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EXCLUSIVE PREVIEWS: Zombie Talkies!

19 Oct

Welcome my friends to yet another round of awesome previews and news for you as we inch closer and closer to this weekends sure-to-be-awesome Comic Con Express in Mumbai!

Today we bring you another crazy comic that will be launching at the Convention, ZOMBIE TALKIES! Starting off as a script for a film project that was originally titled “Shaadi of the Dead” in keeping with the legacy of zombie flicks like those of the legendary George Romero, the comcis creator had a moment of truth/ saw the light/ saw through the matrix (or whatever analogy you prefer) at the San Diego Comic Con which led him to see that the adventures of the un-dead can be just as big a genre here in India as they are in the west.
So with the blessings of film icon Shekhar Kapur and a zeal to share their vision far and wide, the creative team not only kept working on the movie (which is now on its way to theatres near you someday soon!) but also decided to do a comic book – a couple of young up-and-comers in the form of Harshvardhan Kadam and Anish Patel came on board and along with Vaspar Dandiwala formed the team that started bringing this graphic gore-anza to life.
With a working title of “Bollywood of the Dead” they threw themselves into their tasks like a sacrificial lamb to the zombie hordes below and now we finally get to see where all this has brought us.

At first glance, I must admit that it made me think of a small story from ages back by (then lesser-known) writer Rick Remender (FrankenCastle, ) called XXXombies that was about a film crew (adult films if you must know) caught unawares in a zombie apocalypse.
But then I had a chance to see that this was meant to be more then just a short story and was part of a bigger plan by the creators which makes me curious as to what they’re planning and what makes this unique beyond it being “Indian”.
With a desi cast of characters and what appear to be some unique characters and potential situations I admit I am most intrigued by all that this could become – will it be a Resident Evil style saga? More tradition Romero style fare? Perhaps it might even go the crazed 28 Days route. At this point the creators and the publishers – Pop Culture Publishing (the organisers/brains behind Comic Con India) – are playing their cards very close to the chest.
With only these few images and even less story to go by it is hard to accurately predict what will come. But the potential is great and as Level10’s attempt at the genre has shown, the market is there for it – and the art that we’ve seen looks fun and seemingly holding back little in terms of the blood and gore, keeping to a simpler comic style art-work that I think comes out quite nicely and is often under-rated in this new comic age of more real and more gritty visuals even for stories that don’t necessarily need it. And personally I like my zombie stories to have some fun with it (is that wrong) and all indications are that this book is trying to do just that. 
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NOTES AND SCREENGRABS FROM THE AVENGERS TRAILER

14 Oct

 

 So yes, finally on the 11th of October 2011, Marvel has released the first theatrical trailer for the Avengers.
If you have been living under a rock the size of Switzerland, you can check it out down here.
  • We know Nick Fury has some kind of information on an impending threat either from Loki or someone else in a sequel, which is why he starts assembling the team.
Yeah, I’ll take a Royale with cheese… (Click to enlarge awesome-ness!)
  • The general tone Mark Ruffalo’s Banner is being handled with seems similar to Norton’s, which will hopefully make this transition a lot smoother.
FML! (Click to enlarge awesome-ness!)
  • ScarJo farts fire.
(Click to enlarge awesome-ness!)

