There are hectic times at Yali Dream Creations and the company is buzzing with activities as the founder and COO Asvin Srivatsangam, writer Shamik Dasgupta and the team gears up to launch three graphic novels.
Dasgupta’s Rakshak series will see the release of its parts three (120 pages) and four (90 pages) this August, ending the series’ first season. Part three titled as Chronicles of Rakshak will have four stories, two of which will introduce new characters. “It deals about the world in which Rakshak operates and how his actions influence other people,” reveals Dasgupta, the driving force behind the releases.
Rakshak aka Aditya Shergill, a former captain of a platoon of covert-ops commandos, has lost his left hand in his last combat mission. After a violent incident when he is left suffering tremendous tragedy, he starts questioning the situation of law and order in India and decides to become a vigilante, punishing criminals and protecting people as Rakshak.
Super Saina, the first story of Rakshak #3 is about Saina, Aditya’s teenage niece who has to overcome grief after a violent incident. The second story Hammer traces the journey of a poor and humble blacksmith as he is pushed to limits to become a vigilante. Pondus is “an eye opener for the present scenario in the country where often women victimise people contrary to the general belief that women are always victims,” says Dasgupta. The last in the series, Rakshak 2.0 revolves around a young billionaire heir Manav Khurana who uses his wealth to help Aditya in his crusade against crime. The story will reveal Manav’s dark past and the reason behind his complex and unpredictable character.
Without running the risk of spoilers, Dasgupta summed up Rakshak #4 as “the finale of season one that will remain with you long after you put down the book.” Rakshak is about reality with real incidents shaping each character in the book. “Hence it is more than just a fight between cliched good and evil. It is a fight between ideals. It will make you ask questions about yourself and the society around you.”
Sharing the response he has received from the audience, Dasgupta says, “They have loved the depth and realism in the storytelling and have grown fond of Aditya Shergill and the supporting cast of the series. I am expecting the next two parts to cement the fact that Rakshak is here to stay and he can rival any Indian superhero from screen or comics in India.”
Rakshak #3 is penned by series regular Pramit Santra and two newbies Abhishek Dasgupta and Karina Daruwala. Santra has also worked on art for Rakshak #4. Tadam Gyudu, Abhilash Panda and Bikash Satpathy have contributed for art and character designs in #3. Colours for #3 have been done by Prasad Pattnaik, and Periya Pillai along with Pattnaik for #4. Covers for both have been designed by Gaurav Shrivastav and Fritz Aldrin Casas.
The Village is their other ambitious project which is nearing completion and will also launch in August. The first Indian English graphic novel to be based in the heartlands of Tamil Nadu, The Village is a horror story from the creators’ new genre- social horror. “Like all my books, this too addresses a major issue in our country and is unlike any horror story so far in our country,” mentions Dasgupta.
The 140-page comic which will be published as a prestige format hard bound edition has Pattnaik and young comics maverick Gaurav Shrivastav as artwork contributors. All three comics (Rakshak #3, Rakshak #4 and The Village) has Yali Dream Creations as producer and publisher.
How has work been with three back-to-back releases on the horizon? “Back breaking, stressful, sapping…but at the end of the day elating as well,” replies Dasgupta. He is grateful to his team of artists and Srivatsangam for providing financial support and strong belief in the stories. “Without his unflinching support, keen observation and relentless project management, this would have been impossible to pull off within the time scheduled for the release.”
Yali Dream Creations’ The Caravan was optioned for Hindi movie rights in 2016 by a studio owned by an A-lister actor from Mumbai. The studio currently has some movies in the pipeline, hence the novel’s movie adaptation confirmation is expected by end of 2017 or early 2018.