Archive | June, 2011

Comic Fans Be-Aware!!

29 Jun

Good day all, I know, I know – this weeks column is terribly late and this on top of not having one in last week… well its unforgivable and I as all of your pardons and apologise before going any further.
Thank you.

Now, to the matter at hand – I was going to do a review this week of the Marvel Cosmic universe of comics but that will have to wait another week I’m afraid. This week I want to talk about something in recent news that I think all comic fans, as people who have a personal attachment to the industry, deserve to be made aware of and understand.

Firstly I would like to given an introduction to “The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund” (CBLDF) which is essentially a:

…non-profit organization dedicated to the protection of the First Amendment rights of the comics art form and its community of retailers, creators, publishers, librarians, and readers. The CBLDF provides legal referrals, representation, advice, assistance, and education in furtherance of these goals.

Now to some of you this might seem like something to laugh at – believe me the first time I heard about it I did quite uproariously! But after the humour ran short of breath for a moment I read a few news bits and did some research and stopped laughing soon enough.

Turns out there’s actually people out there who not only dislike comics and have issues with the more graphic and adult work in the medium – even just more graphic comic art like for example the lovely women drawn by the spectacular Luis Royo who is a personal favourite and has been for ages. But of course the greatest ire seems to be reserved for the infamously graphic and extreme manga comics from Japan – no surprise there!
Started in 1986 (yeah, that long back) as a simple fund to help pay for the legal fee’s of an Illinois shop owner who carried adult comics as well as his regular stock and was charged with selling obscene material – the poor fellow was even convicted but on appeal that was reversed.
Oh and if it proves the point of how seriously the industry takes the work of CBLDF it might help to know that two of the directors of the Fund are star-scribes Neil Gaiman (do I need to tell you who he is?) and Peter David who is also one of the more respected writers in comics – and arguably the writer of one of the most definitive runs for Marvel’s Incredible Hulk among a great many other titles.

Unfortunately this haranguing is no longer limited to simply charging comic shops for obscenity – the U.S. courts even held that material showing sexual content, even that of younger characters cannot be taken and charged as pornography outright because it is drawn depictions and no actual person is harmed or exploited in the production (that is more or less the gist of it, more detail of the decision can be provided for anyone interested). I think this image here by the legendary Frank Miller proves the line “a picture is worth a thousand words” so I’ll let it.

However in an unlikely twist, the U.S. no longer charges people for these things but its neighbor to the north has suddenly become a problem for comic fans. And not just fans of more extreme comics – they are making life HELL for anyone carrying comics, be they paper or even digital!!
Recently the Canadian border agencies who have been checking a great many people to the extent that they will check your laptop, ipad, iphone, ipod, flash drives and any other digital storage device if they so feel like it – random checks done with no given reason and these checks are becoming more and more common.
Last week the CBLDF announced their intent to help in the defence of an American computer programmer on his way into Canada who has been arrested on possession and importing of child pornography charges for bringing manga into the country on his computer. Now don’t get me wrong – if watching little kiddies being sexualised and the like is what gets you off then may whatever supernatural or divine entity you hold dear have mercy on you, because no one here on Earth is likely to do so and deservedly so… Apparently the poor fellow was visiting friends and was arrested on the way in when they decided to check his computer – and the CBLDF has clearly stated that “the images “are all comics in the manga style” and not photographic material so I think we can assume that even if they are graphic images they are nothing new or out of the ordinary – and for this the man (just barely at 20 years of age) faces prison for 1-10 years!

I don’t know about you but that scares the hell out of me a wee bit!

So wrong does this case appear that not only is the CBLDF helping out but even a Canadian group called the Comic Legends Legal Defense Fund is helping out – the case is estimated to cost $150,000 Canadian (give or take a bit). That aint no chump change folks.

An incident that happened to cartoonist Tom Neely does not help this image of Canada prosecuting so rashly either:

They asked us to stand by the wall of the building and asked for the keys to our car. They opened up our suitcases and pulled out a random sampling of about 5 comic books we had in our bags. Those included Blaise Larmee’s Young Lions and the Black Eye anthology published by Rotland Press, of which I’m a contributor. The security guy asked us what the books were. We described them as “art comics” and he said he was going to take them inside for review. While we waited, two other security guards came out, opened the car and proceeded to pull out everything in the entire vehicle, pulled out a copy every book, and then went back inside.

