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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:

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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!

Nish’s Notepad: The Itch You Can’t Scratch

2 Jun

Post India’s first Comic Con, I read an awesome book, which admittedly I should have reviewed somewhere in February, but my apologies for being late people!

After 20th Feb, 2011 or Day 2 of the Comic Con, as some like to call it; the first graphic novel I read was “The Itch You Can’t Scratch”.

Story: Sumit Kumar
Art: Sumit Kumar
Cover: Amitabh Thakur
Title: Adhiraj Singh
Editor: Anant Singh

Now the question comes why only this? There are a couple of reasons for choosing TIYCS as the first one to read, but the main point which led me to start this heavy 178 pages comic is that it is a collection of different short stories.

Almost immediately my interest was captured when I saw familiar faces talking to each other in the initial pages of the comic – Jatin Verma, Pran, Adhiraj Singh and the man himself- Sumit Kumar. The next interesting thing to me was the language used : a mixture of hindi and English : Hinglish! This comic is an easy read and even easier to connect with because of the way it is written. It would seem as if you are listening to a close friend talking .

This story narrates the life of Sumit Kumar as he takes the reader through his eventful life, which more often than not are quite funny!. The issue I faced was that I could only relate to select few incidents as I am yet to come out of school and this book talks about college and adult life too.But it was nice reading about what I’ll go through in a few years. I just hope my experiences are less humorous and more mundane!

Now onto the story,the roller coaster life of Sumit is as interesting as girls find Justin Bieber. I liked the story, I liked the narration and I liked the CRAPPY yet suitable artwork. The BEST-EST-EST thing about the book is the title, and the connected end of the story (before future predictions; Page 118-125). I have so many personal favourites in this book, that I can write another book on it. I am trying to avoid spoilers here so that you can go out and buy the book yourself to read and relish. Suffice to say it’s a slice in life humorous take on Sumit’s life, and I am sure you would find glimpses of your own life as you read through Sumit’s. Some incidents will make you cringe, some would make you feel sheepish and some would make you laugh out loud!

I read it in 4 hours in one night flat and laughed my ass out. Dude, those 4 hours spent with coke and this comic were awesome. I had my 9th finals a few days after, so I wasn’t able to dissect it properly, but now I can speak about it on Comic Addicts!

After the enormous amount of praise for the story, let me come to the art. Although the art suited the story, but I expected more out of 350 bucks as the art is very very basic, somewhat cartoonish in not a good way. I am not deriding the art as it suited the story just fine, but just pointing out that if I pay 350 bucks for a comic book, i expect better art. If it had been 100 less, you’ll see TIYCS as popular as Wimpy Kid. I mean it is, but people prefer borrowing it rather than buying it.

Now for a special guest appearance, I have a little review from a friend, who is into comics, but not a comic addict like me-Arnav Singh.I loaned him this book and he came back with this:

Bhai, Mazza aa gaya ye book padhke. It was awesome, especially the GIRLS wala part :P.. Ahahahahahahahaha 😀


Nevertheless, Sumit Kumar’s comic autobiography despite his crappy yet suitable artwork is a must read. So if you can’t buy it ( hello 350 Rupees? ) borrow it .

Art: 2/5
Story: 4/5
Quality: 3/5
Overall: 3/5

Edited By Mayank Khurana 🙂

Nish’s Notepad: Werehouse #1

24 May

After 5 days of fever, I finally managed to attend the Delhi launch of Werehouse Vol.1, organized by the Comic Addicts team itself! an hour late though. I missed the fun they had, but grabbed my copy, which is Holy Cow‘s debut title. So, here I go!
Werehouse has 3 were stories at the price of 1, so you get 3 reviews for the price of one too.. 😀

1. Gaurdian Demon

Script: Akshay Dhar
Art: Vivek Goel
Colors: Yogesh Ravindra Pugaonkar
Letters: Komal Surale


Guardian Demon is the first story in the first volume of Werehouse. The beast here is a guardian, a savior, an not an enemy. The family of the protagonist dies in an attack, leaving him behind. Alone, he wanders in the home of dangerous beasts and realizes it when an animal attacks him. Luckily, another beast defends him, but that is no ordinary beast, its a WERE-BEAST, half snow leopard and half warrior.

She teaches him the skills of a warrior, and then comes the time for the test.. This is my favorite part, thanks to Akshay for adding the mythological twist. The protagonist gets the power of Shakti-Ma and becomes a Were-Leopard himself. The rest is for you to figure out 😉
Now to my views, Gaurdian Demon is a complicated story, with a nice blend of drama and mythology in it. The art, do I even have to say that it’s awesome? Everyone knows Vivek Goel has no match. The only thing I wanted more in this one was a nice end. There was an abrupt end- which was overshadowed by the amazing story. Nevertheless, GD is a must read, an awesome story blended with awesome art.

