Most of us have memories of sneakily reading comics hidden in our textbooks and prancing around the house with a dupatta-cape around our necks. Comic book writer Ron Marz has played a part in this childhood dream of becoming a superhero fulfilled — he’s worked on characters like the Green Lantern and Silver Surfer. Now, he has teamed up with Gurgaon-based publishing house, Rovolt Entertainment, to bring out a seven-part series titled Aveon 9. We speak to Marz, and Rovolt’s CEO Manish Sinha about it.
You have worked with the best comic book creators in the world — Marvel and DC comics. How different was it working with an Indian publishing company?
Ron: I really don’t find it any different at all. The job is still to tell the best story possible, whether we’re dealing with superhero icons or a completely new fantasy world. Story is always king.
Your earlier works like The Sadhu or Devi have been inspired from Indian mythological stories. Does Aveon 9 have an Indian flavour?
Ron: There’s certainly an eastern flavour to what we’re doing in Aveon 9. It’s a blend of eastern storytelling and western science fiction and fantasy, so we end up with something that’s different from either, but has elements of both. I think both Indian and western audiences will find familiar aspects, and universal themes, but in a completely new setting.
Comic books don’t have a big following in India, how, then, did you venture into making graphic novels here?
Ron: Comics are a universal way of storytelling. Mankind has been using pictures to tell stories since we’ve been able to paint on cave walls. Comic storytelling translates into any culture. Also, I have previously worked with Virgin Comics and Liquid Comics, which have offices in both India and the US.
Manish: The comics and graphic novel genre has attracted mature readers as well as kids. This shift in reading patterns is because of the complexity and depth of storytelling and the characters’ personalities in graphic novels. There has been an increase in consumption of digital comics through mobile devices as well.
Will we see you at Comic Con Mumbai?
Ron: Unfortunately, not this year, but I would love to visit in the future.
Manish: The Mumbai leg is our third participation at Comic Con India, after Delhi and Bengaluru. Visitors can find us at stall A 51, near the cafeteria. We also have merchandise and artist interactions at our stall.