The year is 2020 and the mysterious and enigmatic duo of Anga and Morphuz are hurtling down towards the Indo-China border in their desi truck. Not much is known about their origins or their intentions, save the fact that Anga has in his possession the Blue Lotus Crystal and both of them are meta-humans with very high levels of powers.
Some say Anga and Morphuz are old gods- that cannot be confirmed. What is known is that Morphuz has a pretty bad credit rating and is quite poor.
VRICA: Dawn of the Wolf, is the award nominated Graphic novel in the bestselling series VRICA by Chariot Comics. ‘Dawn’ concludes the first story arc of Team VRICA with an explosive and game-changing climax.
Writer: Aniruddho Chakraborty Artist: Tarun Kumar Sahu, Tamal Saha Format: Paperback Year: 2014 ISBN: NA MRP: INR 175
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Chariot Comics’ epic full-length follow up to the ground breaking “Dawn of the Wolf” is here. After going rogue and then taking over reigns of the country – Team VRICA’s leader, Rohan “Dark Wolf” Dangwal, finds himself grappling with the hubris and the burden that came with his position of power. Meanwhile, the mysterious Shadow 17 continues its onslaught in bits and pieces – with upgraded technology and meta-human soldiers.
While Team VRICA scampers to put out the fires once and for all – we travel across time and follow another man’s story of duty, war and of making a deal with the devil. Who is this person? What relevance does his story have to the current chain of events? Find out in December VRICA: Ascension Protocol.
Read some of the rave reviews VRICA Ascension Protocol is getting.
“VRICA is one of the better original Indian Superhero Comics around, with some of the smartest writing I have seen. I’m looking forward to the continuation of the story” – Adi MK, Graphic Novelist and ex-Comic Book Editor (Campfire)
“I have seen the preview and it is so good that the author is going to get arrested and might need to seek asylum in Russia. Ascension Protocol pisses people off – legitimately.” – Soubhik Mukherjee, Hack turned Hawker.
Loved it? Hated it? Drop your review in the comments below!
Zombie Rising is a graphic novel tie-in to India’s first zombie origins feature film Rise of the Zombie (starring Luke Kenny & Benjamin Gilani); written by Devaki Singh. From Chariot Comics & Luminosity Pictures comes a dark, gory and terrifying zombie horror thriller comic Zombie Rising, which serves as a prelude to the movie.
Writer: Devaki Singh, Luke Kenny Artist: Tarun Kumar Sahu Format: Paperback Year: 2014 ISBN: NA MRP: INR 100
Yes, right – we haven’t been around for a while – but guess what, Comic Con season is coming and we’re gearing up for something big!
Yeah, VRICA: Ascension Protocol is on its way and we’ve been teasing a lot of that in our social channels here and here. We know it’s more than a year late – we promised 2014 and now we’re sitting in 2015 and yet to launch. But we won’t apologize, instead we’ll tell you why.
The first and foremost reason was the fact that we hit a creative block. For those of you who have read Dawn of the Wolf (If you haven’t, get it here or here) – you would understand what we tried to do with the ending. A little bit of spoilers here – but we went all out creatively, to give you a game changing climax, something that would give you (as readers) and us (as creators) both a “f**k, did that just happen!” moment. And we did. And we’re glad that you loved it too.
But as creators, where did we want to go from there? That was a difficult task to figure out. Do we tell a more focused, more personal story? Do we move to origins? Or do we do something even more epic. It took us nearly a year to figure it out – and I think we have hit the middle path, somewhere between: deeply personal and quite epic.
Also – while VRICA started out as what would many assume was the Indian G I Joe (which we pitched it as such ourselves) once we ended Dawn of the Wolf; we realized it was time to move beyond that, on to the type of storytelling we really wanted to do. Things you haven’t seen before, here or elsewhere.
So, before we delve more into what Ascension Protocol is all about in our next blog (and we promise we will be regular here on out!) Thanks for waiting around, we appreciate it – and this September, at Hyderabad Comic Con, where we launched our first GN; VRICA: ASCENSION PROTOCOL PART 1 launches – a 2 part epic, 2 years in the making!
So something new and unique happened in the comic book industry, two of the leading independent comic book publishers; Chariot Comics & Meta Desi Presents, joined hands to form a unique imprint banner – ICBM comics.
But what does this mean? Have we merged? Are we one? Well yes and no…
What we’ve done is come together as one to publish together under the ICBM banner, and this allows us to be bigger and better; while keeping our individual titles, creative approaches and philosophies intact. This helps us work together, optimize, help each other out and even do crossovers (and everyone loves crossovers don’t they!).
In case you would like to read more, Akshay and I, we’ve explained a lot in the Animation express article, which you can read over here: <Article>
Now onto the juicy part! You’ve all been asking us about our release schedules, when the next VRICA or Ground Zero comes out etc. etc.. To answer all your questions here’s the launch schedule for Meta Desi and Chariot under ICBM Comics till early next year!
