Thursday, July 26, 2012

Uday Chopra, Abhishek Bachchan launch YRF's Yomics - Comics that are not just for kids

Well, this news will enthrall comic lovers for sure!
With a Tagline of Not Just for Kids, Yash Raj Films has launched ‘Yomics’, which are comics based on  movies and characters from YRF.  Yomics which are the brainchild of Uday Chopra,  are published by BPI INDIA PVT LTD.
The Dhoom Jodi, Uday Chopra along with Abhishek Bachchan unveiled the Yomics line up at a special event at Yash Raj Studios yesterday. The newly launched line-up includes titles such as DHOOM 893-’, EK THA TIGER.
The Dhoom Yomic blends with it a comic named ‘Daya Prochu’ – the Little Guy with a Big Attitude whereas ‘Ek Tha Tiger’ combines ‘Hum Tum’ comics with it. Dhoom Yomic is priced at Rs 199/- & Ek Tha Tiger at Rs 99/-.
At present ‘EK THA TIGER’ and ‘DHOOM 893’ are available on sale at Major Book Stores, Crosswords, Landmark, Odyssey, Tescos, Teksons, and Om Book Store. They are currently
available in English & Hindi and will be translated into regional languages as well.
Yomics is Uday Chopra’s Brain Child; he is the writer of Yomics. Comics and Graphics Novels are Uday’s Love and Passion and to keep this passion burning alive he thought of delivering a comic series that not only aims to the kiddies but also to the mass readers & that’s the reason for the Yomics tagline ‘NOT JUST FOR KIDS’.
Speaking to’s Zeenia Boatwala, Uday Chopra shared, “Yomics is visually very appealing. It’s colorful and at the same time simple. I’ve always seen dark color treatments for comics and so decided to create something which spreads an aura of happiness to the readers & also the quality and material of Yomics sets it apart from other comic books.”
With Yomics, Uday’s vision is to create a space where readers not only read comics for fun, but also start appreciating it as an Art Form.
Uday aims at delivering indigenous content and wants to create fresh concepts and stories for the comic lovers.
Commenting more on the aspect which makes Yomics different than other comics, Uday stated, “Yomics is different because we have launched not just one, but a series of comics. Every month a new ‘Yomic’ will release & we will be adding the fifth title release during Diwali.”
Abhishek Bachchan was extremely delighted & happy for his friend Uday’s dream of creating a comic space come to reality. According to Abhishek, The best aspect of Dhoom Yomic is creating it for Mass audience, be it a kid or an old aged person, anyone would enjoy reading Dhoom.
Bollywood spread across their wishes to Uday, Salman Khan and Rani Mukerji wished Uday all the success for his new beginning by leaving a message on an audio visual showcased at the launch event.
Yash Raj films have created a Yomics application for IPAD, IPOD, and Android, which will be out soon. You can take a glimpse of the official website of Yomics by Logging on and also visit the Face Book Page and Twitter Page

Comic Con India launches own merchandise

This Rakhi be ready to give your siblings assorted options of gifts in the form of Comic Con India T-shirts, Mugs and Badges as Comic Con India are out with their own line of merchandise named ‘Comic Con India merchandise’.

Comic Con India will flood the market with their exclusive merchandise composed of:
Item – Wolver Anna Mug
USP – Humorous, quirky and comical
Buy/ Available – and
Price – Rs 225
Item – Super Kudi / Wonder Bai Mug
USP – Humorous, quirky and comical
Buy/ Available – and
Price – Rs 225
Item -Wolver Anna Badge comes in a set of 4 with Super Mummy, Super Kudi and Wonder Bai!
USP – Humorous, quirky and comical
Buy/ Available – and
Price – Rs 149

Item – Wolver Anna T-shirt/ Superkudi T-Shirt/ Wonder Bai T-shirt
USP – Humorous, quirky and comical
Buy/ Available – and
Price – Rs 500
All the merchandise will be accessible  at various retail outlets in Delhi-NCR. However, the merchandise is available nationally via & Comic Con India aims to offer  its merchandise at various retail outlets in all major metros by the end of this financial year.
The list of retailers is also availabe at-
Speaking to about the reason behind selecting such an auspicious occasion of Rakhi to launch their merchandise Amitabh Thakur, Art Director, Comic Con India said, ‘Our merchandise is essentially meant for a certain age group and target audience, we felt Rakhi is a time, when they tend to shop a lot of gifts/presents for family, therefore, it made sense for us to launch it at this time. And we all know during Rakhi how brothers and sisters share a special bond of teasing and loving each other, hence we thought its a bang on time to launch it.”
“The response so far has been really great, which is why we’ll be coming out with more products as well as aggressively expanding our reach. Our expectations are very high and we are hoping that the tremendous response shown to us so far continues as we enter more cities this year.” he concluded.

Comic Con India organizes a special workshop by Sufi Comics

Comic Con India in Association with Mocha: Coffees & Conversations brings one more workshop for Bangaloreans specially conducted by Sufi Comics on 28th July 2012 at Café Mocha, Koramangla, Bangalore from 12pm to 2pm.
Vakil Brothers- Authors of Sufi Comics will be the speakers for the event. They will share their experience being the first Indian publisher to participate at Comic Con San Diego 2012.Apart from this audience will also get a sneak peek of the stories of their upcoming book “Sufi Comics – The wise fool of Baghdad” & exclusive preview of the book’s miniature art & calligraphy. There will be exciting script writing & drawing competition too.
Speaking to,  Jatin Varma, Founder, Comic Con India, said, “If you are really in to comics, then this surely up your alley, Sufi comics will preview their upcoming graphic novel. If you are quite new to comics and graphic novels, then also you must attend, not only you get to see how a novel is put together, but you’ll also get to win some fabulous 
prizes courtesy Sufi comics. “
Pages from the new graphic novel - The wise fool of Baghdad by Sufi comics
This workshop is conducted to promote Bangalore’s First Ever Comics Convention, taking place in September. In addition, Comic Con India is also conducting workshops with various artists and writers in many schools and colleges in Bangalore currently to promote the medium as well as the event.

