At MFCC 2014, I got an opportunity to talk to the Founder of Orange Radius, Mr. Raveesh Mohan. They have been known for their original superhero work namely Parshu (A superhero from the North East) and Garuda (A Bronge Age era warrior set in the Modern Age). Here is a conversation regarding their latest graphic novel, Blind Spot which has been authored by Raveesh and features art by 4 different illustrators and whose review we will soon be publishing, so watch out for that.
IN (Arindam): Hi Raveesh. So how has Comic Con been this year for you?
Raveesh: It’s been good, but I was expecting Mumbai response to be much better, but given that there’s one more day left to go, I’m hoping that the response will pick up. I was expecting it to be better than what it was last year.
IN: What titles have you been introducing this year?
Raveesh: This particular year, 2014, we’ve come out with three titles – the first title that we launched at the Delhi Comic Con earlier in February was Blind Spot, a standalone graphic novel of 4 short stories. Then at the Bangalore comic con in September 2014, we launched the 4th issue of Parshu series, a flagship superhero series by the name Mayhem, which started off the second arc of this particular series; the first half got completed last year. And in Mumbai we’ve launched the second issue in the second arc by the name Warriors.
IN: I had gone through Blind Spot, for which I took a review copy and I really loved the panel work, and some panels looks like it could stand alone in a museum gallery – I was that impressed, seriously! Were all of them hand made? And what was the process of creating that, and was that a conscious decision on the part of all the 4 stories?
Raveesh: So before I got down to the ideas of illustrating Blind Spot I had a very clear strategy in mind that there are going to be 4 stories which shall run across 76 pages, and each story has to be illustrated by a different artist, because each story was different in the treatment of the plot, the characters, etc. If the same artist illustrates all the stories, then it looks very monotonous, and that is something we wanted to break given that there are four different stories all bound by the same theme. In terms of illustrators, each illustrator was carefully handpicked to do justice to each plot and I was very clear that it had to be very different from mainstream illustration, which is very pencilled and inked lines. If you read through Blind Spot you’ll see that it gives a very painted, brushy look. So that’s one thing that is very common, apart from that each illustrator has his own style across every story which was very clear.
IN: What are your future plans going ahead for 2015?
Raveesh: In 2015 we will continue with Parshu, the second arc will conclude with the 3rd issue in the Parshu series, which hopefully we’ll launch at the Bangalore comic con. We then expand the Parshu universe – we bring in more characters. So while Parshu remains a flagship superhero characters, we’ll be increasing the roster of characters that we have. Currently we have 3 characters in Parshu, a superhero warrior from the North-East and Garuda who’s a warrior from the Bronze Age in today’s day and age. So these are the three characters who we already have, but we’ll be increasing our roster and we’ll be including more sub-plots making the story grittier and taking it to a different level, which is something we’ve already done with the second half, and we intend to go far beyond what we’ve done in the second half.
IN: Thanks a lot and all the best.
Raveesh: Thank you.