As any other comic-book freak would, as soon as I entered the local comic-book store, I ran straight up to the lady and asked her about the availability of comics. What she told me was something completely unexpected; there were only Indian comics available.
The scenario in India today is different, very different from what it was a decade ago. All the funny, sweet and simple art along with stories concentrating on moral values have been replaced by a deeper, darker world. The underground of India, the corrupt political world, the mythological world etc. are leading the scene. What these comics have done has revolutionized the entire place, leading to a renaissance – A renaissance of comics in our country.
The way in all this has been done is as surprising as it is marvelous. Heart-broken engineers, reluctant “Like father like son” businessmen, young comic lovers have all broken their own paths laid down and created a new one for them. There is no denying about the fact that world-class companies like DC and Marvel have always made us jealous since our comics have never been in the same league. Various companies today are trying to change that. A loyal group of followers has been born; a substantially growing industry has been revived. The comics today are actually at par with the American comics, giving them tough competition in both the writing and the artistic areas.
I will be brief when I talk about how this is all happening. Vimanika Comics, a budding organization has completely changed the face of our mythology by producing comics concentrated in that genre. With ancient-style like artwork and stories involving many Gods, Goddesses and Demons, these tales have been re-told in a wonderful way. Level 10 comics has involved itself in the modern era and has been producing “Jump” issues (A jump is a magazine that produces anthologies of comics) of many genres – Sci-fi, thriller, superhero etc. What was a foreign privilege to Indians has now been local with Level 10 also starting a “Manga” series in their issues. Random TV has come up with its own rendition, focusing on adult humour and spoofed movie dialogues. Using many stars from channels like [V], the magazine produces a great portrayal of the Indian side of laughs. Superhero dogs, flying aunties and over-exploding Punjabis are just some of the many treats RANDOM has to offer. Campfire, another business giant in the comic-industry has taken down a different monster; the monster called NOVELS. Rewriting many classics and putting them in a comic format, Campfire has decided to bring the long forgotten world of 19th century classics like The Invisible Man and Oliver Twist into today’s life. Amen to that!
Other companies have taken a feather out of these hats and began producing and fishing out comics following this outburst. Holy Cow Entertainment, Indyacomics etc. are all trying hard to give the big guns a defeat at their own game. Companies like Dial-A-Book and flipkart have decided to do their part in this revolution by tying up exclusively with these organizations and delivering comics right at your doorstep.
But with all good things comes that one bad thing that you wish never had come. Rarity. These comics, except for being famous in metros and other high-bred cities fail to reach out to the entire audience because of their limited budgets and middle-scale production measures. Despite this, there is, as always a silver lining to this cloud too. India’s first Comic Con happened in 2011. A movie is going to be made, based on one of the Vimanika Comics. Changes like these might soon drive us all straight to the top, while also reaching out to every Indian child and every Indian comic-book fan, just like good ol’ Tinkle and Chandamama who still remain on the top of kids’ books’ list.
Standing at the counter, I still wondered about taking the comics. But what if they are Indian? They were still as good, still as readable and still as fun. I decided I would take a shot and grab some copies of these comics. That had changed my life forever.
The craziness never stops. Keep reading! The geek is out.