Archive | February, 2011

Exclusive: Level 10 on Comicon India

28 Feb
Shreyas and Suhas  , Level 10’s dynamic duo offer their perspective on Comicon India exclusively to the adventures team..




What is your take on Comicon india 2011?
Totally exceeded any and all expectations we had. We were kinda expecting a small intimate affair with a smattering of comic aficionados. We were caught surprised, and certainly did not expect the kind of footfall the con finally received. This may have had a lot to do with the location (Dilli Haat), but we sold out all our comics, that means as far as comic enthusiasts are concerned, they were present in droves!
 What did you do throughout the comicon?
Visited all the stalls, met with a lot of fans. It was almost like attending a small gathering of friends. Many of our comic followers I know only by their handle or name via facebook and emails. It was refreshing to put a face to the name and finally get a chance to talk comics with more of our ilk
Are you coming back next year? If yes what are your plans?
Absolutely! Next year we shall do more cosplay and of course carry a lot more books 🙂
What are your expectations from next comicon?

We expect more people to turn up. If this comic con taught us anything is that comic fans come in all shapes, sizes and ages and with this con, hopefully more fans would be enticed to crawl out of the woodwork and proclaim their love for this medium more openly. We have hidden in the shadows for too long, now India, nay the world shall bear witness to the eccentricities of the Indian Comic Buff! 

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Ravanayan Creators on Comicon India

27 Feb
Vivek Goel and Vijayendra Mohanty





Vijayendra Mohanty and Vivek Goel, the brains behind the upcoming Ravanayan series share with us their first hand perspective on Comicon India:



What’s your take on the first comicon


VG: First of all, we actually did not planned to visit comic con, 3 weeks before the event i recieved an invitation frm Jatin Verma for Ravanayan, myself and Mohanty asking us to conduct a workshop. We spoke bout our presence in it and then decided to be a part of it as this would have been the biggest exposure for Ravanayan to all the comic fans in India under a single roof !! I then decided to make 2 exclusive posters of Ravanayan just for the comic con.

 It was truly an amazing experience for us being an insider of the industry and to actually participate in the convention. Though very small as compared to the san diago comic con etc. but no less than in spirit !!! You should have seen the cosplays and that too mostly among adults proving beautifully that comics are no longer just for kids 🙂 



VM: As Vivek says, I think that the Comic Con was a great success. It got looking in the general direction of the community and it made something of a splash in the media.



As one of my friends pointed out, perhaps, in the years to come, the Con will attract a more dedicated adult audience. As it is, the people most enthusiastic about the event were people our age — the ones who grew up reading comics and battling misconceptions.



What did you do at Comicon?

VM: The one thing that we did most at the ComicCon was have fun. The convention was something of an oddity for me (and I suppose many others). The comic book fandom in India is not organised, except when the organisation in question is an online mailing list or a close-knit community of like-minded friends. So a space and an event dedicated especially to the comic book cause was a most welcome change. Our official purpose for being at the convention was to promote Ravanayan, our upcoming comic series, and that purpose was served beautifully.

VG: We did a workshop on ravanayan (i did a lecture on cover making) on the 1st day and did a signing session on the 2nd day where amazingly my friend and ravanayan colourist Yogesh was also present. I donned a horned headgear and a fake moustache to come into the charecter..Hope people enjoyed that.

 



What’s ahead for the Ravanayan Team?

VG: Strategy for ravanayan remains the same as i told u in the last interview, just the 1st issue will now come in double size in May 😉 
Publisher is very much finalised but this is still not the time to reveal it. March would be it.

Mark my words man, the next comic con would be huge !! The success of this event has paved the way for a much bigger event frm next year onwards. This was more like an experiment for all of us (publishers and artists) that is precisely why  most of the artist community just came as spectators. People will have a clearer idea what to do and expect from next time onwards.

You will not find us doing any workshop frm now on, as we will be inside a booth 😉

The time of just knowing the character and its comic books is gone, with events like these now titles will be known by their creators as these events give people like us to get connected to the random reader directly and vice versa.

For the 1st time in my life i had so many things to do and so many people to meet and 8 hours seemed too short. It felt like a 2nd home to me (its just the toilet was too far away..lolz)




Comicon Retrospective: Campfire Graphic novels

25 Feb

Chief Editor Campfire Graphic Novels Andrew Dodd shares his perspective of Comicon with us. 