  • What exactly is Loki doing under SHIELD custody? And why is Nick Fury stupid enough to think he can keep him there?
Now you see me… (Click to enlarge awesome-ness!)
  • Aaaaaand we have a Quinjet.
Who the hell put a flame-thrower on a plane?!!? (Click to enlarge awesome-ness!)
  • Stark’s armour looks pretty much the same from Iron Man 2.
(Click to enlarge awesome-ness!)
  • My hopes are still up for the Hulkbuster armour, though.
Oh man this makes peeping at hotties so much easier! (Click to enlarge awesome-ness!)
  • Cap’s uniform looks much better in action than in the leaked set pics. There’s a lesson in this, folks.
Nah… too far away… (Click to enlarge awesome-ness!)
  • Sleeveless Thor!!!!!!
Is she looking? Maybe I should flex more… (Click to enlarge!)
  • RDJ is awesome as always.
(Click to enlarge awesome-ness!)
  • There appears to be an ego clash between Stark and Cap. This is consistent with Joss Whedon’s comments a couple of months ago about each of them considering themselves to be most qualified to be leader.
Oh yeah?! Well I’m taller shrimpy. (Click to enlarge!)
  • Nick Fury + Bazooka = Win.
His cool-ness will blow you away. Literally. (Click to enlarge!)
  • I wish we’d seen more of Hawkeye. All we’ve seen is him running around shooting arrows.
…And my bow. (Click to enlarge awesome-ness!)
  • Cap vs. Thor. Poor Cap.
Worst! Trust exercise! Ever! (Click to enlarge awesome-ness!)
  • At 1:29, we have the Quinjet flying past, wait for it, Stark frickin Tower.
(Click to enlarge awesome-ness!)
  • At 1:31, Loki appears to have either the cosmic cube or the mind gem from the infinity gauntlet on top of his staff.
Haaaa-duken! (Click to enlarge awesome-ness!)
  • More Stark one liners, it does look like he’ll be somewhat leading the movie, if not the team.
I’m sorry, can’t hear you over the sound of how awesome I am! (Click to enlarge!)
  • Also, we finally have Ruffalo’s hulk. We don’t see much, but it thankfully looks to have more in common with Norton’s hulk than Bana’s.
I’m coloured like a giant booger dammit! (Click to enlarge)
  •  Your move, DC!

Review: HABIBI by CRAIG THOMPSON

11 Oct
Who says you can’t write a Graphic Novel about Islam? 


 There have been a lot of issues for anyone trying to depict Allah or his Prophet Muhammed. 
Cartoons, like that which was published in Jyllands-Posten, a Dutch newspaper caused controversy which ended up with the cartoonist having a Fatwa (holy kill order, assassination) placed on him. The offending cartoon can be found below. 
And that was from a Dutch cartoonist. 



Recently, a very important and interesting graphic novel was written by Child Psychologist Dr. Naif Al-Mutawa, a Kuwaiti. The 99 series is based around the 99 names of god in Islam. 

A documentary about the controversy surrounding this graphic novel series is going to be broadcast on October 13th. If you aren’t able to see – which I am sure will be a large portion of us – lets hope some nice people will place it on YouTube as the documentary is made by American PBS TV station, called, Wham! Bam! Islam! 

Award-winning NZ Cartoonist, Mark Winter

For over a century and more, cartoonists have expressed the populace’ thoughts against the governing body. Sometimes these have have ended up with the cartoonist losing their life at the hangman’s noose or the guillotine. 

The offending artwork!!

Religion and Art have a very close love/hate association. Christianity has also been target with South Park’s “Bloody Mary” episode. I was amazed by this, and since it came about while I was at Film School, I decided to research the place of cartoons in the world and also, the main issue with the episode, which was the bleeding (virgin) Mary statue. I interviewed a well known New Zealand cartoonist, 

Sadly, YouTube which is owned by Viacom, who own Comedy Central, decided that I had breached their copyright by placing a Student Documentary on YouTube. They removed trailer part 1, but part 2 is still up as you can see and its the one about the cartoons. 

Okay, I think that’s enough of a background on cartoons, religion and popular medium. I have included a fair amount of recent controversial cartoon history because its important to know what came before, before entering the whole grail of graphic novels that is HABIBI

HABIBI, is a just as big in perspective as was Craig Thompson’s previous hit, BLANKETS. That graphic novel was written from a personal experience on Christianity and has won many Comic Industry Awards, as well as being translated into 20 different languages. That’s a huge achievement for a Slice of Life/Drama genre book. BLANKETS, was controversial and HABIBI, is no less controversial. 
Blankets page 444

Sadly I haven’t read, BLANKETS, yet. So, I don’t have any reference point with what Thompson is bringing to this new opus of his. The book is over 600 pages long and it has taken Chris 6 years to finish. One look at above page answers the question, ‘Why so long?’. 


