Welcome back addicts! Today brings an EXTRA special treat for one and all!
We have for your pleasure, an interview with Shamik Dasgupta, Indian comic scribe extraordinaire, and uber-brain behind the already iconic “Daksh”.
In our last interview with Shamik he promised that he would be revealing all about this new comic that has built a whirlwind of energy around it, to us here at ComicAddicts. And true to his promise, here he is in a candid conversation with us on Daksh
(Also, we have been graciously given some sample pages of spectacular art to preview especially for all of you – click them to see them in all their wicked glory!!)
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CA: Shamik, thanks again for taking the time to be here. If you don’t mind we’re in total fan-mode and will dive right into the deep end!
CA: After a stormy start and a lot of great fan-approval, Daksh has finally reared his head again! Admittedly, we couldn’t have been more pleased, except perhaps if it had been sooner. Where has Daksh been so far and why did it take so long for him to come back again?
SD: Well actually there had been some disruptions after the first issue which took us some time to get back in gear, but when we did we went full steam ahead. There were speculations whether we would follow the usual conventions with Daksh and keep it for all ages or we should go completely mature on this title. Finally and thankfully Level 10 decided to establish their brand Comic Jump as a full fledged mature oriented magazine and my shackles were broken. This is possibly the most fun I ever had writing a series with no holds barred.
CA: Whats the master plan for Daksh now? Are you thinking mini-series, ongoing, whats the future?
SD: Daksh Season 1 will be three issues of 44 pages each, coming in three separate instalments in Comic Jump. Each issue is gonna be bigger badder and better than the consecutive one. I cannot reveal much, but Daksh will be integrated in the ‘Level 10 Universe’ more organically in near future
CA: Daksh was seemingly a magnet for controversy from the moment it saw print, is that still the case or is it past?
SD: First of all I do not believe in that controversy to begin with. The person in question was contacted by me personally and I was in favour of settling the disputes. I suggested the best possible solution months back and now I am still waiting to hear from him regarding his decision. However the first issue has gone for print and henceforth whatever solutions I was interested in are not viable anymore since he never reverted back to me.
CA: Do you expect anymore of a backlash from any of the audience/other companies regarding Daksh?
SD: All I can say is everyone is entitled to their opinions and the freedom to voice them out. I can only keep on working harder trying to entertain the readership. To me they are the judge, jury and executioner, to me they are GOD. If Daksh is destined to be a success it will be because of them. If they decide to reject Daksh solely on the merit of the quality of story, concept or art I will humbly accept that too.
CA: What should all the fans be looking forward to in this new volume?
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SD: A bold step ahead in presenting a super-heroic/supernatural character shedding all inhibitions and going full throttle ahead breaking all norms of Indian comic book characters. I will reiterate this comic book is definitely not for kids. Kids can f#*k off and bury their bratty heads in video games and Harry Potter. If someone comes to me and complains why this comic is not meant for kids? or perhaps one kid picked it up and learnt some slangs from it I will humbly flip the bird at that individual since he/she is an illiterate and cannot read that big ‘Rated M – Mature Readers’ written in bold on the cover. He/she shouldn’t have bought it for his/her kid in the first place. This is possibly my best vengeance against people who believe comics are meant for kids. Daksh is a very personal creation of mine and I have created it for people who thinks like me and shares a similar mental space.
CA: We have to ask now, what is the first issue all about? We’re dying for some peeks at what to expect!.
SD: Well here’s a bit of a spoiler and slight advance disappointment – the September 2011 issue of Jump will contain two stories of Daksh, one we have already read in the December 2010 Jump Independent special, the beginning and origin of Daksh and the next one will be spanking new, featuring one of the adversaries we had glimpsed at the end of the first issue. However the first issue that will be printed in this one will be the uncensored version (rated R), this is how it was meant to be…with an explosion of expletives, some more skin show and the print quality and format will be far better than the previous one. This will also help bringing in the new readers, the number of Comic Jump fans have grown considerably in the past few months.
CA: We heard that Devmalaya Pramanik is taking over art duties now. So what happened to the amazing Biboswan Bose who brought the first story to such amazing life?
SD: You have heard right, Devmalya Pramanik is helming the art of Daksh henceforth. Biboswan Bose unfortunately cannot continue as he has chosen academics over comics (which is quite practical if nothing else *chuckles*), pursuing his B.A degree in history and does not have the time to dedicate in the sequential art medium.
CA: Are we likely to see Bibo’s artwork anywhere else in comics in the future?
SD: The last I heard he is interested in doing independent pieces like covers and pin-up art but sequential pages will be a bit hard on his busy schedule.
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CA: How has it been, working with Devmalaya?
SD: Possibly the best experience in my life and I have considerable experience when it comes to collaborate with artists. The other very enjoyable team-up I had was with Jeevan Kang on Ramayan 3392 AD Reloaded issues 1-7, working with Dev is very reminiscent of that. Devmalya has an impeccable perception of reading my mind and sometimes it freaks me out since he is as telepathic as a kid version of Charles Xavier when it comes to me. He is possibly the hottest new talent out there and the amount he is improving with each page is phenomenal…all this at the age of 20. He is presently working on the 4th issue of Daksh and I can vouch that it is nothing but international in quality. I am really proud and honored that I have him on board as the artist for Daksh.
CA: Can you walk us through the day-to-day creative process for Shamik and Devmalaya, that brings the comics from thought to paper to the final-page?
SD: Like I said there is very little to this creative process as his skills fit over mine like a snug little glove, whatever I write he visualizes it perfectly. I am an extremely finicky bastard when it comes to art but to my amazement I have very little to say when he finishes each page and sends them across to me. Honestly most of the times I am too awestruck to say anything and very few artists have that effect on me. Also I would like to mention Neeraj Menon, who has been like a pillar of strength and has collaborated with the same dexterity with his colors as he did in the first issue. Last but not the least Tazeen Shaikh whose letters bring life to the world of Daksh. Did I forget to mention Jeevan Kang whose incredible cover graces the September issue of Comic Jump? Fie on me!
CA: Before we begrudgingly take our leave and let you get back to work, could you in 5 lines or less tell everyone out there why people should read Daksh?
SD: Hmmm…two lines – Nothing like this has ever happened in the pages of Indian comics which so far have been dominated by directionless do-gooders. You might love Daksh, you might absolutely despise him, but once you read the September 2011 issue of Comic Jump you just cannot ignore this BASTARD anymore!