඔවුන්ගේ පාරිභෝගිකයන් සමඟ උද්යෝගයෙන් කථාබහේ නිරත වනවා. ඔවුන්ගේ අන්තර්ජාලික වෙළඳසල දිවයින පුරා බෙදා හැරීම් කරනවා. ඊළඟ අදියර හැටියට ඔවුන් රාජගිරියේ වෙළඳ ශාලාවක් අරින්න සූදානම් වනවා. “අපි එය විවෘත කරන්න බලාපොරොත්තු වෙන්නේ දැනට ඉදිවෙමින් පවතින සාප්පු සංකීර්ණයක. ඒ සංකීර්ණය ඉදි වී අවසන් වුන ගමන්ම මේ වසර අවසානයේ අපේ වෙළඳසල විවෘත කරන්න ලහැස්ති වෙලා ඉන්නවා.”

මිලදී ගැනීම් හා විකිණිම් වලට වඩා වටින සංකල්පයක් ටැමි හා ක්ලින්ටන්ට තියෙනවා. ඒ ඇනිමේ හා මාන්ගා ප්‍රජාවට අතහිත දෙන්නයි. “අපිට උවමනා ලංකාවේ ඉන්න ඇනිමේ හා මාන්ගා චිත්‍ර කලා ශිල්පීන් හා රසිකයින් එක්ක එකතුවෙලා කිසියම් ව්‍යපෘතියකට දායක වෙන්න.”

‍යමාටෝ වන් මෙවරත් 2017 ලංකා කොමික් කොන් උළෙලට සහභාගි වනු ඇත.
අපි ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේ ඉන්න ඇනිමේ/ මාන්ගා රසිකත්වය කොච්චර අවතක්සේරු කළාද
— ටැමි ෆුකී

The Asus Lanka Comic Con After-Party will be at the Steuart

The after-party will be on Sunday the 27th at the Steuart by Citrus (you may know it better as "The Steuart"), from 6pm onwards. 

We picked the Steuart because: 
- their food is awesome
- their drinks are awesome
- their rates are awesome
- it's walking distance from the Asus Lanka Comic Con (which is awesome).

Here are the benefits you'll get if you walk in with your ALCC "proof of admittance"; your convention tag or badge, or are in cosplay:

- 50% off on Barcardi based cocktails.
50% off on Barcardi bottles
- Special Discount of 10% off on food.

And we get extended happy hour till 8 pm. 

The Steuart by the way, is right here.

 

I strongly recommend the Dirty Loaded Burger.  It's fantastic; I get it every time I go there. 

The Total Extreme Budo Academy is coming to the Asus Lanka Comic Con

The Total Extreme Budo Academy (TEBA) was founded by Thushara Ratnayake, a programmer at IBM who decided to chase his dream. TEBA will be doing a demonstration and lesson in Avi Nardia, Krav Maga, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and Women's Self Defense. 

TEBA will also discuss the philosophy of martial arts, and how exactly it helps people. I got to ask Thushara some questions, here's what he had to say. 

 

It seems you've made martial arts part of your life for a very long time. What got you into it? What made you stay with it? 

Yes, I’ve been practicing martial arts for 30 years now, starting at school. My first sensei was a family friend- my father (also a martial artist) encouraged me to attend.

I started martial arts with Karate and had no clue what it really encompassed other than being able to fight people. But as time went on, I realized there’s a lot more to learn other than just fighting.

Almost all Japanese martial arts end with the term “do”, example, ‘karate-do’, Ken-do’, Aiki-do’, Kyu-do’, etc.

‘Do’ literally means “Way of Life” and this deep philosophy is one of the main reasons I’ve accepted the ‘Martial Art Way’ (Bu-do).

The legendary Miyamoto Musashi stated- “There is nothing outside of yourself that can ever enable you to get better, stronger, richer, quicker or smarter. Everything is within. Everything exists. Seek nothing outside of yourself “


You don't always hear about SAP programmers at IBM, starting a martial arts academy. That's as much a business decision as a personal one. What made you decide to take that plunge? 

