Saurav Mohapatra - comic book writer

author, artist and bona fide geek

Tag: Saurav Mohapatra (page 2 of 7)

Mumbai Confidential Ashcans for FCBD 2010

Mumbai ConfidentialOrdered some ashcans off of ComiXPress of the Chapter 1 preview for Free Comic Book Day (FCBD) on May 1, 2010. I shall most probably be giving these away at my awesome local comic book store That’s Entertainment in Worcester, MA on FCBD 2010.

The ashcans really came out great. Going to order some more of these to give out at Albany Comic Con in April 2010, if I decide to attend it.

I posted some photos of the ashcan preview over at the Mumbai Confidential blog.

About Mumbai Confidential

Mumbai Confidential is a crime noir comic book series created by writer Saurav Mohapatra (DEVI, SADHU, MUMBAI MACGUFFIN, INDIA AUTHENTIC, JIMMY ZHINGCHAK) and artist Vivek Shinde (PROJECT: KALKI, SNAKEWOMAN) set in (of course!) the Indian city of Mumbai.

Belated Find : Some radical India Authentic love

Well, I think I found this a year or so too late. http://nenena.livejournal.com/126717.html

Thanks for the kind words, Nenena. It is much appreciated. These are the moments a writer lives for :)

An excerpt:

The modern heir to Amar Chitra Katha, India Authentic comics are effing fantastic: A combination of spiritual lesson, high adventure tale, and artgasm after artgasm. All are fronted by Deepak Chopra’s poetic introductions. But the best part is the writing by Saurav Mohapatra. Mohapatra gets inside the heads of the gods and gives them voices that sound all-too-human; which is exactly what the Hindu gods, flawed and imperfect as they sometimes are, should sound like.

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Turbulence – a short story

this is adapted from a chapter from a novella I wrote a long time ago called “The Temple”

I had caught a connecting flight from Heathrow to New Delhi. The hardly audible voice over the telephone had given me the one piece of news that could possibly get me on a plane, or even think of going to India.

My father was dead. I was flying to perform his last rites.

I was never much of the jet-setting traveler type. I get airsick a lot. I can’t sleep on the planes and get twinges of claustrophobia encased in these steel sarcophagi. Air travel for me is hours of sitting in cramped coach seats, trying to wriggle my toes and fidgeting in the seat to pass the time.

This time it was different. I know not why but I managed to fall asleep. Maybe it was the fact that it was all finally sinking in, the fact that both my parents were now dead. I guess it was kind of a defense mechanism that brought on the soothing anesthetic blanket of sleep over my troubled mind.

I had the usual air travel woes when my journey began from Boston Logan. We faced some turbulence over the Atlantic. The plane was buffeting violently and I could see the wingtips dip and pitch from my seat near the window.

Sudden realization dawned on me as to how short life could be. What if I were to die right here right now? What if the plane crashed into the icy waters of the ocean below me?

At least it would be quick and painless for me, but what about those that I leave behind?

I thought of my wife and daughter. Had I been a good father to my daughter? What about Maya, my wife? The last memory she will have of us is the pointless quarrel we had the night before.

If I died right now, I would not even have said a proper goodbye to them both. Would they remember me after I am gone?

What would be the sum total of my life, my legacy or the fact that I have none? I have lived a normal uneventful life, a face in the crowd, nothing out of the ordinary. I own a beige sedan and a 1600 sq ft. Colonial in a distant suburb of Boston. Maybe that is worth something in the long run, the fact that I did not screw up royally?

But should not one aspire for more from life? What it is that lives on forever, long after one is gone from the face of the earth?

#

The turbulence outside had ceased, but I seemed not to notice. The storm still raged in my mind. It raced with questions I had not even given the slightest pause for ponder in a very long time.

Maybe it was mental fatigue, but I had not noticed when I had fallen asleep.

I dreamt of my mother. I had not thought of her for so many years now. She was the bridge between us, as my father and I drifted apart. She remained the common link between us, a surrogate for the bond that should have been in place between father and son.

What a strain it must have been for her, playing the silent peacemaker as the two men in her life bickered and fought at every available opportunity.

I would have liked her to have met Aikya. She had never met Maya. I met Maya after I’d moved to the United States. God! How nice it would have been if my mother could have seen what I made of my life!

Would she have approved?

In my dreams she seemed to, just as she had always done when she was alive.

She had been my anchor as an adolescent as I drifted hither and thither, trying to do one thing after the other, while my father disapproved. She stood by me silently. The best thing she always did was to do nothing.

She let me be, but my father was a different story.

He seemed to have charted the course of my life, ever since I had been born. I resented that. As soon as I was able, I rebelled against his every whim. When he wanted me to study liberal arts, I studied science. Just because he wanted me to focus on a career as an academic, a tenured professor Maybe, I chose to be a programmer.

When we quarreled, his precepts and quotes would be grounded in history and philosophy, while I waxed eloquent over parallels drawn from mathematics and quantum physics.

It was almost as if we preferred not even to speak the same language.

