Exclusive Shamik Dasgupta Interview, where he discuss about recent projects like Rakshak, Taranath Tantrik and Caravan. He also shared his life, overall experience in Comic Industry, how he connect with Yali Dream Creations and lot’s more, check it out.
Hey Shamik, first of all, thanks for your precious time, your fans wants to know about your life and how it all begins?
For that you will have to wait for my autobiography which comes out in 20whenever. Jokes apart it almost started post infancy when I could coherently read words and understood pictures, a combination of both was sheer bliss for my inquisitive child mind. Later inquisitiveness was replaced by fanfare and passion and even later it was a question of career, which at my time did not even exist, I mean a professional comic book writer in middle class Bengali family? Who the hell even heard about that those days? So perhaps I am the first of my kind. Sure there were great creators before me but they were mostly auteurs, meaning they wrote and illustrated both. I was just lazy and not talented enough to draw so I took the job of a writer. It was nothing conscious, and I cannot do anything else but comics…I am totally useless otherwise.
You worked with Virgin Comics and write popular and critically acclaimed Ramayan 3392 AD, tell us what was the experience to work there?
In 2003 I saw an advert published in one of the Gotham comics, they were looking for people Interested in making comics and they were hiring. I could not resist and ended up in Bangalore. It was a small place, an operations office and studio combined and I met Jeevan Kang, the erstwhilestudio chief there. He showed me some of his concept arts on Ramayana, and that was it I wanted in. I couldn’t believe Ramayana can be told in such a cool manner. I tried beyond my capabilities and finally, was accepted after eight months as a studio co-ordinator in Gotham Studios. Years passed by and finally the dream of doing Ramayana and that also with Jeevan as an artist was fulfilled when finally, we made Ramayan 3392 AD Reloaded together in 2006. The rest was pure awesomeness.
You have done very different genre stories like Caravan is Vampire Revenge saga, Ramayana 3392 is mythology, Item Dhamaka is completely different. What is your thought process to develop any idea and story?
There is no conscious thought process. It comes across naturally. Basically it strikes with some cool visual that I want to see on the page and then I spin a story around it. Now spinning the story is the tricky part. Few things should be kept in mind, however weird/ fantastical/ impossible your plot or characters might be there is a fundamental logic that works behind the development of the story. The logic might belong to the world you are depicting but it should apply nevertheless, and that logic drives the story forward. Rest is adding plot points, twists and turns and the finale.
Rakshak, Yali Dream Creation’s latest Superhero project, first issue available at their ONLINE STORE.
How Asvin pitch you for Yali Dream Creations, and what makes you agree to work with Yali Dream Creations?
It happened when I was working with Rovolt entertainment on their sci-fi magnum opus The Legends of Aveon 9 (Which though being completed is still unpublished till date save two books). I always wanted to do something Bollywoody, something which smells of Desi ghee and tadka, perhaps mixed with a bit of blood and flesh. I had created a story way back in 2008 and had submitted it to a major comic publisher, but it got rejected. The reason was never told to me. I took my chance and pitched it to Asvin, who had so far made a couple of fantasy comics/graphic novels like Neelakshi, Dynast and Scions of the Cursed King. Horror was uncharted territory for him. I told him this is a story on which a movie can be made if the pitch is right and the right creative minds pick it up. Asvin had that faith in me and we created The Caravan, which gave rise to the cheesecake comics in India. Now a few other guys are trying it as well, problem is, there are not too many artists in our country who can pull off drawing sexy females. But we gave this book our all. The artist Bikash Satpathy was a newcomer and he really worked hard to make The Caravan kick ass. Thankfully the book came out quite close to as I visualized.
Rumors are Caravan is getting live motion picture soon, when we are going to see Vampire War in Big Screen?
Nothing can be said about that at this moment until the concerned studio does a press release. But I assure you it’s in good hands and with a new but promising production house.
What is the future of Indian Comics in coming years?
Hard to tell. It is an uphill job for all of us who are in the market and all the publishers, old and new should join hands in the growth of the market and create comics as a major medium of entertainment meant for all ages.
What about Rakshak, Yali Dream Creations’ latest superhero project.
Well this is the story of a vigilante superhero, the core concept is not anything new but we are looking at it from a very fresh and realistic point of view. If someone, someday really wants to be a masked avenger of crimes how would he/she go ahead about it? What are the practicalities? What will be the approach and most importantly what drives him towards that decision and how far is he willing to go? That’s the major concept in our superhero story Rakshak.
Shamik Dasgupta with Kishan Harchandani, founder of CulturePOPcorn
Tell us about your personal life?
I am 34 years old married to my beautiful wife Tazeen and have more or less settled in Mumbai. By more or less I mean I keep travelling from Mumbai to my hometown Kolkata from time to time, since all the printing, warehousing and dispatch/logistics of Yali Dream Creations are based in Kolkata and managed mostly by my father Ajoy Dasgupta who is also the logistics head of YDC. There in Kolkata I have my parents, sister and my two adorable dogs Bobby the Rottweiler and Buro the Roadasian Hound (streetpup in common speak or Indian Pariah Dog (Canis lupus familiaris – scientific).
What do you do when not working?
Actually I am constantly working, consciously or subconsciously. Whenever I read a novel or watch a movie it is all work resources for me, data to be used whenever necessary. So basically the only leisure time I get is when I am drinking with my bros or at home. I am not an alcoholic but I do enjoy my whiskey Rum or Beer from time to time.
Any advice you want to give to your fans?
Fans are not to be advised they are to be encouraged, so go ahead guys – buy the latest releases of Yali Dream Creations and also Taranath Tantrik from Speech Bubble India.