Comic Con India 2011
It has never happened before, but it’s sure to happen again. Last weekend, fifteen thousand comic book fans gathered together in Delhi for India’s first ever comic con.
The two-day convention was a phenomenal success, far exceeding the expectations of both the organisers (Twenty Onwards Media) and the participants. In its inaugural year, this annual comic con provided a much-needed platform for publishers, retailers, writers and illustrators to meet with each other, and with their fans, in a relaxed environment.  Most of the 35 companies present boasted sales much above what they had anticipated. Campfire graphic novels, for example, raked in more revenue during the first day of the comic con than in 10 days at the Delhi Book Fair, whilst Level 10 Comics and Vimanika sold out of all their stock by half way through the second day.
Sales, although important, were of course only one aspect of the event. A programme of workshops, activities and book launches literally took centre stage in a dedicated area at the hub of the venue. This allowed the publishers to showcase their work to the public in a fun and interactive way.
The location itself acted as the perfect backdrop for this kind of event. Dilli Haat is a venue which has been created to replicate the feel of a traditional Indian marketplace. It offers handicrafts, food and cultural activities from every part of India. Therefore, the infrastructure necessary for a comic con was already in place, with catering, parking and the stall setup being taken care of. Holding the convention in such a place allowed the comic book industry to increase its exposure to the general public. With thousands visiting Dilli Haat on a daily basis, it was great to see people previously unaware of the comic book medium being drawn in by what they saw. There was a perfect blend of lifelong enthusiasts and curious newcomers, and it was awesome to see them mingling.
Some of the enthusiasts made a particular effort to stand out from the crowd – and did so brilliantly. Inspired by the chance to win one of various prizes, many attendees turned up in full costume, as a comic book character of their choice. From American superheroes such as Superman, Wolverine and Harley Quinn to local Indian heroes like Chacha Chaudhary, all those who dressed up appeared to be having a great time.
In addition to the costume contest prizes, and of much greater importance, was a Lifetime Achievement Award, presented to Anant Pai.  Anant Pai is the founder of Amar Chitra Katha, the most successful comic book publisher in the history of Indian comics, and his work in converting Indian epics, mythology, history, folklore and fables into the comic book format is unprecedented. The Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to him by another legend of Indian comics – Pran Kumar, the creator and illustrator of Chacha Chaudhary. With both the old guard and the new innovators of Indian comics all present in one place for the first time, this festival and celebration of comic books had a true feeling of completeness.
With India’s comic book and graphic novel market still in a fairly nascent stage, this was the perfect time for the subcontinent to have its first event of this nature. The air of optimism regarding the current state of Indian comics was tangible to anyone in attendance. There was a buzz about the place, and a real feeling that this is the kind of platform that will catapult the comic book format into India’s public consciousness.
That said, most Indians are not totally unfamiliar with comics. Since the late 1960s, publishers such as  Amar Chitra Katha and Diamond Comics have been hugely popular with a large portion of the Indian market. However, the popularity of the medium plummeted in the 90s, with the advent of satellite television and, more specifically, animated series on Cartoon Network and Pogo. This, along with the prevalence of games consoles and the internet, has meant stiff competition for all varieties of publishers – not least those focusing on the comic book medium.
And that is why the recent steady growth in the popularity of this medium, culminating in the industry’s ability to stage such a successful comic con, feels like the start of a renaissance period for comics in this part of the world.
All the signs from this spectacular weekend are positive. From the attendance figures and the sales revenues to the press coverage and the general excitement of the public, comic con has certainly proved that there is a place for comics and graphic novels in the hearts and bookshelves of people in India, and that big things lie ahead for all those involved.
Here’s to next year, and an even bigger and better Comic Con India in 2012.

Aalok Deciphers DC: Batman Post Crisis : Year One

24 Feb
Through this column we plan to review and analyze every major event within DCU since COIE, in the hopes that this becomes a  road map of sorts to the continuity laden streets of DCU. 
If you are an old fan, come enjoy reminiscing with us through the good and the bad DC had to offer.
If you are an old fan getting back into comics , let us help you get upto date sequentially
If you are a new fan you will get our help in unraveling the mysteries of current DCU
If you are not reading DC comics, let us tell you why you should be.



