Archive | Indian Comics RSS feed for this section

Comicon Express Mumbai : A Comic Addict’s journey from Delhi to Mumbai

22 Oct

It was a Friday night (yesterday, apparently) and the world was partying, while I was in the office, trying to wrap up my work as soon as possible so that I could go back home and finish my packing. After all, I was leaving Delhi early morning for Mumbai to attend the Comic Con Express – Mumbai representing Comic Addicts
Try hard as I might, it was 11.30pm before I could leave my office and reached home at 12.15am, past midnight, and was dead tired. Took an hour to pack up, another hour to grab a bite and rest my feet for a while and do my part of the preparation for the Comic Con. It was almost 3.30am by the time I was done, and the reporting time for our flight was 5.30am, so I decided not to close my eyes, coz if I did, I was pretty certain that I would miss the flight.
 At 5am I called Mayank and from his greeting it was certain that he had just got up!!! I told him to hurry up and left for the Airport. I reached at 5.30am and strolled around a bit and try to get some fresh air, for a change. I was expecting these guys to arrive any second. At 5.45am I called Mayank and he told me that he was just leaving his house!

Are you kidding me??? The boarding time was 6.30am! I took the PNR number and got the tickets, had 2 coffees while I waited for them. I was almost ready to just go and check in so that at least one of us would be there at the Con! Thankfully just as I was ready to walk in, a car stopped and out stepped the 2 addicts! Phew!

The Amazing sea link bridge
Cut. Check In. Cut Deposit Luggage. Cut Security Check. Cut. The idiots made me take my boots off. Cut. Final Call. Cut. Run. Cut. RUN HARDER. Cut. Running with my boots in one hand and the bag in the other. Cut. Just entered the feeder. Cut. Tied the boots while people stared at me as if I was a terrorist.  Cut. Finally got our seats. Cut. Stupid Security Drill. Cut. Take Off. Cut. Last minute Discussions. Cut. Final checks. Cut. Deepika Dozed off. Cut. Mayank too. Cut. I didn’t. Cut. Watched an episode of True Blood to keep myself awake. Cut. Landed in Mumbai. Cut. Got a taxi. Cut. Long way to the other side of the town. Cut. Hot Mumbai. Cut. Humid Mumbai. Cut. Crossed the magnificent Sea Link Bridge thingy. Cut. Thought it was a little narrow for a densely populated city like Mumbai (what were they afraid of? Stretching in the Sea, for God’s sake!!). Cut. Checked with a shop keeper. Cut. Reached the World Trade Centre. Cut. Wrong Gate. Cut. U Turn. Cut. Right Gate. Cut. Or so we thought. Cut. Got out of the taxi. Cut. Forgot my shirt. Cut. Went to the gate. Cut. Wrong gate. Cut. Right Gate. Cut. Enter: Comic Con Express –Mumbai!
The inauguration ceremony 
Oh man. What a sight it was! I was tired like a dog who had been pulling an ice sledge for the last 48 hours on my way here, just trying so hard not to sleep and as soon as I entered (which was from the Service Entrance, by the way), the first sight the hit me was a HUGE Avengers poster!!!
Zap. Sleep? What sleep!?! Tired? Who’s tired? Hurting? You can’t hurt me. I am Batman!
Headbangers Merchandise
Avengers blew my sleep and body ache! Next sigh, Headbangers Merc! Metallica, Slayer, Ozzy, Judas Priest Tee Shirts. Metallica Action Figures. Badges. Wallets. Everything Heavy and everything METAL.
That’s it. Who could even think of sleep after that??? Mayank and Deepika set up our stall while I went to wash my face and change in the Comic Addicts costume. It was such a rush meeting some old friends, some new ones, several ones for the first time after the Delhi Comic Con in Feb this year.
Akshay Dhar and Vivek Goel 
Saw Vijayendra Mohanty (Ravanayan), Vivek Goel (Holy Cow!), Akshay Dhar (Fellow Addict – Core Member no less, Retrograde, Werehouse), Shamik Dasgupta (another fellow Addict, Ramayana 3392 AD), one and only Kshiraj Telang (do I really need to introduce???), Abhijit Kini (UdBiMa!!!) and MANY other familiar faces.