2.Mousetrap

Script: Soumya Das
Art: Vivek Goel
Colors: Yogesh Ravindra Pugaonkar
Letters: Komal Surale

Mousetrap is rather scary and a little more violent. The beginning is a little kiddish, where a newly hired maid is EATEN UP!

Nevertheless, the art in this part of the book is the best. The protagonist here, goes to the doctor and complains she has hallucinations, about a Were-Rat! The doctor fears that the protagonist’s husband has something fishy in him, goes to inspect him. On reaching the home and his room, the shock comes. Here ends the kiddish story, and it becomes rather SPOOKY..
The end here is fantastic, but I didn’t like the beginning much. The story is an easy one, but at the same time, full of suspense. I’d not rate it above GD, nor below. Both are awesome, BUT both have flaws- the end, and the beginning respectively.

3. It’s a Dog’s Death

Script: Shweta Taneja
Art: Vivek Goel
Colors: Yogesh Ravindra Pugaonkar
Letters: Komal Surale

The third and the final story, written by Shweta Taneja, who is I think also working on the next-to-next upcoming title by Holy Cow, The Skull Rosary is again complicated. This story is future based, and the first page of the story tells the story of several hundred years in one go. Robots (namely Biobombers) control the Earth. To survive, humans inject themselves with the blood of Dhole’s. So, there’s not one or two were-dogs but a whole gang of them (or should I say, a pack of them).
There is an unusual timer starting from the first panel, the logic behind which, I didn’t get till the end of the story.

So, in the beginning of the story, the hungry protagonist runs into a human girl, but crushes his feelings of eating her because she reminds him of his old days (and think she’s cute 😛 AWWWWWW). So, to save her from the biobombers, he takes her to his caves, where other Were-Dhole’s live and battle with ’em to to save her. Unfortunately, he’s too weak to battle all of them and in the second last page, other get hold of him and are about to eat the girl WHEN.. your time to read now 😉
To begin with my views, both the beginning and the last page of this story were amazing, but what was between them not so good. It’s a Dog’s Death is as complicated as Guardian Demon, but it lost its track in the middle, which I didn’t like. Nevertheless, super beginning and end brought it equal to the former ones.

Overall, Werehouse has increased the hopes for Ravanayan, by turning out to be too good. Best of luck for it, and I hope that it turns out to be even a greater hit with its first double sized issue coming this July.

ART: 5/5
STORY: 4/5
QUALITY: 4/5
OVERALL: 4.3/5

Stay tuned as we’ll have another take at Werehouse by Rajat :D.
P.S. For the next week, I feel like itching. Itching what I can’t. 😉

Nish’s Notepad: Nelson Mandela

18 May

Sup Mates? Last week, I had nothing to review on.. But this week, I come with a BLAZING title from Campfire. This week on my notepad is Nelson Mandela, a biographic title from Campfire Graphic Novels.

Author: Lewis Helfand
Art: Sankha Banerjee
Colors: Pradeep Sherawat and Debu Payen
Letters: Bhavnath Chaudhary


BLACK AND WHITE– Two colors that never blend and even if they do, it’s all GREY. Based on the time of racial segregation in Africa, this Graphic Novel is done in Black and White, on Blacks and Whites. The art by Sankha Banerjee could be much much better, as compared to other works but it goes well with the dark theme. On some pages, the art is just BRILLIANT! (as below)



There are a few colored pages at the end too (6 to be more precise).. and believe me, it’s AWESOME..

Enough about the art, Lewis Helfand did a good job in collecting all the facts. Even small small facts aren’t left in the novel. From Mandela’s birth to arrest, education to job- you have everything. So many dates, so many names, so many places- Hefland has done a commendable effort.

Overall, Nelson Mandela is a nice Graphic Novel, a nice biography and from this week, I’m having an overall rating system too..

ART: 3.5/5
STORY: 4/5
QUALITY: 4.5/5
OVERALL: 4/5

Till Then
Ciao!

And yes, don’t forget to attend Comic Addicts’ first event in association with Leaping Windows and Mocha- THE LAUNCH OF WEREHOUSE VOL. 1 @Mocha, DLF Place, Saket on 21st May 🙂

Nish’s Notepad: Batman #500

3 May

Happy Bat-Week Mates! Since this whole week is for Batman, so I though what would be better than going back in the past? So I digged up my shelf for something like that and found a perfect thing to write a review on: Batman Issue #500..

Script: Doug Moench
Pencils: Jim Aparo, Mike Manley
Inks: Terry Austin, Mike Manley
Colours: Adrienne Roy
Letters: Ken Bruzenak
Editor: Dennis O’Neil

Before I start with my actual review, let me tell you about the Knightfall series of Batman, to which #500 belongs. Before the Knightfall series, i.e. in Issue #491, Bane stages a giant break out of Arkham Asylum, due to which Batman’s fiercest foes like Joker, the Scarecrow, Killer Croc, Poison Ivy, Two face etc. start a rampage within the Asylum.


