nenena: (lord krsna)
18 Days is available on Amazon for a sweet discounted price of only $17 for a hardcover edition with 120 pages of Mukesh Singh artgasm. A 47-page preview is available for free on Scribd.

I am looking forward to enjoying the Mukesh Singh artwork almost as much as I am looking forward to laughing really, really hard at the "Grant Morrison writes about the Mahabharata" sections of the book. Actual quotes from the preview pages:

Snark behind cut. )

Meh, enough snark for now. The artwork by Mukesh Singh is OH MY GOD ABSFUCKINGLUTELY MINDBLOWINGLY GORGEOUS and makes the entire book worthwhile, especially if you ignore the pages full of Grant Morrison's braindroppings.

Wait, that book was listed on Amazon all the way back in July?! How did I miss that until now?! Oh yeah, the semester from hell. That's why.

Meanwhile! The Liquid Comics website is showing new artwork for Ramayan 3392 AD in several places (check out the front page and the Ramayan gallery under "Titles"), yet no new issues are available on either the Liquid website or on Scribd. Hmmm. Yet Liquid is apparently finishing some of Virgin's unfinished projects, as Buddha was finally completed last summer and is now available in graphic novel format.

Liquid is releasing all of the old Virgin titles on more digital devices now. For the iPad, you can now get the entire Ramayan 3392 series for $9.99, some parts of Reloaded for free, and all five issues of The Tall Tales of Vishnu Sharma for $4.99. Of course you can still download good old-fashioned PDFs of all of the previous titles plus the entire rest of Liquid's line from their Scribd website and import the comics to your e-reader that way, too. ;) Which is how I got Devi on my iPad right now.

UNIVERSAL FORMATS: DOIN' IT RIGHT. Thank you, Virgin/Liquid! Manga publishers, are you paying attention?!

Speaking of Virgin Comics alums, Abhishek Singh is up to awesomeness, with art shows in New Delhi and Los Angeles.
nenena: (Soul Eater - FUCK YEAH)
Moyashimon* and Durarara! are licensed. *ETA: Never mind, it was apparently only the upcoming live action Moyashimon broadcast that got licensed. The anime is still MIA. Oh well. Moving on...

Utena has finally gotten re-licensed.

The Mahabharata: A Child's View is getting reprinted after being out of print for fourteen years.

Sita's Ramayana, the first ever graphic novel to use Patua art, is going to be released soon.

See icon.

ETA: Oh yeah AND all the remaining Shakugan no Shana anime just got licensed, including the OAVs and the movie. FUCK YEAH.
nenena: (lord krsna)
First, via Saurav Mohapatra's blog!

The complete India Authentic comic book series is now available on scribd, including the never-before-published Krishna issue. The series on scribd has been retitled "Myths of India" for some reason, but whatever. The Ganesha issue is free, and other issues are one dollar per download. Unfortunately, I don't think that scribd downloads are available to customers outside the US, but maybe you can use an anonymizer to get around that?

So it looks like Liquid Comics is putting ALL of Virgin's old series on scribd, including Ramayan 3392 AD, that Kshatriya comic that never got published, The Tall Tales of Vishnu Sharma, Mumbai MacGuffin, and of course Devi. And a bunch of other titles too, but really those are the good ones. In my humble opinion. The big question, though, is are any of these titles going to be continued in digital format?! I seriously doubt it, but I'm going to keep dreaming of a Devi continuation anyway. Because that's my dream and I'm sticking to it.

Oh, and in case you're new here and you missed all of the artgasms and asskickery and post-apocalyptic questing and metafictional minderfuckery that Virgin Comics brought us three years ago, well, here's your chance to make up for it!

And now for something completely unrelated: Your Soul Eater Moment of Zen.

From YumeIchigo

Thank you, anonymous puppy. I needed that to wash the bad taste of Chapter 75 out of my mouth.
nenena: (Devi - Monochrome)
This call for submissions for The Speculative Ramayana Anthology showed up a couple times on my flist last week.

Here is an interview with the editors of the anthology at the always fabulous Sanskrit Literature Blog. It's not your typical buttkissing interview, either. The SLB asks some tough questions about the nature of the anthology, the intersection of religion and literature, and the narrow submission policy (English stories only, written, not oral). The editors do a fine job answering these tough questions in an honest manner.

Meanwhile, Saumin Patel drew Batman. NSFW.
nenena: (Devi - Isana)
For those of you who have been starved by the recent lack of awesomecore Indian comics available in the United States...

Check this action out.

Through one of those "lol, internet!" coincidences, I got in touch with one of the professors who is contributing research to The Sixth, which is a seriously epic-looking series about Karna. And the first sixteen pages of it are already posted online in their digital comics section. Also, there is Moksha, a series in which, based on the preview artwork posted on their website, it looks like apparently Hanuman pwns an entire pack of werewolves with his bare hands.