 And this experience has been described by some as a relatively ‘friendly’ encounter compared to some.

 (I love this Mignola image!)

Another incident I found online was of a lady named Elizabeth McClung who is a Canadian citizen:

Saturday, I was surrounded by six officers, two watching me as the four others went page by page through my books looking for pornographic images and other evidence I was a sexual predator. How did this happen? I said a word which Canada Customs considers dirty: Manga. As soon as I declared that I had some of the japanese inspired comic books called manga, a Custom’s officer said, “That’s the stuff from Japan; there is some really obscene and filthy stuff.” No, I pointed out, these was printed in America and very mainstream. As more and more officers were called in, the six manga books I had were examined in detail. They were looking, they told me, for pornographic, obscene and adult material. “The age rating is on the back of each book.” (each manga book has ratings like 13+ or 15+ – mine were 13+). I was informed that I could have put different covers on or done anything else I could to get the pornography in and that if I spoke anymore, the books would be seized. So I stood there and watched my previously new books get examined page by page, thumbed through and pressed open because it was assumed if I read manga, that I was a sex offender.

Now if it was just porn comics they were after or such I might still not be so worried but people have noted that manga, horror and other genres have also shown up on various listings of the types of books that have been blacklisted by the Canadian customs authorities. 
An additional reason I felt for making this post was that this is not just a case of being unfairly prosecuted – as any of us can imagine, even being charged for a thing like child porn can leave marks on reputations and even on one-self to experience such a thing. 
 (a great piece by Bone creator Jeff Smith)
So for anyone planning on travelling to Canada and carrying comics be it in print form or electronic, read this essential rundown put out by the CBLDF and dont panic but be aware that such things do happen and people can be very unforgiving about these things in places with what I generally dub moron mentality. 
In closing I would like to ask all comic fans to support the CBLDF, they put out comics and art-collections periodically. Image Comics puts out a comic called Liberty Comics from time to time that showcases stories and art by some of the best talents in the industry with all proceeds going to the CBLDF. Their most recent book features work by Darick Robertson (The Boys, Transmetropolitan), Garth Ennis (Preacher, The Boys), Fabio Moon (Daytripper), Gail Simone (Birds of Prey, Secret Six) and fan favourite Geoff Johns (Green Lantern, The Flash) among many others. 
So next time you see or hear about an effort by the CBLDF, buy the comic, spread the word because who know who will be in trouble next and what the censors will go after!
So until next week when we leave such more serious matters behind us dear friends, I wish you all well and will see you round the bend!

Nish’s Notepad: Do the DCU! Part I

28 Jun
Hola People! Missed me? Ah, I know you did. So, I’m Back! (drumrolls). This week, I’m not reviewing a particular comic book, but will be giving my opinion on the upcoming DCnU titles. This week I’m going to take on my top 10 titles about Squads. They’re arranged alphabetically, not rank-wise! 🙂 And yes, the images are in super high quality. So, feel free to click on ’em to view the covers in HQP (Highest Quality Possible) :D!

Batman and Robin #1
Written by Peter J. Tomasi
Art and Cover by Pat Gleason

Dick Grayson now prefers working alone. Jason and Tim have founded their own teams. So who will accompany our dear Bats? No worries, Damian a.k.a. Robin is always there for him, in this One and a Half Men army. I love Batman, and Robin even more (in a non gay way, of course). Damian’s kinda new, but I think this title might be good. At least I hope so. Even if it’s bad, I’m still gonna buy it. I may be partial, but I have great hope for this title, even more than the main Batman title. The caped crusader along with the now-WINGED boy-wonder will be of course, wonderful.

Green Lantern Corps #1
Written by Peter J. Tomasi
Art and Cover by Fernando Pasarin & Scott Hanna

I’m definitely a Green Lantern fan – but not a Green Lantern Corps fan. Plus, when it has the not-so-very-popular GLs, along with the rest of the gang – I might buy it but as far as considered a must buy, NO. I’ll definitely buy the GL #1 and GL:New Guardians #1, but GL Corps – Not so sure. Guy Gardner and John Stewart-NO NO! I don’t have much to say about this title except let’s just wait and watch and hope it does better than the movie did!

