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Of superheroes and villains

Updated Sep 30, 2013 01:34pm

Holding a kitchen knife in one hand, Chucky, from the famous 90s movie, Child’s play, stood menacingly beside an alien from Star Wars. In the same row there stood a combination of an alien and predator known as ‘Predalian’, an avid comic reader informed. And just beside it, Avatar’s Neyitri stood erect with her bow in her hand.

It is hard to imagine superheroes and villains sharing the same roof. But that is exactly what viewers saw at an exhibition of around 500 movie characters at Indus Valley School of arts and architecture on Tuesday.

“This is also a kind of art form and needs to be presented,” said Amir Sajjad, who has been collecting the statues for past seven years. It was on the insistence of a friend that Sajjad exhibited around 60 of them, which is less than the original collection that he has.

But they are not for sale, he adds quickly. Being a businessman, with multiple projects in the pipeline, the collection is a childhood hobby, which he fulfilled as he grew old and rich, he points out, smiling. “I used to have miniature figurines as a kid. To make me eat something I didn’t like, my parents would say, ‘look what will the Terminator think’, and I used to immediately oblige,” said Sajjad.

Among the statues, the Terminator with his automatic gun was kept in the middle of the room. Iron Man stood opposite Gandalf from Lords of the Rings, whereas Rye from Street Fighter stood in his trademark style. It was a mixed group of heroes and villains from Marvel, DC comics and other comic giants, making it all the more difficult to pick a favourite.

Danial Ali Nanjiani, 8, kept coming back to Batman’s car, asking his dad to take pictures from every angle. “But my favorite characters are from Star Wars,” he added, pointing towards the Jedi master Yoda from the movie.

In the other end of the room, Abdul Fahad, 24, said that through this exhibition many lesser known artists will be encouraged to showcase their work too. “My friend, Khurram Ali, made a statue of Liono from Thunder Cats and showcased it at the annual Comic-Con held in San Diego. His was the second most favourite and most expensive collection, garnering great reviews,” he narrated.

With the collectibles garnering a lot of praise and appreciation, Sajjad is now moving onto other ventures. He is now preparing to make a superhero movie, Nation Awakes.

Calling it his pet project, Sajjad said he has been working on the script for the past eight months. “Pakistan has no superhero as yet. They gross well and have a huge market. If anything it’ll put Pakistan out there, for a good reason for once,” he said.

With Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and Sahir Ali Bagga contributing to the soundtrack for the ambitious project, Sajjad said the movie will be completed by the end of 2014.

Text by Saher Baloch/Dawn.com— Photos by Shameen Khan/Dawn.com