‘Bikini Killer’ now inspires comic book
In his prime, he was infamous as the ‘Bikini Killer’ and ‘The Serpant’. Now notorious Charles Sobhraj has inspired a comic book based on his life. The Year of the Snake is a fictionalised coloured comic story based on the serial killer’s life and highlights his daring escape from Tihar Jail in 1986.
The episode forms a part of the magazine, Motherland and has been created by Manta Ray Comics.“Motherland chooses a theme for every issue, Prisons is the theme they chose for their latest issue, in which this comic appears,” says Dileep Cherian, co-founder of Manta Ray Comics, adding that they chose Sobhraj as many people have heard of him, but no one knew the exact details of his story. “He's said to be charming but extremely dangerous.”
Another reason why Sobhraj was chosen was because of his strong connection to India (he was born to an Indian father and imprisoned at Tihar Jail for a long time). “But it is a fictionalised account of Sobhraj's life. It would be difficult to say how much is real. The final storyline came from Pratheek Thomas. He was also working closely with Annette Ekin (Motherland's editor),” says Cherian, adding that they looked at all the material was available in the public domain including newspaper articles and archives.
And don’t forget to miss the obvious connection with Adam and Eve in the first few panels of the series. “Sobhraj was called ‘The Serpent’ and treachery seemed to be his first nature. So the connect was intentional,”says Cherian.
Manta Ray Comics is now working on a mini series, Twelve, that they'll be showcasing at the Delhi Comic Con in mid-February. It will be followed by an action-adventure series.
Charles Sobhraj is a serial killer of Indian and Vietnamese origin. He allegedly committed at least 12 murders throughout South-East Asia and was convicted and jailed in India from 1976 to 1997. After his release, and a visit to Paris, he returned to Nepal where he was arrested, tried and sentenced to life imprisonment.