Monday, July 23, 2012

5 Indian comics that surely deserve a movie

There have always been words round the campfire on a movie based upon some hindi comic book. More than anything, it lets the fans go on a roller coaster dream of imagining their favorite comic book converted into a movie. So here is a fanboyish look at the comic books I want to see made into movies and at the same time keeping the viability of the prospect in tact

5) Sawdhan Doga/Kaun Bada Jallad - 

The  legendary arc ran over 2 comic books, Savdhan Doga and Kaun Bada Jallad. Tarun Kumar Wahi brought the coming together of two (now three) of the most masculine characters that Indian comic fans have ever seen. The story revolves around the kingpin of underworld in Mumbai - Michael, who is ambushed by Doga and flees to Assam to save his arse. Doga does that, remember "jadd se ukhadna and not just playing around". So Doga in his crusade of wiping off the kingpin from the face of the earth travels to Assam in order to bring the awesome sauce for readers. In Assam, Michael comes out to be the brother of Kobi/Bhediya beloved Zen and by sheer cunningness, he gets protection of Bhediya and keeps on his drug business from Bhediya's fort. What ensues is a head on between the 3 jallads along with Doga meeting some of Bhediya's foes like tanna-tanna. The end sequence reveals all the truth and a fierce bond of friendship between Doga and Kobi/Bhediya (Doga is already friends with Anthony and Inspector Steel - who would still want Doga to be under arrest for being a vigilante) but not before this
This is when Kobi gulps the drug prepared by Michael that induces unparalleled strength on consumption. Everything ends well but not after brilliant display of superheroics from all of our beloved characters

4) KhooniKhandan/Ateet/Jigsaw - 

This arc ran over 3 issues and peeped into some of the dark secrets related to SCD's family and heritage
Believed to be born to circus stars Shyam and Radha, Dhruv's parental background goes back to the streets of Paris. Shyam, whose real name was Raghuvanshi is shown as a killer in France who ran away from the cops there and started to work in Jupiter Circus after arriving in India. The arc introduces SCD's Uncle, Aunt, Cousin and grandfather and unveils the mystery surrounding the estate and the fortune owned by them. It also brings on the villain Jigsaw who in the end comes out to be the master planner behind Raghuvanshi being framed for a murder and the overall plan to confiscate the estate from him. The epic battle concludes at the top of Eiffel Tower and a sentimental end shows Dhruv meeting his grandfather. The arc is also notable for its depiction of relationship between Dhruv and Commissioner Rajan who initially breaks the news to him about his father being a runaway criminal. A must read for the comic lovers and a highly probable arc to be converted into a movie.

3)Chanakya ka Beta- 

Most people are not even aware of the wonders Ram-Rahim created in the pulp genre for a long time before being materialised into comic books. Termed as secret agent 001/2, Ram-Rahim were the heroes much before the creation of Nagraj and other Raj comics messiah!! Manoj was the order of the day then.
Ram Rahim had this amazingly incredible arc with Dracula, running over 7 different issues. This was 1983, check out for yourself

And probably the first multi-starred superhero comic of all times was dracula ka pretjal, which featured the whole MCU (Manoj Comic Universe) from Ram-Rahim to Crookbond-Motu. Indra, Bhootnath, Trikaldev, Ajgar and 'Aakash ka Jadoogar - Jembo'. I still distinctly remember the date when it was released, it was the same day when Raj Comics released 'Doctor Virus' and 'Bhokal ki Talwar' - 23 April 1993. But then it was the onset of RCU and decline of MCU, unless Mahendra Jain and Sandeep Gupta tried to give one final push. ANd hence came up, Chanakya ka beta. A story going back to detective works of the Indian Jasoos. This one is a thich digest over 95 pages covering how Ram-Rahim uncover the dirty underworld by being undercover, taking shades and playing cool. This is Sherlock back again, masterminding the eternal destruction of the Mafia in Mumbai. Compared with their previous endeavors such as fighting immortal Dracula and going to different galaxies to save aliens, this one is pretty mediocre but then again, the Indian detective supreme are doing here, what they do best. A must read and easy one to be converted into reel!! Ram-Rahim FTW!!

2) Sher ka bachha - 

Well there is not much left that hasn't been discussed about 'Sher ka bachha' among cult fans. It still remains one of the most believable, real life tale that a superhero saga can endure (Read Christopher Nolan)

It was 1997, the double action year of Nagraj and Super Commando Dhruv, still it was the year that gave us best Doga comics. Khaki aur Khaddar, Thandi Aag, Khooni Paheliyan and Sher ka Bachha. Most of these stories were pulsating, dark and revealed the true nature of being a vigilante. That Doga is based upon Punisher is a true story but whats more true is that Doga's conscience has been played with more often in a shorter span of time. So this one deals about Doga's deconstruction. The internal conflict between being a self-righteous, brutal, kickass vigilante and being a social man with a real life. Things are intensified by many political moves, Monica's insistence on uncovering Batman, Cheetah's guilt of not telling her despite knowing the truth and Doga's dilemma of not letting Cheetah live as he knows the secret. It all amounts to an inter-weaved clash of ideas and egoes, a subtle multi-layered tale by Sanjay Gupta and Wahi sir. The results are disastrous, Suraj gives up his identity as Doga to be with Monica and crime reaches its pinnacle. Another tale that deserves mention here is 'Khaki aur Khaddar', another Doga classic released just after 'Sher ka Bachha' where Monica is forced to make Suraj becom Doga again when the city is pushed directly into the hands of mob and politicians because of his absence.