ICBM Comic Title
Love me like a Psycho Robot
Meta Desi Comics
(at 3rd Bangalore Comic Con)
Damned #2: Demons in the Woods (digital single – free download)
Ground Zero: Volume 3
Meta Desi Comics
(at 2nd Hyderabad Comic Con)
Damned: Search for Karki
(digital single – free download)
VRICA: Reign of the Wolf
(digital double issue)
Damned: Genesis (digital single)
Ground Zero: Volume 4
Meta Desi Comics
(Annual India Comic Con 2015)
(Annual India Comic Con 2015)
VRICA/Super-Soldier Squad Crossover
May 2015 (tentative)
We can’t stress enough how excited we are about the release schedule, especially the extremely kickass Love Me like a Psycho Robot by the House of Meta Desi that’s up first. More on that in the next post! Stay tuned!
Watch our founder Aniruddho Chakraborty in a special session with John Layman of Chew fame at Comic Con India 2014. John Layman, one of the best new writers in the scene talks about everything, from Chew and food, to hollywood and how to make it as a writer in the comic book world.
There! I said it. As an independent comic book publisher, there’s not a platform I love more to showcase our work at Chariot Comics than Comic Con and if there’s apprehension on the overall sales of comics etc., worry not, Dilliwaalas seemingly have deeply lined pockets, even for comics.
But over the period of the last couple of weeks since the event, we’ve seen much debate and opinions on whether the event is just a merchandize-based cash cow or a sincere effort at establishing a culture (and in extension, a community) of comics in India.
What follows is largely a rant with one-part counter-argument, one-part independent publisher’s perspective; two-parts of personal opinion and dash of suggestions and advice (which as Indians is our birthright!). I am going to try and counter the said arguments head on, starting with the big two in this two part blog:
Issue #1: THIS IS NOT AN INDIAN F&%*ING COMIC CON!
Yes, the title is in all caps, since many of us fans, publishers, and journalists alike usually make that statement in all caps rage. In fact, I had an avid Indian comic book fan and supporter once tell me point-blank “people like us, we boycott Comic Con, it doesn’t feel Indian <sic>…it’s too international!” At that moment, on hearing that statement, when it should been a “F**K YEAH! Go Indian Comics!” moment, I felt a huge pang of disappointment.
Why? Well, because the statement and the underlying argument in itself are disheartening at many levels. Honestly, why shouldn’t Comic Con India be international? Why shouldn’t the best of comics from the big & small publishing houses in India compete on the same platform as a Marvel, DC, IDW, 2000 AD or Top Cow? In fact, shouldn’t one take delight in the fact that here’s a platform which puts a Holy Cow, Kini, Orange Radius or a Meta-Desi on the same billing as a Marvel or DC. Keeping that in mind, does it make sense to make vitriolic statements such as ‘boycott it as a non-Indian event’?
As an ‘indy’ publisher, there’s nothing we would want more than to be a part of an ‘international’ event.
Now let’s tackle the issue of people spending more on international vs. Indian comics. Admittedly, even my eyes light up when I see a DC collector’s volume at a Random House stall, and while buying I often wonder if someone would be willing to shell out $40.99 for any Indian comics one day. And it seemed like a disappointed prospect. But, you know what, a little introspection later, I realise they will one day, once we’re worth the $40.99. One day, some of us, as publishers, will come up with a Sandman, Sex Criminals, American Vampire or Lucifer and people will pay up the notional Indian equivalent of a $40.99 comic (what’s that? 1500 bucks maybe?).
So, I think it’s unfair to fib about Comic Con not being “Indian” – instead thank your stars that it isn’t. Comics are not to be confused with a national agenda – because Comics are exactly what they are – Comics. If you’re good enough, step-up, pick up your weapons; boost your superpowers, shell out the moolah and fight. Don’t get your undies in a bunch with faux nationalistic excuses.
And if you do love ‘Indian’ comics and want them at a Comic Con, just make the effort of finding us as much as we, as publishers, make the effort of finding you! We (all of us ‘Indy’ publishers) are all usually lined up together peddling our wares in one row at any of these ‘Cons’. You just need to find that row. Once you do that – you’re a true comic book fan. And I know there are thousands of you out there, many of whom I had the distinction and honour of meeting at Comic Con.
Issue #2: They should focus more on the Indian Titles and Publishers:
Ok, dear journalist – the Wikipedia of information on Indian titles and publishers – I see that you wanted to make a point. But sadly, not really Taken (insert Liam Neeson dialogue here).
Why? Just do the simple math and find out the percentage of Indian Publishers, their Events & Launches for Comic Con (as a piece of the total pie); and then add to that the Press Coverage received for Indian titles (for those who understand PR a little bit more, you could try the column coverage/cc method, mentions and opinion quotes to refine your stats). You’ll see the pie skewed enough (if not evenly) in favor of Indian ones vs. international ones and even the merchandisers. Come back to me with your findings and then let’s argue that point.
Essentially, my point is, that you’ll realize the focus and attention is enough – it’s how individuals capitalize on it that matters – just look at the engaging, fun launches and quizzes ACK and Campfire did this time round!
I mean, no one hands anything on a silver platter – no free lunches at the food court! 😛
And yes if you want more focus on the Indian publishers, don’t just write about it; buy our stuff, encourage others to buy and trust us when we say that we’ll get the attention ourselves after that.
OK. Publisher’s Rant over for Now. Feel free to share argue or call me out on anything wrong.
Part 2 coming soon and deals with Comics vs. Merchandise and Comic Book Outreach: Myth and Reality.