Bombay Merch 

The good folks from Pop Culture were running all over the place trying to make sure that the cogs were running smoothly and that there were no gaps, nothing missing and basically plugging any last minute gaps. I was very pleased to meet some of our Bombay Correspondents, who had been introduced virtually – online but had never met in person. The cool Addicts who were holding the fort in Mumbai, and all of them have been doing a brilliant job, I must say, are: Aalok, Anubhav, Ashutosh and later joined by the funnyman Vinay and another really helpful volunteer and an honorary Addict, Aakash. Finally we set up the stall and your truly went for a prowl, both to click pictures for the viewing pleasure of all you good folk back home, who couldn’t attend this awesome event and of course, to scout goodies for myself 😀
I saw some really cool cosplayers and was pleasantly surprised! I was a little apprehensive after realizing the location of the venue that probably people might be reluctant to come all the way here just to attend a comic con, but I am SO glad to find out that I was utterly and completely wrong and I had severely underestimated the Comic fans in Mumbai!
Please consider this as a public apology for ever having doubted your dedication and love for the Comic books and all things comic!
Cosplayers!!

There were girls and guys dressed as Fred Flintstones, Naruto, Snow White, Hit Girl, She Hulk (YES, You better believe it and see the pics if you don’t believe me), an awesome Darth Vader, Asterix and MANY MANY more coming in by the minute!

Indian comic industry together with Comic Addicts team
The event kick started with small introduction and lightening of the lamp by the Mr Prem Kamath, Head of Channel V, India. Coincidentally one of the first events of the day was a presentation by Comic Addicts! So ALL the Addicts present took the stage, growled the calling call to gather all geeks and Mayank delivered a power packed and fun filled presentation, taking the audience through the whole idea of Comic Addicts, what, why, when who and where, discussing all aspects we aim to cover and the expectations our fans have with us and what all do we aim to deliver in the coming months! Believe it or not, but our presentation ended with representatives from Vimanika, Level 10, Holy Cow, Pop Culture and Campfire on the stage, together for the FIRST TIME EVER!!! Yes, You’ll probably want to see the pictures before taking my word for it, won’t you??
Our presentation was pretty well received and people started flocking towards our little stall to find out more about us, which felt nice, if I may say so.
I started the whole clicking pictures and explaining people about Comic Addicts. I tried to cover as many cosplayers as possible. Some of them were just brilliant and these addicts need all the encouragement they can get!

Launch of Retrograde
After a while Akshay’s magnum opus Retrograde was launched by VJ Manish and Juhi from Channel V. That was followed by none other than Karan Vir taking over the stage and introducing people to Vimanika, and launching his new publication titled Shiva: The Legend of the Immortal. This was accompanied by a very cool soundtrack for Shiva, joined by a live performance by Shahbaz Mansoory on percussions. And guess who decided to join us in the middle of the presentation? None other than the Lord Shiva himself!!! Yes, I know. We have pics to prove it, so have some faith, won’t you?

Sufi Comics

There was also a nice session by Sufi Comics, Green Gold Animation, which I am sorry to say, couldn’t cover in their entirety because of a sudden influx of dozens of Cos Players who demanded all my attention. Especially someone familiar, who was dressed as none other than Captain Jack Sparrow! Last Con’s winner Daanish, who was dressed as Jafar, was dressed as Jack Sparrow and looked absolutely AWESOME! Initially I thought it was one of those official Disney Costumes, one can order for a fortune from their website, but Capt’n Sparrow took me through each part of his costume and explained how he used different things to look like something else! The sceptic in me scrutinized EVERY part of his costume in the minutest details and believe me, if I am nothing if not a critic and cynic and if I was finally convinced about the authenticity of the costume being handmade, it HAS to be genuine! It was just mind blowing! No wonder he was one of the most popular Cos players this time around too!

Wonder Bai
Oh, how could I forget something so cool!?! Duh! We also had a sizzling hot Wonder Bai between us too!!! She is the Mascot of this Comic Con Express and was a fantastic looking cos player who totally loved her part!
The crowd kept trickling in and there were around 2000 odd people by around 3.00pm. We then had a nice session by the good folks at Level 10 who introduced us with Batu Gaiden and we also saw a kickass trailer of a Batu Gaiden ANIME!! YES!! That’s in the pipeline folks and from the previews it looks totally awesome!!!

