Set in the present day and age, mythical characters from the past are coming to save the world. While Karna, from the epic Mahabharata, takes the form of a business tycoon, Lord Vishnu’s avatars are recounted in snazzy graphic novel formats. Editor-in-chief of Vimanika Comics, Karan Vir Arora’s reinvention of mythological characters aims at entertaining and educating the reader at the same time.
Launched in 2008, Vimanika Comics has just come out with its newest offering, Dashaavatar. In the first issue, the tales of Matsyaavatar — the Fish, and Koormaavatar — the Tortoise, will be narrated.
According to Arora, Indian mythology can be told and sold in a “non boring fashion as well”. He admits that with the growing popularity of international graphic novels, our own epic books are fast fading out. The once loved Tinkle comics, Chacha Chaudhary, Pinky and Phantom are usually tucked away in most bookstores. He says, “These books are not picked up because their artwork and presentation have remained the same through the years.”
The only way to keep pace is by delivering something as interesting in a visually appealing format. “It’s very important for the artwork to be attractive. When you look at a copy on the bookshelf, you should feel tempted to pick it up,” Arora says, who conceptualises and supervises his team with the artwork.
Arora, who’s also a motivational speaker, is presently working on his next graphic novel, which is a story on the rivers of India. “One half of the book will tell a fictitious tale, while the other half will have mythical parallel stories behind each river,” he informs.
His main aim is to put a message across in a smart way. Arora is also in talks with producers, both in India and abroad, for film adaptations of his graphic novels. “I can’t reveal much. Nothing has been finalised yet,” he says.