Quick Doodle – Favorite Authors/Favorite Quotes “John Steinbeck,Hunter S. Thompson and Ayn Rand”

John Steinbeck

Of Mice and Men and Grapes of Wrath were among the first few books I read in English and I’ve always admired how Steinbeck delivered a sermon without having to get on the pulpit. 🙂 One of the greatest chroniclers of the human condition.

Hunter S. Thompson

One word: Gonzo! I read Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and Rum Diary back to back, and fell in love with the reckless abandon in Thompson’s writing. To me it felt sort of was like watching Jackson Pollock paint with a firehose full of paint or a 50 calibre paintball gun. 😀

Ayn Rand

The Anthem is a severely underrated book. It was the second Ayn Rand book I read after reading We, The Living. Later on, I read Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead. But for me, the best work of Ayn Rand will always be The Night of Janurary 16th.

SDCC 2012 Signing Schedule

It’s that time of the year again, when I make my annual trip to San Diego for the Comic-Con. But this time it’s something special personally for me.

I shall be signing at the Archaia booth (Booth #2635) at San Diego Comic-con International (SDCC). My signing schedule is as follows. So swing by and say hi. 🙂

Pretty kicked as this is the first time I have a book out and an official signing schedule at SDCC 🙂 Here’s the official publisher’s page and the Archaia post about the signing schedule.

Also looking forward to catching up with friends and other creators.

  • THU 7/12 (10AM – 11:30AM)
  • FRI 7/13 (11AM – 12NOON)
  • SAT 7/14 (06PM – 07PM)

Pain Management

tl;dr: Pain is your body’s way of telling you what you shouldn’t be doing. If you block pain completely by using analgesics, then you might end up doing more damage as you’ll push your body in to doing weird things.

I’ve had back pain for a while now, which culminated a month or so ago into a slipped disc that pressed into the spinal nerves. This caused an amazing amount of pain in my right leg and a couple of days ago, I underwent surgery. My medicine cabinet is now overflowing with pain medication.

When I had a chat with my doctor before the surgery, I explained to him what my take on pain management was and he was pleasantly surprised that I didn’t subscribe to the “pill popping” school of pain management.

My philosophy is simple. I take the bare minimum pain medication necessary to allow me to function. I do believe strongly that at any given stage in life, one has a choice : one can either choose to function or not. There have been great men and women in the history of mankind who have overcome debilitating injuries and handicaps. I don’t claim even a fraction of their mental strength or character. But I do know this: no matter how bad things get, I’ll always choose to function.

Elaine of Blueberry Lane

Long back, I had written a silly rhyming story / poem for my daughter Adya called “Elaine and the Bug-eyed Bugaboo“. It was different from all that I had written before and I had a whale of a time writing it. Since last year, Devaki Neogi has been adapting it into a kid’s book that we hope to publish as an interactive app on the iPad once it’s done. I’m really impressed by all that Devaki has been able to do with the source material and breathe life into it. If we have a good response to this, I plan on expanding the series into a bigger narrative called “Elaine of Blueberry Lane“.

The first story is about a little girl and her invisible friend who along with her dog rescue the bugs of the meadow from an evil tyrant.

The Witch and The Warrior – Frank Frazetta Homage

As I mentioned earlier, Saumin Patel and I had collaborated on creating a short comic book homage to the work of the late Frank Frazetta for Chitrakatha website – a project by Saumin and Alok Sharma to produce a documentary about comic books in India.

Both Saumin and I are big fans of Frank’s work and personally for me, the first mental image I envision for high fantasy or sword and sorcery themes is always Frazetta-esque.

Don’t know if it ever made it to the Chitrakatha pages. Here it is in its entirety , for your viewing pleasure.

