2017 in comics: The top 5 releases of the year

As the sun sets on yet another glorious year of comics, it’s time to look back and spurn a review of all the happenings through the course of the year. We witnessed several comics launched over the last 12 months, but we whittle it down to five such titles that stood out from the bunch. It goes as follows: The Village Well-known comic writer Shamik Dasgupta spurned yet another spookfest with Yali Dream Creations’ The Village, a dark, sinister take on the mistreating of rural dalits and tribes whilst also circling the issue of cast-based malpractices. The story takes you on a daunting trip with a family that gets haunted by the ghosts and ghouls manifesting the fictional town of Kattiyal in Tamil Nadu whilst on their way to Nagapattinam in an ill-fated car. Though the horror theme of the book would give you the jitters, the urgency at bringing up the social chasm between the upper caste and the lower caste to light is undeniable. Rhyme Fighters How many of us really acknowledge, and subsequently extend our gratitude to the traffic police who braves the sweltering heat to ensure a smooth transit? The indefatigable maid who strains every sinew to keep your place spick and span? The uber-punctual Mumbai dabbawalas for delivering the lunch boxes on time? Well, Abhijeet Kini’s last outing in Rhyme Fighters certainly does. Treading a satirical line, the comic pays an ode to these “unsung heroes” of our daily lives who merely pass off as a busker, yet, have an undeniable role to play. But this isn’t like any other comic. As the name would suggest, it has a poetic touch to the storytelling with rhyming lines to cheer up your read! The Enlightened A young, college dropout conjuring the avatar of Lord Buddha when the shadow of evil looms large, The Enlightened is a unique amalgam of mythology and real-life, presented through the eyes of Kiriti Rambhatla. The Fenil Comics publication was launched to a raucous crowd at MICA in Ahmedabad in July, where it was also announced about the movie treatment that the comic would get soon, starring writer Rambhatla himself. Devi Hindi film-maker Shekhar Kapur stepped into the comic territory with this one, penning an amusing story of a woman who’s consumed by mythical powers that alter the course of her life forever. Graphic India’s Devi will take you on an inspiring journey of an unsuspecting commoner of Sitapur, the “most imaginative comic on the subject of Goddess-hood” as a review would put it. The edgy-graphics coupled with a gut-wrenching narrative make it one of the more fulfilling reads of the year. Rudra One of India’s popular comic publication TBSPlanet Comics birthed a new indigenous superhero in the form of Rudra, the mighty son of Vayu who’s unleashed years after being abandoned on planet earth. Raised as Veer by adopted parents, he works as a tour guide in Haridwar alongwth his sister Gita, completely unbeknownst to the fearsome powers that he embodies.