Green Lantern: New Guardians #1
Written by Tony Bedard
Art and Cover by Tyler Kirkham & Batt

Never judge a book by it’s cover. But if you judge this comic by it’s cover, I think it’s going to be a blockbuster. The power of Rage, Avarice, Fear, Will, Hope, Compassion and Love combine to be the most powerful (and colorful) team in the Corps under the leadership of our very own Green Lantern Kyle Rayner. I have great hopes with this team as the spectrum squad might just do unexpected wonders. Art should be fine with Kirkham at the helm, all I’m concerned about is the story. It has to be good. This is one title I’m definitely going to buy (or at least, read).

Justice League #1
Written by Geoff Johns
Art and Cover by Jim Lee & Scott Williams

Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Green Lantern, Aquaman and WAIT! Cyborg? The first rebooted title to be released by DC on August 31st is Justice League. From what we see in the cover, Batman and Green Lantern’s looks are greatly inspired by their movies, whereas Superman and Wonder Woman’s outfits have undergone a major change. And we have a newcomer in the JLA force: the Hero from Flashpoint (whose final issue will be released on the same day as JL #1), Cyborg. For this specific title, over 50 costumes have been redesigned and made to suit contemporary styles. Will that make me read it? Only time will tell.

Justice League: Dark #1
Written by Peter Milligan
Art by Mikel Janin
Cover by Ryan Sook

What happens when a witch goes gaga and all our hopes are busy in their own Leagues? It’s time to recruit some dark Heroes! Shade the Changing Man, Madame Xanadu, Deadman, Zatanna and John Constantine come together to form this dark league. According to me, the other two JL titles look much more promising than this one. It might have a gothic touch to it, which might be interesting for some, but it’s all almighty’s mighty might. So, if I had a chance to accept or reject DCnU titles, I might say Nay to this one.

Justice League: International #1
Written by Dan Jurgens
Art and Cover by Aaron Lopresti

Apart from the big guns in Justice League, DC is also rebooting JLI- a comic that has a lot of potential. DC has often taken elements from the past like Formerly Known As The Justice League and Justice League: Generation Lost, so this can be an epic title. This league features Booster Gold, Batman , Green Lantern (Guy Gardner), August General in Iron (from The Great Ten), Fire, Ice, Vixen and Rocket Red and might also some other from the original series. Fighting crime globally, this title gives a tough competition to JL #1.

Red Hood and the Outlaws #1
Written by Scott Lobdell
Art by Kenneth Rocafort

Damian is not the only Robin to get REBOOTED – our not-so-beloved second Robin, Jason Todd or as he prefers calling himself The Red Hood, has started his own team of anti-heroes including none other than Arsenal, Green Arrow’s rejected sidekick (poor fella) and damaged soldier of fortune, and the alien Starfire, a former prisoner of intergalactic war who won’t be chained again. For all Jason haters there, I like him, and I feel his death was the saddest moment in the DC Universe – even more than Superman’s death. And I do miss Starfire’s presence in TT. So, I would love to read this title even if it’s out of the bounds of the law!

Red Lanterns #1
Written by Peter Milligan
Art and Cover by Ed Benes & Rob Hunter

Atrocitus and his Red Lantern Corps return in their own series, battling against injustice in the most bloody ways imaginable. This Lantern Corps takes no prisoners, they are judge, jury and executioners! This title will be one bloody title, brutal and dirty. I personally don’t like violence too much, so I’d prefer to stay away from this title if the story doesn’t catch my eyes-which it may as they are the solo stories of THE RED LANTERNS. THE EVIL RED LANTERNS.

Stormwatch #1
Written by Paul Cornell
Art and Cover by Miguel Sepulveda

Did anyone see Martian Manhunter? The green martian is no longer a part of the Justice League, and is a part of a new squad: Stormwatch – a dangerous super human strike force whose existence is kept secret from the world. Along with the deadliest superhumans on the earth: Apollo, Midnighter and Jack Hawksmoor come to fight the deadliest villains. A great title, which might also include Supes and Batty in the coming issues, and might say sayonara to the Justice Society of America permanently. Will the reboot of Jim Lee’s old Stormwatch be able to replace JSA? I think it might do it. So buying this title is in the list.