Session with Aabid Surti
This was then followed by a very very interesting session with none other than legendary Aabid Surdi, who needs no introduction! He is one of the pioneers and a living legend of the Indian Comic Industry. He has created characters like Dabbu Ji and Bahadur and he shared his amazing experiences with us, including some very interesting facts about Osho and Raj Kapoor being fans of Dabbu Ji and Inspector Azad!
After the captivating interview / session, we were visited by some surprising guests. Bade, Chotte and Bhigi Billi from the music channel 9xM who declared the winner of the Cosplay!
The 3rd place was by Tarzan, 2nd by Jack Sparrow and the 1st by Nighcrawler!
Yes, you heard me. There was a Night Crawler, a Tarzan, A Rogue and MANY other awesome cos players!
By the time today’s proceedings ended, I am pretty sure we were visited by more than 4500 people!!! Which was an astounding and surprisingly pleasant number of people!

AGNI

The day closed with a performance of the band AGNI!!

Your humble correspondent (ok, NOT so humble after all) is dead tired but still not sleepy somehow! I just can’t for tomorrow!!! We have so many cool events lined up for Day 2 (sadly the final one too) and those who are in Mumbai and were unfortunate enough to not turn up today, this is an excellent opportunity for you to come and have the time of your life.
Trust me. Golden Kela Awards by Cyrus Broacha, Session with InkFruit.com, launch of Jungle Book, Preview of Amar Chitra Katha’s Sons of Ram, session with Holy Cow Entertainment and MANY more cool events are lined up for Day 2 and if you miss this, despite being in the city, I indeed pity thee!

Signing off… Dead Man Ridge!
Advertisements

Comic Con through Campfire and brimstone!

22 Sep
 

Campfire’s experience at the last Comic Con
At Comic Con Delhi ’10
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.
Campfire graphic novels, for example, raked in more revenue during the first day of the comic con than in 10 days at the 2010 Delhi Book Fair.

Awesome covers! (Click for wallpaper size)
As it was an event that focused on Comics, the response was phenomenal. Campfire launched its Indian Mythology series at the Con, including ‘Sita: Daughter of the Earth’, ‘Ravana: Roar of the Demon King’ and ‘The Offering: The Story of Ekalavya and Dronacharya’.
The titles were sold remarkably well and the demands of the comic afficandos were impressive.
Mumbai next.
Speaks for itself I think!
We look forward to the next innings of Comic Con happening in Mumbai next month. We have a large readership in Mumbai and we are eagerly waiting to meet our fans there. We have added a large collection of titles in our Biography and Originals category, apart from the titles we showcased in the last Con.
With new titles like ‘Nelson Mandela’, ‘Ali Baba and the forty thieves: Reloaded’, ‘Macbeth’, ‘Jason and the Argonauts’ and ‘Muhammad Ali’ on the stands, we are planning to launch our forthcoming Classic ‘The Jungle Book’.
We have also planned something special for the launch, which will only be disclosed at the event.
Comic Con and the Comic Industry
Comic Con is a perfect platform to keep the Indian comic culture alive. As we all know that the Indian comic market is still in a fairly nascent stage and events like these are very important for the growth and success of the industry.

JUMP-ing with joy!

18 Aug


Gibba bloog boopaapa bi baap!

This is “Welcome dear readers” in Gobble-de-gook (for learning Gobble-de-gook in just 4.26 minutes contact the writer of this post)

When the last issue of Jump by Level 10 was launched, I was excited and wanted so very very much to review it! Especially the continuing adventures of Shotgun Sharma and Chappan Churi! I got the framework ready, scanned all the images I wanted to use and was all set to write it down, but sadly got stuck with something or the other, lots of office work came through at the wrong time, had a computer problem, I mean – everything that could go wrong – DID go wrong! Damn you Murphy!!!!



Is it a plane? Is it a bird? No! It’s the opposing team!!!

Click to view full size


Khair, when the new double issue was released there was NO way I would let this one pass, so here I am with my first Jump review for Comic Addicts.


