Saurav Mohapatra - comic book writer

author, artist and bona fide geek

Category: Dhurandhar

Indian Express covers Mumbai Confidential and Dhurandhar

Indian Express ran a piece written by Anisha Sridhar about Mumbai Confidential and Dhurandhar, my creator owned graphic novel projects under the Dhichkaon banner.

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Mumbai Confidential – GOOD COP, BAD COP Chapter 1 free online preview
Mumbai Confidential – Digital Short# 1
About Mumbai Confidential

Mumbai Confidential is a crime noir comic book series (about the infamous encounter cops of Mumbai) created by Saurav Mohapatra and Vivek Shinde [more…]

About DHURANDHAR

DHURANDHAR is a supernatural/occult comic book series (set in present day India) created by Saurav Mohapatra and Siddharth Panwar. Currently work on the first installment “THE MAN WHO RIDES TRAINS”, a 84 page black and white original graphic novel, is underway. [read more… ]

“Building Character” (Part – I) – FUKKU BHAI

Like parents, creators are duty bound to say that they love all their children equally and like parents, creators always have their personal favorites. One thing I love about being a writer is creating characters. Somehow, I get more pleasure out of creating zany, off-beat supporting characters than the protagonist. Guess growing up on a staple diet of Hindi/Bollywood potboilers had to take its toll somehow. In most Indian movies made between 80-90 (the halcyon days, IMHO — low budgets, huge casts and broad intended appeal) mostly the hero was a cookie cutter avenging angel or an all around nice guy trapped in a bad world. These stories were populated with an unbelievable cast of “Helpers” and “Villains” — those that either helped or hindered the hero in his quest to either change the world or achieve the zen of family wholesomeness.

Long story short, I enjoy designing bad guys and supporting characters.

When working on creator owned projects like MUMBAI CONFIDENTIAL or DHURANDHAR, I have the freedom to build the world and its inhabitants from the ground up. So I can craft each character and add whatever oddities I feel like to make them more “human” :). But as a “work for hire” writer, the properties one deals with already have set personalities as protagonists and antagonists. So as a creator, I always felt that one way I could leave my stamp in those projects was to create some characters around the main cast who’d provide extra flavor.

Enough talk, let’s get down to business. Here’ a list of some characters from the ones I’ve created so far for my Work-For-Hire projects. I shall be writing a series of these dealing with one of my favorite characters in each.

#1 – FUKKU BHAI (from MUMBAI MACGUFFIN)

I created this character for the Virgin comics one-shot MUMBAI MACGUFFIN, which was written by me and illustrated by Saumin Patel. I had visualized the story as THREE DAYS OF CONDOR meets SNATCH and set in Mumbai. It’s an action-comedy about a CIA operative who comes to Mumbai to hunt for a downed satellite and ends up facing a cast of weird characters.

Saumin and I created the gangster Ali Shah Jung Bahadur Fakruddin Sheikh (aka Fukku Bhai) as a larger-than-life mob boss who rules over “Chor Bazar”, the secret market of thieves deep inside the slums of Dharavi. We gave him a disability (he’s wheelchair bound) to humanize him, yet made him cold and hard as Megatron’s balls. Fukku Bhai is a John Wayne fan and watches old westerns all day long. He carries an antique colt in an authentic wild west holster and doesn’t hesitate to shoot people who irritate him. He’s the king in his kingdom and you mess with him at your own peril.

Rather than being the antagonist, Fukku is sort of the local bigwig and plays a part in the story that suits his stature as the undisputed ruler of Chor Bazar, where his word is law.

You can read the whole comic book here for free.

Introducing DHURANDHAR

Lately I’ve started work on a supernatural/occult comic book set in India called DHURANDHAR.

When I initially envisioned the project, I wanted it to have a very typical Indian look and I looked at several artists who were interested in collaborating. I finally decided to pick Siddharth Panwar, a young artist from India who has done some prior work for Raj Comics, who was recommended highly by artist Abhishek Malsuni. Siddharth “got” the character and the setting from the get go and his explorations captured what I wanted to do with this project. I, for one, am really looking forward to seeing how Siddharth shapes the visual aspects of DHURANDHAR further.

As per the story itself, I can’t give away too much of it here (it’s after all at heart a horror story). What I *can* share is that:

  • It takes place in present day India in the “Real world”. Obviously, it’s as close to the real world as possible, given the subject matter
  • Trains play a significant part in it
  • It may or may not have a SMOKE MONSTER ;-)

You can find out more about the project and see some concept art/teasers at http://dhurandhar.com.
About DHURANDHAR

DHURANDHAR is a supernatural/occult comic book series (set in present day India) created by Saurav Mohapatra and Siddharth Panwar. Currently work on the first installment “THE MAN WHO RIDES TRAINS”, a 84 page black and white original graphic novel, is underway. [read more… ]