Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Aghori War : Indian Comics Industry

* First post on official Blog of Indian Comics Fandom (ICF), also my Blog # 200 on Raj Comic Website. :) Wowsy!!!! Visit Blog Originally Posted on RC Website

Before covering the current Aghori clash going on, in Indian Comic Industry lets understand the meaning of Aghori.  

Aghori sect has its origin in ancient Vedic system, even though these people don’t follow the main stream Vedic system but the root is the same. The word aghori in Sanskrit means non terrifying, ‘a’-‘ghori’ most of the Hindi speaking people would have heard the phrase ghor kaliyug, ghor paap, etc.. it is the same ghor, theoretically these people don’t attach themselves to anything mortal. They do things which a common man finds to be terrifying, so they overcome this terror by going through it, since they do it regularly it is a common thing for them.

In Hinduism, “there is no evil, everything is emanated from ‘Brahman’, so how could anything in this universe be impure”? this is the kind of philosophy the aghori babas follow. According to them anything in this universe is the manifestation of god itself, so everything is as pure as god and is god like, so abandoning anything is like abandoning god itself.

The aghori mainly worship lord Shiva, according to the sect every human is a ‘shava’(dead body) with emotions and they should try to become ‘Shiva’ by denying the human pleasures and involving in the aghori rituals.”

Indian Comics

Aghori’s references, scenes are there in many comics by different comic publications, unfortunately due to public’s general perception and preconceived notions many of those scenes-references are negative. Raj Comics published a comic titled “Aghori” in 1998 under Anthony series. 

Holy Cow Entertainment released 3 teasers of their upcoming comic series (first one on 12 March 2012). Then 2 weeks later RC announces its own Aghori series (the idea RC dropped in 2007). HCE’s teaser 3 of Aghori says it’s now “trademarked”…*wonders with how many new series teasers the trademark thing is mentioned.*

 As a comic fan this is a super-treat!

People are comparing this to few versions of Nagraj tried by other comic publications after Nagraj's success especially Nagesh (Radha Comics). Later, Raj Comics won the case against Radha Comics on this copyright matter in the mighty Supreme Court of India...yes, SUPREME Court! But this thing is different. Firstly, its not a copy case at all. (...and Please anyone thinking  Ravanayan (HCE) is inspired by Nagayan (RC) then just read/re-read these series).





Latest Aghori teasers by Holy Cow

For people doubting that RC ever thought about a new series Aghori.

March 2007,

Triggered by multiple discussions, requests, suggestions, ideas on forums, blogs and websites...and hundreds of fans asking RC to bring a Series which they can proudly call Desi and original. Raj Comics Management announced they are working on a new series “Aghori” and asked fans to contribute ideas. Many fans on Raj Comics Forums & Okrut were part of this large scale brainstorming process. I remember brilliant artworks in no time by Faisal Hashmi (Don) & I wrote a story “Aghori – Pehli Dastak”, he also got cameo roles in my comedy write-ups. My story and Faisal Bhai's artworks were going side by side along with the enthusiastic discussions there. 



One of the artworks posted by Faisal Hashmi.   

Topic – Aghori : Contribute your ideas for New Hero (Created – 4 March 2007) by  Soumya Das

 
Some other topic was created just after the announcement but is not in the database anymore.  After couple of Months Mr. Sanjay Gupta wrote on RC website and couple of boards that as they are working on many projects so they are dropping the Aghori idea, he said RC will work on this idea when the time is right. I don’t know whether the time is right or not but HCE forced RC to organize its resources and publish whatever semi-cooked concept they had. This is a negative thing with RC’s version of Aghori, as RC is releasing it much before its planned launch. 

A quick step to counter the online teasers by HCE is that RC is publishing the first comic of Aghori series from 27 March 2012, one page a day…this is like a teaser every day. 



Agyaat (Aghori) Cover [Raj Comics]

Who’s Idea?

A nobody’s and everybody’s idea. Indian literature is full of Aghori. As far as comics are concerned everyone knows that RC is the first one to bring this idea for fans but then we cannot blame a less than one year old publication that they thought something later maybe the people there have this in their mind but they had no publication to print it earlier. So, half point to RC over HCE.

Reach & Promotion

The number of online fans (and of course the total fans) of Raj Comics are many times that of HCE, then, the distribution network of Raj Comics is deep rooted and very strong compared to newbie Holy Cow Entertainment. Raj Comics is a clear winner on this front.

Artwork

A close contest but I prefer an artist publisher over the conventional system. Holy Cow is slightly better in terms of style, presentation and making people curious. 

Concept

We fans know nothing about the stories of these 2 Aghoris. 

*Common Sense*

Vivek Goel tells that they chose Aghori over few other brilliant ideas for their first flagship character to replace the void after “Ravanayan” and the bonus “Skull Rosary” are over. We have not much info about RC’s version except the first 2 pages which tells that a group of Aghoris punishing an Aghori. So, RC works on over 10 series simultaneously and Aghori is one of them…surely far away from their best selling ‘flagship’ characters-series like Nagraj, SCD, Doga. 

A publication’s (first) flagship character against a publication’s character? 
1 point in favor of HCE.

Past 

Mighty stardom of Raj Comics against hangover (sweet wala..he he) of Ravanayan series along with promotional pages, arts of few series like Serengeti Stripes. Overall, it’s RC (even Mr. Vivek Goel is RC lover) and if we count last 1 year, HCE is slightly ahead. Again, 0.5 point to RC over HCE.

Though, we have a tie with 2 points to RC & HCE each, but the 2 points (Distribution & Promotion) in which RC leads overshadow the other factors. 

I congratulate Raj Comics & Holy Cow Entertainment that they are working on epic series and wish them all the Best with their respective Aghoris.

2 more Aghoris by budding artists -  


- by Ishan Trivedi


- by Ajitesh Bohra

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