For those who have never read any issue of Jump before or haven’t been following the stories, don’t worry, you can still go ahead and buy this one. This one wraps  a lot of things, so you can read the “Story so far” and then continue. You can always catch up with the old issues later.


When I opened the packet, I was very excited. It is a double issue pack (well… due to the fact that Level 10 forgot to launch it last month, so 2 issues were clubbed together!!! To be fair, we were told about this beforehand, so they escape the gallows this time). It is a seriously thick issue with the usual high quality pages and print quality – this one time, I got drenched in the rain with Issue 7 in my bag and the whole thing was wet, but the ink did not bleed, colors were steady, all I had to do was to let it dry and it was good as new.
 

Shaurya Cover – The times they are a-changin’

Click to view full size

For a 100 bucks it is a seriously good deal. Personally I won’t mind waiting 2 months if Level 10 can release this kind of issue every 2 months. Plus you save 20 bucks on the deal as 2 single issues would be 120! It has some 105-110 pages in total – don’t ask me for I have NO idea why don’t they put page numbers in comic books these days!

The cover is by Deepak Sharma who has done a brilliant job, as usual, with a bold letter ominous looking “Bye Bye Bangalore” written on the front face! For the uninitiated, this is a play on words signifying both the finale of The Rabhas Incidence and the shifting of base from Bangalore to Mumbai for Level 10!
Rabhas Incident – The final solution?

Click to view full size

The first story is the last episode of The Rabhas Incident. After a great spell lasting 8 issues, Rabhas has finally ended. For now! We are placed right in the middle of action where Col. Rafeeq is trying to get out of the city, trying save the last handful survivors. They encounter various hurdles and overcome all odds to try and reach the light at the end of the tunnel. The story moves to another set of people who are in the city for a completely different motive, and all these stories move individually towards a collective end.
Run for your life!!!!!

Click to view full size

As for the end, it is as unexpected as it can be. Rabha’s has been my favorite story of the lot by far and I am seriously hoping that “The End” on the last page is not really THE End. I would love to see it returns and continue either from where they’ve left it or even start a completely different arc. Whatever you do, don’t let go of RI, Level 10! I can start a signature campaign if that is what would make you continue!

A bonus feature in this issue is a detailed discussion about the covers of The Rabha’s Incident by none other than our fellow Addict – Mayank Khurana, who has given a brief history of the old covers of RI. You have to read it to enjoy it! I can’t really explain it in a review. Just check out the old covers of RI on Level 10’s website or their Facebook page and you’ll know when I’m talking about.

After The Rabhas Incident we move on to the 9th Volume of Shaurya, the bunch of young kids with extraordinary powers who are trying to save the world while trying to save themselves from an evil society Ah-Nirvan, which is trying to exploit them for its own selfish reasons.
Waiting for the news – Jay can’t handle the guilt anymore…

Click to view full size


The Gang was in the middle of a skirmish in the last issue, ambushed by the antagonist and his goons, Sid was hurt, chaos everywhere. The story starts bang in the middle of the action. Sid gets better – on account of being a robot with healing nanoites working their technological magic on his body er… armour… suit… whattchamathingy you wanna call it – someone else gets hurt badly. No. I am not going to tell you who (or should I say whom?), you have to read it to find out.

We are taken from the action to a more serious atmosphere where the hurt members are being treated and Jay is feeling guilty for having been duped by the Baba (Yes, there was a Baba too. See – you’ve missed a LOT if you haven’t read the previous issues, so go get them first Or wait. You can get that nice season 2 pack that’s being offered by Level 10 now!).
Oh Boy. You can NEVER guess who THESE guys are!!! Not on your life, unless you’ve read it already! Boy-oh-Boy! Woo.
Click to view full size


Anyway, so the whole story – from the first issue till now – is converging to an exciting end now.  Shaurya also ends in this issue – but at the point it was cut off, it is almost certain that it will continue in the next season. Or it should, if I have read the signs right. My only complaint was with the ending. It was a nice twist, but was a little clichéd and could have been implemented a little better. Maybe there were hints about this ending in the previous issues, but honestly, if there were, I don’t really remember them.
All-in-all, a pretty satisfying end of the chapter, and however clichéd it was, the end DOES promises to be interesting in the next release!