The actual Knightfall series start with Issue #492 when Film Freak, who portrayed villains in his movies but then thought that he’d be a good criminal in real life too, is controlled by Mad Hatter, following the Arkham Assylum breakout. At the end of this issue, Mad Hatter is defeated by Batman and Film Freak is killed by Bane… In the following issues, after facing people like Victor Zsasz , The Joker who teamed up with serial killer Cornelius Stirk, Scarecrow, and in Issue #495, it’s turn for Poison Ivy. The police is still chasing Joker and Scarecrow, and Bane is still out there- watching and waiting. In Issue #496, Batman first finishes off (not kills, defeats :p) Firefly, and then Scarecrow. But under the effect of Scarecrow’s fear gas, Batman seeks revenge on Joker for the death of Jason Todd, the second robin. But the villains flee again. The next part of Knightfall is in Detective Comics #663, where Batman finally rescues thaemayor, and faces Bane’s henchmen. On returning home, he discovers that Alfred is lying on the floor. In the next issue, there is a face off. Bane recklessly beats up Batman, where Alfred runs to get help from Tim. The beating continues even in the next issue, and Robin, Jean Paul (Azrael from the Azrael storyline) and Alfred try to save Batman. The next two parts of Knightfall are in Showcase ’93 #7 and #8 where Two Face beats up Batman.. the next issue (Knightfall 15), Batman #498 is a major issue as in this issue, Jean Paul is asked to fill in as Batman. In the next issue, Jean Paul, the new Batman DO stand for the great detective while he’s healing but the new Bat is kind of more brutal. Meanwhile, Tim’s father was missing. In Detective Comics #666, the new Batman confronts Bane, and is literally killed when Bane is about to drop him from a great height. Bane knows. Bane knows everything, that there is a different person under the hood this time.

And here, we arrive on our destination: Batman #500 (Knightfall 19) where first, Jean Paul has a narrow escape from falling from a building and then blames his costume for so. He designs a new costume, completely different from the current one (and a 14″x29″ poster was also free with the issue! :p).Then, the new Dark Knight heads out for a final confrontation with Bane. Bane is powerful, but his power was dependent on Venom. Batman came to knew this, and after ending all the poison, runs after Bane wherever he does. Bane gets caught, and is on the verge of getting killed. Robin’s still there, and he knows that the real Bat would never do that. Thanks to his prayers, Jen Paul doesn’t kill Bane and he is sent to Blackgate prison later. After this, Bat flies away….

This series is followed by another series: Knightquest: The Crusade featuring none other than the new Bat himself. Overall, Knightfall was, is and will remain a great concept but with great concepts, great application of the concept should come, Shouldn’t it?
The last few issues of Knightfall were great, which includes our main focus: Batman #500. But still the later issues of Knightfall were much better than the early issues. I’ve done with my verdict. Now it’s your time to judge Knightfall.
Batman (about to cross the street): “Remember Robin, always look both ways.” 😉

Till then
Ciao!

Nish’s Notepad: UBIMA

26 Apr
Hello there! Last week I reviewed Sufi Comics, a religious comic with illustrated teachings from the Holy Qur’an. And as promised, this week, it’s completely DESI!
BTW Thank you people for 52 likes on the previous post, and continue the same 😛

This week on my Notepad is Uud Bilaw Manus, or UBIMA in short.

Art: Abhijeet Kini
Script: Adhiraj Singh

From the i-don’t-know-what-he-ate mind of Adhiraj Singh, badly drawn comics returns! but with a slight difference this time, thanks to Abhijeet Kini that it’s not badly drawn now 🙂

From the Tinkle fame, you know Abhijeet Kini’s artwork is amazing and awesome and attractive and astonishing and astounding and every adjective that starts with a(leaving a few exceptions though). The artwork is completely in Red and White- the artwork is appealing but for a price of Rs.100 (which I got at 70% discount. Stop calculating idiot, it’s 100- 70/100 x100)

Coming to UBIMA, he’s a superhero but not that plain old superhero wearing underwear on their costume. He’s different as he wears his Rubber Ka Kaccha only (and some bands, and a ishtylis chain but that reduces the effect). When you hear “Chillao Mat, Hum Inha Hi Khada Hoon”; you definitely know you’re not in safe hands because safe doesn’t have hands.. Get it? (Excuse the P.J., reading this comic fills my brain with crappy ideas).

On a serious note, UBIMA is fantastic and I’m looking forward to read the next issue which releases god-knows-when. Comparing the UBIMA vs OBAMA which published in Random sometime back and the one in this, there are big changes, although the story and the panel style stays same. Artwork is hell lotta better, and the “Bhojpuri” is transformed to English. Adhiraj Singh (sahab)’s mind is of course great. UBIMA is one of those comics which you want to read again and again, and still not get bored with it. SO grab you copy now via Dial-a-Book or Flipkart or wherever it’s available.

Pitcure abhi baaki hai mere dost, I’m leaving you with an amazing video featuring APNA UBI!