Also, the artwork is preeeeeeetty.
nenena: (Default)
Filed firmly in the WTF category:

Katsuya Terada's comic book about Sūn Wùkōng. "He raised holy hell as the baddest ape in Ancient China..." Check out that spiky hair, Liefeld-esque snarl, and of course, my personal favorite manly fashion statement, chest-baring shoulder-armor.

Compare to...

That Saurav Mohapatra and Swapnil Singh comic book about Hanuman. Remember the epic mullet? The giant elephants with spikes? The rippling biceps and barely-there shoulder-armor? Yeah.

Who's the real baddest badass ape in the ancient world? Neither of these guys, as MONKEY ARE NOT APES Goddamit! I think we need to have a cagematch between Katsuya Terada's Monkey King and Swapnil Singh's Hanuman to determine who should really be wearing the King of the Badass Monkeys crown.

For the record, however, I think that the crown still belongs to this little guy:

This guy? Accidentally mistook the sun for a giant fruit, and ate it.

Top that, Sūn Wùkōng. I dare you to top that.
nenena: (Default)
Via [ profile] keiichi_chan:

A review of Soul Eater by a mumbly but smart guy with OCD. He touches on the gender, sexuality, and mental health issues in the show, and says some pretty intelligent things on all three fronts.

(This is his review of the first episode only, BTW. Although I find the second review much more informed and therefore much more interesting, for obvious reasons.)

I agree with nearly everything that he says, with a few notable exceptions. Frankly, I don't understand how anybody could have read 48 chapters of the manga and still say that Tsubaki doesn't have any balls. (Dude, seriously, WTF.) Also, the part where he talks about Crona's speech. The stuff that Crona says isn't supposed to make sense, that's the point. Except for the thing about the doors opening inward, that really was significant. Kind of hard to miss. Also, on a subjective level, I think that Black Star is freakin' awesome, but that's definitely a YMMV thing.

Totally irrelevant edit: Oh hey look, it's a Nina Paley interview! Apparently Sita Sings the Blues is showing in New York this week. Oh, jealousy.
nenena: (Minako - Volleyball)
1. Girl-Wonder art auction!!! Girl-Wonder art auction!!! Girl-Wonder art auction!!! This year we've got a good mix of both "awesome but totally affordable" and "serious collectors, start your drooling."

2. Liquid Comics bought out Virgin Comics some time ago, and recently they've partially restored the old comics website. Which basically means that they've restored the widescreen digital versions of the first issues of *most* (meaning nearly but not all) of Virgin's series. Other than the digital issues, however, nothing else has been added to the Liquid Comics website. Nothing. Still no word on which, if any, series are going to continue in comic book form. Ramayan 3392 has been optioned for movie rights, though. I imagine lots and lots of bluescreen in its future. Apparently John Collee is writing the screenplay. He's the guy who wrote Master and Commander and Happy Feet. Hmmmm. Interesting resume. So... Y'all are going to cast actual Indian actors in this movie, right? Right?! Assuming that said movie ever actually happens, that is.

3. Oh, this brings back terrible, terrible memories. On the other hand, I would love to watch a reality TV show in which millionaire/billionaire CEOs are forced to be servers at Applebee's for weeks at a time. It would be like The Simple Life but with the added bonus of watching the Powerful Men Who Fucked Over America curling up in fetal positions on the kitchen floor and bawling like babies. Quality entertainment.

4. This is so true, and so deeply scary, because I feel like I'm running into those sorts of conversations on a daily basis now. Among people that I've known for many, many years. Ugh.

5. Here, have some awesome. The original source is, but her fanart gallery is currently offline.

Edited to add: This is absolutely beautiful. And yeah, I'll admit it. I cried, too.
nenena: (Devi versus Bala)
You can now read Amar Chitra Katha comics online. They're available in Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati, Telugu and Kannada. As of yesterday the website was also advertising English comics available in the online reader, but it doesn't look like there are any (yet). You have to pay for each issue, which grants you thirty days of access, and it doesn't appear that there's any offer of permanent downloads. Hmmm, I don't think that model worked very well for other websites, but we'll see. And anyway the Story of the Week is free! Oh and they're planning to launch an online encyclopedia of Indian culture. That seems interesting.

And hey, Saumin Patel has a blog!!!! Check out these two posts from an upcoming animated movie that's apparently tied to Virgin Animation... And thus may or may not actually happen. (*weeps*) And a collaboration with Ashok Banker that also never happened. (*weeps again*) Oh and his original design for Avni from Devi.