Finally after devouring these two stories, the Galactus in me was still not satisfied and my Silver Surfer found a new planet that had the capability to quench my never-ending thirst!
Cover: Batu Gaiden

Click to view full size


It was a small peaceful planet, inhabited by peaceful residents, all of them sportsmen, some students, some former players, some teachers, some caretakers all of whom have one thing in common. Love for Cricket… Woops. Kree-Kaht!

This chapter of Batu Gaiden is also, as usual, excellent. Some fantastic art work by Xong Bros. with the usual humor, manga action and excitement and a superfast pace. I can’t, or rather won’t talk much about BG, it’s still ongoing and trust me – You don’t want spoilers. You want to go and buy this one, or maybe just order it from Level 10’s website.

So you think YOU can play cricket?

Click to view full size


Lot of people have told me that they didn’t like Batu Gaiden, maybe because they can’t interpret the Manga in an Indian environment, or maybe they couldn’t comprehend the concept of Kree-Kaht in the oh-so-stylish Manga style – India is very sensitive about Cricket, you see, but say what you may, I found the story, art and the concept pretty entertaining and I wouldn’t mind seeing more Manga and certainly more Batu Gaiden in the future issues.

Oh, before I forget. There is another brilliant surprise inside this issue.
Bodyline! Gentlemen’s Game? Surely not…

Click to view full size


2 single page funnies! I am trying to convince the good folks at Level 10 to let me put up those funnies with this review, but if they don’t… Well… What the hell, I’ll just scan and upload it.

That’s all for now folks. 

Have a good one. Or should I say… Goo baa dda lla lal addo book!?          
Take a shot at THIS Dhoni!

Click to view full size



Exclusive Raj Preview: Mrityujivi

20 Jul

Comic Addicts is proud to present yet another exclusive preview of the upcoming spectacular from Raj ComicsMrityujivi, featuring none other than Narak Naashak Nagraj!!!

The upcoming set includes this blockbuster the concluding sequel to the spine chilling Infected

Credits 

Script Nitin Mishra
Art Hemant
Inking Amit
Calligraphy Harish Sharma
Effects Shadab
Editor Manish Gupta

Here are 5 preview pages for your viewing pleasure!

Mrityujivi – Opening Page with Credits
Click on the image to view full size

 
 
The Predator and the Pray – Check out the neat effects and the parchament type border 
Click on the image to view full size 
From the past to the present
Click on the image to view full size
Land of the Walking Dead
Click on the image to view full size
Nagraj saves the day! Yet again! Have no fear – NN is here
Click on the image to view full size

Hungry for more?? Who can blame you?
Rush to your comic book dealer or the Raj Comics’ Online Store to buy the conclusion to Infected – Mrityujivi – NOW!!!

Nish’s Notepad: Ravana- Roar of the Demon King

10 Jul

Another flaming title from Campfire, after Nelson Mandela comes to my notepad this week. I know you’ve read the title, so no marks for guessing the name. So, this is a mythological title, in a narrative style, from none other than RAVANA: THE DEMON KING.

Story: Abhimanyu Singh Sisodia
Art: Sachin Nagar
Colors: Sachin Nagar
Letters: Ghan Shyam Joshi


How many comics have you read on Ravana? Many. How many of them were narrated by Ravana himself? None. So the main difference between this Ravana and other ones published is it’s a narrative style graphic novel, and it doesn’t only cover the EVIL Ramayana part, but includes his whole life, birth-education-family-war and everything else. Abhimanyu Singh Sisodia has done a nice job in collecting the facts- which is a very important factor when you’re doing a mythological title. There are so many details about Ravana in the story, but the author has missed some very important incidents, like the one with Shroopnakha with it. But it’s not a major deal, since the title is “Ravana: Roar of the Demon King” rather than “Shroopnakha: Nose of the Demon Princess”. I’ll like comparing this title with Holy Cow’s Ravanayan, once I get it. The book is extensively researched, as I mentioned earlier. For instance, I did know about the boon Ravana got from Brahma, but never knew about the boon which Kumbhkarna asked from him. Another title, from which I’m gonna compare it is Sita: Daughter of the Earth, whose initial pages tell about her origins, much like this one. But I don’t know about the war. Maybe, it is from Sita’s perspective there.