HABIBI is a formidable piece of work from start to finish. Each page (Black/White interior) is a testament to this amazing artist and writer. There is a huge amount of research having gone into this book. I am sure by its sheer existence, it has broken many records. 



Chris Thompson is definitely going to ruffle some feathers with this book. We are going to see both the Christians and Islamist upset due to the nature of the content and the way Islam is portrayed.


What makes the work so amazing and interesting as a story is the vast amount of resource material, topics and characters that it encompasses. At it’s center is the love between Habibi, the black child and his adopted mother, Dodola, an Arab. And the bond that pulls and tears at the love over the years from child to adulthood. Its a bitter sweat story and yet it infuriates with the terrible and sometimes arrogant look at the culture of the people thats portrayed. 

Central to the story is the religion of Islam and the discourse of the various aspects of the belief system, from the rich king and his harem to the poor fisherman drinking water from a polluted river to he children who beat up the old man for bread and the eunuchs who serve the palace. There are moments of sheer joy and pleasure in the graphic novel. But that is drowned out by the misery of the main characters and the minors ones. 

The book is sure to win a vast number of awards. It is a brilliant masterpiece and will go down as one of the greatest graphic novel ever written. A must read.
I am still reeling from the affects the book has had on me as a writer and an artist.  
Aru (Aruneshwar Singh, is a writer and graphic novelist who has several unpublished works currently being worked on as well as working with other Illustrators and Artists he also illustrates his own comics. His webcomic Zero can be viewed here. Aru has a BA in Digital Media- Digital Filmmaking and is the CEO and Owner of New Zealand’s only Online Comic Store, Comic TradeFacebook

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.

SPECIAL PREVIEW: Jason and the Argonauts!

15 Sep

Welcome folks to a special preview of one of the most unique looking books to be published out of the Campfire library.

Now, Greek mythology is one of the most widely known and the stories among the most respected and iconic across the globe. From the Trojan war to the twelve tasks of Hercules to the various tales that define their pantheon of Gods, among so many more, it is a rich and powerful family of stories that have inspired people for generations.

So it is small wonder that Campfire has taken it upon themselves to make their successful adaptation works finally touch on these tales of adventure and humanity.

Recently Campfire Graphic Novels has released a graphic novel on the story of ‘Jason and the Argonauts’ and their adventures trying to win the fabled Golden Fleece. Filled with very raw looking but intriguingly quality artwork that confounds with its combination of savage beauty, it all seems to suit the tale, the time and the place.

Courtesy the good folks over at Campfire we have for you today these sneak previews of some of the final pages from the graphic novel as well as an album at the end with loads of amazing black-and-white pages in high-res for you to enjoy and feast your eyes upon!


The Rundown (for those unfamiliar with the basics of the story):

The rightful prince of Iolcus, brought up in exile by the great centaur Chiron, Jason has just one goal in mind – to save his people from the tyrannical rule of his uncle, Pelias. Warned about his downfall by Apollo’s Oracle at Delphi, Pelias challenges Jason to do the impossible – retrieve the Golden Fleece from the kingdom of Colchis – in return for the throne. Thus flags off one the greatest voyages in Greek mythology – the voyage of Jason and his group of warriors, the Argonauts.


Overcoming tremendous odds, Jason moves relentlessly towards his goal. But he is not unaided in his mission. Insanely in love with him, the sorceress Medea ensures Jason’s success at every turn, while being unaware of the larger divine intervention at work. So then what is Jason’s achievement, what is his victory in a preordained world? Does Jason remain ignorant of the truth of his triumph, or does he come to terms with his flaws to gain a deeper realisation of his destiny?


Retold in the graphic medium with amazing visual effects, this enduring tale of adventure, comradeship, temptation, and betrayal makes one reflect on the true meaning and value of heroic success.  

And here we have an album brimming with wickedly awesome artwork for you all to enjoy! Have at it!

Preview Album
Till next time Addicts!

A day in the park with Daksh’s creator!

