July 25-2013
Meta Desi Comics to Launch Ground Zero- Volume 2 at Comic Con Express Hyderabad: Quick Q & A with Akshay Dhar, Founder of Meta Desi Comics

Meta Desi Comics is now going to make a mark at upcoming Comic Con Express Hyderabad by releasing the second edition in Ground Zero Series. With delivering this edition at Comic Con, Akshay Dhar, the Founder of Meta Desi Comics is also working towards launching a webcomic series.  AnimationXpress.com’s Zeenia Boatwala had a tete-a-tete with Akshay to find out more about the happening aspects of Ground Zero 2.

What’s new in Ground Zero Volume 2?
We’re really excited as the Hyderabad readers will be able to buy the awaited second volume of Ground Zero, our flagship book. This book  is an anthology that contains several stories of a variety of genres, four of which are continuations of stories started in volume one and this time we’ve expanded the book  and so we have a total of six stories which includes two new and exciting stories!

Please put light on the number of pages, targeted audience, and genre?
Volume two will be 60 pages long containing six stories of 10 pages each and the genres we cover include: super-hero, action, adventure, comedy, dark comedy and some drama. Our target audience is simply anyone who likes to read good comics, loves good artwork and appreciates something new!

Would you like to talk about the research undertaken?
India as a comic market is literally like a newborn in a lot of ways so there was very little research to be done – we are also very different from western markets so I could not reference from their experience much either. My only real research pertained to almost going insane trying to find printing and distribution that would allow us to be financially in a position to even have a hope in hell of surviving as a publisher. We are still only holding on by our finger-tips but we have faith that the readers will slowly but surely justify our faith in their courage to support Indian creators.Can we have a credit run down for the book?.

We have established creators like Abhijeet Kini contributing on a dark-comedy story set in a mystery town somewhere in a very weird place in India. There’s also up and comers like Sudeep Menon whose coming-soon work for Holy Cow Entertainment has fans excited – here he introduces fans to what we are calling “Curry Westerns”, basically a desi flavoured western-like adventure story. Returning from the first volume we have the team of Anant and Sammi on the Indian-manga Super Soldier Squad, Sahil Rao’s lovely painted fantasy adventure and Tarun Padmakumar bringing us another super-hero adventure with the returning Raakshas! And last but not least, we have a stunning new post-apocalyptic sci-fi adventure adventure bringing to comics the artistic talent of Khanseng Mein who is new to comics but I’ve been developing comic ideas with for years.

If you were to highlight the best points of this graphic novels, what would it be and why?
We are trying to bring a balance of quality art and story-telling as well as a regularly released (3 times a year) book that brings readers extreme value for money and a variety of comics to satisfy all appetites!

On the challenges front, what do you think was difficult to crack and how did you manage it?
The hardest thing was distribution, but thanks to pop cracker we have a nation-wide system that works at a reasonable price. The other problem of course is financing, all contributors to the series have been working at below their rates for regular work because we all believe this can become something special and it has given everyone a space free of many constraints. The only remaining challenge is to generate reader interest because in the end, more than money, we need to know our readers want us to keep creating.

And why do you think this book will be appreciated by the readers?
Mainly because we are regularly releasing a variety of continuing stories to read – except for some older characters, we have no real modern Indian heroes in our comic fiction and we want to try and create some as well as a place for talented creators to bring these ideas to the fans Also, we are the first Indian comic that has been recently launched on Amazon.com in America for sale – our quality in volume one speaks for itself and we have only improved with volume two.

Please tell us about your past releases of Meta Desi Comics?
Under the Meta Desi Comics banner, we have only officially released the first volume of Ground Zero at the Delhi Comic Con this year. I hope to continue my idea to have Meta Desi become not a competitor for other publishers but to become a place where people with untested potential can be given a chance to show their talent and become a talent pool that others can draw from and that we can help nurture newcomers to the industry based on our own experiences. We also hope to continue producing new and unique Indian comic content for as long as humanly possible because this is what we love more than anything else.

We would like to know more about the upcoming releases?
 What we are hoping for is that after our second volume releases we will be in a position to judge what characters readers most connected with and hopefully in the year ahead create and launch a solo graphic novel of that character/story along with the regular Ground Zero volumes. Also, the production is already underway for Volume Three which will launch at the Delhi Comic Con, just a few short months after this release.

 

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