This is the second article of a two-part series exploring the Indian comic book industry. On Monday, we explained the growth of the Indian comic book industry. Today we look at the dilemma of being a geek in India and the status of comic book artists.
By Umika Pidaparthy, Special to CNN
Abhijeet Kini, a Mumbai-based comic book illustrator and animator, did not think there were other comic book enthusiasts like him in India.
“There are a lot of comic book collectors who have blown their salaries on comic books, and I thought I was the only one around,” he said.
In fact, the artist was pretty clueless about Indian geek culture in general.
That is until Kini attended the first Comic Con India in 2011.
He said he was amazed to see not only a big crowd at the convention, but people actually participating in cosplay (short for costume play). Kini was even more surprised to see people dressed as lesser-known characters from edgy Vertigo Comics and Image.
That scene repeated itself at the second Comic Con India (CCI) in February. Not only did many comic fans show up as the Avengers, the Joker and Freddy Krueger, there were also a plethora of new comic books, screenings, workshops by local artists and publishers and even an appearance by “Fritz the Cat” creator Robert Crumb. In all, there were around 80 participants and 35,000 attendees.
This is the first of a two-part series exploring the Indian comic book industry. Look for the second part of the series - about the dilemma of being a geek in India - on Tuesday.
By Umika Pidaparthy, Special to CNN
If Batman and Superman ever packed their bags and moved to India, they would find that they have a bit of competition.
The superhero turf already belongs to figures such as Super Kudi and Pavitr Prabhakar.
They're the Indian equivalents of American mainstays Supergirl and Spider-Man’s Peter Parker, but they're just a small part of the growing Indian comic book industry.
That industry is more than mere translations of American comics. It’s a multilingual fantasyland, with themes ranging from mythology to humor to horror. In fact, Indian comic artists and graphic novelists say that there is hardly any room for Western superheroes today. This is clear to anyone who took in the comic offerings at February’s Comic Con India in New Delhi.
[Editor's note: Several of you inquired about the language of these comics in the comments. These comics are published mostly in English, while some are in Hindi and other local languages.]
Although he has said he didn't expect a best picture Oscar nod, Daniel Radcliffe is nonetheless a little "miffed" that "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2" didn't make it into the major Oscar categories when nominations were announced in January. (The movie did receive nods in three technical categories.)
In an interview with Radio Times on Tuesday, Radcliffe said the wildly lucrative "Harry Potter" franchise has been continuously ignored by the Academy. The last film in the series, "Deathly Hallows – Part 2," made $1.3 billion at the global box office, according to BoxOfficeMojo.com.
"I don't think the Oscars like commercial films, or kids' films, unless they're directed by Martin Scorsese," Radcliffe told the Radio Times. "I was watching 'Hugo' the other day and going, 'Why is this nominated and we're not?' I was slightly miffed."
SPOILER ALERT: If you haven't' seen "The Adventures of Tintin" yet but you plan on it, or you happen to be a passionate Tintin fan who gets dyspeptic at the thought of Spielberg's adaption, it's probably best that you don't read any further.
When Michael Farr, a world-renowned expert on everything Tintin, was writing a biography on the comics series’ creator, Georges Remi (better known as Hergé) he found a note while digging through the Belgian artist’s papers.
It said: “If there’s one person who can bring Tintin successfully to the screen, it’s this young American director.”
Farr, who has authored over a dozen books analyzing “The Adventures of Tintin,” told The Telegraph that Hergé was talking about Steven Spielberg because the note was dated 1983, right when they were in talks about acquiring the rights for a movie. The illustrator was apparently also a fan of Spielberg’s early films. Unfortunately, Hergé passed away in March of that year, long before anything came to fruition.
So when I heard that a big budget motion-capture movie directed by Spielberg was coming out in 2011, the Tintinophile in me was excited. Technically this movie has Hergé’s posthumous seal of approval. Also Peter Jackson, a longtime Tintin fan, was on board. (See Jackson dressed up as Captain Haddock in a motion-capture test here).
With that winning combination, it has to be good, right? FULL POST
Ever since I read, “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” for the first time in 2000, Ronald Bilius Weasley has always been my favorite character. You could even say that I had a slight crush on him growing up.
Now mind you, I was an 11-year-old girl then who, like any Potter-fanatic, dreamed of getting her Hogwarts acceptance letter someday.
I would spend hours reading and re-reading the books. Then I would go online to Potter forums and fan fiction websites to read some more. I could summarize story lines, recite facts and my favorite quotes from memory. I literally grew up with Harry Potter, Ron and Hermione Granger and even quietly celebrated their respective birthdays. So you see I was, and still am, quite invested.
But out of all the people in the Potter-verse, I have always had a soft spot for Ron. FULL POST