Teen Titans #1
Written by Scott Lobdell
Art and Cover by Brett Booth & Norm Rapmund

Cyborg might have grown old, Starfire might have become an outlaw, but rest of the Titans remain teens! Featuring Red Robin, Kid Flash, Wonder Girl, Super Boy, Raven , and I don’t recognize the others in this leaked alternate cover to TT #1 (left). Both the story, and the characters have undergone a major change here too. Superboy looks like the bully next door, Flash’s costume is so very complicated and Robin- well he has wings now – what’s next? A BEAK? I had great hope with this title before the revelation of the cover, but I still need a preview to know how it actually turns out. So, it comes under the dicey zone, and I have my fingers crossed (well not literally, ‘cause then I won’t be able to review the rest of the titles)

Now, the ULTIMATE reason why Starfire left Teen Titans and became an outlaw. What did she do? You can know the reason by clicking here! 😀

(doesn’t belong to me or Comic Addicts, work of RumourMill)

I don’t know what’s coming next week except it’ll be “DO THE DCU: PART II”.

Until then Ciao!

Comic Addicts Exclusive: Raj Comics Preview – Dhikkar!!!

28 Jun
In another first of it’s kind, we at Comic Addicts are proud to present an exclusive preview of ‘Dhikkar‘, an upcoming Bhokal issue by Raj Comics.

This is a special treat for all your Indian Comic Fans out there.

Scripted by Nitin Mishra
Pencils by Hemant
Inking by Amit and 
Effects by Abdul Rasheed

We would also like to thank Mr. Sanjay Gupta, the illustrious founder and editor of Raj Comics for joining the movement of uniting publishers and fans attempted by Comic Addicts.

Dhikkar is a part of the upcoming set of Raj Comics. Enjoy the 5 preview pages below and for the rest, just wait for the release! You can order it either on the Raj Comics’ website or your local comic book shop! 

More to come on Raj Comics and other Indian Comics… so stay tuned!!!

Dhikkar – Intro
Click on the image to view full size

Dhikkar – Page 2
Click on the image to view full size
Dhikkar – Page 3
Click on the image to view full size
Dhikkar – Page 4
Click on the image to view full size
Dhikkar – Page 5
Click on the image to view full size

Hungry for more?? Rush to your comic book dealer or the Raj Comics’ Online Store to buy Dhikkar and the other titles from the same set NOW!!!

Manga Mondays presents: Sidooh

27 Jun

More on swords, and this time its back to feudal Japan. By this time I’m sure some of you would have noticed my unhealthy obsession with all things chanbara. Yes, indeed a Samurai is one of the many career choices that I was certain I was gonna choose when I was young. As a result, as I grew up and slowly realized that society in general would not be too pleased if I chose to live out the Bushido code and always wore a badass katana, my interests gravitated more and more towards learning what I could of this fascinating subculture.

First off, a warning. If you are the kind of reader who prefers the more comedic and lighter note of Shonen manga then read no further. This manga is not for you. This is as adult a manga as it gets. Nothing is left to be faded, nothing left to the imagination. Death is alive in this comic, and it stalks each character with a force that is generally lacking in comics. The most surprising find for me in this manga was that I could not rightly predict who among the characters would live, who would die. Just as it is in real life, and this worried me immensely. For the characters themselves do little to alleviate your concerns jumping from one dangerous situation into the next.

The story itself is deceptively simple and yet immensely complex. Two brothers of questionable descent are charged by their dying mother to gain strength in this cruel world or die. Grow strong. The simple theme which is echoed in so many manga today. But how does one grow strong? That is the hero’s journey the brothers must undertake. For as is the case in real life, there is no shortcut to growing strong. No thousand year jinseng that gives you superpowers, no witchdoctor who will suddenly and inexplicably open your ki channels. The pacing of the story is very unlike a comic, which makes the growth in the respective characters to appear very natural. But while the underlying goals of the brothers remains constant. The journey itself is as vivid and ever changing as the seasons.

Adventures abound as the two brothers quest on. Rising from humble origins to dizzying heights on the basis of their martial prowess and determination. They meet mentors, some wise, some twisted beyond measure. They also gain companions as their journey progresses. And the series gets more and more addictive with each turned page. There are many reasons that can be listed down to justify reading this manga. The artwork alone is enthralling and revolutionary. The storyline is deep and rich with a multitude of intersecting currents and arcs. The setting is period Japan, there be Samurai present. But these will not be your reasons, and ultimately you will have to find your own reason to read this manga.

I read it because I see in it a tale of two Samurai and how they come to be. And I know that is the kind of tale I dreamed about as a child.

Sidooh. A spiralling story of death and destruction and swordplay. Not for the faint hearted.

