Comics that capture the flavours of regional India
As Mumbai Film Comic Con 2013 begins this weekend, Hassan M Kamal picks three comics that capture the lesser-seen flavours of regional India. From Kerala's martial arts Kalaripayattu to an angry maid battling evil doers in Mumbai or an Aghori fighting evil forces in Rajasthan's ghostly Bhangarh Fort it's a riot of colours
Aghori Book 4 — Finale (Holy Cow Entertainment) Rs 240
A CEO in search of his son, gives up everything and starts living like an Aghori, a sect in Hinduism, which lives off the dead. Deeply weaven around the life and culture of aghoris, Aghori Book 4 sees its protagonist, Vira, battle the evil forces in the ghostly Bhangarh fort in Rajasthan. “We have tried to explore what might have happened in the fort 100 years ago, and connect it to Vira and his son, who is living in the fort,” says Vivek Goel of Holy Cow Entertainment, the publishers of the comic. “Aghori opens the world of aghoris to the people, and explores the myths surrounding them,” adds Goel. This is the finale of the origin series, and will soon be followed by two new episodes every month.
Odayan (Pop Culture and Level 10) Rs 200
Odayan is the story of an underprivileged child, who takes control over most of the 15-16 century Kerala with his might and fierce Kalaripayattu. “The central character, plays the villain as well as the protagonist, as he sets on to destroy everything that comes his way to achieve his goal,” says Suhas Sundar, writer of Odayan. The comic offers amazing black and white artworks, catchy dialogues and portayal of the martial arts, Kalaripayattu. First published in 2011, this is the first in the series, and was re-launched at Comic Con Express, Hyderabad in September this year, after it went out of print. The makers are now working on three books; the first should hit shelves in early 2014.
Angry Maushi — Second Blood (self-published) Rs 100
After the success of the first edition of Angry Maushi, the fiery maid from Mumbai is back for more blood. Created as an alter ego of every Mumbaikar, angry and frustrated with the establishment, Maushi speaks in the Mumbai lingo with typical Marathi gaalis. Draped in a green saari, with a red bindi on her forehead, Maushi fights problems which are typically Mumbai. “From corruption, high prices, irate rickshawwallas, local gundas to molesters, Maushi fights everyone, but with violence,” says its creator Abhijeet Kini. “She is like the held up anger of Mumbaikar let loose,” he adds.