Tuesday, November 24, 2015

'Amazing Fantastic Incredible' a comic insight to Stan Lee's life journey

The creator that gave Marvel many of its famous comic characters, Stan Lee, has finally released his autobiography, “Amazing Fantastic Incredible”. And this autobiography is not in any ordinary form, just like his superheroes, his life is also seen in a graphic novel format.
The 92 year old co-creator of Spider-Man, the Hulk, the Fantastic Four, Iron Man, Thor and the X-Men, introduced many complex, naturalistic characters and a thoroughly shared universe into superhero comic books. After working tirelessly in the comic space and seeing his work not being just acknowledged but becoming a worldwide success, Lee came up with this idea to pen down his life story during Marvel’s 75th anniversary. He was seen saying,  “As Marvel just celebrated its 75th anniversary, I thought maybe it’s time for a look at my life in the one form it has never been depicted, as a comic book… Or if you prefer, a graphic memoir. It strikes me as a horrendous oversight that I haven’t done it before! If I didn’t know everything about my life already, I’d envy your voyage of discovery.”
stanleecoverThe vibrantly colored memoir, illustrated by Colleen Doran, walks readers through the life of the Stanley Lieber, and gives insights to the icon’s thoughts as his cartoonish form breaks the fourth wall. Written by Stan Lee and Peter David, the comic consists of 192 pages and delivers a clear  message that Stan wants to bring real, relatable characters to his audience even if he’s the character in question.
The journey begins with Lee as a boy, transported to other worlds through books by Arthur Conan Doyle, H.G. Wells and William Shakespeare. His real world was the Depression, a father mostly out of work and a dingy New York apartment with laundry hanging in the kitchen and a brick wall for a view. Lee says his mother doted on him; he remembers she’d just watch him read. “One of the best gifts I ever got — she bought me a little stand that I could keep on the table while I was eating, and I could put a book in the stand, and I could read while I was eating. I mean, I always had to be reading something,” he recalls.
In an interview with NPR, Stan mentions:
On comics and picking a pen name
I realised that people had no respect for comic books at all. Most parents didn’t want their children to read comics. And I was a little embarrassed to be doing the work I did, and I figured someday I’ll write the Great American Novel and I don’t want to ruin my possibilities by having my name disliked this way. And I became Stan Lee.
The stories in the comic books then were a little bit different. My publisher was typical of all the publishers, and in the early days he would say to me, “Just give me action! I want a lot of action in every panel! That’s what the kids want.” So I wanted the characters to have good personalities, I wanted provocative situations — I don’t think he knew what the word provocative meant. Aside from the fights, there was nothing much to recommend the books.
On creating the Fantastic Fourstan lee page
I was really ready to quit. I was getting sick of doing these one-character-punches-another and says, “Take that, you rat.” So my wife said to me, “You want to quit. Before you do, why don’t you get one story out of your system? Do one the way you want to do it. The worst that will happen, he’ll fire you. But you want to quit anyway. So what have you got to lose?” So that’s when I did the Fantastic Four.
On artist Jack Kirby’s original vision for Spider-Man
Jack made him look very heroic and strong. But that isn’t the way I wanted him. I wanted him to look like a typical, thin high school kid. And he doesn’t get all the girls because of his athletic prowess. He’s just kind of a shy high school kid who’s a science major. It was no big deal. I said, “Jack, forget it. I’ll give it to someone else.” And he was busy with a dozen other books. He didn’t care. So I called Steve Ditko, and Steve gave him just the right look. And that’s how Spidey was born.
On whether he feels his creations around him
Not really. I love those characters I’ve done. But I’ve moved on to other things. I love talking about them, I love people being interested in them. And I’m interested in them too. But as I say, they’re things that I had written. I’m glad they turned out to be successful. But today is another day.

Monday, November 23, 2015


काफी लोग इस बात से कंफ्यूज होते हैं की "कारवाँ" और "ब्लड-वॉर" में क्या अंतर है या इनमे क्या संबंध है!

तो मित्रों! "कारवाँ" सबसे पहले याली द्वारा प्रकाशित की गयी और इसकी कहानी वर्तमान समय की है जिसके बाद कहानी पर विराम लग जाता है।

और वहीँ "ब्लड-वॉर" चार भागों की ग्राफ़िक नोवेल है जो ''कारवाँ" का Prequel है, "ब्लड-वॉर" की कहानी "कारवाँ" से बहुत पहले की है, करीब 1976 की!! भले की "ब्लड-वॉर" "कारवाँ" के बाद रिलीज़ हुई हो लेकिन यह भूतकाल की कहानी है, "ब्लड-वॉर" की कहानी "कारवाँ" का अतीत है जिसमे कारवाँ की टोली का सामना इनके बराबर वाले दरिंदो से होता है जिनकी शक्तियाँ इनसे तनिक भी कम नहीं। इसमें कारवाँ की काफी अहम पिशाच "मधुराक्षी" की उत्पत्ति भी दिखाई गयी है । कारवाँ पढ़ने के बाद कई प्रश्न आपके जेहेन में उत्पन्न हुए होंगे जैसे "मधुराक्षी कौन है?" "भैरवी कौन है?" ऐसे कई प्रश्नों के उत्तर आपको ब्लड वॉर में विस्तार से मिल जाएँगे!! अतः कारवाँ के विषय में और गहराई से जानने हेतु आपको ब्लड-वॉर पढ़नी होगी। like emoticon