The Adventures of Karen Ross (Part 7)

27 Jun

Suddenly I found us heading into a dense fog. It had been bright and sunny not thirty seconds before, but now it was grey and damp. It was hard to see anything all I had to give me any sense of surroundings was the sound of the water below. Then just as abruptly as we had come into it we came out of the fog. Peering around Ares I saw a small emerald island with rocky coasts. It was really bizarre having this quaint island in the middle of a dense fog surrounding like the eye within a storm. Ares landed the chariot in front of a small hut. Jeff and I climbed got out, and while I was sorry for the ride to be over Jeff kissed the ground. I smirked and shook my head at him as I went to explore the hut. The wooden door squeaked open letting me into the one room that comprised it. To the back right were a set of old looking bunk beds next to the only other window aside from the one next to the door. On the left under the front window was a table which matched the bunk beds with four chairs. The left wall housed a brick fireplace with an iron hook extending into it with a large cast iron pot hanging from it. Well this was a cute stereotypical ancient home set up I sighed as I took it all in.

“Take the evening to finish getting your bearings. Tomorrow your training begins,” Ares boomed over my shoulder.

“Yeah,” I nodded half heartedly.

“Oh, and there is one condition of your first night here,” he smirked evilly.

“Do I want to know what this ‘condition’ is?” I turned to him afraid of the answer.

“You must sleep there,” he pointed to the top of a hill to his left.

Following his arm with my gaze I saw that it wasn’t so much the hill he was pointing at, but a large stone table on the crown. I decided that I needed a closer look at this table to try and see its importance. As I walked I could hear Ares’ and Jeff’s footsteps behind me. The hill wasn’t far, but it was steep. Upon reaching the top where I could really get a good look I wished that I hadn’t. There were still blood stains on it. This table had been some kind of sacrificial alter! Who even knows how old the blood on here is?! I turned back to Ares who was still grinning at me.

“If you were just going to kill me to try and appease the beast all any of you had to do was simply say so,” I said.

“You will not be sacrificed. The table’s use for such rites has passed. There is a certain cosmic energy that resides within this stone because of its significance that I want you to experience,” Ares said running a hand along one of the edges.

“Is the blood a necessity or can I wash that off?” I asked looking at one of the blood stains.

“To erase the blood would be to erase the table’s history,” he said matter of factly.

“Figures,” I muttered.

Jeff and I walked back down the hill behind Ares. It was made quite clear that my training would begin at sunrise. After barking that order Ares left. I watched him disappear into the fog before going into the hut. Jeff was in there examining his quarters. He seemed to be disappointed by the primitiveness of it, and yet something about that aspect appealed to him. I walked over to the giant pot trying to clean the dust and cobwebs off from it.

“Well we’ve got the means, but the real question is what we’re going to cook,” I said to Jeff without stopping what I was doing.

“Don’t worry I came prepared,” he said taking out a silver pouch.

“Freeze dried food?” I asked looking at it.

“Sort of, this is one of my inventions, a prototype really. I took the idea of freeze dried food and improved on it,”

“I’m listening,” I stood up and leaned against the edge of the fireplace looking at him.

“It’s really complicated as to how it all works, but let’s just say after a little water and a little heat this will be the freshest tasting meal you’ve ever had come out of a bag,” he grinned proud of himself.

“Ok genius boy I’m willing to give it a shot,” I smiled.

“Well your options are to either try it or starve,” he teased.

“Considering I’m going to be sleeping on a bloody sacrificial table I think my real options are starving or throwing up dinner,” I sighed.

“Karen if there were anything I could do to help you know I would,” he said coming to stand beside me.

“I know and it is appreciated. This is just yet another hurdle in my less than easy life,”

“Life isn’t easy, trust me I know that just as well as you do,”

“I know, and I’m sorry if I’m not sympathetic to that fact. It’s just that things were bad enough before all of this and it doesn’t seem to have gotten any easier,” I stared at the wooden floor.

“You know, maybe you’re looking at this the wrong way,” Jeff said trying to be upbeat.

“How so?” I looked at him quizzically.

“You were unhappy in your life, but you’ve been given a chance at a new one. Maybe once you learn the ropes this one will be better. Think of it more as a clean slate rather than a new form of punishment,”

“While I do appreciate your optimism I’ve had too much thrown at me to try and digest. No offense, but I can’t really grasp your positive spin. On that note I’m going to go looking for fire wood,” I turned from Jeff to the door.

“See if you can find a water source too,” he called after me.

