Comic Con is back! First things first, please don't kill the spirit by constantly yapping about your latest cosplay costume. Move away from the freebies section this year and actually check out a few comics. Don't worry, it will only do you good.
If you don't know what to get hold of, here are a few books you can consider giving a read.
Book: Palm's Foster Home For Peculiar Stories
Writer: CG Salamander
Published by: Jellyfish Publications
This book is a compilation of three stories: Gayatri And The Church Of The Holy Vegetables - a new religion (Cabbagism) that threatens to bring about the destruction of the world; Nigel The Last Brit In India -- a story about a police officer who tries to restore the chaos and pandemonium in the streets of Madras; and Aliens, Dinosaurs, Porcupines -- a love story between a porcupine and an armadillo.
CG Salamander, author of Palm's Foster Home For Peculiar Stories says, "What really sets my book apart is that it's one of the first Indian books to dabble in the comic fantasy genre. It pushes the boundaries of reality, and mixes the mundane with the extraordinary. The West is saturated with comic fantasy writes like the late Sir Terry Pratchett, Douglas Adams, and Jasper Fforde. I was inspired to do something similar too, but in an Indian context."
Palm's Foster Home For Peculiar Stories is a book of episodic short fiction, and it is perfect for both readers of short fiction and the novel form. The book has everything from colonization, zombies, porcupines, cults to cows. Anyone who's looking for a vacation from reality, this is the book for you as it is hilarious and extremely unusual.
Book: KAAL #2 - Aarambh!
Writer: Shuvorup Bhattacharjee
Published by: Aayumi Productions
Cover artist Pankaj Naik says, "KAAL #2 - Aarambh! is inspired by Garud Puran, an ancient scripture about the conversation between Lord Vishnu and Lord Garuda about afterlife. It is based on today's social behaviour, including rape and child harassment and also has mythological references and detailed imagination to it."
In the book, Kaal finds himself in an unenviable position as the herald of his lord and master Garuda, the new ruler of Naraka. A mysterious illness spreads across Mumbai and people are falling prey to it in droves. A cure needs to be found. With Bhairav by his side they travel to the dead city of Bhangargh to meet the king of the dead city, Marga. The dead king offers to help, but it comes with a caveat. Will Kaal find the source of the mysterious illness? Will he be able to save countless people from the clutches of death?
From L to R: Book covers of Mysore Lakshman Amarnath's Leo & Capri, Ashwin Pande's Mystri PI and Arun Kumar's Sirji Comics
Book: Mystri PI
Writer: Ashwin Pande
Published by: Westland
There is a world that exists in the shadows that ordinary people know nothing of: A world of demons, monsters, djinns, mummies, werewolves, vampires and demi-gods. It's in this world that Darius Mistry and his friend, Amos Golem, operate as paranormal investigators for hire. Whether it's being hired by ghosts to solve their own murders, breaking up rings of soul-smugglers or saving the city from an outbreak of lycanthropy - these detectives are always on the case!
Sharad Devarajan, CEO and co-founder, Graphic India says, "Mistry PI is uniquely different than any other comic that has been released in India before, by combining the genres of supernatural mystery, crime fiction, noir and comedy, opening up a whole new version of Mumbai that readers will have never experienced before."
Book: Sirji Comics
Writer: Arun Kumar
Published by: The Literary Seminary
This book brings to you the best of Indian satire. It is about Sirji, a visionary enthusiast who comes across new folks every day. Yearning for a better country, these people constantly talk about eradicating social evils and upholding communal harmony, but it's mostly empty words.
Arun Kumar, author of Sirji Comics says, "Our aim is to bring out social messages through Sirji. The brainchild of the students of Dr MGR Educational and Research Institute University, Chennai, it might look like a political satire, but it's not. It talks about deep-rooted issues like superstitions and the growing population in India. The book also provides the readers with a few solutions."
Book: Leo & Capri
Writer: Mysore Lakshman Amarnath
Published by: Aa Foundation
Leo & Capri is a set of 3 stories narrated by two humanoid parrots, who reach out to each other as families. The author has attempted to bring many intriguing situations giving a level playing ideology in which the synergy between plant, animal and mankind cannot go unnoticed.
Mysore Lakshman Amarnath says, "I have been conceptualizing this series for more than 17 years. The book talks about worldly affairs, the environment and how humans and the natural world co-exist. The book is written in a way that both kids and grown-ups can relate to it."