6 Sep
Welcome back addicts! Today brings an EXTRA special treat for one and all!

We have for your pleasure, an interview with Shamik Dasgupta, Indian comic scribe extraordinaire, and uber-brain behind the already iconic “Daksh”.
In our last interview with Shamik he promised that he would be revealing all about this new comic that has built a whirlwind of energy around it, to us here at ComicAddicts. And true to his promise, here he is in a candid conversation with us on Daksh
(Also, we have been graciously given some sample pages of spectacular art to preview especially for all of you – click them to see them in all their wicked glory!!)
(Click to enlarge!)

CA: Shamik, thanks again for taking the time to be here. If you don’t mind we’re in total fan-mode and will dive right into the deep end!

CA: After a stormy start and a lot of great fan-approval, Daksh has finally reared his head again! Admittedly, we couldn’t have been more pleased, except perhaps if it had been sooner. Where has Daksh been so far and why did it take so long for him to come back again?
SD: Well actually there had been some disruptions after the first issue which took us some time to get back in gear, but when we did we went full steam ahead. There were speculations whether we would follow the usual conventions with Daksh and keep it for all ages or we should go completely mature on this title. Finally and thankfully Level 10 decided to establish their brand Comic Jump as a full fledged mature oriented magazine and my shackles were broken. This is possibly the most fun I ever had writing a series with no holds barred.

CA: Whats the master plan for Daksh now? Are you thinking mini-series, ongoing, whats the future?

SD: Daksh Season 1 will be three issues of 44 pages each, coming in three separate instalments in Comic Jump. Each issue is gonna be bigger badder and better than the consecutive one. I cannot reveal much, but Daksh will be integrated in the ‘Level 10 Universe’ more organically in near future
CA: Daksh was seemingly a magnet for controversy from the moment it saw print, is that still the case or is it past?
SD: First of all I do not believe in that controversy to begin with. The person in question was contacted by me personally and I was in favour of settling the disputes. I suggested the best possible solution months back and now I am still waiting to hear from him regarding his decision. However the first issue has gone for print and henceforth whatever solutions I was interested in are not viable anymore since he never reverted back to me.
CA: Do you expect anymore of a backlash from any of the audience/other companies regarding Daksh?
SD: All I can say is everyone is entitled to their opinions and the freedom to voice them out. I can only keep on working harder trying to entertain the readership. To me they are the judge, jury and executioner, to me they are GOD. If Daksh is destined to be a success it will be because of them. If they decide to reject Daksh solely on the merit of the quality of story, concept or art I will humbly accept that too.
CA: What should all the fans be looking forward to in this new volume?
(Click to enlarge!)

SD: A bold step ahead in presenting a super-heroic/supernatural character shedding all inhibitions and going full throttle ahead breaking all norms of Indian comic book characters. I will reiterate this comic book is definitely not for kids. Kids can f#*k off and bury their bratty heads in video games and Harry Potter. If someone comes to me and complains why this comic is not meant for kids? or perhaps one kid picked it up and learnt some slangs from it I will humbly flip the bird at that individual since he/she is an illiterate and cannot read that big ‘Rated M – Mature Readers’ written in bold on the cover. He/she shouldn’t have bought it for his/her kid in the first place. This is possibly my best vengeance against people who believe comics are meant for kids. Daksh is a very personal creation of mine and I have created it for people who thinks like me and shares a similar mental space.