It must have troubled my mother a lot, but she did not say a word. I guess what I mistook for cowardice back then was in fact a quiet strength and wisdom that I completely engrossed in my rebellious teenaged self could not even begin to fathom. She did not take sides because she could not.

I think it was the strain that finally took her. I felt guilt rushing in swamping my thoughts like a cold inky black flood. I was as guilty as my father.

We both had killed her.

I knew it in that moment and I guess my father had known it then, on that fateful night, the night of her funeral. I think it was subconscious knowledge of this guilt that drove us both to the last altercation we ever had.

Even from beyond the grave, she had offered us a chance to reconcile that night and we in our raging macho posturing had blown it away.

My grief and sorrow were fresh again. I believe they had never left. I had just hid them somewhere deep inside me.

I woke up and found that I had been weeping.

I brushed my tears away. Perhaps fate had given me another chance. Maybe by honoring my father’s last wish would be my way of apologizing to both of them. I needed it. He needed it.

Maybe the scattering of his ashes would not erase fully all the painful memories of our relationship; but who knows?

Death is a great leveler, all bets are off.

I put my head back and pressed it hard against the headrest of my seat.

#

I looked out of the window. The turbulence was over. All I could see was the blue waters of the ocean and an even bluer sky.

The captain announced that we had caught a tailwind and would arrive half an hour earlier than our scheduled arrival at Heathrow. I am not a superstitious man, but in that moment I almost believed that it was an omen.

The storm had passed. I was going home.

THE END

A Heaven for Trishanku

The website for my new graphic novel project “A Heaven for Trishanku” (drawn by R. Manikandan) is live at AHeavenForTrishanku.com. Mani and I did Sadhu volume 2 : The Silent Ones together and it is a real kicker to be working with him again.

As a story AHFT is very different from anything I’ve done so far. It’s the story of Anwesh Bannerjee, a student activist in the ’70s who along with his “comrades” tried to blow up a bridge to protest against the “Bourgeoisie”-controlled government and ended up accidentally killing an Indian Railways worker who was on duty. Haunted by this guilt, Anwesh surrendered and the court sentenced him to Life imprisonment. Now after more than four decades he is set free and sets about finding the last surviving kin of his victim to apologize.

The story is set against the backdrop of Modern India well on its way to becoming America Light and is represented in the story by Anwesh’s nephew Manu, a 16 year old living in an ideological void populated only by the materialistic swarm of cell phones and iPod’s.

This is the story of Anwesh’s quest for redemption. This is the story of Manu’s unwitting search for an ideological anchor. This too is the story of an unusual friendship between a sixty year old and a sixteen year old, both adrift in the churning ocean that is India today, itself searching for an identity.

About A Heaven for Trishanku

A Heaven for Trishanku (AHFT) is written by Saurav Mohapatra (DEVI, SADHU, MUMBAI MACGUFFIN, INDIA AUTHENTIC, JIMMY ZHINGCHAK, PHANTOM CHRONICLES) and drawn by R. Manikandan (SADHU, KSHATRIYA : BLADE FO THE WARRIOR).

The AVATAR Experience

“Dude, I ain’t watching DANCES WITH THE SMURFS 3D!”

AVATARThat was the reaction of a co-worker when I told him that James Cameron‘s AVATAR blew me away. He’s got a point there, while completely missing the point of the movie. AVATAR has a by the numbers / cookie cutter story similar to the New World or Dances with the wolves. But I think that is by design. The real star of the movie is the graphics — mindblowing graphics. Yet it could have become a soulless/senseless paen to imagery a la CITY OF LOST CHILDREN or MIRRORMASK, but AVATAR as a story has heart — lots of it. The cliches and tropes are salvaged by the smooth and seamless integration of the gorgeously imagined and rendered Alien landscapes (which are IMPORTANT and RELEVANT to the story/plot). It is realistic without crashing down into Uncanny Valley and balances the realism of simulation with appropriate does of suspension of disbelief and in some cases even sensory stimuli.

FUTURE IS WILDAVATAR reminded me of two most excellent Discovery channel documentaries titled FUTURE IS WILD and ALIEN PLANET I had seen earlier.

FUTURE IS WILD is an extrapolation of evolution on planet earth millions of years into the future and ALIEN PLANET is the imagined story of ALIEN PLANETthe first unmanned mission traversing space in search of extraterrestrial life (and finding it). Both were made with budgets that probably would not even render half a dozen giant mushrooms in the world of PANDORA. :) But they share a bond with Cameron’s AVATAR in being utterly imaginative about what alien flora and fauna (and even terrestrial ones in the future) may look like. While AVATAR has the luxury of dramatic hyperbole and poetic license, it uses them to build a vibrant vista rather than squander it on meaningless visual non sequitors.

To those few who are still debating whether or not to see AVATAR, my advice would be to go see it immediately (preferably in IMAX/3D). This might be something that’ll help you score some coolness cred with your grandchild when (s)he’s twiddling away on a full 3D holographic handheld with full haptic / synaptic interface powered by the latest Quantum computing chip.

“Y’know back in my day, we did it all with Mo-Cap and 280 mil dollars!” :)

Yup, it’s that kind of a landmark in motion picture history.

