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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!
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What Rabhas has meant to Indian comic books.

28 Aug





Series End Review : The Rabhas Incident

If there ever was a Metaphor for the Indian comic book industry finally coming of age, this is it folks. Featured as part of Level 10 studios’ Comic JUMP anthology, the Rabhas Incident has captured the imagination and unwavering attention of thousands of fanboys who never believed something as good as this would ever be done by an Indian company. Probably THE most consistently awesome comic book series ever published in India, Rabhas recently ended with JUMP issue 11.
The mini-series follows the story of one RAW agent’s mission to find survivors in a zombie infested Bangalore. What really hits you about the story is the number of diverse topics and characters it manages to cover within the short span of 10 issues. On his little adventure, Major Rafeeq Ahmed encounters Zombies, political activists, a Katanna-wielding Priest, Victims of regionalism, perverts, a mad scientist, a woman getting rescued in pure bollywood fashion and a whole bunch of more zombies.

One can see the inspiration drawn from Zombie stories in mainstream Graphic fiction and other mediums while adding a sort of inexplicable inherent desi-ness. Every character in the story has something very familiar about them, in that these feel like the sort of characters you encounter every day, stuck in a situation that is anything but normal. Writer Suhas Sundar does an excellent job of finding a distinct and fitting voice for each of the characters.
Talking about the art, Harsho Mohan Chattoraj’s heavy inks and figures take some getting used to, but the fact is undeniable that this man was born to draw zombies. His art style perfectly matches the general gory tone of the script and also manages to depict excellent facial expressions. Scenes with the priest taking down a bunch of zombies is to be seen to be believed and deserves cult status. Depiction of action and motion is very fluid and dynamic and gives an almost ‘Bryan Hitch’ feel of big screen goodness.
If you’ve been waiting for signs of the rise of comic books in India, this is it folks. The perfect amalgamation of western classics and Desi masala, The Rabhas Incident has taken the first step towards the Indian comic book renaissance. With it coming to an end, it’s time to look forward to more great work from the creators involved as well as Level 10 studios.
Score: 3.7 / 5 
Review by Anubhav Sharma

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!!!

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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’

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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?

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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!!!!!

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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…

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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.
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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

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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?

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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…

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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!

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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!
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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
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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…
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An awesome artwork by Bibo – Satvar
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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
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Mahishasur – Concept art by Bibo the Brilliant!
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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
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… and if you liked Daksh, you’re surely love his Dad!!! Yumm! Hungry, anyone?
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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/

A call to arms: Talking comics with Level 10

30 May

Comic addicts announces a team up with Level 10 studios!

Do you ever wonder whats going to happen with Major Rafeeq of Rhabas incident?
Did you want to know why has level 10 been changing the art for Shaurya so much?
What is the future of Batu Gaiden?
What goes behind opening a comic studio and running it in India?
What are level 10 future plans?
What other comics are we going to see?

You can know all of this and any other question that comes to your mind , through our monthly segment .

All you have to do is drop the questions that you want to ask Level 10 studios as a comment in the post or on our facebook page (www.facebook.com/comicaddicts) …

We would collate these questions and endeavor to get you answers from Level 10.. The answers would then be posted on the site

So what are you waiting for ? Ask away…

(Please frame your questions that is non-offensive to level 10 and comic community at large, else they would be removed)

"Virgin comics was both a boon and a bane on Indian comics" – Shamik Dasgupta in a tell all interview

