Comicbook scene in India seems to be flourishing as many Indie artists are coming up with path-breaking and nuanced content. Recently a new Indian comicbook company called Dhansu Production announced that they will be launching their first issue of a graphic novel called Xavi Origins: The Struggle.
Written by Yudhveer Dahiya, The Struggle tracks a story of a boy with a volatile past who braves the vicissitudes of life and emerges from setbacks and odds that are heavily lobbed against him With the trope of an ordinary boy being forced into extraordinary circumstances, Xavi origin still manages to set itself apart from conventional superheroes and vigilantes with content that aims to resonate with the Indian masses. Dialing up the depth quotient, the protagonist is shown to have a troubled past.
Tragedy strikes young Xavi’s family when his mother is abducted and killed. Following which, Xavi‘s father sends him off to a boarding school. Due to little contact with his father and being forced to stay away, he becomes resentful of his dad. After spending years away from home, when he finally returns, he finds things are far different from what he expected. His father is no longer the law-abiding citizen he once was. Even though their relationship is far from ideal, little does Xavi realize that his own motivations and outlook towards life are not too different from the one of his father. In this twisted world of power, will his struggles and choices against chaos help him see the light he desperately seeks… or will it only lead to more chaos? Witness the story of an ordinary boy forced into extraordinary circumstances- A boy who refuses to live a life dictated by others
In an effort to grasp the spirit of the Indian comicbook scene, AnimationXpress had a chat with Dahiya.
What is it like to be an Indie comic book artist/writer in India?
For starters, you get a lot of “oh wow” and “that‘s cool” when you tell people you‘re making comics, that’s for sure. It brings you immense joy to find your work being published or if you self-publish your own comics, as in my case, especially due to very few active indie comics and manga creators in the country. Even though the comic industry is fairly old in the country, it makes up a small part of the literary world, for this reason turning comic book writing into a full-time profession can be challenging.
Slowly but surely, the comic book industry is gaining momentum in the country, but, people have a preconceived notion that comic books are only meant for children, whereas that is not the case. Just like novels and movies, a comic book is another unique and interesting medium of telling stories, stories of different genres meant for adults or children or for both. Unleashing creativity in the form of comics can be really fun because you get to work with very interesting and talented people.
What is the monetisation like in the country?
Writing or publishing comics may not be highly rewarding initially, till such time it takes to capture the attention of the readers. The comic book industry in the country is expected to grow at a decent pace, especially with the advent of films like Bahubali, Krish and many more. Besides the revenue generated by the direct sales of the comic books, other avenues such as merchandising, animation, films-T.V series, also open up.
Could you tell us a bit about Xavi Origins?
Xavi Origins is a four-issue mini-arc which explores what one of the many faces of vigilantism could be like in modern India. In real life two people can have very conflicting opinions on a subject, similarly, here the focus is drawn to the motivations of the protagonist, how various events and circumstances mould his psyche, impacting his overall outlook towards life.
Early on in the story, Xavi loses his mother and the way he copes with the tragedy differs greatly from what is depicted in most vigilante stories. He doesn‘t develop that false sense of justice because things are not always black or white. It is a coming of age story where the reader is on a journey with the character, who transitions into a vigilante.
When is it coming out?
The first issue of Xavi Origins was released at the Delhi edition of Indie Comix Fest organised on 25 November this year, and right now it is available online at the official website of Dhaansu Productions and soon will be made available on Amazon.
The graphic novel promises to treat the readers with its profound story-line and distinct style of art. We hope the Indian comicbook scene is enriched by the contributions of more such talented artists that are vigorously sculpting the grand vision of Indie comics.