Imagination is perhaps the best gift human beings are endowed with. It acts as a medium of escape from the otherwise monotonous world of reality. Going hand-in-hand with storytelling it has given birth to numerous pieces of art, including comics. Thus, when an IIT Roorkee alumnus with a vivid imagination, Rajeev Tamhankar chose to follow his passion of storytelling, TBS (Thought Bubble Studio) Planet was born.
Post the launch of his first book, Get Corporated before you get fired! he got a lot of feedback that it would be interesting to see this work in a style of a graphic novel. Co-incidentally, at that time he was working on the script of Varun, based around the mysteries of the submerged city of Dwarka.
Initially written in the format of a novel, it was later presented using graphics as they thought it’d be better, considering there was a lot happening in the story. That’s how the idea of coming up with comic books clicked and since then TBS Planet hasn’t looked back. Now the team is coming up with some stirring releases which promises to keep the readers hooked.
Here’s the list:
Shankhnabh (Varun 5) – “The first story however I thought was of Varun” said the creative artist, Tamhankar. In this volume, the aquatic superhero comes to confront his nemesis Samudraksh in his pursuit to obtain the ultimate weapon – Shankhnabh. With the water princess Uttara and the archaeologist Tej by his side, the book traces Varun’s endeavours in defeating Samudraksh and his demon army.
He further added, “I was writing a fantasy on what would have possibly happened after The Mahabharata war ended and Dwarka got submerged. A thought came to my mind what if Dwarka’s submergence gave rise to a new species – like aquatic humans? And what if they remained hidden for thousands of years since then? This plot gave rise to the story of Varun.”
The Varun series will surely appeal to those who love modern fantasy. While the storyline is set in modern times, his superpowers, his civilisation and his origin is imaginary. Varun represents goodness, optimism and is superpowered, thus being fantastically superior to an average human. Shankhnabh releases this June.
Samay: Ved and The Battle with Time – “Almost at the same time with Varun, I was also thinking of a plot around a magician and his son who use magic tricks, illusions and science to solve cases. This gave rise to Ved,” Tamhankar recalled.
Ved is a detective who uses modern methods and tools to solve cases including gadgets, drones, artificial intelligence assistance, enhanced technologies created by his accomplice Harsh.With his razor sharp intellect, he has so far captured some of the biggest criminals in the city of Delhi.
Unlike every time, in the new series he is not facing any criminal but time himself -Samay. The upcoming comic book follows Ved’s struggle to survive a battle against the creature that can slow time, stop time and do whatever it wants with time. This unique yet fascinating action saga from the house of TBS Planet will release in July 2018.
Yug (Hindi)– Launching this May, this timeless saga is the story of a warrior Yug, set thousands of years ago when different kings used to rule kingdoms. “Each of the characters from TBS Planet is of a different flavour. I wanted to do something that will appeal to readers who likes to read fantasies set in ancient India. Hence Yug was made,” Tamhankar was noted saying.
Born in the city of Devpur in ancient India, Yug learns the art of Ayurveda and various art forms from his Guru. After an attack from the demon king Shakyasur that left his kingdom shattered, he vowed to avenge the loss and began his mission. However to his surprise, he found that even the ‘Devas’ (Gods) had been long looking for a warrior who could slay the demon.
Set in the princely times, the new release will enable the readers to embark upon the journey along with the mythical hero, as he finds his way through various mystic lands, discovering secrets, gaining weapons, harnessing powers and battling evil.
13 Days (Part 3) – This horror narrative continues from its previous volume about the terrifying encounters of a group of friends from Bangalore, who visited the Bandipur forest and fell prey to the spirits. It follows the urban legend that goes about a forest trail where if one walks at night, one will hear a lot of noises but he/she shouldn’t turn back. If turned, one will unlock a haunting chain that no man has ever survived.