Another tale told beautifully about a constable becoming an MLA and conspiracies surrounding Doga.

Enough said time for Numero Uno

1) Pratishodh ki Jwala - 

This was the time, this was the time!! 1987, first comic of Super Commando Dhruv. There were conflicts about what was going to be the choice for 5-2, but for the first spot, I always had this one in mind, only this one. The story of an innocent kid seeing a business rivalry taking the lives of his parents. The sole survivor of a conflagration, the boy described by Anupam Sinha sir as "aasmaan me chamak rahe dhruv taare ke samaan, jo apradh ko khatm karne ki apni pratigya pe atal hai". This issue may not be the classiest of all SCD issues but this was the inception, this was the beginning of a stellar career and life that this little boy was going to endure over the years. This issue also gave birth to Jubisco, the first arc-enemy of SCD's life, Jupiter Circus, Inspector Rajan Mehra (who would later on become Commissioner Rajan Mehra), Shweta and a whole new reason for kids to believe that you dont need to have snakes coming out of your hand to fight crime. SCD by far remained the most popular of all RCU's characters, gaining praise of many, including his arc-nemesis Chandakaal. This particular one is indeed touching

Jubisco made a comeback in 'Behri maut' and again in 'Nagraaj aur Bugakoo', Jupiter Circus got several mentions again but what came out of this seminal work was Super Commando Dhruv. The brightest star in the galaxy of Indian Super Heroes. 

Saturday, July 21, 2012

going to change its header.

इंडिया कॉमिक्स ब्लागस्पाट. कॉम (अपना header change करने जा रहा है. अगर आप लोग चाहते हो कि आप के सुपर हीरो को भी इसमें जगह मिले तो जल्दी से जल्द आप उसका नाम मुझे यहाँ पर लिख कर दे सकते हो. साथ ही साथ character कि आर्ट भी दे सकते हो .आप का सुपर हीरो ''इंडियन'' होना चाहिए और उसकी कॉमिक्स प्रकाशित हो चुकी होना चाहिए.

HEY GUYS, ( going to change its header. If you guys want your super heroes to get place here then send their names as soon as possible to me. you can even send character art of your heroes, your super hero must be Indian super hero and his comics must have been published.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Porn comics were first....

Porn comics were first created by the US Mafia

Jul 8, 2012, 06.00AM IST
The biggest surprise in the gloriously tawdry history of erotic comics is not that they first emerged in Prohibition-era America, when people were thirsty for a drink, nor that they saw their heyday during the Great Depression, when people were scrabbling for jobs and food. The most peculiar fact about these bawdy comics is that they were the creation of the American Mafia, which used them as wrapping paper for their contraband goods, and peddled them in nightclubs and barbers' shops.
Audiences at the Port Eliot music and literary festival, which takes place from 19 to 22 July, will hear how it was the Mob that began to commission these crude, graphic and often humourous images that were used to wrap bootleg bottles of drink to stop them from clinking , and so being discovered. For the price of illicit alcohol, punters got these salacious comicstrips thrown in. To buy on their own, they were no more than a few cents — disposable booklets drawn on rough paper and printed cheaply: the American equivalent of chip-paper .
A decade after they came into being, Mafia bosses created a series of dirty comics that have since come to be known as the Tijuana bibles, or more commonly, "bluesies" . Mobsters started approaching artists who found themselves out of work in the 1930s. Numerous respectable illustrators thought twice about taking up the illegal — and tacky — commissions, which ran the very real risk of tarnishing their reputations. Some did so resignedly, though only after the promise of anonymity. Will Eisner, the founding father of the modernday graphic novel, was said to be sorely tempted by the cash but decided against it. Some weren't as particular. Wesley Morse, an artist at the Ziegfeld Follies on New York's Broadway who became known for the famous Bazooka Joe comic strip, became the main "creative' behind the comic strips.
The Tijuana bibles turned out not just to be incandescently graphic in their portraits of sex. They also became a potent tool for social and political satire. Tim Pilcher, who is the author of a two-volume history, Erotic Comics: A Graphic History, and will give two talks at Port Eliot, says that the connection between sex, politics and satire has always existed, and these comics exploited this symbiosis fully. "Using sex to parody politicians has always been one of the most powerful weapons of social commentary . If you picture people in power having sex, you can really undermine them."
By the 1950s, a new sub-genre of romance comics emerged in which the sexual element was tempered by a strong morality. These sex comics might have continued to be incendiary if it had not been for the backlash in 1954 against the negative influence of some comic strips, particularly those that pictured crime and horror. Some thought this had led to greater delinquency both in Britain and America, and somehow, sex comics became embroiled in the debates around whether comics could incite violence. The industry began a period of severe self-regulation , which drew the sting out of sex comics. Neutered thus, they became anodyne and uncharismatic — too afraid now to be too bitchy or beastly.
By the 1960s, they were superseded by a new breed of underground comics that were not afraid to be edgy. Today's erotic comics are more politically potent — and popular — than they have ever been, and e-reading has made them almost cheap and accessible . THE INDEPENDENT

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Mogae all set to launch Talking Comics.