Yes, it’s a very rare combination- an IT & a martial arts professional specially in a country like Sri Lanka.

I completed my Master’s in IT at the University of Keele, UK and am proud to say I could do this with the assistance of my martial arts training.

Unlike other sports, martial arts involves as much mental training as it does physical and it encourages practitioners to create their own unique style instead of just following what a sensei teaches you.

Through rigorous training, you commit movements and strikes to muscle memory. When starting martial arts there are 4 main mind sets involved:

- Shoshin, ‘Beginners Mind’. This is when we need to pay attention to our sensei and diligently adapt those teachings based on our physical and mental capabilities. This we have to carry with us even after attaining a black belt (ShoDan, ‘Beginners Level’), as this isn’t the end but a new beginning.

-Mushin, ‘No Mind’. This sounds confusing but what it means is, after constant practice, a student should be able to carry out specific tasks without actually having to think about the task at hand. It becomes second nature to them.

- Fudoshin, ‘Immoveable Mind’. This helps the student guard his/her mind from outside influences and contributes to his/her effectiveness.

-Zanshin, ‘Remaining Mind’. This simply means keeping focused and alert while assessing that all potential threats are neutralized.

“Stay ready, so you don’t have get ready”- Conor McGregor

These mental lessons can be used in our day to day activities, either professional or personal and irrespective of social status or other factors.

As I’ve benefitted greatly from martial arts, I wanted to share that experience with others and decided to start TEBA (Total Extreme Budo Academy).

There are lots of martial arts schools and classes out there. What makes this one different? 

Master Kano Jigoro (Founder of Judo), stated “It is not important to be better than someone else but to be better than yesterday”.

At TEBA we follow this philosophy with high quality martial arts education, with the main aim of challenging ourselves to be better than we were yesterday and not comparing or copying others.

Also, a martial arts school cannot be a place of business with our students treated as clients and myself treated as a CEO.

I’ve spent more than half my life dedicated to such arts as Karate, Krav Maga, Kapap, Brazilian Jujitsu, Kyudo, Kendo, Aikido, Judo, Kyusho Jitsu and I wanted to share my knowledge with society and hopefully help people in their own lives.

What is in the future for the academy? What groups of people do you think would get the most from attending your school? 

My ultimate goal is to provide a high quality martial arts education to people genuinely interested in taking up this amazing activity.

People who are looking at improving themselves physically, mentally and even spiritually will gain the most from taking up martial arts.

I prefer to teach my students to become not only great warriors but better human beings- physically, mentally and spiritually.

TEBA welcomes any person who can leave their ego outside the dojo (not as easy as it sounds).

How has martial arts changed how you live your life, and approach the world? Have your students had the same experience? Is this why you teach martial arts, for the spiritual value? 

Karate is considered a martial art for sophisticated people and in Japanese it’s referred to as “karate wa kunshi no bugei”.

My aim is to popularize martial arts to help people with their professional and personal life.

As my Kyudo sensei would always say “the ultimate goal…is the realization of ‘Shi’ (Truth), ‘Zen’ (Goodness), and ‘Bi’ (Beauty). This is something valid in our daily lives and will also help us become perfectionists in everything we approach.

Martial arts education will also help us become productive citizens of the world and in Japanese this is reffered to as ‘Ai Koku’- make the flowers bloom for the sake of your country.

I have personally received a lot of benefits from following martial arts and am happy to say that my students are also seeing the inherent benefits and values this kind of an education can impart.

I prefer to teach my students to become not only great warriors but better human beings- physically, mentally and spiritually.

Geek Clothing Designers Faniacs are coming to Comic Con

We've watched Faniacs grow from a couple of guys at a table, to a company with a range of products, a large fan base, and an active presence on the web. I got hold of one of the founders, Moiz Mustafa, and asked him what it was like working a geek clothing start up.  

So why clothing? And why go so far as to start your own brand? 