BTW, was it perhaps Saumin Patel who was responsible for the character designs for Virgin's totally-never-happened Ramayan cartoon?

Random and unrelated: This is the greatest scans_daily post EVER. Even better than cross-dressing My Little Ponies and girl!Jesus.

In less happy news, BITCH Magazine needs your help. Guys, this magazine is really really awesome. Please please please donate a few dollars if you can.

Tonights scheduled Scanspam Week post may or may not happen, pending laptop death rattles.
nenena: (Devi - Fire)
1. Sugreeve crashes and airplane right in the middle of Kishkindha, walks right through a hundred of Baali's soldiers, walks right the hell up to Baali himself and tells him, point blank to his face: "Neener-neener you can't kill me because your whole kindgom is watching and I'll be martyr." Dasgupta's version of Sugreeve has officially achieved that perfect balance of "scholarly peaceful statesman" and "delightfully flip badass" that Hanuman had in Valkimi's version.

2. Ravan tries to intimidate Sita with his "Blah blah blah I am the most powerful being in the world" speech. Sita stares him right in the eye and tells him, No, actually, she's a thousand times more powerful than he is (go Sita!), and that if Ravan were so powerful then he wouldn't have had to resort to trickery to abduct her. She also tells Ravan that she could destroy Lanka with her mind if she so chose to do so (this is true - just like she did with Panchvati), and that the only reason she isn't right now is because Ravan's maya garden is sedating her brain. Granted there's nothing she can do about that, but the point of her speech is, she has Ravan's number. This version of Sita is kind of awesome.

3. Jambwan's utter pwnage of Lakshman.

4. Lakshan crying uncle. Literally.

5. Rama and Jatayu's half-airborne battle. That was just fantastically rendered. Hats off to Siddharth Kotian.

Now, the sadness factor: According to an advertisement in this issue, the next issue of India Authentic would have been "Krishna." There's a very cute image of a baby Krishna printed beside an announcement of the third India Authentic trade, which may or may not happen now. Probably not.

There's a five-page excerpt from Kshatriya at the back of the issue. It looks potentially very fun. Oh well.

And of course there's also an advertisement for Stan Lee's probably-definitely-not-going-to-happen Virgin superhero project. Of course.

So I guess this is the end for Ramayan? Arrrrrrgh. Even if the final issue hadn't ended on a cliffhanger, still, arrrrrrrrgh. I am going to miss this series a lot.
nenena: (Mahabrooks - liek omg OT3)
Virgin Comics to drastically scale back their actual comics.

This makes me a sad puppy because I suspect that they're going to cut back on their actual good titles and focus on their celebrity-backed stuff instead. :(

I also fear that Devi might be canceled. I actually had that suspicion when I picked up the fourth trade last month. At the back of the trade, in the extras section, there are two gorgeous color paintings by Dean Ruben Hyrapiet and Jeffrey Spokes. The Hyrapiet painting depicts a new and yet-unknown character behind Devi. Both of the paintings are obviously comic covers. But I couldn't figure out why Virgin would put two future comic covers in the back of a trade collection... Unless these were destined to be "unused" comic covers. And now I can't imagine that Virgin would actually pass on either a Hyrapiet or a Spokes cover unless the Devi comics had been cancelled altogether.

Devi has been published steadily, every month, since Virgin launched. Until recently. Since there are no new solicits coming up, and no announced plans for any future issues...

Things look bad.

Mmmm. I wonder how Ramayan will fare. Now that the story has taken a delirious turn toward Rama for some reason being more concerned about rescuing a kidnapped chain-smoking monkey prince than he is about rescuing his super-powered girlfriend... Now I gotta see where this is going. Hopefully not into yaoi doujinshi territory.

Oh well. Regardless of what happens next, was anyone really surprised by this? I mean, I'm not an industry insider, just an armchair quarterback. But I know a little something about comics readers, er, being one myself. And I know that:

1. Comic readers will only put up with mediocrity if they have a twenty-year history with and beloved childhood memories of the franchise. Hence, Messiah Complex can be the biggest pile of shit that I've read all year (and it was), but still sell a gajillion copies (including some bought by moi), because readers are deeply invested in the world and the characters. But getting readers to spend their money and invest their emotions in a new comic book series? Unless it's freakin' spectacular (and Devi so totally is), that's unlikely to happen. And y'know, I don't care if you're the Most Innovative Comics Company Ever or whatever, not all of your series are going to be great, or even good. Law of averages. There are only so many Shakespeares and Picassos to go around.

2. You can have truly great titles that are beloved by critics and bloggers (India Authentic, The Tall Tales of Vishnu Sharma, and Buddha) and still not sell many copies of them. Sucks, but that's the way it's always been.