Fifty comics will go live through Tata Sky platform this week, and another 120 by September. The product has been specifically created for mobile devices
BestMediaInfo Bureau | Delhi | July 10, 2012
Mogae Digital has announced that its pioneering product, Talking Comics, will go live on Tata Sky later this week. The video stories will be carried on Actve Wizkids and will be promoted on the Channel 100 default channel. Mogae is in talks with other DTH operators too for Talking Comics.
“Talking Comics is a revolutionary new product. It gives a video experience that does not take away from the pleasure of ‘reading’ a comic. Mogae has invested the last four years into creating original world-class IP in the comics space, specifically for mobile devices. Today we have over 50 titles and over 2,000 stories created entirely at Mogae Studios. But with newer opportunities opening up on DTH, we have spent over 18 months creating this new genre of Talking Comics,” said Tanya Goyal, Executive Director, Mogae Group.
Talking Comics was created to give a video experience to comics on mobile. “The file sizes are kept light. There is a nice voice-over, good music, some animation, plus all the text as in a normal comic … all of which give a more wholesome ‘reading’ experience,” added Goyal.
Stories from Tenali Rama, Mullah Nassrudin, Akbar-Birbal, Bheema, Krishna, Vikram-Betaal and Krishna series will go live in the inaugural round. Yudhishtra, Duryodhan, Arjun, Karan, Bheeshma, Raavan, Guru Nanak, Sai Baba and Gautam Buddha will be unveiled in September. Stories from the Bible and a series of Ghost Stories will be launched early next year.
Goyal explained, “Our illustration quality and the detail that has gone into each frame are unparalleled in India today. We were the first to ‘create’ comics for mobile on Indian mythology, history and folklore. Earlier, comic creators, like in the case of Amar Chitra Katha, created them for paper. When taken on to mobile these comics were heavy and difficult to download. In our case, each story has 12-14 frames, no more, so that the comic is easy to download and easy to scroll. What’s more, we port each frame to 48 different sizes so that 95 per cent of all mobile devices receive the comic in exactly the screen size of the device.”
A branded new humour series, created in partnership with a leading TV channel, is being currently worked upon as a Talking Comics product. The launch is slated for August-September.
Mogae will later this year be launching a mobile greetings product. Over 2,000 animation based cards have been created.

Sufi Studios the first Indian publisher ever to participate in the Comic-Con International at San Diego

New Delhi, Delhi, July 10, 2012 /India PRwire/ -- Mohammed Ali Vakil, the co-author & illustrator of 40 Sufi Comics, the short comic strips that illustrate the eternal spiritual truths in the teachings of Islam today will be participating at the Comic-Con International to be held in San Diego from July 12th to July 15th, 2012. Sufi Studios- the publishing company for Sufi Comics will be the first Indian publisher ever to participate in Comic Con International. 40 Sufi Comics received rave reviews at the Comic-Con India which was held in New Delhi in March this year for its simple rendition of the eternal teaching of Islam with a touch of classy humor.
Speaking on the occasion, Mohammed Ali Vakil, Co-Author of 40 Sufi Comics said "We're excited to be a part of Comic-Con International. India has a rich tradition of narrating stories in varied visual formats. Outside India not many people are aware that we've been producing comics for around 50 years. It's about time we showcase our work & talents at various Comic Conventions around the world. I hope this is a beginning for more Indians to participate at such events."
"Sufi Comics are short comics that illustrate the eternal spiritual truths in the teachings of Islam. It expresses values that are found common with other faiths and all people in general. Our comics have been very well received in India, and we're looking forward to showcase them at a global platform."
Mr. Jatin Verma, CEO and Founder, Comic-Con India said "Sufi Comics is a novel concept; Ali & Arif have created something truly remarkable. Sufi comics are the perfect example to showcase the accessibility and power of the graphic art form, clearing the misconceptions about Islam and spreading the soulful teachings of the Quran. These comics need to be shared with readers not only in India, but across the world. They will most certainly and deservedly get a tremendous response at Comic-Con International, we all at Comic Con India wish the Sufi Comics team all the very best."
Life's lessons are taught in a perceptive, subtle and humorous way in these comics. A short comic is a preferable medium these days for many to read and assimilate new subjects. One can go back to it as often as one wants because they are not boring. They convey esoteric philosophy in simple language and cartoons without compromising on content or quality. These comic strips are now being used as teaching material in Madrasahs around the world.
San Diego Comic-Con International is a multigenre convention held yearly in San Diego, California, United States. It was founded as the "Golden State Comic Book Convention" in 1970 by a group of San Diegans, which included Shel Dorf, Richard Alf, Ken Krueger and Mike Towry; later, it was called the "San Diego Comic Book Convention".
Notes to Editor
About 40 Sufi Comics
Sufi Comics are short comic strips that illustrate the eternal spiritual truths in the teachings of Islam. These comics were published on the Arif & Ali's Blog over the last two years. 40 Sufi Comics is a collection of these comics in the form of a book. Alongside each of the comics are verses from the Holy Quran & Traditions from the Prophet & the Ahlul Bayt, related to the topic of the comic. Some of the titles included in the book::
The Truth about Lies
* Mother
* Where does Wisdom come from?
* Where is God's Treasure?
* No Problem!
* How far is Heaven?
* A Visit to Hell
* Can I see God?

© Copyright 2012 India PRwire. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Sufi Comics will be at Comic Con International San Diego 2012

Sufi Comics will be at Comic Con International San Diego 2012

Some months ago after encouragement from a friend, we applied to participate to promote Sufi Comics at Comic Con International San Diego – the mother of all Comic Conventions and one of the biggest in the world. When I got in touch with them, they told me there’s a 3 year waiting list. Hearing this we didn’t have any expectations to get in. Nonetheless they asked us to fill in the application form, in case there’s space, we may get a chance.
Long story short after a series of unexpected events, Sufi Comics will be participating at Comic Con International San Diego from July 12 to 15 2012.
This is a big moment for us, as it’s the first time an Comic book publisher from India has an exhibit space at Comic Con San Diego. I hope this is a beginning for more Indians to participate at International Comic Conventions around the world.
Please share the news with your friends. If you’re there in town during this time, we look forward to meet you there, at booth #5531.
For the first time...