– Article by Aalok joshi 
-Edited by Manks

Previous editions of this column can be found at our Archive page

BATMAN: YEAR ONE

Writer: FRANK MILLER
Artist: DAVID MAZZUCHELLI
(Collects issues: BATMAN 404-407)


DC certainly put the Batman franchise in good hands. Frank Miller had earlier done  RONIN & THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS! for DC and a sprawling run on Daredevil for Marvel, writing & illustrating the most part, with David Mazzuchelli fresh off an epic Daredevil run with Miller.

It’s a very basic story but it works. The story represents two points of view, and Gotham as seen through the eyes of James Gordon & Bruce Wayne. We begin at Bruce returning to Gotham after his training and Gordon getting transferred from Chicago to Gotham. Gordon learns the hard way that he can’t change the city alone as he meets Detective Flass & Commissioner Loeb. Bruce, meanwhile has the training but doesn’t know how & where to start. Detective Flass with others beats up Gordon who then retaliates, finally having learnt what it takes to survive in Gotham. While walking the seedy streets of old Gotham, Bruce runs into trouble with a bunch of goons, Holly Robinson & Selina Kyle. The police takes in a wounded Bruce Wayne, who to protect his identity swerves the patrolcar into the river and escapes. A wounded Bruce Wayne is looking for a sign when a bat flies in through the window.







Batman begins the crackdown on Gotham city crime in earnest, stopping a group of thieves and also takes down Flass taking a bribe. when he interrupts a dinner party attended by ganglords and politicians, Carmine Falcone, top crime lord brings the heat to the police department. Loeb orders Gordon to bring Batman in. Police authorities corner Batman whilst he is saving an old lady from a mugger and consign the neighbourhood to blazes. Batman escapes by outwitting the authorities, using his ultrasonic whistle to summon bats from the cave for the first time.

Gordon begins his romantic fling with Lt. Sarah Essen. Authorities suspect that Harvey Dent, District Attorney is the Batman, who is the Batman’s ally much before Gordon. Batman brings in a drug dealer who agrees to testify against Flass. Loeb blackmails Gordon saying that he will press charges against him for his affair with Essen. Finally Gordon himself confesses to his wife Barbara.

 Inspired by the Batman, Selina Kyle takes on the identity of Catwoman and makes her first heist from Carmine Falcone, giving him the characteristic scar and interrupting Batman who overhears something about a plot against Gordon at Falcone’s Mansion. The ganglords arrange to have Gordon’s son kidnapped. Bruce Wayne stops the attempt and saves the child. Flass finally testifies against Loeb and Gordon is promoted to Captain. Essen gets transferred and Barbara divorces James Gordon. In the end, Gordon meets Batman on the rooptop discussing a character called the Joker who has threatened to poison the reservoir.




Notes:
-Bruce’s parent’s murder is shown only in flashback. No murder, no vow.


-The series is more about James Gordon & Bruce Wayne. It presents the beginning of the long evolving relationship between Gordon & Batman

-We see the beginnings of Selina Kyle, Holly Robinson, Sarah Essen, Carmine Falcone & Harvey Dent.

-The Crisis didn’t change much about the Batman. We never see fresh takes on all the villains.  Only the parts that have been changed have been touched upon in subsequent issues. Year One isn’t a new, completely different story, just a fresh take on the Dark Knight in the “grim n gritty” fashion.

-Since this storyline was so popular, there have been a number of series attempting to “fill in” the blank spots as most people dislike the idea of going back to the Pre Crisis stories.

-Though two titles were launched which would predominantly feature early storylines, LEGENDS OF THE DARK NIGHT & now BATMAN CONFIDENTIAL, many of these are called year one stories. The notable one shots, mini series and arcs from LOTDK & BATMAN CONFIDENTIAL are:

-THE MAN WHO LAUGHS (1st JOKER)
-THE LONG HALLOWEEN (1ST TWO FACE)
-DARK VICTORY
-CATWOMAN: WHEN IN ROME
-SHAMAN
-GOTHIC
-PREY (1ST HUGO STRANGE)
-VENOM (1ST VENOM)
-THE MONSTER MEN (another variant on HUGO STRANGE)
-THE MAD MONK (1ST MONK)
-RULES OF ENGAGEMENT (1ST LUTHOR)
-LOVERS & MADMEN 

SNOW (1ST FREEZE)
-CLAY (1ST CLAYFACE) (collected in BATMAN: MONSTERS)

Rating: 9.0 on 10. It was a near perfect story in what it started to do and accomplished doing.