26 May

Comic addicts got up close and personal with the talent power house Shamik Dasgupta, well known for his hit series from erstwhile Virgin comics – Ramayana 3392 AD , and his latest collaboration with Level 10 comics – Daksh.
Shamik speaks about his career post Ramayana 3392 AD , Irkin comics , the Daksh controversy , his current work and provides his perspective on Indian comic scene.  
Q:. After your stint with virgin comics is level 10 the first Indian comics company you have worked
with?
A: No, I have worked previously with Arkin Comics, a Pune based company which came out with
a bunch of interesting content in 2009-10. I was writing for their flagship title ‘Irith’ which is about a
band of Indian super-soldiers designed specifically to combat a newly emerged terrorist outfit who are
packed with alien technology.
Q: Sounds interesting, what happened with your work with them then?
A:: Arkin management had shut down in mid 2010…as it is with most new fangled comic publishing
houses they ran out of money. We had published around two issues of Irith and had work done for
almost five issues but they never saw the light of day.
Q: How did this opportunity with Daksh and Level 10 came about ?
A: Level 10 had announced their creator owned content for Jump Magazine #6 in mid 2010, I thought
of it as an opportunity to showcase the art of a very talented and young artist from Kolkata called
Biboswan Bose and establish a property based on an anti-hero or a dark hero.
Most of the superhero characters in India are squeaky clean; hence it was more like proving a
point for us. Money was not an issue; it was kind of an obstinate rage that fuelled the completion
of the comic. I am immensely indebted to my artist friend Biboswan, colorist Neeraj Menon, letterer
Tazeen Shaikh and publisher Level 10 alongside celebrity guest artists like Abhishek Singh Malsuni,
Shashank Mishra and Jeevan Kang for their contribution and helping this small independent project to
reach the height of being almost an event.
Q: That issue was unique form Indian perspective, as it had creator owned content and the highlight was definitely your work on Daksh. But soon thereafter, Daksh was embroiled in a controversy. What is your take on the entire thing?
A: Good things always come with a dash of spice and perhaps the so called controversy was the
spice that was sprinkled on Daksh.
Q: What is the status quo of that controversy now? Are things settled between Shadab/Raj and you?
A: There are no matters to settle, Daksh has a different outlook to a plot that is wholly not original
altogether, and the basis of the story is built on a poem by Kalidasa called ‘Meghadutam’. There have
been no legal issues between myself and Raj.
Q. Does that mean, we are going to see Daksh again sometime soon?
A: Perhaps. No one can tell! But all will be revealed on this space in due time.
Q: Well, if you are being sly about Daksh right now, let us ask you what are you working on these
days?
A: Currently I am working with a media house in Mumbai who are planning to venture in the unknown
and mystical realm of comics and animation. Presently things are under wraps once we are ready
there will be a major announcement.
Q: Are you working/planning to work in an comic related project in the future?
A: Yes Indeed!
Q. What is your perspective on the Indian comic scene right now?
It was in a deplorable state a couple of years back, but thankfully things are picking up. What this
industry needs is a major boost financially.
Q: You have a long history of working in comics and working across publishers. What has the journey been like?
A: Come on dude, don’t make me feel like an old man (though I sometime feel age is finally catching
up on me). The journey so far has been wonderful. I started working with the people who actually
seemed like the messiahs of comics in India…namely Virgin Comics. I started working with them even
before the inception of Virgin comics and perhaps those were the most passionate days of my life.
Virgin actually proved the point that international level talent and potential is actually present in India,
the fire was burning from the beginning and all it needed was a bit of fanning of the green paper.
Virgin finally brought the much needed fan to ignite that fire and by jove it spread like wildfire. But as
you know the messiahs had proven to be false prophets and after a great beginning the company fell
flat on their faces in mid 2008.
It was a severely wrong management decision to market content created by and for Indians in a
foreign market and try to compete with Titans like DC and Marvel. Virgin learnt the lesson but in a
hard way and with them they brought down the great glass castles we all built in our hearts. Virgin
was both the boon and bane for Indian comics. Boon in the sense it gave exposure to a lot of Indian
talents on a global platform and bane in the sense after Virgin no other large corporations are going to
burn their hands in the same fire.
A strong belief was growing that comics cannot be possible in India but good people in Level 10, Raj,
Campfire are proving it wrong gradually. Still there are very few players in the market and we have a
long way to go…a really long way to go, I am not talking in terms of miles I am talking in terms of light
years!
Q: What are your suggestions for making comic scene more appealing for readers and creators alike?
A: My first and foremost demand is quality…not only in terms of story and art but all over. Comics
has to become a symbol of cool for the young generation the way MTV has become and that is
not possible only through retelling of Mythology or classics. There has to be the presence of strong
intellectual properties which can transcend to games, movies, animation, merchandise…the works.
People who say comics are back dated, should realize so was radio and vividh bharati until the fm
channels started flooding the air. There has to be a huge influx of talents, finances and consciousness
for the medium to make it a success and yes we must take bold steps. Gone are the day when
mythological retelling in graphic format ruled the market and still does(that gives us an idea how
stagnated we are when it comes to imagining and creativity). It is time young blood is injected in this
much neglected medium.
Q: What are you reading comic wise these days?
A: I have bought the entire Swamp Thing run by Alan Moore which comprise six TPBs and what a
pleasure it is to read the master at work. It simply takes you to another world and another era.
Q: Who is your favourite character out there?
A: Awww…I can tell you the characters I hate, but the characters i love, it is such a long list that you
will need a separate java scripting to fit them in all
Q: How did you end up doing comics?
A: It was nothing conscious, and I cannot do anything else but comics…I am totally useless otherwise.
In 2003 I saw an advert published in one of the Gotham comics, they were looking for people
interested in making comics and they were hiring. I could not resist and ended up in bangalore. It
was a small place, an operations office and studio combined and I met Jeevan Kang, the erstwhile
studio chief there. He showed me some of his concept arts on Ramayana, and that was it I wanted
in. I couldn’t believe Ramayana can be told in such a cool manner. I tried beyond my capabilities and
finally was accepted after eight months as a studio co-ordinator in Gotham Studios. Years passed
by and finally the dream of doing Ramayana and that also with Jeevan as an artist was fulfilled when
finally we made Ramayan 3392 AD Reloaded together in 2006. The rest was pure awesomeness
Q: What would be your dream project?
A: I had already worked on my dream project Ramayan 3392 AD, it was my most extensive and
acclaimed work till date but the comic was discontinued after Virgin closed down. My dream (which
mostly will be unfulfilled) is to complete the epic someday. Au revoir….

Exclusive Preview : Jump issue 3 (season 2) – Shaurya..

22 Apr
Level 10 comics have kindly shared the previews form their upcoming comic anthology Jump (season 2 volume 3), series – Shaurya..

If you haven’t been reading level 10 comics, you are missing out on a revolutionary comic company in India. They are doing a tremendous job in bringing back the comic culture that we used to love and enjoy so much..

Their stories have been fresh and energetic. They have been experimenting with art styles recently, which is good as far as we are concerned.. slowly and steadily they are becoming a force to reckon with.

We at Comic Addicts love Jump anthology and wait for it every month with bated breath …Watch out for our special article focusing on Jump and level 10 next week right here!

We are also going to make a very special announcement relating to Level 10 next week.. so stay tuned and enjoy the preview pages below..

Don’t forget to tell us what you thought of these pages!!