AVATAR HD Extended Trailer



FUTURE IS WILD



ALIEN PLANET



Mumbai Confidential Chapter 1 Preview posted online

Mumbai ConfidentialChristmas came early this year. :) As promised, we are posting a preview of Chapter 1 of Mumbai Confidential Book 1Good Cop, Bad Cop“.

NOTE: The preview requires Flash and on low b/w connections might take a bit of time to load

So we’ll be back in Jan with new exploration and never before seen concept art and some other goodies. The MC Team has always valued our fans and community and this is our christmas gift to you. :)

If you want to link to it :

http://www.mumbaiconfidential.com/preview/previewchapter-1/.

Also we’re on TWITTER and FACEBOOK too, so drop us a ping if you feel like it.

Enjoy and Happy Holidays!

About Mumbai Confidential

Mumbai Confidential is a crime noir comic book series created by writer Saurav Mohapatra (DEVI, SADHU, MUMBAI MACGUFFIN, INDIA AUTHENTIC, JIMMY ZHINGCHAK) and artist Vivek Shinde (PROJECT: KALKI, SNAKEWOMAN) set in (of course!) the Indian city of Mumbai.

Jimmy Zhingchak on Wikipedia

Jimmy ZhingchakHa! saw this during a wikipedia browsing session. Kinda made my day! :) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jimmy_Zhingchak_(comics).

JZ was a real blast to write. I have fond memories of writing it. The character of Bhappi-da, the last of the DISCO gods is hands down my favorite ever, closely followed by Fukku Bhai from Mumbai Macguffin. Last I heard (from semi-realiable sources) UTV was making a movie out of it. Wonders of work-for-hire! I’m not involved in that. :( But will go watch the movie when (and if) it gets made.

Aieeee Saaalaaa!

Oh! and I used to maintain a kind of scrapbook of Zhingchak sightings on the wild wild web. You can find it here.

About Jimmy Zhingchak

JIMMY ZHINGCHAK – AGENT OF D.I.S.C.O., written by Saurav Mohapatra and drawn by Anupam Sinha, is a spoof and a homage of ’80s bollywood disco zeitgeist, detailing the adventures of a disco dancing superspy who fights Sir John and his evil F.I.R.A.N.G. for the Dept. of Internal Security and Covert Operations (D.I.S.C.O.) [more..]

Mumbai Confidential site now has a new look

I decided to unleash my nerd-ery to try and code a new wordpress template for Mumbai Confidential website. So read up a few resources on the web and one night’s coding binge got the new theme (aptly called “Mumbai Confidential Custom 1“) up and running.

Details are here.

About Mumbai Confidential

Mumbai Confidential is a crime noir comic book series created by writer Saurav Mohapatra (DEVI, SADHU, MUMBAI MACGUFFIN, INDIA AUTHENTIC, JIMMY ZHINGCHAK) and artist Vivek Shinde (PROJECT: KALKI, SNAKEWOMAN) set in (of course!) the Indian city of Mumbai.

comic books I read – a (non-comprehensive) list

I usually read comics spanning quite an eclectic range and one rule that I have is picking each book based on what I feel about that particular story. Though that being said, I’m much more likely to pick up a issue #1 by Ed Brubaker, Warren Ellis or Greg Rucka blindly :).

So when someone asks me what books you like to read, it’s pretty tough to just say one or even five/six names. Currently my pull/read list consists of THE BOYS by Garth Ennis, AIR by G. Willow Wilson and UNWRITTEN by Mike Carey. Some of the other comics that I’ve read and really enjoyed (listed in no particular order) :

  • LAZARUS CHURCHYARD, TRANSMETROPOLITAN, PLANETARY, AUTHORITY and FELL by Warren Ellis and his run on Ultimate FF and IRON MAN : Extremis
  • PLANET HULK by Greg Pak
  • WOLVERINE LEGENDS v2: MELTDOWN by Walter Simonson
  • SWAMP THING, TOM STRONG. SUPREME and TOP TEN by Alan Moore
  • WOLVERINE: SNIKT! by Tsutomo Nihei
  • WALKING DEAD by Robert Kirkman
  • HITMAN, PREACHER by Garth Ennis and his PUNISHER run (especially WELCOME BACK FRANK)
  • THE PATH by Ron Marz
  • WAY OF THE RAT by Chuck Dixon
  • LUCIFER by Mike Carey
  • Frank Miller’s run on DAREDEVIL and DARK KNIGHT RETURNS and DARK KNIGHT STRIKES AGAIN
  • Ed Brubaker’s run on DAREDEVIL and his work in CRIMINAL
  • Grant Morrison’s run on ANIMAL MAN
  • WHITEOUT and QUEEN & COUNTRY by Greg Rucka
  • MARVELS, SECRET IDENTITY and ASTRO CITY by Kurt Busiek
  • EMPIRE and KINGDOM COME by Mark Waid
  • POWERS by Brian M. Bendis
  • MIDNIGHT NATION by J. Michael Straczinsky
  • MARKED by Steve Ross

More Toughguys with guns

I just can’t stop drawing these

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