40 Sufi Comics now available in full Color

Since the time we launched Sufi Comics, one feedback we would often receive is to have the comics in color. For sometime now we’ve been experimenting with this suggestion. I’m pleased to let you all know that “40 Sufi Comics” is now available in full color!
These will be available for Sale at Comic Con San Diego 2012.
We’re also working towards making these available online for Sale on Amazon & Flipkart. Similar Posts:
Sufi Comics will be at Comic Con International San Diego 2012
40 Sufi Comics Book
Sufi Comics will launch an iPad app at Comic Con India 2012
Sufi Comics: Where does Wisdom come from?
A new home for Sufi Comics 

Friday, July 6, 2012

In New Delhi, the birthplace of the Indian comic book superhero

A page from a Nagraj comic book, written in Hindi. (photo by Laura J. Nelson)
A page from a Dhruva comic book, written in Hindi. (photo by Laura J. Nelson)
NEW DELHI — Rickshaws, pedestrians and trucks jostle for position outside the building where Indian superheroes are born. On a garbage-strewn street, behind pastel yellow walls and action figure banners, Manish and Sanjay Gupta have built a comic book empire.
"Whatever you do as an adult, you always have a inner voice telling you to do the right thing, and that voice is your inner kid," Manish said. "Keep your childhood with you. Adhere to it."
Sleek, slim Raj Comic books have developed a cult following among Indians of all ages since the Gupta brothers introduced action heroes to the subcontinent in 1984.
The company boasts two dozen characters, releases four editions a month and sells up to 100,000 copies a pop – mostly in Hindi, with a smattering of English editions for Indian expats.
A lot has changed since 1985. The company has struggled to establish itself and weathered tumbling circulation. But staying current has never been a problem for Raj's 25 characters, all of whom battle bad guys in the most modern sense. Corrupt politicians. Mafiosos. Street criminals. Sex trafficking.
If Raj is India's Marvel Comics, then Nagraj the Snake King is its Spiderman. Nagraj shoots snake-ropes and snake-parachutes from his wrists. (And much like Spiderman’s alter-ego, Peter Parker, Nagraj works in the communications field during the day.)
Since 1985, Nagraj has focused on defeating global terrorism.
But unlike Spiderman, whose powers come from the strength of a non-human -- the spider -- Nagraj is fully human. His founding story and special powers are rooted in Hindu mythology.
"Snakes was an unexplored idea, but one that's very Indian," Manish said. "The myths of Hinduism come naturally to readers."
The name comes from the ancient Sanskrit word nagaraja, meaning King of Snakes. In Hinduism, snakes and snake-people (nagas) factor into at least a dozen legends. Nag panchami is a holiday dedicated to snake worship. The seven lowest regions of the Hindu universe are called Patala, or Naga-Ioka — land of the nagas.
And Lord Shiva, one of three main Hindu gods, carries a snake coiled three times around his neck. Each loop represents past, present and future.
The Gupta brothers say the allusions to Hinduism are more cultural than religious. And it's true that there are no allusions to the religion within the books. But in a country where four in five residents are Hindu, religion and culture are so closely linked that drawing that line proves difficult.
The exterior of Raja Pocket Books, the parent company of Raj Comics, north of New Delhi. (Photo by Laura J. Nelson)
The exterior of Raja Pocket Books, the parent company of Raj Comics, north of New Delhi. (Photo by Laura J. Nelson)
"Our themes are based on moral values," Sanjay said. "Anything that a good citizen would do, the characters are able to do it better."
American staple Richie Rich was a constant for the Guptas, who grew up in an old publishing family. When their magazine subscriptions didn't come, the brothers went 10 kilometer's to read Indian funnies at their aunt’s house.
But it was Spiderman on TV in the early 1980s that showed the brothers what India was missing: its own superhero.
So, as teenagers, Manish and Sanjay said they made one themselves. They created a character. They hired their first employees. The only snag? No one in India was familiar enough with comic books to have the artistic style they wanted.
The brothers looked for raw talent and a willingness to sort through every issue in teams, from the size of the speech balloons to how to select shots on the page.
Many of the artists they discovered were Muslim, from isolated communities known for artisanship.
Tension has run high between Muslims and Hindus since independence from Britain in 1947, when India splintered along religious lines and Pakistan formed.
But Manish and Sanjay wanted the best. Now, many on their staff of freelance artists are Muslim and have been working for them since the 1980s.
That theology is reflected in the comics too. Although some of the characters have Hindu parents or Hindu back stories, religion is never mentioned in the story lines.
"There are many pathways to God, none better than others," Sanjay said. "The idea that religions are superior – we don't believe this. India is home to a lot of religions. You don't want to promote one over the other."
A rare exception: After the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks, largely believed to be masterminded by a Pakistan-based terrorist cell, Raj released a series of comics showing character Doga fighting Pakistani terrorists. The company took heat for being anti-Muslim. "
The harsh reality is, it may reflect badly on Muslims and Hindu-Muslim relations as a whole, but it's just a depiction of what happened," Manish said. "There will be criticism always, when one of your characters takes a stand."
As a response, Raj drew a comic, "Doga is Hindu," spelling out the character's religious beliefs— uncharted territory for a company that steers clear of religion and its sticking points.
Dealing with the backlash and hate mail from contemporary issues, like terrorism and the mafia, is enough to deal with, Manish said. The goal is to show moral behavior and to teach others to do the right thing.
Manish, who is Hindu, said sometimes he struggles to understand exactly what it means to follow his religion, because it lacks the guidelines and structure that other religions have. His answer, he said, is simply "doing the right thing."
His comics show the same ideas. Super heroes fight poverty, sex trafficking and violence against women and children. None of the heroes smoke, drink or eat junk food.
"We like to think that we're creating all these real-life super heroes," Manish said, "who will take on one issue at a time."
Email Laura here or follow her on Twitter.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Fenil Comics to release ‘SECRET AGENT OM’ and ‘B.L.A.C.K’.