We had the idea for years, but it came together at a Bohra community gathering - where we shared ideas, and decided to take that leap. We all agreed that clothing would represent our passion best - so we started with tees. Then we did sketch books and posters.

The name Faniacs is a function of our slogan - Fans turned maniacs. The 5 tiny dots in our logo represent our team of 5, and the smiley in the center are our awesome (geeky) customers!

Who started Faniacs? How do you work together as a team? 

Faniacs is the brainchild of 5 people: Moiz Mustafa, Taher Sajjadhusain, Burhanuddin Shakir, Murtaza Mustafa, and Huzefa Murtaza. While we are into geek and pop culture, we’re all also quite different. More often than not, we end up agreeing to disagree, but this is ultimately better for us.

I remember you talked about going away from other IPs, to creating your own IPs and characters. Do you want to talk more about that vision? 

It's on the back burner, but we have started working on or own superhero character, complete with mythology and local spice. We are eager to see how that is received by Sri Lankan comic book fans.

Our vision is to make Faniacs a brand, both local, and international; - one that not only sells geek-related designs but also a variety of others - making us a go-to brand for those on the hunt for trending pop culture clothing.

We will not reprint designs and that the products we launch are all limited edition. 

When did you start, and how have things been since? 

March 2016, and it has been a pleasure. Things have not always gone swimmingly, and we have had a few hiccups along the way. But the satisfaction of seeing someone wearing one of our tees, is indescribable. We cannot be more appreciative.

Getting exposure was one of our main challenges, but thanks to Lanka Comic Con and Collectique, that is no longer an issue. Another major task was getting our website up and running. If all goes well, we hope to launch it at the upcoming Lanka Comic Con. And, while on the subject of our website, the Faniacs team would like to give a special shout out to Shabbir Sajjadhusain, for helping us bring our ideas for it, into fruition. Lastly a special shout out to our parents and friends!

Lastly, our experience of dealing with customers has been incredible. Catering to everyone’s requirements has been fun and challenging at the same time. Tell us what you would like to see on our tees, and you never know, you just might get what you asked for!

What are your plans for the future?

There are never ending possibilities. Creating our own superhero characters, looking at wholesaling, setting up a delivery system and branching out in terms of design, and other types of apparel -  our hands will be full for a long while. These hopes and ideas would however not be possible if it weren’t for our customers – so, thank you!

 

www.faniacs.lk 
Instagram – faniacs_tshirts
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/faniacstee/

International Visitors: What you Need to Know

The Venue

The SLECC is the Sri Lanka Exhibition and Convention Center. Here it is on Google Maps

Here is a map you can download / print. 

(Please ignore the bit where is says "permanently closed", I don't know what's up with that)

If your driver seems mystified about the largest exhibition hall in the country (it happens), please show them the map.

Hotels

We recommend. Jetwing Colombo Seven, a property of Jetwing, the Hospitality Partner for the Asus Lanka Comic Con, 2017. 

Jetwing is one of the leading hotel chains in the country; has high TripAdvisor rankings, and is committed to sustainable tourism.

Jetwing Colombo Seven is offering a special rate to visitors coming to Comic Con, of 150 USD for a single or double room, with bed and breakfast. Just mention you are coming to Lanka Comic Con and want the special rate, when doing your booking. 

 

Alternative hotels are: 
The Colombo City Hotel (Walking distance)
Cinnamon Lakeside (Walking distance)
The Kingsbury (Walking distance)
The Hilton (Walking distance)
Cinnamon Grand
The Galle Face Hotel
 

 

Transport

Please use Uber or Pickme. We recommend Pickme, it is the Sri Lankan version of Uber, but pro-humanity. They treat their drivers well, and they've helped out in times of national crisis. 

You can download the Pickme App here.

Pickme is the Travel Partner of the Asus Lanka Comic Con 2017. 

 

 

 

Currency / ATMs

You can change your money for Sri Lankan Rupees at the airport, or your hotel.  

If you use an ATM, please make sure the ATM can handle a foreign-issued card. Some local bank ATMs have difficulty with newer-issued, international cards. 

