Monday, September 24, 2012

Mrinal Rai showcases Debut Graphic Novel ‘Kurukshetra Yudh’ at First Ever Comic Con Bengaluru

Mrinal Rai is out with his debut graphic Novel titled Kurukshetra Yudh, a 540 pages graphic novel revolving around the stories of the period of 18 Days of Mahabharata War. Kurukshetra Yudh talks about military tactics, vyuhas -military formations, warriors from distant lands and has an emotional and analytical perspective for the younger generation, who were a part of the war. At Comic Con Bengaluru, Mrinal showcased the first part of trilogy ‘Yuganta’, which includes the story of the first ten days of the war.
The book is entirely written and designed by Mrinal and is composed with a collection of 50 paintings from the Mahabharata epic. Published under Mrinal’s own publishing banner, Lotus of Saraswati, the aim of this book is to educate the younger generation about the values of Mahabharata.
Speaking to about the idea of creating a graphic novel on Mahabharata, Mrinal Rai, shared, “Indian Mythology is very rich and everyone should know about the interesting stories taken place in the past. Kurukshetra Yudh is set in the war period and hence my book starts with the end of Virata Parva of Mahabharata, which is the 4th book of Mahabharata, In this book, I have included 18 chapters of Geeta teachings with dedicating one chapter to each day of the war, with detailed diagram’s of that day’s military formation and detailed description of the character’s. To make the stories visually appealing, I have designed a combination of 6 paintings giving a pictorial description of the scenes from the story.”
For writing this Graphic Novel, Mrinal studied the Mahabharata version of Kisari Mohan Ganguly and researched on ancient folklores and stories related to classical dance forms.
Also, Mrinal put complete focus on studying various kingdoms as well as analyzed numerous maps of Indian states. Some more crucial areas which Mrinal studied for writing this book were Wikipedia, Vishnu Purana, Bhagavata Purana and Shivaji Sawant’s novel Mrityunjay.
Expressing more on his publishing house Lotus of Saraswati, Mrinal stated,
“Lotus of Saraswati is an independent media house, publishing my own comic books and Graphic novels and it has been founded in a much unplanned way. I wanted to take part in Comic Con India, which happened early this year at Delhi and the comic con team asked me to give a title to my stall and the first name that struck my mind was “Lotus of Saraswati”. Since I have not learned any art and drawing technique from anywhere, I consider it as a God’s gift to me and hence, I decided to keep it as the title for my publishing house.”
Priced at INR 350, it has taken around 4 years for Mrinal to complete Kurukshetra Yudh and it will soon be available for purchase online on leading book stories. Mrinal has published around 200 plus copies of this book and sold around 25 copies at Comic Con Express Bengaluru.
Sharing thoughts on participating at the First Ever Comic Con Bengaluru, Mrinal said, “Since I participated in Comic con India, I have had good relations with the Comic Con Team and Twenty Onwards media. They approached me for any interest of putting up a booth at Bengaluru. The experience at Comic Con Bengaluru was overwhelming and I found many people interested in my book Kurukshetra Yudh.”
Presently, Mrinal is working on a Graphic Novel, titled ‘Visha Kanya’; which is a story set in the back drop of ancient India, post Maurya period including the story of national integrity, politics, deceit and bravery. Also, he is working on a couple of suspense and thriller stories, which he plans to showcase at Comic Con next year.
Informing about the challenging aspect while making Kurukshetra Yudh, Mrinal highlighted,” The major challenge was to work on the script and the drawings at the same time. But since I had already written the text some years ago, it took me very little time to modify it. The paintings did take a lot of effort and had to be completed at a fast pace as the deadline for the comic con Bengaluru was around the corner.”

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