Geek Haven, a group of friends who wanted to cultivate the comic convention culture in Pakistan, organised the fifth edition of their comic con on Sunday at Karachi’s Arts Council. A space where the community of anime lovers and cosplayers gather to celebrate their shared love of comic books, anime, film, science fiction and fantasy genres, Karachi Anime and Comic Con 2023 was bigger and better than ever.
Yasir, one of the founders of Geek Haven, told Images the idea to host their own comic con sparked after attending many such events in Pakistan and wanting the concept to take root here. “We organised our very first event almost five, six years ago. Ever since then, it has been a very, very, very amazing journey with all of my friends. This is the fifth time we’re organising Karachi Anime and Comic Con and I think it’s probably the best one yet. We have so many things planned, so many things are happening and I’m very proud of the fact that we are helping establish this culture in Pakistan,” he said.
He explained why this event was special for him. “One of the things that resonates the most with me at this point in time is that since Pakistan is not doing so well these days — we’re very well aware of it, we might not be doing so well ourselves. One thing we do have is a chance to go out, relax and have a good time and I’m proud of the fact that we may have been able to achieve that and provide a new experience, a very unique experience to so many people in Karachi. We have so many things planned for the future, for us, this is just the beginning,” he added.
Comic cons, contrary to general understanding, are not simple dress-up arenas. They host multiple ways for one to engage and entertain themselves. From screenings, panels, gaming, a marketplace, tournaments, an art competition, trivia, performances and food, Karachi Anime and Comic Con was a happening place to be. Held from 2pm to 10pm, it included a Puffball screening, a Q&A session with film director Arafat Mazhar, a Tekken 7 tournament, a segment for Beyblade, a hot takes segment, a performance by dance group Anarchy, a cosplay walk and much more.
From shows or movies a huge chunk of the public has watched to costumes only true anime enthusiasts would recognise, many characters fell under our radar. We spotted Wednesday Addams with her mother Morticia and sidekick Thing, Harley Quinn, Ken Kaneki, Chainsaw Man characters and even Peter Pan. A safe space for adults and children to be whoever they feel like being, it was a wholesome event for anyone and everyone.
Promising to stay true to their essence of “revitalizing the spirit and reawakening love for animes, mangas, cosplaying, gaming, and the Korean and Japanese culture”, Geek Haven wanted to offer something to everyone attending — and they delivered.