You can use HSBC and Standard Chartered ATMs though, without problems.

If you are having currency changing issues on the event day, please ask for one of the organizers. 

This is the nearest HSBC ATM, to the venue. 

This is the nearest HSBC ATM, to the venue. 

Dengue

Dengue is endemic to Colombo. Keep your windows shut, and avoid places where you see mosquitoes. If a mosquito bites you, don't freak out-  it is fantastically unlikely that anyone is going to get dengue because one mosquito, bit them once, over a 2-3 day visit. But, if you hang out somewhere you keep getting bitten by mosquitoes, you are being a dumbass.   

 

Heat

Both the climate, and the food, may be hotter than you expect. Drink lots of water, especially if you're spending time outdoors. 

Watch our Print Partner deadlifting.

Dinesh Rajawasan, CEO and founder of Anim8

Dinesh Rajawasan, CEO and founder of Anim8

Dinesh Rajawasan is the CEO of Anim8, our print partner.  Anim8 has an interesting story, so I asked him about it and got some very Dinesh, answers. He talked about how a tech startup ended up as a printing firm; going green; and the charity work they help organize.

Dinesh is also a weight lifter, there's a video he showed me of him pulling a 1-ton jeep - which sadly, is not public. I It's not every day you see a CEO doing deadlifts, so I added them to the article. LMD can't touch this!  

Tell us about your electric car project! 

Click for the video. You need to see this.. 

Click for the video. You need to see this.

The electric car is about making electric cool and affordable. I feel Nissan made the Leaf extra ugly just to see if people would buy it just for being electric.
Imagine if once your car engine was done, one option would be to replace with electric. This works well in our context where car prices are very high. 

Besides the usual advantages of electric such as reliability: no oil changes, not going to a fuel station, maybe charging from solar, not wasting 70% of energy as heat and not supporting global terrorism every time you fill up.
 

And you Ferment?

I started making kefir and sauerkraut. Harean makes better sauerkraut so I only need to make kefir now. 
 

This is also crazy.

This is also crazy.

You lift, bro. 

I also cycle 18km, 4 times a week; bench press 110 kg, front squat 140kg, and deadlift 210kg.

What made you go into printing? 

We started with no capital, we convinced a client to give us an advance on a big job and bought our first computer with that.

We started as an Animation company, hence the name Anim8. In the late 90's we needed print to push our animations at board presentations. People were uncomfortable spending 100k on 20secs of animation. Prints played a huge roll in selling. Outsourced prints were very expensive and ate significantly into our bottomline. We bought a printer with our 1st payments. Then other animators started coming to us for colour prints. Within 2 years of that printer we were essentially a print company.

But you're an engineer

An engineer's job is to bring in the science. A properly trained engineer can bring science to anything from banking to baking. Printing happened because it was what people were willing to pay me for; i just brought the passion of engineering to it.
 

When did you decide to take the risk, and start your own company? 

A properly trained engineer can bring science to anything from banking to baking.

Ambition is the reason I started. There wasn't much risk really. We started with no capital, we convinced a client to give us an advance on a big job and bought our first computer with that. I had six months expenses saved up and my parents weren't exactly going to let me starve. 

The more pertinent question is what drove me to continue. This is what I look back at. 

Anim8 main building, Thimbirigasyaya Road

Anim8 main building, Thimbirigasyaya Road

You do a lot of social work: recycling, aid, and organizing against horse racing. 

We can recycle all the bits left over from finishing prints, but the plastic from your 2 hour party, 2 day conference or 2 week promotion is going to last 400 years. Anim8 is trying to get people to move to biodegradable materials.

Kindness Collective was started by Jessica as group of people that were shocked that people were trying to make horse racing cool again. Horse racing has been going on in Sri Lanka since colonial times. Its an inherently cruel sport it was dying a natural death, there was no need to revive it.

Later when the floods happened last year we realised we had already built a platform of like mined people eager to help out. We became a conduit for the good work people wanted to do.