“Personally a big horror buff, I have been wondering why aren’t good horror stories coming out of India for long. We have so many urban legends, stories of spooky spirits and yet not many writers touch this genre. That’s when I explored an urban legend one of my friends had told me about, in 13 Days,” quipped Tamhankar.
The third part of this scary feast launches this May.
Takshak : The Search of Kaal-Moti – Launching in August 2018, Takshak : The Search of Kaal-Moti traces the snake-man superhero from TBS Planet, Takshak, who has reached the final frontier in his quest of finding the pearl of time ‘Kaal Moti’.
This is what the creator has to say about the series: “In the 90s there were many comic companies and the common factor in all of them was that they all had a snake-man superhero or as we say ‘Icchadhaari naag’. Inspired by this classical theme, I thought of a character, Takshak, set in modern times who’s very different from any of the snake-man characters in his powers, attitude, quest and background that you have read so far.”
Takshak explores the adventures of Naagavs or the Naag-maanavs of the snake kingdom. The new volume will find the protagonist in his quest to obtain the rare pearl that has got lost somewhere in the metropolitan city Mumbai, before the Naagavs or else he’ll be banished forever from the island.
Chanakya – This comic book is going to depict one of India’s most respected teachers and philosophers – Kautilya or Chanakya (Arthashastra) who assisted Chandragupta, the first Mauryan emperor in his rise to power. He is widely credited for having played an important role in the establishment of the Maurya Empire.
“We often believe that unified India was a concept thought just few hundred years back, especially during the conquest with the Britishers. But the truth is that there was one man who had thought of the idea of unified India much long ago, almost over two thousand years ago – also known as Vishnugupta, this man was a strategist like never seen before and never seen later,” exclaimed the founder of TBS Planet.
Chanakya, that launches in August 2018, will be the biopic of the great man right from his birth to Alexander’s Indian invasion, to fight with Dhananada and finally building the Mauryan empire. This new release will not only please history lovers but will also serve as an insightful work for folks who want to know more more about him.
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj – This comic explores the journey of the legendary Maratha king Shivaji Maharaj and how he got several areas of India free from the Mughal rule.
“A lot of Indian kings and their pasts have been explored by the comic books. However, Chhatrapati Shivaji’s story is one such narrative that is hardly presented by any publishers. His stories are about bravery, wisdom, valor, strategy and sacrifice – qualities that are expected of a great king especially his conquests with Afzal Khan, Inayat Khan and Adilshah. We at TBS Planet are making our efforts to bring forth these stories for the newer generation. The book will have one of the best artworks among our entire range,” Tamhankar quoted.
Launching in September 2018, the book will include some very inspiring stories of the king, especially the escape from Agra, from which the younger generations can draw a lot of motivation.
Rudra- Though the title and the launch date are undecided, Rudra‘s upcoming comic seems to be an interesting one. The comic series focuses on the adventures, expeditions and explorations of the brother-sister duo Veer and Gita.
“There’s a lot lined up. Ved’s love-interest Payal is making her debut in Rudra series with the second volume as she is getting a job with a Travel Magazine and is visiting the Himalayas. Rudra will also witness a deadly villain in this expedition mystery. The comic book is being planned for winters this year,” added Tamhankar.
Qahera– This comic is going to be a special one in the Karma series as it is going to introduce one of the strongest and fiercest characters, Qahera. She is not a superheroine but a very powerful character that will influence the upcoming storylines. “This comic is also going to be a landmark comic in Karma series as this is the story in which he will finally establish his rule of justice – ‘what goes around comes around’ (i.e. Tit for Tat),” Tamhankar revealed. Slated to be released in the later half of the year, Qahera will unfold a dark mystery in this chapter.
“If a character is popular, people want to buy its T-shirts, posters, notebooks and the list goes on. And for a character to become popular, it is absolutely necessary to deliver high quality content and art,” Tamhankar concluded. TBS Planet has already created a space and carved a niche for themselves in the industry. Strong characters are foundations of strong IPs and TBS Planet are just committed towards it.