Fenil Comics, Surat-based Publishing Company is in the midst of publishing their 2 new titles- ‘SECRET AGENT OM’ and ‘B.L.A.C.K’.  Both the comics are multi series comics, of which SECRET AGENT OM is a miniseries of 4 parts and B.L.A.C.K. a miniseries of 3 parts. These multi series comics are 32 pages, illustrated in 2D and priced at INR 30/- only.
SECRET AGENT OM is a comic written by Fenil Sherdiwala,  illustrated by Dildeep Singh and colored by Naval Thanawala. It follows the journey of the secret agent Om who is on a mission to destroy terrorism in the world. This journey unveils all the different factors of terrorism as the story progresses. The readers are informed through the story on what technologies can be used for terrorism by terrorists. The main USP of this series is the factors of Terrorism and its awareness.

B.L.A.C.K. is a story based on a contract criminal team of five members. B for Buddhibal, L for Lockwin, A for Allwin, C for C.P.U. and K for Krita. All these members are criminals and when assembled together, they form into big disruption. The protagonist in this series is Jasus Balram. Will he be able to stop this disruption? The answer unveils as the story unleashes. The series is written by Fenil Sherdiwala, illustrated by Gaurav Shrivastav and colored by Zakir Hussain.
Speaking to about the comics Fenil Sherdiwala, Founder, Fenil Comics said that, “We shall release the printed copies of both titles in Hindi at initial base in states where we have strong distribution network i.e. Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, New Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and still looking to release in rest of the states soon. We shall also launch our titles on digital formats like IPAD, IPHONE, ANDROID, KINDLE.. in collaboration with Australian company CLOUD 9X soon”.
The company started a year back and has already published 4 titles, 2 of Faulad Nad and 2 of Crimefighters. It also plans to publish a multistarer series with name UNIVERSAL KINGS which will feature several superheroes in one series by 2013.

Campfire Graphic Novels to launch The Count of Monte Cristo and Sundarkaand: Triumph of Hanuman

Campfire Graphic Novels, New Delhi-based Publishing Company is all set to launch two new graphic novels The Count of Monte Cristo and Sundarkaand: Triumph of Hanuman. Both the books will be available in Print as well as digital copies and will be releasing in the first week of August in India.
The Count of Monte Cristo is a classic tale of friendship, love, betrayal and revenge by the famous French author Alexandre Dumas. It is set against the backdrop of the flip-flopping control of France between the Royalists and the Bonapartists and deals with many moral themes, including betrayal, revenge and love.
Speaking to about the concept of the graphic book, Aditi Ray, Editor in Chief, Campfire Graphic Novels, shared, “The graphic novel medium is where text meets visual art in a perfect amalgam, thereby enhancing the reading pleasure, especially of children who are overwhelmed by ‘text only’ books. The story is told as much by the images as by the text – a perfect way to draw in reluctant readers. This is also the raison d’etre of our niche publishing venture.”
The Count of Monte Cristo is a story about Edmond Dantès, who is imprisoned for a crime he didn’t commit, he vows to escape and destroy those who betrayed him. With his former life a distant memory, revenge drives him forward. Using the fortune left to him by Abbé Faria, he transforms himself into the powerful and enigmatic Count of Monte Cristo, and systematically hunts down the men who put him behind bars. Acting as destiny’s agent, Dantès must face not only his enemies, but also the moral dilemmas raised by his ruthless quest for justice. With skill and mercilessness, he manipulates those around him to do his bidding, leaving a trail of social carnage in his wake. At the end, Dantès finds peace and love after fulfilling his providential mission.
Sundarkaand: Triumph of Hanuman is a graphic novel based on one of the kaands (episodes) of the Indian epic, the Ramayana. This graphic novel is different from the others as the protagonist is not Ram, but Hanuman.
Elaborating about the challenges faced, Sourav Dutta, Senior Editor, Campfire Graphic Novels, said, “The most challenging part in developing Sundarkaand as a graphic novel was to adapt the tale into a visual format that offers something new to readers who are familiar with the story, as this is one of the most popular Indian legends. The stylized artwork, rendered digitally, is visually arresting and offers a new look into a tale that has been told countless times.”
Sundarkaand: Triumph of Hanuman is a story of infiltration. It is the account of Hanuman’s expedition to the city of Lanka, where Ravan has held Ram’s wife, Sita, hostage. Hanuman’s aim is not to rescue Sita, but to gather information about where she is held, about Lanka’s military strength, and its strategic layout. It is on the basis of this information provided by Hanuman that Ram eventually prepares to lead an attack on Lanka. Hanuman also plays the important role of acting as a conduit between Ram and Sita as they exchange mementos, and comfort and inspire each other. In the course of the story, Hanuman overcomes all the odds that are stacked against him by defeating demons, monsters and evil warriors.
Sharing more about Campfire Graphic Novels, Andrew Dodd, Marketing and Rights Consultant, Campfire Graphic Novels,said “Campfire is thinking big. Our graphic novels are already distributed across much of the world, and have been translated into eight languages. One of our aims now is to focus more on the education market in India. Comics and graphic novels can achieve great things if used in the right ways by teachers and librarians. We want educators across India to realize that what we produce is a great aid to literacy, as well as being an inspiration to reluctant and struggling readers.”
Currently Campfire Graphic Novels is going to expand their range of graphic biographies, including fascinating reproductions of the lives of Martin Luther King Junior, Abraham Lincoln and Mother Teresa. They are also going to publish some more retellings of Indian mythological stories, primarily Krishna: Defender of Dharma and Draupadi: Fire-born Princess. And for the classics lovers amongst their audience, adaptations of Pride and Prejudice and Around the World in 80 Days are not far away.

