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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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