Sometimes not quite...

Sometimes not quite...

We can recycle all the bits left over from finishing prints, but the plastic from your 2 hour party, 2 day conference or 2 week promotion is going to last 400 years. Anim8 is trying to get people to move to biodegradable materials. We are starting with our promotional displays. The seasonal displays you see outside our office is made from cardboard. So it warps for rain and sunlight, but it lasts a good 2 weeks. A month after its food for earthworms.

Anim8.lk currently recycles 200 kilograms of paper a month, and is increasing it's solar power utilization. 

 

What are your plans for Anim8's future? 

Anim8 is always interested in what you think we should be doing for you. 

We have been successful in meeting the needs placed upon us and growing into those niches. In the future we have to look at making markets no one knew existed.

I feel Nissan made the Leaf extra ugly just to see if people would buy it just for being electric.

Lionborn: The Legend of Sinhabahu as a Comic

Writing is easy - it's a solo job. You don't have to be a team player, you set your deadlines, you're not holding anyone else up. Not so with comics - typically these are team efforts - if you to make things difficult and obstacle prone, write a comic.

One of the changes since 2016 for Sachi Ediriweera's Lionborn, is that his team grew larger. I got him to give me some time, and tell us what it's like managing a comic book team, spread across the planet. 

So what's Lionborn about?

“Lionborn” is a graphic novel which re-imagines the historical tale of Sinhabahu with detective noir elements. We follow two characters; Sheerdas and Sivali who are based on Sinhabahu and Sinhasivali from the original legend. The story takes place 8 years after the siblings broke out of the cave and begins with Sheerdas returning to the city after a long absence to investigate a crime which Sivali has been wrongfully arrested of.

 

When did comics become important to you for storytelling? 

As I can remember. It started out with strips--Calvin & Hobbes, Garfield, Blondie. I started reading DC and Marvel through Gotham Comics; a discontinued Indian label which reprinted comics from the Big Two for Asian markets. I'd been drawing since a kid, but I started getting serious about it after I moved in to a digital workflow. Still, all I did was abstract art and fan art of comic characters. Eventually, drawing a comic was something suggested by many. And with my experience in filmmaking and writing stories...I gave it a shot, and here we are.

 

Why Sinhabahu?

Sinhabahu is widely known, yet less is known apart from a few critical details. My tick boxes were-- it had to give me more creative control, be able to tell it in a grounded fashion with no supernatural elements, and be relatable to Sri Lankan audiences. Sinhabahu's tale was the way to go. Plus, the original story doesn't mention Sinhasivali much after the siblings escape the cave. Plus the opportunity to completely flesh out Sinhasivali's character was something I was looking forward to as well.

 

What was your decision behind choosing Lionborn as the title?

The legend says the character was half-man half lion, with lion paws, which is why he was named Sinhabahu. In my story, I’ve kept things grounded; in Lionborn the Lion is a man who was once a great warrior. The character wields gauntlets which resemble lion paws, which is how I imagined it could’ve been in reality.  The story is about facing consequences of one’s past, of legacy and redemption, so the title 'Lionborn' was the perfect fit.

 

Comics are so much more than an one-man job these days. How did you manage, juggling multiple people? How did you even go about finding them?

Making comics requires a team. The size of the team depends on what you want a professional to handle, and the project budget. For Lionborn, recruiting team members was a learning curve of sorts.

Lionborn started out as a black-and-white comic close to 3 years ago. I was the writer and artist with probably plans to recruit a letterer. Then I decided to rework the art and story and try colors, by hiring a comic book colorist.

I found Chris Lissman through Deviantart. As with artists, even colorists have their own style. I found my cover colorist, Vinicius Townsend through a Facebook group. His style is more glamorous. Dark Horse Comics' Brett Weldele doing a variant cover, too. Fellow Sri Lankan, Prabath Wijayantha did some additional coloring in the pages. This was the team I had when Issue #1 was launched at Lanka Comic Con 2016.

