As Flying Jatt becomes a book, there is a concentrated effort to popularise comics again

With fresh storylines, Thought Bubbles Studio Planet plans to tackle all the problems faced by India's graphic novels industry - pricing, waning interests and dearth of vernacular content.

Written by Sanghamitra Mazumdar | New Delhi | Published:September 5, 2016 8:18 pm
indian superheroes, flying jatt, ved, Thought Bubbles Studio Planet, TBS planet, Remo D'Souza, tiger shroff, Rajeev Tamhankar, comics books in india Comics timing! The comics book on the Flying Jatt picks up where the movie ends.

So, our superhero Aman won his first battle against the evil Malhotra and his henchman Raka. All’s well that ends well, or does it? Is Aman’s battle over? Is the Flying Jatt prepared should the bad guys return?

No, we don’t know if Remo D’Souza plans a sequel to the Tiger Shroff-starrer any soon, but answers to the above questions can be found through a different medium. A Flying Jatt has entered into a book partnership with Thought Bubbles Studio (TBS), which has launched a graphic novel with a story that begins from where the movie ends.

Rajeev Tamhankar, the founder of TBS Planet, has written the story and his teammates Tanushree and Debendu have done the illustrations for the book. The team has developed the story using the same characters from the film. The book, titled The Hands of Death, is available online and can be purchased from Flipkart, Amazon and Snapdeal among other e-commerce sites for Rs199. Tamhankar said it would be available at bookstores soon.

Incidentally, Aman is not the first superhero TBS Planet has worked on. The first was Ved, the superhero with no special powers. Tamhankar’s creation Ved is a normal human being who solves all mysteries by applying his brains and using props on the spot.

Launched in June, Ved’s first adventure is about how the boy, brought up by a magician, grows up to become “an expert illusionist, a master ventriloquist, an ace archer”, and most importantly, “New Delhi’s guardian”.

Tamhankar claims Ved became the “Number 1 bestseller on Amazon within 15 days of the launch”. The writer introduces Ved as the “most intelligent human” on this earth having “born on the perfect combination of latitude, longitude, date and time as per Hindu horoscope”. Ved has pledged to eradicate crime from India, and encounters a series of criminals, villains and supernatural beings in his endeavour. The book is available online for Rs99.

Even as Ved gets familiar with the world, another superhero is in the making at TBS Planet. Varun will make his appearance soon, says Tamhankar. “Over thousands of years ago, when Dwarka submerged in the ocean, a new species began to form under water – due to the divine powers of Dwarka. Varun’s series will explore the mysteries and adventures around this theme,” he says about this upcoming venture.

Ved comics_759 According to TBS Planet, crime-fighter Ved became the “Number 1 bestseller on Amazon within 15 days of the launch”.

In fact, the studio is working on six scripts at present. Ved’s second adventure will come next when he will slay the evil Puppet Master, a “psychopath serial killer” who turns his victims into puppets. From Delhi, the plot will move to Bangalore with ’13 Days’. It will be a horror story, again in comics format, exploring some “mysteries in the Bandipur forest” adjoining the Karnataka capital.

“Comic books industry in India has seen a sharp fall over the past decade. The three main problems are increase in pricing, rise of kids’ interest in mobile and Internet gaming and decrease in fresh vernacular content,” says Bangalore-based Tamhankar, an IIT-Roorkee alumnus, who writes all the scripts for TBS Planet besides leading the business direction for it.

Promising fresh storylines that fits Indian context, TBS Planet plans to tackle the first two problems with subsidised pricing and by providing continuous supply at doorstep through the subscription model to generate interest. Besides, the studio is planning to come up with Hindi translation of all these books next year.

To subscribe, readers can go to the Facebook page of TBS Planet and place an order by filling up the subscription form. The studio is working on making the subscription form available at different platforms. Tamhankar says they plan to soon reach out to schools across India. The team recently organised an event in a Bhubaneswar school in this regard.

TBS Planet has also tied up with Comic Con India (CCI). At the upcoming editions of Comic Con in Hyderabad, Mumbai, Bangalore and Delhi over the next four months, Tamhankar will be sharing stage with other artistes, illustrators and designers interacting with fans of comic fiction.