So what’s more in this title? Campfire explores the journey of a half demon-half Brahman, a music expert, a great devotee, an intelligent Brahman, an immortal demon, who had only one weakness- he didn’t attend ANGER MANAGEMENT classes at his gurukul. This comic tells us how Ravana was killed because he was a “अमीर दादा की बिगड़ी औलाद “ . The end of this graphic novel is quite sudden, it seems like they took an year explaining his childhood, and in a moment of Vibheeshan’s speech(bubble)less action, it all ended. There should be more about it, and since it’s about Ravana only, something about his post-death events too. But it’s fine, since it’s SHORT and SWEET. ‘Nuff about the story, now let’s come to the art.

The cover, art, and colors, all are done by one talented soul: Sachin Nagar. I LOVED the art. It’s different, unique, and AWESOME. Look at the frame below, not less than a masterpiece. The art comes out of the book, to give the reader a 3D experience, and it’s not only in the above frame, it’s in the whole book.

There are some places in the novel, where the art seems a little sluggish, due to a lot of effects, as below but who cares when the rest of the stuff is amazing. There are tints throughout the novel, somewhere red, blue, silver, yellow, green etc. The effects are nice, but over of anything causes trouble, doesn’t it? Nevertheless again, I’m happy to give the art a 4.5, neither more, nor less.

There are many beautiful sceneries in the book, with a tint, as usual. The below frame of Lanka, which has a yellow tint- to give the GOLDEN LANKA effect is nice. One and only thing that I didn’t understand was Pushpak Viman, was not a ratha, it was a hi-tech glider. (O.o)

RATING:

Brainstorming with Bibo Bose

7 Jul
Biboswan Bose – the name that has been making people crazy since his first work on Level 10 Comics’ “Jump Independent’s Daksh” is the subject of our interest tonight.
This young art star was recently interview by another youngster Anupam Sarkaar – who is a budding artist himself. Here is the transcript of the same:
A brilliant rendition of Zombie by Bibo!
Click on the image to view full size





Anupam Sarkaar: Let me start by asking the usual question, how did you get a break in comics?

Biboswan Bose: I always had an interest in comic art, and have been doodling indefatigably since I can remember. However, it was during my high school years that I met Shamik da (Shamik Dasgupta) through a social networking site, and it is through him that I got to draw Daksh later on. Although we are not currently working together, I would like to express my gratitude towards Shamik da for letting me work with him.

A still from Shamik Dasgupta’s Daksh
Click on the image to view full size


AS: All of us have seen your brilliant artwork in Daksh. So, how was the journey while making the characters come to life?

BB: I am not sure whether my artwork on Daksh can be described quite so effusively (or should I say, generously), since it has a rather large number of shortcomings, but I can attest to the fact that it was challenging.
 During the designing stage, we had a surprisingly short amount of time, and I am still not sure whether I would have gone with the same designs if I had a different deadline. Shamik da helped me a lot during the process, and Yama (who I believe has the best design of the lot) is basically his design with a few twists that I added during the final stages while pencilling the panels.
 In conclusion, I must say, the characters ended up looking quite presentable (which, I have an inkling, has a lot to do with Neeraj’s colouring), and I was glad to have the printed issue in my hands.

Talking about bringing images to life…
Click on the image to view full size


An awesome artwork by Bibo – Satvar
Click on the image to view full size



AS: Who have been the biggest influence of your life?

BB: If I were to even attempt drawing up a list of the people who have had a bearing on my life, I believe it would occupy a rather obnoxious amount of digital space. Suffice it to say that it is what one could call an eclectic mix; one that includes parents, cousins, friends, teachers, artists, film makers, authors, musicians, historians, and philosophers and keeps growing with every passing day.



A FANtastic Fan Art of Batman vs The Joker!!! Totally rad!
Click on the image to view full size and don’t view it for too long if you’re weak of heart or nerve…


AS: Any future comic projects you are planning to do?

BB: Currently, I have no comic projects that I am working on. As far as the future is concerned, I suppose one always plans or at least hopes for projects to come her or his way, but for me that wish is yet to be realized.



The portrait of a King
Click on the image to view full size


Mahishasur – Concept art by Bibo the Brilliant!
Click on the image to view full size


AS: Ah…The final question has finally come, how do you think the indie scene is holding up lately?