When Literature Meets Comics. Who Makes the Superhero Cut?

27 Jun

There are many comic book heroes out there and many more that have not been published yet that people are coming up with in their homes. The interesting thing to consider is that before comic book heroes there were classic literary heroes. Heroes such as Robin Hood, Peter Pan, The Scarlet Pimpernel, and King Arthur. In fact The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen series combined comics and literature.

Comic Geeks Unite did a poll asking which literary character fellow comic geeks thought would qualify as a superhero. CGU said that they purposely didn’t include and of the characters from The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen so as to focus on a fresh literary character. 

The choices were: Robin Hood, Sherlock Holmes, Peter Pan, and Alice (from Alice in Wonderland). 

Granted only 15 people participated in the poll, but their choice was clear. The winner was Sherlock Holmes. The finally tally was: 
Robin Hood 4 votes
Peter Pan   2 votes
Alice         0 votes
Sherlock Holmes 9 votes.

It’s not much of stretch really to associate literature with comic books. Stan Lee says that The Incredible Hulk was inspired by Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Superman was initially inspired by Nietzsche’s essay on the Superman. Then of course Batman’s amazing detective skills were inspired by Sherlock Holmes.

So what makes Mr. Holmes qualified to be a superhero? Let’s take a look at his qualifications:
  •  Amazing intelligence
    •  He notices the most minute detail
    •  Knowledge on almost every subject imaginable
    • Understands how people think better than anyone
  •  Physical prowess
    •  He was once on the armature fighter circuit
    • Can go toe to toe with any muscle of the underworld
    • Quick on his feet
  •  Doesn’t stops till he gets the villain
  •  An expert in the field of forensics before there really was a field of forensics
  •  Always thinking outside the box

Ok, so at first glance at this list it’s pretty much Batman without the cape and cowl. Although doesn’t that further prove that Sherlock Holmes is a viable comic book hero? He is certainly one of the most, if not the most, popular fictional sleuth. The standard by which all other sleuths are compared.

Another qualifying point for Mr. Holmes is that he has an arch nemesis. Who could ask for, or forget, such a formidable foe as Dr. Moriarty. Someone who matches Holmes’ amazing mind, but is saturated in evil. The only person able to keep one step ahead of Holmes, but overlooks that one detail which is ultimately his undoing.

Of course Sherlock Holmes isn’t perfect. There is that drug addiction problem. Although Tony Stark was an alcoholic. So no hero is absolutely perfect. Although you have to laugh at the irony that Robert Downy Jr. has played both characters. Funny isn’t it?

Given the numerous adventures and stunning resume we here at Comics Addicts dub Sherlock Holmes an honorary comic book hero. He is an example of what a hero should be; again minus the drug addiction. While most people would see this comic Knighting as an insult and a step down in literature we here at Comic Addicts see it as an honor. Sherlock Holmes embodies all of the qualities that makes anyone fantasize about fighting crime and he does it without spandex. Welcome to the fold our fine gentleman private eye! Your example is utterly inspiring and Bruce Wayne would agree.


Comic Addicts talk to Yogesh Pugaonkar

26 Jun
With Ravanayan being the next big thing on the charts for the month of July, we decided to have a little tête à tête with Yogesh Pugaonkar, the colorist who has done a lot of work on Ravanayan along with several other projects. Here is the excerpt from the interview:

Yogesh Pugaonkar

Comic Addicts: Hey Yogesh. So why don’t we start with you telling our readers something about yourself?

Yogesh Pugaonkar: Thank you Comic Addicts, for the talk. I am Yogesh Ravindra Pugaonkar. I have been born and brought up in Mumbai. Currently I am working in a Gaming Studio as a Creative Head where I design games for PSP, PC and Handheld Devices as iPhone, iPod & iPad. Till date I have designed over 30 games.
I have been working for the Indian Art & Animation Market for the last 10 years now. It includes Animation, Character Designs for Magazines, Game Designs, Web Designing and Individual Animation Projects etc.
CA: Wow. That’s quite a handful! So how did you manage to make the transition from designing to the Comic media?

YP: Most of the game and web designing is a part of my work. Comics, on the other hand, are my passion. As a child I used to be very fascinated and interested by all types of comic books. I used to love those characters in the comic book which my father used to bring for me. Those characters, the way they were drawn, the way they expressed everything even without written text, all this used to enthrall and inspire me. I started drawing all those characters all the time, at times even covering my school books. This is how the love for drawing and art blossomed in me.