Then I saw Toben Racicot's comic lettering on Reddit. He re-lettered the entire book which gave the book a complete face-lift.

The next--and most exciting person to join the team was Katie Kubert, who is a former DC Comics' editor. She worked on Batman, Nightwing and Batgirl. Katie joined in as a consulting editor to improve plot points and dialogue wherever possible. And I must say, as a creator, a comics geek, and an artist - the experience was beyond words. When I got my first batch of notes for Issue #1, I was thrilled. Having worked years in the industry, Katie gave some brilliant insight that helped me shape the final book.

Apart from the 06 core team members of Lionborn, the book features a variant art gallery section with artworks by 15 comic artists! I am pretty excited about this as some of the pieces here look absolutely gorgeous.

As for coordinating with everyone... it all happened through emails. (God bless technology). I've collaborated with few overseas artists in the past while making short films... so this was something I was very comfortable with. Getting stuff done hasn't been much of a problem as long as you deal with professionals too. Though I admit, there have been occasions where I had to push timelines, but overall, I am extremely happy how this project came together.

 

So how did it go at Lanka Comic Con 2016?

Lionborn was planned as a 7-issue miniseries. I self published the first issue, and launched it at Lanka Comic Con 2016. Needless to say, I wasn't expecting the enormous response. Within a couple of hours, all copies were sold out. It was great to meet many folks who had been following my illustration work for years and to see them come and support this passion project of mine. I continued working on the remaining issues of Lionborn after Lanka Comic Con and began approaching international comic publishers in February 2017.

Unlike the traditional approach of a script and sample art, I had an almost finished graphic novel to show publishers. Lionborn was a hard sell: they preferred to develop material to match their existing schedules. Since I had a pleasant experience with self-publishing, I decided to continue with that. But, instead of 7 issues, the full book at once. It made sense economically. It would also be easier to market and distribute one completed book opposed to 7 books.

 

Where did you print it? 

I got quotes from Sri Lanka and Dubai. Surprisingly, the costs were close to each other, so and I decided to print it in Dubai as it gave me more control in assessing quality.

 

What are you doing differently / what are you going to build on, this time? What your goals / metrics, as a vendor an creator, for Comic Con this year? 

I've expanded my stall space this year as I will have my illustrated posters as well as Lionborn for sale. Hence, giving me more space to move around and engage with visitors. As usual, I am expecting to do a bunch of signings and looking forward to say hello to everyone dropping by.

 

The future for Lionborn

As any self-published author can attest, getting word out is no easy task. I'll most likely be attending the Cons here in Dubai and see how things take off from there.  

These Are the Patrons of Sri Lankan Geek Culture.

We thank our partners for their support, and for helping us - and you! - to create our country's own geek cultural festival.  

Asus - Title Partner

Asus is one of the world's largest PC vendors. Asus appears in BusinessWeek’s "InfoTech 100" and "Asia’s Top 10 IT Companies" rankings, and it ranked first in the IT Hardware category of the 2008 Taiwan Top 10 Global Brands survey with a total brand value of $1.3 billion.

Anim8- Print Partner

Anim8.lk is a leading digital print services company the most versatile and high-tech print on-demand organization in Sri Lanka. Anim8.lk is in the midst of a green initiative, recycling 200 kilograms of paper a month and increasing solar power utilization, towards a low carbon footprint...a high standard for any business operating in Sri Lanka.

Aniwa.lk- Sinhala Language Partner

Aniwa.lk is a Sinhala language lifestyle content platform that publishes wholly-original, useful content focusing on lifestyle, arts, culture, health, trending social issues and much more.  Aniwa.lk is ranked as one of the most visited sites for original Sinhala lifestyle content.

AOD- Creative Partner

The Academy of Design is Sri Lanka's premium design institute, operating on a unique model that combines global design practices, industry know-how, international exposure and local heritage. AOD is also behind some of the most powerful design initiatives in the country, such as Sri Lanka Design Festival and Island Craft Project.