BB: This is a tricky question for me, since I am quite new to the scene and have very little idea of the indie comic situation. Although I have to say, judging by the people I have had the pleasure to get in touch with during the process, that the indie scene has a powerhouse of talented and dedicated individuals who are constantly trying to push the quality and market value of these titles. I can only hope that with such people buttressing the scene, indie comics will find its own niche soon enough.

 I don’t believe I have had the chance to thank Comic Addicts for their gesture yet; so yes, I would like to say that I really appreciate this opportunity that you provided me with to answer your questions. It has been a pleasure, and an honor.



Pencils for Daksh. Keep watching for more Daksh in the next issue of Jump
Click on the image to view full size

… and if you liked Daksh, you’re surely love his Dad!!! Yumm! Hungry, anyone?
Click on the image to view full size


About Bibo:

Biboswan Bose
Age:21, State: West Bengal, Nationality: Indian(Isn’t it obvious! J)
Favourite artists: Hussar, Min, Joe Mad, Nic Klein, Dex, Nox, Jason Chan, Marko Djurdjevic, Min Yum, Phil Hale,etc
Specializing In: Digital painting, Comic Pencilling
Tools ‘O Trade: Wacom Bamboo, Pencils(HB,2H)
Previous Works: Some private commissions and stuff
Visit him and check out more of his awesome art athttp://vritrasdemise.deviantart.com/

The Pondering Pawaskar – An opinion on WERE HOUSE titled…….If wishes WERE HORSES….or…..I’m a WERE-ASS….

23 Jun
[The author wishes to make it ridiculously clear that the opinions mentioned below have sprung from his own messed up head & the owners/administrators/co-contributors (one of whom has been mentioned below) of this site do not necessarily support these opinions. He would understand if the said owners/administrators/co-contributors resort to concocting tales of his dementia or of his being a were-ass to counter the bad publicity the opinions below might garner.]

I titled this article as an opinion instead of a review because I believe that reviews are done by people who know a thing or two about comics. Opinions on the other hand are like assholes. Everyone has one and so I qualify! Two things to note before you read. There are SPOILERS and a spoilt comic geek stuck in a thankless job venting his fury ahead. You have been sufficiently warned.

I learnt to never judge a book by its cover! You should learn to never judge a book by its review. Read it yourself.
Indian Comics are touted to be in a resurgence mode. The news gladdens the very heart which winces a little when I go through most of the new fangled comics launched recently. Were House is one such book which while not as bad as some other books out there, didn’t turn out as good as I hoped it would. The hype had me salivating like Pavlov’s dog while the actual book made me realize how the same dog felt when Pavlov rang the bell but didn’t deliver the doggie snacks. Bad boy Pavlov.
To be honest, Were House does do a lot of things right. But it also does a lot of things wrong. Let’s take it story by story and then come to the art and other itty-bitty things called details.
Guardian Demon
Imagine Harry Potter’s entire story coming as a chapter in English medium balbharti textbook. How if Mr. Tolkien had crammed the entire Lord of the Rings saga on a paper napkin? Point is that every story needs a different amount of time to flourish. When one has just about 8 pages to tell a story in, the plot should be simple with a maximum of a couple of twists. In Guardian Demon, (MAJOR and I mean MAJOR SPOILERS) we’re introduced to a peaceful village that is destroyed except for a single survivor who is then saved by a were-leopard who he then nurses back to health and later trains under till he’s capable enough for being presented before a goddess who grants him power before he and his mentor venture forth to an ancient temple where they fight off an army of henchmen prior to taking on the main villain, a warlord, who gets pissed off at them and fights them to the death but not before he kills the boy’s mentor and leaves him all alone again!
I shall give you a much needed pause and some visual relief.

A visual representation of what happened to the Guardian Demon!
Click the image to view full size

The reason I scrunched the entire story in one sentence is to prove my point that a story with so much happening should not have been told in a single story. Don’t get me wrong. I think the plot had a lot of potential. Akshay could have pulled out a 10 issue maxi-series out of this single story. He would then have been able to bring the story alive and create characters we all could have loved and cared about. The way it was rushed didn’t allow me to relate with any of the characters. I didn’t feel sorry for the protagonist’s loss, get taken aback when the leopard was revealed to be a lycanthrope or be astounded when he met the goddess. All of them just happened and I was an uninterested viewer. The main villain (Mayur is it?) didn’t even instigate a yawn. Forget about dread. The plot as I said was promising but was too rushed and certainly out of place in a book that has horror as a theme.