One of Yogesh’s early works published in Comix India
Click on the image to view full screen

CA: School books? Wow. I bet your teachers weren’t very happy with your talent back then, eh? So what were your favorite characters as a child?

YP: There were a lot of them. To name a few, Chacha Chowdary, Supanndi and of course the classics like Spiderman, Batman, Superman, Wolverine, Snake Eyes, Daredevil and many more.
CA: Nice. So how did you transition from scribbling in your textbooks to this fantastic artist and colorist you are today?

YP: As I grew up, I honed my drawing skills mostly by observation and constant practice. I just kept on doing it until I got it right, got it the way I would want it to be. This helped me turn my hobby into my career.
CA: Have you undergone any formal training?

YP: Not really. I am what you can call a self-taught artist. Wherever I am today is mainly due to diligence and by overcoming my mistakes and learning from them, which helped me, move ahead and get a foothold in the field of art.
CA: I am sure it must have been quite an experience. Tell us how did you finally enter the Comic industry?

YP: Well, as I said, I have always been fascinated by Comic Books and the form of art used in them. I was looking for the right opportunity to somehow get in the Indian Comic Industry and luckily, I found one. I met an artist on the internet and after some discussion, I sent him my portfolio.
CA: Wow. First audition! Were you nervous?

YP: You bet I was nervous. I sent my portfolio consisting of some art works I had done over the years. He saw them, and pretty much dismissed all of them, except one, which had managed to catch his expert eye. Thankfully, somehow he managed to judge me by the means of that one art which had impressed him and He gave me my first break in the Comic Industry. The artist was none other than Vivek Goel, and the piece that impressed him was a drawing of Iron Man I had made. Lemme see if I can find that old thing for you… Gimme a minute…
<minutes tick by>… <several more minutes>… <and finally>

ah, there you go. This is what Vivek liked and this made him give me a chance. It was a turning point of my career. My entry in the Comic Industry was solely due to Vivek and I will always be thankful to him for all his constant kind support and confidence in me.

The one that started it all…
Click on the image to view full screen

CA: You made this? Dang! I was thinking it was a printout! I bet lots of our readers thought that too, didn’t ya all? So I guess after this initial tie-up, Vivek and you have done quite a lot of work together?

YP: We have worked together for many projects, with Vivek as a Penciller and Me as a Colorist.
Our work has already been published in Comix India, Level 10 and in a unique opportunity, also with Moonstone Comics (US) – which we kindda won as a prize.
CA: That is quite an achievement Yogesh, we are very proud of you! What are you working on these days?

YP: Currently, I am working as a part time colorist for Vivek Goel and Vijayendra Mohanty’s upcoming series Ravanayan. I also did the cover and promo art for Were House, volume 1 of which was published by Holy Cow! Entertainments this May. I am looking forward to give a boost to Indian Comic Industry with my skill and ability. I want my presence to make a difference in Indian Comic industry.

Yogesh (sitting – 3rd from left) with the team of Ravanayan, his wife and our very own Wolverine and Harley Quinn

The Were House Vol. 1 cover – colored by YRP

CA: We are sure you WILL make a difference Yogesh. You already have with your current projects. So any quick sneak peak at any of your upcoming projects?

YP: Thank you Comic Addicts. For the future, all I can tell you is that I will be coming up with my creator owned project very soon.

This awesome poster will be available in Comic Con Express Mumbai along with some other posters which will be exclusively made for Comic Con by Yogesh
Click on the image to view full screen

CA: We sure can’t wait to get our hands on it! All the very best for all your future endeavors Yogesh. We wish you luck! Thank you for taking out time to talk with us, it was a pleasure.

YP: The pleasure is all mine.
CA: We just told you. It’s ours.

YP: No, it’s MINE.
CA: We called dibs on it first, so the pleasure is ours!

YP: Whatever, it’s my home, so it’s mine, and if you don’t like it, you can get out!

All right, all right. I confess! The last 4 lines in the italics never really happened, it’s just a product of my juvenile fantasy. But honestly, tell me, aren’t you glad you read it all the way to the last line, aye?

And since you did stick around, here are some exclusive goodies only for you!
Click on the Full Screen button on the bottom left of the album to view in full screen mode
Double Click on any image to view it and start the slideshow.

