Thrillers, as a genre, in graphic novels may be popular abroad with characters like the Black Widow and Nick Fury, but barring an odd book, it is yet to catch on in India. Pop Culture Publishing's latest entrant, Code Name Blue is set to change that. Set some time after 26/11-style attacks in Mumbai, the graphic novel shows India's defence forces go deep into Pakistan to take on terrorists. The first of the three-part book series is expected to hit stands in December.
We felt there was something lacking in the Indian graphic novel genre lacked when it came to spy thrillers. Code Name Blue is an effort to change that. But it isn't dark or gory, says Jatin Varma, founder of Pop Culture Publishing, who adds that they were inspired by the likes of Frederick Forsyth.
The plot though is quite radical. After Pakistani terrorists attack Mumbai, gaining entry via the sea route, Indias defence and intelligence forces decide enough is enough and a mission takes place that sees a team go into Pakistan to destroy the enemy. The teams involved feel that Pakistan is conducting a proxy war and want to do something to change that. Also, they want revenge and show the terrorists what can happen if they continue such
tactics," says Varma, adding that Code Name Blue is a working title.
Point out to him the obvious 26/11 inspiration in the setting as well as the target and Varma says that while the setting and city is similar, the novel doesn't exactly follow the 26/11 attacks and is a fictional.
However, he adds that the artwork as well landscape of Mumbai have been kept as authentic as possible with several well-known areas like Colaba, Marine Drive (Queens Necklace) and the Taj Hotel shown in the backdrop. Some characters are modelled on real-life intelligence officers and members of the forces but Varma refuses to divulge details on these inspirations.
The first of the three-part series is will hit the stands in December but the exact date isn't decided. "It depends on when our artwork is completed," says Varma. Up next are plans to launch graphic novels on Indian commandos and the armed forces. A horror anthology is in the offing too,
Terror strikes go paperback
The book Kashmir Pending tells the story of a reformed militant.
In two Raj Comic titles, 26/11 and Halla Bol, Nagraj and Doga battle fictitious Pakistani terrorist outfits and Somalian pirates, and even cross into Pakistan to destroy terrorist training camps.
Shaurya, in the comic magazine Jump, sees youngsters battle an international gang of terrorists. The comic book also references the blasts in Mumbai, which is the starting point of all the action.
26/11 martyr Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan has been immortalised as Braveheart of Mumbai in a 52-page comic book. Kargil martyr Capt Vikram Batra and Col NJ Nair too have been featured.