Mousetrap

Simple story? Check. Minimum but effective twists? Check. Goosebumps? A few. Mousetrap is the best story of the lot. I liked it more because of the were-creature! A mouse trapping humans. Even the title is spot-on. Good job Soumya Das. Take a bow. I’m really not in a mood to say good things so let’s move on.

Mousetrap – Plain brilliant
It’s a dog’s death

Shweta, in the write-up following the story, mentions that the story is built up on a fear brought along from a dark, dark corner of her mind. Are they playing Terminator in the theatre in that corner of the mind? Robots taking over the world? Mankind in fear of extinction? Let’s keep the inspiration apart and consider a few logical aspects. I always believed that lycanthropes are shape shifting creatures that change forms as they wish or according to certain cycles in nature. The transformation into were-dhols was permanent. Doesn’t that make them mutants and not lycanthropes? The choice of dhols as the were-creature should have been avoided as they ended up looking as werewolves and not were-dhols. Logically why would humans combine themselves with dogs to survive extinction?

Wouldn’t combining with cockroaches (who have been around since before the dinosaurs) be more apt? Ohhhh…A were-cockroach. Put in a creature as creepy as Jeff Goldblum in ‘The Fly’ and you got a winner.

“Hasta la Windows 7, baby…”
One for the fictional fights T-600 vs Were-dhols or should it be Were-Woofs?
Again, like Guardian Demon, this story too failed to register as a horror story. But the story has a few redeeming points. Unlike Guardian Demon, the story didn’t try squeezing too many elements in the actual story. The back story was spelt out separately in the beginning. Plus the plot of the story that was illustrated was simple and the twist in the end was immensely satisfying.
Art AKA Vivek Goel

The problem with art here is that some frames are mind-numbingly awesome. They make the ones which are not, stick out like Wolverine in a Teletubbies episode. My personal favorite is that of the were-rat dragging the maid’s corpse with her insides spilling out! YIKES. The fight scenes among the were-dhols are also good. However, the two fight scenes in Guardian Demon were not up to the mark. There is inconsistency in the art too. Some panels are very detailed with good amount of attention paid to the background. Others are in limbo and seem hastily drawn. Plus I think the B&W execution didn’t really work out. The effect would have been great for a horror themed book which Were House promised to be but didn’t turn out to be.

Details

God is in the details. Going by that description, many of the new comic book houses  seem to be atheists as the details are horribly ignored. An excerpt from Guardian Demon reads, “I trusted her with my very” Very last piece of clean underwear? Another gem comes in the end, “My time is done. You were never always meant to take my place. And you never will.” Huh? Maybe I was never always meant to understand that sentence and I never will!
Ahhh! The joys of clean underwear!
There are typos and grammatical mistakes in a few places in the write-ups. Another grouse is that the flow is wrong at a lot of places. I had to make an effort to figure out what part I have to read first. In many cases the response gets read first and the stimulus comes later. It wrecks the entire reading experience. I know I sound like a grumbling old man and I shudder to think how I’ll be when I am actually a grumbling old man. However all these books are spear heading the comic resurgence in India and while others prefer a lenient attitude, I don’t. One has to get the basics right. I don’t want these guys to run before they walk. I just want them to walk properly!

To sum up…

Guardian Demon : Great plot potential squandered by rushed story telling.
Mousetrap : LOVED IT.
It’s a dog’s death : Inspired plot but good twist in the end.
Vivek Goel : Has to dig deeper in his inner awesomeness.

BTW

I DO NOT intend to demean any creator’s hardwork. I just want them to pull up their socks. I am doing my Pavlov’s dog routine all over again for RAVANAYAN. I have full faith that Vijayendra and Vivek will make me go HOLY COW when I see it. All the best. Don’t turn the were-dhols on me or I’ll be like a mouse trapped without a guardian demon!!!