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The Con is on!

1 Oct

Hello everybody and welcome to Mumbai’s first ever Comic Con. Not exactly, though, that’s a better part of the month away but for me, it can’t come soon enough. And now, let me explain why.

When I was a seven year old kid, somewhere in streets of Mumbai, I read in a newspaper about Superman’s death. Now, I wasn’t deluded — I knew that Superman is a fictional character; I wasn’t deluded into thinking that a real person had died. But he was real enough to mean something to people; so real that his death was news. And why not, if a man can fly, evade speeding bullets and melt lead with his eyes, doesn’t that make him human? Well, at least the papers thought so.
A year later, at a second hand book store, I found two issues of that storyline. I was elated! Inside that issue was a subscription form. Not knowing what a dollar is, I gingerly filled out the subscription form in that issue, and gave it to my father, who then told me about America, dollars, old subscription forms and shipping. There was another ad – for something called Chicago Comic Con (to the best of my memory) which advertised itself as the largest comic convention in the country. Whatever hopes I had of attending one of those were promptly crushed.
Now, a little less than twenty years later, India has already had it’s first major comic con – and the second one is coming in tow. Not only that, it has been so successful that it has been made an annual event, with another event being held across other major indian cities mid year. And this time it’s in Mumbai.
Oh. I understand we might not get to see international talent, I might never get my Jim Starlin & Marv Wolfman comics autographed, and I’m not deluding myself thinking that this is a worthy competitior to Chicago Comic con, Seattle Comic Con or the grand daddy of them all – San Diego Comic Con (or SDCC). But look! Look towards the comic scene in India. For a country still being tagged as a developing nation, we do have a lot of talent with these publications roaring:
India Book House
Diamond Comics
Raj Comics
Vimanika Comics
Random Magazine
Level 10 Comics
Pop Culture publications
And the newest entrée to this esteemed group, helmed by avant garde artist Vivek Goel,
Holy Cow Comics.
So, are people going to be worried about the lack of international talent? No way! Our pantheon of comic stars will be there in full attendance. We have our very own cosplayers, proud to strut around in attire which, on a road would attract attention, frowns and maybe whistles. What more could we ask for? And then there’s the recent announcement (I’m sure all of you here know about it) that Disney and Marvel are officially coming here! Seriously, you could have knocked me down with a feather!
And we’ve already had a lot of talent showcasing every month in the meetings and workshops with Leaping Windows, a library only for Graphic Novels. 
Ten years ago, this would have been called insane. Today, this is innovative…with a lot of takers. This is your chance to meet the virtual powerhouses of talent, both latent and in full technicolour.
So, enough about why you should attend. Rather, let’s just say….see you soon!
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Adventures of the Kite Family

11 Aug
Adventures of the Kite Family written by Dan Brader with the first issue illustrated by New Zealand artists, Yi Lang Chen & Csaba Mester.

Dan and I have been FB friends since I first was contacted by him a few months back, when he asked me to check out the first issue of Kite Family. Because the series is a Real Life genre book, the issues and situations in it, felt like it was speaking to me personally as an adult male. I felt at one with the character, even though there isn’t much revelation about why Donnie is back from where ever he was. The story allowed me to put myself in Donnie’s place and think about the shit, for lack of a better adjective, that I had/have been going through after my own split and returning to my parents home to recoup for a while before I decided it was time to stand up.




I wanted to know more about the series, so I sent Dan, Five Questions to find out a bit about him as well as how the series came about. 







ARU: Tell us about yourself?

DAN: I’m a 29 year old who suffers from mild depression who spends my life on Facebook… Has a mass of debts I’ll never pay off… An ex-girlfriend who has all of my books, DVDs, records and comics and will never give them back…And I was living with my parents for the bulk of 2010…You could also say I’m a stand-up comedian and writer with a lot of promise who will get there eventually….And by “there” I mean make enough money from “art” to pay rent and bills….That’d make me happy.

ARU: How did you, as a Comedian end up deciding to write graphic novels?

DAN: Basically what happened was… I broke up with my girlfriend and because I’d spent so much time doing comedy shows and so little time working a day job and saving money (you know like normal people…) I had no choice but to come back home and live with my parents for a bit until I sorted shit out….Staying with them reminded me how much I liked writing about them (I wrote a play about them back at University) and because I was isolated in Wanaka I had no chance to do comedy routines about them…So I started writing scripts again and then it occured to me I could maybe turn them into comics if I could find an artist… I got lucky with Yi Lang Chen who very much captured the comical but realistic style I was looking for.

ARU Whats it been like working with the artist on the first issue?


DAN: Yi is a very talented artist and is very easy to work with…He seems to ‘get’ the tone of the work. I was very lucky to find him as I have been through a few artists prior to him and they’ve either been unreliable or just didn’t get the vibe of the piece. I also had Csaba Mester, a talented Hungarian artist, do a short piece with the Kites and we’re working on a comic about Tom Waits now but will probably do some Kite family stuff together too. So now I have two great artists to work with!

ARU: The ‘Kite Family‘ seems to feel very claustrophobic and seems like it has a lot of personal feelings placed into it from experience. Is this something you wanted to do with it from the start?
DAN: The comic is very close to my life. I’ve changed the odd thing here and there and exagerrated certain things but basically this is what it was like for me when I first returned home. I’ve tried to keep it punchy and comical as well so it doesn’t just seem like me having a big whinge. I’d liked it to be a very long series (I’ve written a whole stack of scripts already..) that’s divided between regular issues like this and issues that are a bunch of short pieces similar to how Pekar did early issues of “American Splendour


In my mind and heart I believe the book is a winner and needs to given the 4-6 issue graphic novel drive and let me be the first to say I dibs the copy after your family gets theres.
You can read the first issue, hereThere is also a  with tons of extras fan page
(ARU), Aruneshwar Singh has just finished his Bachelors Degree in Digital Media -Digital Film-making.
Having decided to become a teacher so he can see the world, he has just begun a
Diploma in Digital Media -Multimedia. On the creative side Aru,
is writing and illustrating a graphic novel about the 30yrs of Institutionalised Slavery of
Indians in Fiji from 1885 -1915. He is a prolific script writer and writes in all comic
book genres which include several graphic novels for his own company,
Rising Sun Comics.