In conversation with Pran, Legendary Creator of Chacha Chaudhary

There was a time when syndicated strips like The Phantom, Mandrake, Flash Gordon and Rip Kirby were translated to Indian languages and ruled the roost. And then came Chacha Chaudhary and its creator, Pran Kumar Sharma a pioneer who changed the Indian comic circuit.
Pran Kumar Sharma better known as Pran graduated with a degree in Fine Arts from Sir J. J. School of Art in Mumbai, he began his career in 1960 as a cartoonist for the Delhi-based newspaper Milap with comic strip Daabu and Professor Adhikari. Since then few of his legendary cartoon strips include Raman, Billu and Shrimatiji. However the biggest cult character created by Pran is Chacha Chaudhary.
He has published over 400 comic books comprising more than two lakhs drawings. He also has the credit of carrying his comic strips in 30 newspapers and periodicals across India.He was included in the People of the year,1995 by Limca Book of Records for popularizing comics in India. He has also received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Indian Institute of Cartoonists and has started an institute for budding artists called ‘Pran’s Media Institute’.
Speaking to about his achievements, work and his famous character ‘Chacha Chaudhary’ shared, “ As a child I was inspired by my brother, Kalwalnath to the world of cartoons.  He was an artist and also inspired the artist within me. I started creating comics in the 1960’s.At that time, Indian comics scenario was largely based on reprints of The Phantom and Superman and Amar Chitra Katha which was based on ancient Hindu epics Mahabharata and Ramayana.”
“There were many cartoonists in India at that time like R.K.Narayan,Mario and Shankar but all made political cartoons. I wanted to give the Indian audience our own Indian hero. The idea behind the character of ‘Chacha Chaudhary’ was to create a hero remarkably different from most other comic-book superheroes who  is not a muscle man, nor does he have extraordinary powers but who  uses his shrewd brain and presence-of-mind.”
“All my comic characters are based on real life people there is nothing irrational about them, they are real people. Each family has its own wise old man who solves problems with common sense, but with a touch of humor. Humor is the basis of all my cartoons.”
“After the appreciation that Chacha received, I went on to add more characters to the series like Sabu, Rocket and Bini Chachi among others. “He added.
“In the early days, artists had to approach newspapers and publishers with their comics as there were no syndicates. I have been lucky to have met Diamond Comics, we have had a very long association with each other and they continue to publish my comics”.
“It feels good to be appreciated, as an artist I have tried to teach people whatever I have learnt through the years. I take lectures in Finland,France,Spain,Korea and Japan, talking to budding artists about my experiences and knowledge. Just as a field such as Journalism has various beats, cartooning too has its own beats, Political, Social and Comics and as a comic artist I have tried to improve and excel each and every time.
Its been 40 years, I still have the same working process as before, working for 8 hours a day, still trying to learn as I just want to live my life entertaining people, there are thousands of people abroad asking me for the comic of Chacha Chaudhary, there are more than 10 lakh people on my facebook page.”
“Also, I would like  to request the Government to built a museum of cartoons in India, most of the countries I have gone to for lectures have museums, it is very necessary to acknowledge the work artists like R.K Narayan and Mario have done.”
“I just want to tell all the cartoonists around the world to work hard, have determination and entertain people as there is nothing more satisfying then entertaining people with one’s comics.” he concludes
Chacha Chaudhary was created in 1971 for the Hindi magazineLotpot  and has sold almost ten million copies across Ten languages. It has been ranked  the most recognizable comic book character by the age group ‘10-13’ in India. The Chacha Chaudhary strips have also found permanent place in International Museum of Cartoon Art, USA. Chacha Chaudhary has also been made into a television series in 2000-2001 by Sahara One and a full length movie is also going to be made on the character.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


Indian is getting its presence felt at Comic Con!
This year’s Comic Con at San Diego which is slated to begin July 11 will see the launch ofMumbai Confidential, a 144 page, crime noir comic book series created by comic book writer and creator Saurav Mohapatra and artist and co-creator Vivek Shinde. The crime noir comic book / graphic novel will be published in a digital format (for iOS, Android , Kindle & the web) by Archaia Entertainment which will launch a new edition each month and the hard copy print edition will be published after 9 digital releases in March 2013.
Set in the 90’s, Mumbai Confidential is revolves around Arjun Kadam, a depressed drug addicted encounter cop .Arjun meets with an accident and slips into coma. In the accident which took place with Arjun, a little girl who sold flowers also got killed in the accident. After releasing from the coma state, Arjun develops a strong urge to find the people behind his accident. Mumbai Confidential moves through three timelines, the life of Kadam as a cop, the accident aftermath & the climax. Mumbai Confidential is aimed at mature viewers due to its strong language and violence.
Sharing about Mumbai Confidential, Saurav Mohapatra said, “, I believe crime-noir to be a universal genre & Mumbai is a unique prism for it. Mumbai Confidential started as passion project. I and Vivek always wanted to watch something enthralling in the crime-noir comic series & this is how we thought to develop our own creation. Mumbai Confidential for me is James Ellroy doing Ab Tak Chhapan. I pitched Mumbai Confidential to my publisher Archaia as a James Ellroy story is set in Mumbai and it was appreciated.”
Vivek Shinde elaborated, “Colors are one of the crucial elements in any kind of visual medium. Immense research was executed for finalizing on the color scheme for Mumbai Confidential. Saurav and I mutually froze on a style that had a surreal yet real feel of Mumbai to it. We chose to rope in a black and white look at the beginning of the story and later divided colors according to the various timelines, mood graphs featured in the book. We preferred to go for a monochromatic look that will change as per the situation. The average amount of time I took to finish coloring one page is one and a half day.
Mumbai Confidential is inspired from Ram Gopal Varma’s works, Shimit Amin’s Ab Tak Chhapan, Anurag Kashyap’s Black Friday and Hong Kong crime flicks of John Woo, Johnny & Johnnie to. Saurav and Vivek were also impressed by seminal crime-noir comics like Frank Miller’s Sin City, Ed Brubaker’s Criminal, Brian Azarello’s 100 BULLETS and Greg Rucka’s Gotham Central.
Adding more on Mumbai Confidential, Saurav stated, “We believe in creating a book which we ourselves wish to read. Mumbai Confidential uses a hyper-realistic art style & I’d love to see MC get adapted someday into a Ghost in the Shell type animated movie. Mumbai Confidential took three years time span for its completion & it’s a great feeling to see MC be published at San Diego Comic Con International & I hope it kick starts more Indian creators to develop comics for a broader audience.”
Saurav Mohapatra, a BTECH from IIT Kharagpur has worked on scripts for comics including Shekhar Kapur’s Devi, Sadhu, Deepak Chopra’s India Authentic, Mumbai MacGuffin, Jimmy Zhingchak agent of Disco, for Virgin comics, and many more.
Vivek has worked on the art and of comic titles including the Snake Woman and Project Kalki of Virgin Comics. He has also created illustrations for, INX Networks, JWT India, JWT Dubai, Leo Burnett India, Leo Burnett Dubai, Bates 141, Creative land Asia, O&M.
Readers can connect to the official Face book page of Mumbai Confidential at:

Meet Rakshasi, India’s Nuclear Woman

Forget Batman and Superman, Indian superheroine takes international comic book readers by storm

Here's something that has rarely happened before. An Indian superheroine on a DC Comics book cover. This time around, the character is called Rakshasi and she has been described on the cover as 'India's Nuclear Woman'. This particular issue (The Fury of Firestorm: The Nuclear Men #10) is being hotly discussed on social networks and comic book forums.

Some forums inform that the issue is due out in US stores sometime this week and more information will come our way soon. For now, precious little is known about this character and who she is, where she comes from, etc.

What we know
She's a superheroine and most likely possesses the powers that a Firestorm does (physical regeneration, can live without food air and water, can pass through solid objects harmlessly, can generate destructive and concussive blasts of fusion energy from hands, absorb radiation harmlessly, and superhuman levels of strength and has resistance to injury).

On the cover, the blue-bodied character is stamping on the chest of one of the other Firestorms (also known as Nuclear Men). From what we gather, they are fighting some of their own who have gone rogue. Forums indicate that the action soon shifts to the mountains of Pakistan.

While Aruna was the last Indian superheroine introduced on one of their covers, her appearance was a short-lived one. Will Rakshasi have a longer run? Watch this space.

Before Rakshasi, it was Aruna
Aruna was introduced as an orphaned East Indian girl with shapeshifting powers. Since she changed shape involuntarily and at great speeds during her youngest years, she is even unsure of her gender and got classified as 'untouchable', one of the lowest castes in India, who live in isolation. Aruna went on to become a high-level stunt person in Bollywood due to her meta-human skills. After a meeting with Batman and Batgirl, she was inspired to become a force for good, fighting injustice in her native India.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Stan Lee's Chakra to debut on Graphic India.

We're very proud to announce that comics legend, Stan Lee, co-creator of some of the world's most popular superheroes like Spider-Man, X-Men, The Hulk, Thor, Fantastic Four, etc) will debut his new original creation, CHAKRA - THE INVINCIBLE, his first Indian superhero right here on Graphic India soon!
 Chakra - The Invincible,” will be the first Indian superhero created by Lee in collaboration with local Indian artists and writers. Chakra tells the story of the young Indian teenager, Raju Rai, a technological genius living in Mumbai. Determined to use science to unlock the secrets of human potential, Raju develops a technically-enhanced suit that activates the mystical Chakras of the body, unleashing newfound abilities and powers.
“Wow! I’m incredibly excited to be collaborating with my friends at Liquid Comics and their best-in-class team of artists as we launch a great new, thrill-a-minute superhero saga named Chakra - The Invincible,” said Stan Lee, brimming with enthusiasm as he added, "Against the spectacular backdrop of the great Indian metropolis of Mumbai, we tell the incredible saga of Chakra, our daring and dangerous teenage hero.”
“Stan Lee is one of the most prolific storytellers in the world today, having created iconic characters that have generated billions of dollars at the box office and are known by nearly every man, woman and child on earth,” added Liquid’s Co-Founder & CEO, Sharad Devarajan. “The opportunity to bring Stan’s unparalleled experience of the superhero genre to India and enable him to collaborate with local talents to create a new Indian character is the culmination of a lifelong dream.”
“What better way to conceive of a new generation of Indian superheroes than in collaboration with the Godfather of the genre? Watching Stan mingle in the pantheon of great Indian Gods and Goddesses will go down as one of the most coolest times of my life,” added Liquid Co-Founder, Gotham Chopra.
 Gill Champion, president/CEO of POW! Entertainment said “As we continue our international expansion with focus of launching new entertainment properties in India for 2012, we are thrilled to be partnering with Liquid Comics who are an unrivaled name in the field of digital entertainment and franchise partnerships. Graphic India is certainly a premier platform, and we are thrilled at the prospect of further growing our brand and business opportunities in this market.”
Below is a preview of some of the concept art Jeevan Kang created for CHAKRA - THE INVINCIBLE:

Stan Lee’s first digital comic book story on Chakra will be released for free in April 2012, exclusively on!
Stay tuned to Graphic India for further updates and sneak peeks of STAN LEE'S CHAKRA - THE INVINCIBLE!