3. It probably didn't help things, though, that you lost street cred right away by being so upfront about your intention to use your comics as springboards for movie and TV deals. If you don't value your own comics - if you only see them as stepping stones to something more lucrative - then why are we to assume that you will invest anything other than a mediocre effort into them? Also, comic fans are an insular, prickly lot. We don't like Clueless Outsiders, we don't like anybody who smells like they're only latching onto comics as a "trend," and we especially don't like anyone who seems more interested in making money than in making actual comics. Now, you might not be any of those things, but a few misspoken words, or a little bit too much honesty about your marketing plan, and you will instantly become all of those things in the minds of fans.

"You" in the preceeding being a reference to the Chopra Duo and other Powers That Be, as opposed to the actual writers and artists working for Virgin, who were clearly in it for the love of comics, and that showed through. But they were undermined when Gotham and Deepak went around mouthing off about how they primarily wanted to turn those comics into movies/TV. Way to undermine the reputation of your own talent, guys.

4. It probably didn't help things that your CMO behaved like an asshat in public.

5. Fans have long memories.

This is what your Friendly Neighborhood Armchair Quarterback thinks: Fans have limited funds, and it's always an uphill battle to get them to spend money on something new, no matter how good said new comic may be, especially when you're competing against 20- or 30-year love affairs with Marvel and DC. Fandom Financial Inertia is a powerful and terrible force to behold, capable of slaying even the most carefully planned, innovative, creative, "mistake"-free young businesses. But! Virgin clearly did make some mistakes. That probably hurt them in the end, too.

Still, this makes me immensely sad. If not for Virgin, I would never have been introduced to Samit Basu, Saurav Mohapatra, Mukesh Singh, Ashish Padlekar, Harshvardhan Kadam, Abhishek Singh, Shamik Dasgupta, or any of the amazing artists who have worked on India Authentic. I really really hope that Virgin doesn't axe their Indian titles, because so far it's been such a great source of amazing, vibrant new talent.

Sigh. Very sad.

Edited to add: Oh hey look, comments at The Beat now include Jameson-bashing, complete with two sleazy jokes and counting. Arrrrrrrgh. Sometimes I just hate people. I really do.

I also do not regret that the Tweety Effect works really, really strongly on me. Apparently. That probably explains a lot.

Edit the Second: "Scale back" was apparently an understatement. Aw, crap.
nenena: (Default)
First! wants YOU to a) enter contests and b) submit writing and/or artwork for our upcoming newsletter. Or at the very least, please spread the word as far and as wide as you can. We're hoping to get a diverse group of contributors submitting content for the newsletter. Hopefully.

Second! Me blathering about comics. Anyway, here are a bunch of short comicly reviews, all from Virgin's Shakti line.

Ramayan, India Authentic, Project: Kalki, Devi, and Kshatriya. )
nenena: (Default)
Via The Beat:

Sita Sings the Blues is finished and screening in New York this weekend.

I'm ashamed to admit that I haven't checked back at the project's homepage since, er, January 2007 or thereabouts. But now it's finished! Awesome!
nenena: (Default)
Okay, other than Jenna Jameson appearing at NYCC, here's another panel with some Virgin people on it:

Friday, 4/18 6pm - 7pm Room 1E15: "INDIA'S EDGE is India's Fantasy - Shakti"

Join legendary comic author Grant Morrison (Batman: Arkham Asylum, Doom Patrol, The Invisibles) as he exposes the Indian influences in his work and introduces his new animated project with Virgin Comics. Joining Grant is Virgin's Chief Creative Officer Gotham Chopra and Sharad Devarajan, Virgin Comics CEO, as they discuss their line of Indian-infused fantasy comics called SHAKTI (including Ramayan 3392AD Reloaded, Devi, Deepak Chopra's Buddha, Project: Kalki and others). Pronounced shuk-TEE, an ancient Sanskrit word meaning Power, these comics tap into thousands of years of storytelling, folklore and mythology.


Project: Kalki?!

Is this the title that Gotham Chopra dropped a hint about in that Audioshocker interview?!

Time for a new livejournal tag.

Also, Grant Morrison + animated project + Virgin Comics = awesome. Y/Y?

(PS - Hey Virgin - whatever happend to that Ramayan animation that you posted pics from waaaaay back in 2006?)
nenena: (Default)
Preview of Ramayan Reloaded on the Virgin Comics blog.

Two words: Lightsabers. HANUMAN.

Hanuman with lightsabers.

I think we have a winner.

(Well, okay, it's Lakshman who gets the lightsabers in the preview image, but whatever. Indulge me here. I refuse to believe that anybody at Virgin would be so incompetent as to create a comic book that features both Hanuman and lightsabers but would never mix the two together. No. I refuse to believe it.)