Contains full covers, 14.95$

Press Release : Campfire on Comicon Experience

22 Feb
Below is the press release which the gracious folks at campfire have provided adventures.
I have to agree with what they say, Comicon was a blast and Campfire was an integral part of its success.

Here’s wishing campfire all the best in the Indian Market and hope they return even stronger at the next con.

(click the image below to see it full size)

Stewart’s Slate : Review of Chronicles of Wormwood

21 Feb





The Chronicles Of Wormwood graphic novel (Collects Chronicles Of Wormwood #1-6)

Writer: Garth Ennis
Art: Jacen Burrows

Garth Ennis roasts the hell out of religion again in a story about cable TV excec’, Danny Wormwood: The Antichrist.

As serious a subject as this sounds it doesn’t stop this being one of the funniest books Garth has ever written. He may be gifted with supernatural powers and his father is in deed Satan (he took the form of a dog and raped his mother to conceive him) but Danny Wormwood isn’t a bad guy at all. Once he learned the dark truth of his origin he renounced his father and all his plans for armageddon, moved from London to New York and set up his own company producing shows for cable TV. He lives with his girlfriend and pet rabbit Jimmy, who he has gifted with human intelligence and the ability to speak, turning him into the greatest comic book side kick the world has ever known, his best friend is the permanently brain damaged, black reincarnation of Jesus Christ and for the unholy adversary to all that’s good and Christian in the world, Danny Wormwood is a very likeable protagonist even if he is having an affair with Joan of Arc.

This is a bizarre premise for a story by anyone’s standards and the level of sheer, depraved, laugh out loud weirdness in some parts of it surprised even a seasoned Garth Ennis fan like me. Not just what happens but what Jacen Burrows has been allowed to illustrate. As usual I don’t want to give anything away but I don’t care what comics you normally read, you won’t believe what Wormwood does to a barman with his magical powers after he insults his friend!


During the story the status quo of Wormwoods life is interrupted by his father and the Catholic church (headed by a monumentally perverted Australian Pope) trying to kick start armageddon in a last ditch attempt to make the increasingly agnostic world pay attention to them again.

Yes you can draw a lot of comparisons between this and Garth Ennis’ Preacher series. Its a sideways look at religion and popular culture where neither God, the Devil or the Church are portrayed as being all they’re supposed to be in the eyes of the faithful. I did however enjoy this book a lot more than any one of the Preacher graphic novels alone. Although there is another smaller Chronicles Of Wormwood graphic novel available (The Last Enemy) and another one (Last Battle) set for release in July, Wormwood isn’t an ongoing monthly series so this book has a definite beginning middle and end and there seems to be a lot more going on and definitely a lot more to laugh at in this one graphic novel than in any single part to the Preacher storyline. I said it at the beginning of the review and i’ll say it again. Funniest story of Garth’s that I’ve ever read. I lost count of the amount of times I burst out laughing in total disbelief of some of the outrageous gags they’ve thrown in here. I’m almost surprised they were allowed to publish the book with the way it portrays parts of the Catholic church.

Great artwork, engaging storyline, brilliant humour and as with all Garth Ennis’ work, outstanding dialogue and characters. Essential reading for fans of Garth Ennis and definitely worth a read for anybody who enjoys a good black comedy. A fabulous example of how good adult comics can be.

SCORE 8/10

 




The Chronicles Of Wormwood: The Last Enemy

Writer: Garth Ennis
Art: Rob Steen

A short follow up story to the original Chronicles of Wormwood 6 part mini series, this is more of the same really. Outrageously funny and probably very offensive Roman Catholics.