[issuu width=420 height=311 titleBarEnabled=true backgroundColor=%23222222 documentId=120102061419-1528408e71d64396a07ef6c156859c6e name=the_witch_and_the_warrior_final1 username=mohaps tag=chitrakatha unit=px id=e42973f3-2456-0c79-b262-a8028f46e577 v=2]

The comic is hosted on issuu.com and needs Flash to view. For iOS devices, you can go to http://issuu.com/mohaps/docs/the_witch_and_the_warrior_final1 and choose to download the comic book in PDF format.

Blast from the past and other updates :)

I got my first big break writing comics when I cold pitched Gotham Chopra, EiC of Virgin Comics in 2006 after reading a news article on his foray into India themed comics. Luckily, he liked my spec script (what’d later become INDIA AUTHENTIC #2 – KALI) and signed me up to write a series of Indian mythological stories with forewords by Deepak Chopra. Somewhere down the line, I was offered DEVI and THE SADHU and then onward to some stories based on characters and storylines I cooked up (e.g. MUMBAI MACGUFFIN and JIMMY ZHINGCHAK – AGENT OF D.I.S.C.O.. It was a work for hire gig (meaning I don’t own the rights to any of the stuff I created), but it was great fun while it lasted. I got to work with industry legends like Ron Marz, built up a decent sized portfolio and got to work with some awesome artists like Sid Kotian, Saumin Patel, Dean Hyrapiet, Abhishek Singh and Shounak Jog etc. I also became friends with other writers/artists working on the Virgin titles like Samit Basu, Mukesh Singh and Vivek Shinde. The Virgin editorial staff consisted of seasoned industry hands like MacKenzie Cadenhead (WOLVERINE: SNINKT) and Mariah Huehner (LUCIFER), movie industry veterans like Seth Jaret and a bunch of young energetic first timers like Sana Amanat, Michelle Gomes and Gaurav Sikka.

Then came the event that we, the Virgin Comics alumni, jokingly refer to as “The Great Deflowering” and just like that, Virgin was no more. The founders of Virgin Comics, namely Sharad Devrajan, Suresh Seetharaman and Gotham, effected a management buyout of the Virgin portfolio sometime later and came back as Liquid Comics. I did a few more work for hire gigs for them and also branched out to doing one off gigs for Moonstone (PHANTOM), Top Cow (WITCHBLADE). Vivek and I went on to create our creator owned project MUMBAI CONFIDENTIAL and I had some hijinks/misadventures with some other Indian publishers on work for hire projects.

All in all, I look back very fondly of my time spent with Virgin Comics and I greatly appreciate Sharad, Suresh and Gotham giving me the chance to write comics (I mean write freakin’ comic books and get paid doing it! 🙂 ). My dayjob (as a co-founder of the web conferencing startup Dimdim) started taking more of my time as did my two kids – Ayan and Adya. So I dialed down the writerly activities a lot in 2010 – 2011 and regrouped. MUMBAI CONFIDENTIAL started gaining traction (in no small measure because of Vivek’s fantastic art) and I also started working with Siddharth Panwar on DHURANDHAR – a modern day magic realism tale set in small town India.

So, I was pleasantly surprised recently when Liquid Comics launched Graphic India – a digital comics platform aimed at India. Featured were two of my books – MUMBAI MACGUFFIN (an action-adventure-comedy caper which was co-created with Saumin and inspired in no small measure by Guy Ritchie’s movies SNATCH and LOCK, STOCK AND TWO SMOKING BARRELS) and MYTHS OF INDIA (a repackaged INDIA AUTHENTIC). I always considered the old Virgin Comics gang kindred spirits who wished to bring kick-ass comics to India and Graphic India is a great reinforcement of that belief. So I wish them the best of luck. (Do check out Samit and Jeevan Kang’s UNHOLI – an original serialized digital comic book exclusively created for the site).

To top off the week’s great news, Times of India posted their list of notable Indian comics and turns out two of my books – DEVI and MUMBAI CONFIDENTIAL made it to the list. So that was just delicious icing on the cake. 🙂