CA: We have to ask now, what is the first issue all about? We’re dying for some peeks at what to expect!.
SD: Well here’s a bit of a spoiler and slight advance disappointment – the September 2011 issue of Jump will contain two stories of Daksh, one we have already read in the December 2010 Jump Independent special, the beginning and origin of Daksh and the next one will be spanking new, featuring one of the adversaries we had glimpsed at the end of the first issue. However the first issue that will be printed in this one will be the uncensored version (rated R), this is how it was meant to be…with an explosion of expletives, some more skin show and the print quality and format will be far better than the previous one. This will also help bringing in the new readers, the number of Comic Jump fans have grown considerably in the past few months.
CA: We heard that Devmalaya Pramanik is taking over art duties now. So what happened to the amazing Biboswan Bose who brought the first story to such amazing life?
SD: You have heard right, Devmalya Pramanik is helming the art of Daksh henceforth. Biboswan Bose unfortunately cannot continue as he has chosen academics over comics (which is quite practical if nothing else *chuckles*), pursuing his B.A degree in history and does not have the time to dedicate in the sequential art medium.
CA: Are we likely to see Bibo’s artwork anywhere else in comics in the future?
SD: The last I heard he is interested in doing independent pieces like covers and pin-up art but sequential pages will be a bit hard on his busy schedule.
(Click to enlarge!)
CA: How has it been, working with Devmalaya?
SD: Possibly the best experience in my life and I have considerable experience when it comes to collaborate with artists. The other very enjoyable team-up I had was with Jeevan Kang on Ramayan 3392 AD Reloaded issues 1-7, working with Dev is very reminiscent of that. Devmalya has an impeccable perception of reading my mind and sometimes it freaks me out since he is as telepathic as a kid version of Charles Xavier when it comes to me. He is possibly the hottest new talent out there and the amount he is improving with each page is phenomenal…all this at the age of 20. He is presently working on the 4th issue of Daksh and I can vouch that it is nothing but international in quality. I am really proud and honored that I have him on board as the artist for Daksh.
CA: Can you walk us through the day-to-day creative process for Shamik and Devmalaya, that brings the comics from thought to paper to the final-page?
SD: Like I said there is very little to this creative process as his skills fit over mine like a snug little glove, whatever I write he visualizes it perfectly. I am an extremely finicky bastard when it comes to art but to my amazement I have very little to say when he finishes each page and sends them across to me. Honestly most of the times I am too awestruck to say anything and very few artists have that effect on me. Also I would like to mention Neeraj Menon, who has been like a pillar of strength and has collaborated with the same dexterity with his colors as he did in the first issue. Last but not the least Tazeen Shaikh whose letters bring life to the world of Daksh. Did I forget to mention Jeevan Kang whose incredible cover graces the September issue of Comic Jump? Fie on me!
CA: Before we begrudgingly take our leave and let you get back to work, could you in 5 lines or less tell everyone out there why people should read Daksh?
SD: Hmmm…two lines – Nothing like this has ever happened in the pages of Indian comics which so far have been dominated by directionless do-gooders. You might love Daksh, you might absolutely despise him, but once you read the September 2011 issue of Comic Jump you just cannot ignore this BASTARD anymore! 

Till next week Addicts! 

EXCLUSIVE! Preview of Shakespearean proportions!

9 Aug
“Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and caldron bubble.” 

This line is one of the most iconic quotations of all time, heard and vaguely known even by those unfamiliar with its well-aged roots. 

For those unfamiliar, this is from the play Macbeth which some of us have had the fortune (good or bad is your call) of studying it in school in some fashion or other. Others have perchance seen it on stage, seen it parodied and in numerous other forms. 

We have exclusively for you good Comic Addicts out there, this exclusive preview from Campfire of their upcoming Graphic Novel adaptation of one of William Shakespeare’s most respected and well-known plays, adapted by Jyoti Bhansali and illustrated by the clearly very talented Naresh Kumar.
‘Fair is foul and foul is fair’ – so said three weird women in ghoulish glee, predicting a subversion of order in fair Scotland…

In the reign of King Duncan, Scotland is a just and hospitable land, with loyal, warlike thanes guarding the best interests of people…
…Till the very best among them, Macbeth, gives in to a fatal temptation and commits regicide. But will the crown of Scotland sit easy on his head? Will justice be restored to Scotland? Or will Macbeth remain invincible?

One of Shakespeare’s most famous plays, Macbeth goes beyond a mere tragedy of moral order to a deeply psychological study of a mind preyed on by ambition, insecurities, fear, and regret.
 
Are you excited? Intrigued? Like the art? Share with us your thoughts on this next venture from the good folks over at Campfire!
(All images – click to enlarge!)