Etisalat- Communications Partner

The UAE based operator Etisalat, began its operations in Sri Lanka on 25th February 2010, acquiring what was earlier Sri Lanka's first cellular network, Celltell. With over 167million customers across 16 countries, Etisalat's mission in Sri Lanka is to treat their customers as their own, with the slogan "Power to You!"

The Fotobooth Guys- Photobooth Partner

The Fotobooth Guys are a relatively new company, establishing themselves in being at the top of a specialized service: providing a premium open air photo booth experience in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Their approach towards making the photobooth experience is make it 'totally unique' and 'seriously fun'.

Jetwing Hotels- Hospitality Partner

Jetwing Hotels are one of the largest hotels and resort groups in Sri Lanka, with 31 distinctive properties spread across the country. The hotel group are known for offering their customers complete indulgence, warmth of care and have maintained exceptionally high standards in the Sri Lankan hotel industry.

PickMe- Travel Partner

PickMe was conceptualized in 2014 as the first Sri Lankan taxi hailing app and began operations in March 2015. PickMe has revolutionized the Sri Lankan taxi industry, utilizing efficient processes and more importantly showing 'respect for the drivers' they work with. In addition, PickMe has also been at the forefront of rescue operations during the 2016 flooding, using their technical proficiency to aid the effort.

Radicalz- Video Partner

Radicalz (Pvt) Ltd was established in 2012 with the vision of 'Revolutionizing Digital Media'. Since then, the team has grown considerably, diversifying into Video Production, Animation, Professional Photography and Branding/Marketing solutions.

Roar.lk- Tamil Language Partner

Roar.lk is a multi-language media platform that covers news, political analysis, socio-economic issues, lifestyle, technology and more, in a meaningful and engaging manner. Roar.lk currently publishes content across nine-channels, in five languages.

TNL Radio - Radio Partner

Established in April 1993, TNL Radio is one of Sri Lanka's premium English-language radio stations, catering to a large audience that is responsive to the latest trends in music and lifestyle. In addition to its diverse home grown on-air talent, the station hosts the highest number of internationally acclaimed shows in Sri Lanka.

- Article by Vasanth Kahandawela 

Here's what happens when you pack Cosplayers on a Bus

So we packed a bus full of cosplayers and volunteers over the weekend. Here's what we did.

Trolling

To be fair, Shayne never asked anyone for help.

Posing

Dat hot pink. 

Volunteering

Our volunteers helped with snacks and milk at the Sri Jinananda Children's Home.

Reading

We also got books for each of the kids, and did some reading with them. 

Loafing

Do people still use that word? Am I dating myself? We went to the Asus ROG qualifier at Crescat, and got in the way. 

Flirting

Seriously, who doesn't want to touch Devaka's hair?

Gaining

He did alright.

Shooting

Always be nice to the guy with the camera. He decides how people are remembered. Anjana, I am always nice to you. Always. 

More pictures here.
We visited Anim8 to collect the Lanka Comic Con Banners from CEO Dinesh Rajawasan. Then we headed over to the Sri Jinananda Childrens Home in Colombo 06.

The Cosplayers and Volunteers spent time playing with the kids and sharing a snack and new reading materials. The children were delighted, they already knew and could easily identify Geek pop-culture icons like Spiderman, Batman and Iron Man. Surprisingly – they even knew the Winter Soldier.

“We know you- you’re Captain America’s friend, who fell into the water and Captain America saved you” declared one 8 year old. When asked about what kind of books they wanted to read, another pointed at Batman and said – “We want to read books about people like that”.    

The final stop of the day was at Crescat Boulevard, where the “ROG Masters” gaming event was being held by the Lanka Comic Con 2017 title partner Asus. Visitors to Crescat were pleasantly surprised by the Cosplayers and many selfies were taken.

The day also saw the Debut of the “Tuk-Tuk Hero” the live action mascot of the Lanka Comic Con.

The Asus Lanka Comic Con 2017 will be held on the 26th & 27th of August 2017 at the Sri Lanka Exhibition and Convention Centre (SLECC) from 10a.m – 6p.m.