And this one is specially for all your comic fan boys (and girls, of course) out there…


25 Jun


Collects #31-38

Writer: Garth Ennis

Art: Darick Robertson, Carlos Ezquera, John McCrea, Kieth Burns

Publisher: Titan Books

Review by Stewart Loud

The conflict between The Boys and the worlds super human community jumps up a notch as, Vought America launches their first open attack against Butcher and his crew since they resumed their campaign to police the super heroes that inhabit Garth Ennis’ fucked up Marvel/DC universe parody. Then the pace slows down a bit for some origin stories about Mother’s Milk, Frenchie and the Female. Another shockingly violent, laugh out loud instalment of the New York Times best selling series, The Boys.

Up until this point Butcher, Hughie and co’, the elite unit of lunatics, psychopaths and cockneys empowered with compound-V and tasked with making sure the Earth’s morally bankrupt super heroes are held to account for the varied and perverse crimes they commit, have mostly been tackling small, lower powered groups of misbehaving meta-humans or using stealth and subterfuge to take down more powerful groups and make their sponsor corporation Vought America’s life difficult with blackmail or sabotage. In this book however, Vought bring out the big guns and sic one of their leading super groups on them in the first big fight in the series that isn’t just a massively one sided beating with Butcher shouting “Cunts!” as him and the boys make like football hooligans and kick a bunch of teenagers teeth out.

After the blood bath of the books first half, things slow down a bit as each of the Boys members take it in turns to tell Hughie the story of how they got their powers and joined Butcher’s crusade against the spandex crowd (with the exception of Butcher himself). These few short stories add a welcome bit of depth to the team’s characters. Up until now, very little has been revealed about any of them apart from the fact that they’re about the last group of people on Earth, you’d ever want to get into a fight with.

As any of you who’ve read much of Garth Ennis’ other work (Preacher, Punisher, Crossed) will no doubt expect, the stories aren’t just simple cases of being bitten by a radio active spider or taking a nuclear blast in the face. No, we’re treated to a series of bizarre, interesting and in places incredibly funny tales with French people on bicycles jousting with massive French loafs and a fantastic parody of one of the scenes from Aliens. A lot of questions are answered and a few interesting ones get raised.

Is Garth even capable of writing a bad book? Another great instalment in a brilliant series. If you haven’t read any of the other books so far, it’s about time you did! I’ve got volume 7 to read as well so you can expect a write up of that within the next week too.

SCORE 8/10

Animal Man: Origin of the Species

25 Jun

Writer: Grant Morrison

Artist: Chas Truog, Tom Grummett

Published under VERTIGO

Collects: ANIMAL MAN issues 10-17, origin story from SECRET ORIGINS

(SPOILERS continue, though no interior pages this time around! )

And I continue into Vol 2 of the unbridled harrowing rollercoaster ride that is Animal Man. I think the only problem I’m going to have in this series is I’m going to hate to see it end. But end it must, eventually.

Continue reading

In Memory – Gene Colan

25 Jun

I was saddened to hear of the passing of longtime artist for DC & Marvel, Gene Colan (23-6-11). According to me, he was one of the most under rated artists in the industry.
Let me elaborate about what made the man so different from other artists of the time period – his style due to which even his roughest pencils had that finished look. Check out his pencils illustrating Dracula, Lord of the Vampires for Tomb of Dracula. He also co-created Blade, with writer Marv Wolfman.

The image directly above is from 2009, shows Mr. Colan hadn’t lost his touch.

Perhaps what he will be remembered the most for is his defining run on Daredevil.

Check out this solid finished interior page from Daredevil.

I was particularly exposed to him due to his classic run on Batman & Detective Comics. Around that time, my favourite writer Doug Moench had begun to write both magazines, and I gleefully bought them all….around twenty years later.

Once I noticed who the artist was, I started picking up more stuff based solely on his talent as an artist.

Also another favourite. In this case the interior art is by Colan for the adult portion, while the gang as teens were done by the original Archie art team (DeCarlo & others) while the cover was by John Byrne.

What you can buy to get more of the man:

Tales of the Batman by Gene Colan Vol 1 (might be a bit spotty as they might have excluded other artist’s work while the writer being the same continues his work, but go for it, to me it’s the best of his work)

Night Force

Tomb of Dracula

Click here to find more of his work

You might note, many items above haven’t been released yet. It’s such a shame that Gene met an untimely end, just around the time his work was gaining wider recognition.

Rest in Peace, Sir. We will miss you.