Ok then you may have thought the last one sounded pretty shocking but check this out: The Pope sends a massive eunuch monk hit man to kidnap Danny Wormwoood’s best friend Jesus and bring him to the Vatican so he can use his God given healing powers to cure his aids which he contracted after having lots of unprotected sex with lots of different people and wackiness ensues. This is made all the more complicated for Danny as he is in the process of rekindling his relationship with Maggie.
Not quite as cerebral as the first one and Rob Steens artwork is a little disappointing compared to Burrows but it carries on with the same great characters as the first book and the off the wall adult humour is still there so if, like me, you loved the first one then you’ll definitely like this one too. Jimmy the talking rabbit plays an even bigger part in this one too which can only be a good thing. Seriously, he should get his own mini series!

SCORE 7/10

Adventures of a Young Blogger at Comicon..

20 Feb
It gives us immense pleasure to introduce the youngest member of our league of comic bloggers – just 15 and most sought after comic blogger at comicon – Nishkarsh Chugh..


Nishkarsh recounts his experience at comicon exclusively here..





Day 1 of the Comic Con witnessed Wolverine, terrorizing the Comic Con staff and people here and there. The first day ended pretty well with people having high hopes for the next day, as most of the major events were to take place on 20th. 

Next day began, at 11:00 AM- Dilli Haat was houseful, because of three main factors:
-Comic Con, the only event that makes India a normal country..
-Sunday, the only day in the week where all those except housewives have an off
-Comics, the only thing that adults and kids both read and of course, LOVE

So, I reached the convention at 3:15 and on reaching there got a call from Mayank. He was standing near the stage, with a bunch of people. It was just 3:20 when I reached there and Mayank called me under the shed, because the first drop of rain came down.

The feeling of the cool breeze and the smell of dust was making me feel awesome, it was like WOW! Now, I can enjoy even more!

But soon, I was becoming impatient, people were packin’ up LCD’s back and removing the stuff. I was kinda shocked, as rain wasn’t even stopping for a millisecond..



I quickly ran towards the stalls, grabbed up the most awaited LOK Book II from Vimanika, without even getting a pic clicked with Kalki there and then picked up a few stuff from the Comic Con stalls… I wasn’t even able to reach Diamond Comics because of the rain and we had to quickly get inside the Indoor Stalls..





The first Indoor Stall that I saw, was of Dial-a-Book, actually the most crowded stall of the convention, because they had all types of comics and a great staff too.. Next was Robosoft, the company that made ACK and Tinkle on my iPod.. 😀


Next up were Avenger Toys, from where I bought this Hulk figure and Level 10 Comics, which were actually completely sold out 😦



Suhas (Editor and Creative Head, L10) quickly recognized me as I wanted to buy whole of the Jump series but unfortunately, couldn’t as they were sold out!!

Next was Kshiraj Telang, whom I interviewed 1 day before the Con. Practically, Kshiraj’s stall was the most popularized and liked stall, by newspapers and Facebookers 😀

When I first stepped into Dilli Haat, a guy handed me a brochure for Kshiraj’s stall, so as I said, it was the most popular stall out there… Kshiraj, being a freelance artist and animator was both offering and showing his services along with his wife. (They made quite a good team together).

Now, coming to the serious topics: THE RAINS




It was later discovered that Ororo Munroe was also there at the con, hiding between the cloud and makin’ it rain almost endlessly.. I couldn’t even Cosplay or attend any workshop because of rains :(.
Summing up this long long post on the end of the final day of Con, heres a short and simple walk-through to the Con


Best Stalls out there in my opinion:
-Dial-a-Book
-Vimanika Comics
-Comic Con India (Happily Unmarried, Pop Culture Publishing and RANDOM)
-Avenger Toys
-tasi
-World Comics India
-Kshiraj Telang
-Picasso
-Robosoft
-Timeout India
-NBT
and some more..
I missed some major stalls like Diamond and Times Group Books, also Green Gold, Level 10, Buzzinga and Campfire.. whereas the ACK stall kinda disappointed me as there were no special stuff out there.. They launched nothing new and were kinda carrying all the old stuff..


Due to the rains, all the participants and bloggers were called at Habitat Center for a dinner at 8:30 but I couldn’t make it because of my schools…

Nevertheless, the first Indian annual Comic Con was literally a blockbuster and more posts coming right through..
Stay Tooned 😀




Nishkarsh Chugh
(Gotham Comics India: http://www.gothamcomics.co.nr/)