Editor/Script: Deepam Chatterjee
Art: Hemant Kumar
Cmpositing: Tabish Shaikh and Deepak Rawat
Cover Art: Amit Tayal and Abdul Rasheed
Color: Abdul Rasheed
Publisher: Vimanika comics
Take One: Review by Anirudh Singh
Andy is a veteran western comic/Manga geek. With the rise of Indian comic scene, he has ventured back into indigenous comics from his self posed exile to speak about Indian comics
Ah finally Indian comics are foraying into territory left alone for so long, using source material handed down over the ages in the history of our own people. There are so many stories and tales of unsung heroes in our mythology, it would be a sin to ignore them for too long. Amar Chitra Katah tried it once long ago. Capturing glimpses of wonder and amazement as they told the epic of Mahabharta. Vimanika does it again with the Legend of Karna.
The book rightfully titled “The Sixth” takes us back across the ages and eons. Into an era when darkness and light were not defined by science, rather were defined by magic. Before anything else even impacts the reader the artwork does. It is magnificient in all aspects. Character designs blend seamlessly into the narrative and the visual imagery is quite stunning.
The story is also an eye opener. This is not the tale of Karna as we remember it from Ramanand Sagar’s televesion epics. No there are layers to this story. The start is fantastic, with a begining embroiled in primal legends of a demon who sought and won a great blessing from the Sun God. The story churns on and familiar faces start to appear imbibing you with a sense of mystery. It is after all a story of how deception and intrigue created a rift between two brothers. And how the destinies of these fated heroes embroiled even the Gods in their tangles.
One scene which truly stood out was the birth of Kauravas. The idea of a hundred sons being born from one mother was always fantastic concept but “The Sixth” takes this concept further, the feeling of unease is thick within these panels. And you can instantly tell that the product of alchemy as foul this has to be foul itself. It is no wonder that the sons of the Kuru clan turned out filled to brim with malice. Shakuni is a character to watch for, the schemer from the epic takes on a new visage as he is shown to be a man in command of nefarious powers. Part necromancer, part sorcerer Shakuni can be seen taking an eerie interest in his nephew’s lives from an early age. In contrast the birth of the Pandavas is heralded by the presence of a God. For indeed it was the union between God and human that gave birth to the five princes. The contrasting births and the contrasting destinies of the kindred princes is set up beautifully drawing in the reader and setting up for an epic launch.
However,just as I was getting engrossed into the amazing narrative and artwork. The story decided to skip. And when I say skip, I mean skip completely to the modern age. Now, I like clever narratives, I like scene switching, multiple timelines the works. But to pull it off you have to really careful. You see whenever you skip from one time to a completely different one you break off the flow of the story. To reconnect the flow one has to place a few familiar elements, or gradually introduce you to the new characters elaborating the relationship with the old ones. This book doesnt have that. The time – skip hits you in the face with all the politeness of a brick wall. And stops u short of enjoying the story
.The story afterwards is not in any way lacking than the one before the skip. Its interesting, has the same artwork and a lot of interesting characters and I’m certain given time and more books in the series I would enjoy that part too. But right now with the book as it is, It reads off more as two separate stories in the same jacket than one continuous one.
Legend of Karna, The Sixth is no doubt a classy book in a classy series. But it suffers sometimes from glaring abruptness in its narration. The artwork though fantastic, blended in perfectly when the story was somewhere in the BC, it does not go so well with the mordern setting. Perhaps as I read more of this series the narrative will right itself and once more build up its pace to perfection,
A valiant effort, might one day evolve into a work of art.
Double Take: Review by Nishkarsh Chugh
Nishkarsh is a veteran Indian comic blogger and fan and the youngest member of our team
The awaited Legend of Karna Book II has been launched recently at Comicon but as they say; “देर आये दुरुस्त आये”..
During the Con, it had great sale, due to which Vimanika was sold out on Day 1.. The trend continued on Day 2 and that was when, I got my copy..
The cover was extraordinary, by Amit Tayal (who is an illustrator for Campfire too) and Abdul Rasheed. However, the first main difference between LOK Book I and LOK Book II was the inside art. Amit Tayal was replaced by Hemant Kumar, but I still feel the former was better.
Nevertheless, the story was AWESOME and continued from where it left, when Karna was abandoned in River Charmanwati. However, there was a short (7 pages to be more precise) introduction about the demon Dambhodbhava and Nara and Narayana, a prologue to how Karna got his armor.
The main story began with Chapter 2: Childhood featuring how Karna was adopted by Adhiratha and his wife, Radha and the life of Karna as a child. It also featured the birth of Pandavas and Kauravas and
The main feature of LOK Book II is that it revealed the villains of the present time, who were none other than the Kauravas- Dusshala, Duryodhan and rest of the gang.
The story ended with Dev Daljit Singh, beating up some guys who came to kill Karan Vir. Amazing action, I must say.
Now coming to overall rating, I really liked LOK Book and I think this has a great future potential and if the series continues like this, it may live upto the expectations of the fans..