"Blood-War #4" 4 दिसम्बर को दिल्ली कॉमिक कॉन में रिलीज़ हो रही है जो "ब्लड-वॉर" श्रृंखला की आखिरी बुक है।
"Blood-War" के तीन पार्ट्स आप RC, Amazon, Flipkart जैसे ऑनलाइन शॉप्स से ले सकते हैं और "ब्लड-वॉर #4" दिल्ली कॉमिक कॉन में आपका इंतज़ार कर रही है ।

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Introducing Tinkle's first female superhero avatar, Mapui from the North-East

Meet Mapui Kawlim, Tinkle's latest female super-hero avatar from Mizoram Photo:tinkleonline.com
Tinkle, the fortnightly children's comic magazine started back in the 80's under the aegis of Anant Pai, the Editor-Founder. Tinkle has been a best friend to almost every kid who grew up in the 80s-90s.
The magazine is a treat with the Suppandi's crazy antics, Shikhari Shambhu's insane gags, a whole page dedicated to engaging quizzes and puzzles and a lot more.
Marking the 35th anniversary, Tinkle magazine in its November edition has introduced a new superhero. The brand new character Mapui Kawlim is a coy girl bestowed with superpowers and she hails from Aizwal, Mizoram.
13-year-old Mapui Kawlim, is a crime fighter by night but is burdened with homework, hates Math, and enjoys slumber party. Just imagine the number of children who would relate to this new avatar of Tinkle.
Mapui who transforms into a 'wingstar' by night, with help of gadgets, is aided by her father who is an inventor working for the Space Development Arm of the government.
According to a report in CatchNews, the new comic strip has the potential to break the prejudices attached to people from Sikkim and the eight Northeastern states.
In an interview with the CatchNews, the editor Rajni Thindiath said he doesn't see the comic to be particularly path breaking because according to him, Tinkle has always had characters who hail from different parts of the country, Mapui being only one of them. He adds she is surely the first 'reluctant superhero' and has the potential to be the most iconic female superhero characters in Indian comic history.

Urvashi the Apsara

Not Quite the Item We Were Looking For

Conceptualised and written by Shamik Dasgupta, illustrated by Zohaib A Momin and designed & lettered by Neha and Pankaj Naik, Item Dhamaka puts up quite a show of divine beings, ample breasts and peeping thongs.
A bizarre adventure of an exiled Apsara and her friend, an exiled Asura, Aayumi Productions’ Item Dhamaka – Godsmack introduces us to the divine trying to find a place of their own on our tiny little planet. Now known as ‘Item’ for her immense popularity at a sleazy Mumbai dance bar – the Bewafa Bar – the story of Urvashi the Apsara is a rather unfortunate one. Irked by Indra’s inefficiency as the divine ruler of the heavens, Urvashi’s misfortune began when she hurled insults at him at his court, angering him enough to banish her to survive in the realm of man without any magic or superpowers to come to her aid. After teaming up with the nerdy Asura Prahlad, who is now known as Dhamaka Singh – the bouncer of the club, they fight evil and investigate a strange new drug called Godsmack that is doing the rounds of Mumbai.

Item Dhamaka 2

Seems like an interesting read. Does it not? But while the story thankfully breaks away from retellings of mythical fables, it manages to come across as horribly sexist in its portrayal of the protagonist – Urvashi. At the very beginning of the comic, she is introduced to the reader as the chief attraction of a dance bar. It then goes on to call her extremely dyslexic and intellectually bankrupt, it also states that discussing her weight is impolite and there is no “shaq” (Hindi for doubt) about her 36-24-36 vital stats. To be honest, given the bounteous show of breasts and teasing thongs, Urvashi appears to be a younger, more adventurous and a ‘Safe For Work’ version of Savita Bhabhi – with innuendo laden jokes and quips filling up the text boxes. And yes, sidekick Dhamaka Singh has not been left off the hook either. With “dark” complexion that is not “negroid” and a “greenish black”, he also boasts of “freaky demon eyes”. So great is Dhamaka’s size and ugliness, that he is actually unable to get any job apart from that of a bouncer in the realm of mortals – even though his IQ can make Einstein look like George W Bush.


In a realm where creators are finally taking steps to introduce female protagonists in the light of body diversity, Aayumi Productions’ Item Dhamaka seems to have taken a step back into the past – towards a world of female comic characters that were essentially defined by their scanty spandex-clad sexy bodies, breasts heaving across panels. But of course, Pankaj Naik, co-founder of Aayumi as well as the designer and letterer of the series has a comeback for us. “We are in India and honestly we are in a serious dearth of sexy female protagonists with a mind of their own in our comics here,” he begins.

Cover 01

“Either we have the classic demure mythological deities in Amar Chitra Katha, or badly drawn female superheroes with tacky costumes,” he goes on to say, entirely overlooking the existence of impressive female protagonists like Angry Maushi, Devi Chaudhurani and Kari. “Our idea was to have our own spin on some of the mythological characters and bring them to a pseudo realistic environment of present India. Make it more fun and exciting. Also Item or Urvashi is supposed to be an Apsara, one of the divine courtesans, how else are we supposed to portray her?”
At the end of the book, you realise that Item Dhamaka is not the book you would want to pick up if you are hoping to see the evolution of Indian comics beyond mythological influence or unrealistic depiction of women. However, it is perfect if you are a teenage boy engulfed in throes of hormonal surges. Then again, why would you – if you have an internet connection?