What’s the best way to settle a war or territory dispute? In 11-year-old Batu’s world, the answer would lie in playing a game of Kree-Kaht (cricket) with vaanars (monkeys), rakshasas (demons) and humans.
Batu Gaiden, a new comic book series launched recently by Level 10 Comics and Zero Sum Wireless Solutions Pvt Ltd (a Japanese mobile comics firm) presents Batu, the young protagonist and his journey towards becoming the greatest dandavik (cricketer) in history. Interestingly, India’s own Sachin Tendulkar inspires the young boy. The project had begun in mid 2010, but its release was consciously timed to coincide with the World Cup, when cricket fever is at its zenith.
Playing with demigods
“Batu is the name of the main protagonist while Gaiden is a Japanese word that means side story. The series focuses on Batu and his story, but is set against the larger story of Batu’s world and the game of Kree-Kaht,” says Suhas Sundar, partner — creative head, Level 10 Studios.
Batu Gaiden takes place in a world where the three races— humans, vanars and rakshasas, have made a pact to cease war and instead settle all disputes and territorial annexations through a game of cricket or Kree-Kaht. The cricketers in this world are called dandaviks, and Batu is a young practitioner of this sport, who hopes to become the greatest player in history. “Mythology allowed us to take the rich plethora of weapons, techniques and names prevalent in it and incorporate in our version of cricket,” says Sundar.
All places and characters are entirely fictional, but allusions are made to cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, who inspires Batu to become the greatest dandavik of all time. “Zero Sum approached us to create a comic centred around cricket. We took it as a challenge and instead of walking down the beaten path, we decided to come up with a fresh take. We made it the sport of gods, with supernatural beings playing it,” says Sundar.
Batu Gaiden sees Kree-Kaht (cricket) games being played between vanars, rakshasas and humans. The cricketers are known as dandaviks. The game sees vaanars fielding by flying across the earth, human dandaviks causing small explosions every time they hit a ball and rakshasha bowlers who can make their balls turn into giant snakes and wolves. “By creating such a larger-than-life game with infinite possibilities, we wanted to make it fun, even for non-cricket fans,” says Sundar.
To get the book, log on to www.level10comics.com