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Table of Contents

Editorial Cover StoryOf Blueberries and Red Hot graphicsA short exchange with Anup Kurian and Baburajan Thunder on the hills Mario De Miranda- A tribute Embryo Top ten animated features of all times Metamorphoses – Part I Visual- I – zation Cheesy Creamy Chicken Delight Comicization- The Indian version Avatar – A milestone A world of our very own Archie Andrews RIO : A review Hard Boiled- A review Why this kolaveri di over a fan art? The Big Baroda Show – An event notification


Editorial

Dear Readers, How time flies. It seems like yesterday when we started off. 1 st January, 2010 changed our lives forever (forever is a big word but I would take the liberty to use it here). And to think of it, it is 1st January, 2012 already. We had a dream that we tried to execute starting from that day. As time passed by dreams of other people joined ours and it became a bigger dream day by day. Never did we imagine that we would be part of something like Fried Eye and we thank destiny that it chose us for this. Our happiness only attain its pinnacle when we dig the archives of Fried Eye. It is very difficult to say how we did in these two years. It is up to you to decide. We received criticism both gentle and rude in these two years and we always strove to do our best. Based on your feedback,we sometimes improved and sometimes we failed, but the effort was always 100%. Even after 2 years we still haven’t been able to figure out accurately a particular style of content that a reader might expect. We are constantly changing and exploring different styles and perspectives. Some complain that we have changed from what we started but it is totally out of our hands. We simply let ourselves free, and going sometimes by instinct and at times wherever we are being taken to by destiny. We know that might not be exactly a great way to proceed . So, we request all of you to guide us and point us our strengths and weaknesses and what you expect of us. We will welcome every suggestions of yours and endeavor to be better in days to come Anniversaries have to be celebrated. All the more, if it falls on New Year’s Day. We are celebrating our special day with this special issue, filled with the world of graphics and animation. We hope that you may explore this upcoming field with deep relish and we, from Fried Eye have done the best we could to make your animated journey spectacular. Lastly, We would like to thank all our readers, contributors and well-wishers of Fried Eye. You are the people who make us going. Wish you all a splendid New Fried Year. Regards, Fried Eye Team


Of blueberries and red hot graphicsAn interview with Anup Kurian and Baburajan by Pramathesh Borkotoky

“You are a software engineer and you want to pursue movies and so you join Pune film institute but you know you weren’t wrong to do so when you top the final exams. While the world plays safe and proceeds in a sure conventional way for their debut, you make your debut film on an offbeat subject but you know you weren’t wrong when you walk away with almost all the best directorial debut awards of India (including Gollapudi Srinivas National Prize for Best Debut Director, Aravindan Puraskaram for Best Debut Director and Best Picture at International Film Festival of Mumbai ) and earn international acclaim all over the globe.”


A genius in the making? A maverick? ... We are alluding to director Anup Kurian who created quite a ripple in 2004 in the national and international film festivals with his offbeat debut movie Manosarowar, and who will be again gambling with The Blueberry Hunt this January which has Naseeruddin Shah in the lead. The movie is a thriller but as is expected from an innovative person like him, it has a different brand of different-ness. If we go by the fact that he convinced an actor of Naseeruddin Shah’s caliber to act in it, then we can safely assume that he isn’t wrong this time too and in fact, has more chance of a mass acceptance, which was not that pronounced in Manosarwar, his first. Especially with some brilliant marketing strategy this time, noteworthy of which is the graphic novel of the same theme available and published in sequence in their fan page in facebook (a first in india), The Blueberry hunt is creating quite a buzz among the people. Fried Eye managed to contact Mr Kurian for a brief and candid chit chat , where he spoke to us a little about the much awaited movie The Blue Berry hunt , the excerpts of which we are sharing here. We also had the opportunity to catch up with Baburajan, the illustrator of the novel about this ‘novel ‘ concept of promotion and who was very accommodating and entertained our questions regarding the same.

Mr. Anup Kurian- Director, Manasarovar and The Blueberry Hunt


FE- 6 years from your last film, where was Anup Kurian in between? AK-I was all around the world. Traveling, working etc. I sold cakes in Toronto and Ontario, wrote software for some American companies in Portland, Charlotte, Chicago etc. The way 'Manasarovar' turned had a tremendous impact. I had to make sure another film I make is unique, can attract top talent and be do-able with my resources. All of this takes time. But I guess the gap between films will be lesser from now onwards. FE: Your last film Manasarovar, had a different kind of story and it was well appreciated. Despite all this, it did not make a good business in India. So, what are your plans for the The Blueberry Hunt? AK-Theatrical collections do not signify the quality of a film. We could not afford or manage a good campaign for Manasarovar – It was released with zero publicity. Whether the film is good or bad, it needs good publicity and a good campaign to attract viewers to theaters. Also, a film can be good, but it may not work in theaters. The opposite is also true. 'The Blueberry Hunt' has Naseeruddin Shah – a star in his own right. The film automatically gets a bigger visibility. Plus we are better prepared with the Print and Advertisement campaign for TBH. A lot of our prospective audience is coming to know about the film through Facebook campaign where we publish a graphic novel based on the film – Such platforms did not exist when we made 'Manasarovar'. FE- Is this a niche film made for a niche audience? AK-Now a days what audience a film finds is purely depending on the amount of money spent on advertisement. More the money, more the audience knows about the film. So, there is no niche audience we are targeting with TBH


Q. How did the idea of a Graphic Novel for the film come? Baburajan – our illustrator - created an amazing title sequence for The Blueberry Hunt. That was when this idea of a graphic novel occurred. Both myself and illustrator Baburajan are big fans of the graphic novels. The Blueberry Hunt had a story line which could translate well to the format. I wanted the graphic novel to be a separate entity, a work of art which can stand on its own two legs. So the same care we gave for making the film is given to the graphic novel.

And that was a cue for us to shift our focus on Mr. Baburajan, the man behind the red hot graphics of The Blueberry hunt graphic novel in facebook and we literally Hunted him down for an at length interesting discussion


.

FE: What led to your interest in cartoons and illustrations? BM:Since my early childhood I had the habit of drawing. My father used to buy many Soviet union children’s books for me to read and the illustrations in them really throbbed my mind. Those pictures had great influence on me and I still do believe that Russians drew great illustrations for kids - all around the world. Beyond any doubt this was the one reason which made me enter into the field of illustrations and so on.

FE: Our readers would like to know about you and your work before TBH. BM:I had worked with many companies before I did TBH graphic novel.I had worked 6 years as a story board artist in Young and Rubicam at Dubai and I worked


as a 2D animator in Toonz animation ,Trivandrum Technopark. Now I am a full time freelancer. Graphic stores really thrill me and that is what I am doing now.

FE:How did the collaboration with you and Mr. Kurian happen for TBH? BM:I had been for the shooting location with my colleagues Shibu and Mathukutty

who had done the art direction for Anup Kurian’s film. I was quiet interested in doing one of that kind myself and when I found that this story suited for a graphic novel , I forwarded a suggestion to Mr.Kurian. Hence Kurian allowed me to do the graphic novel of the movie TBH , let me say quiet independently. FE: Red is an evident colour in the graphic novel of TBH. Why so red? BM: The nature of this story compelled me to use the colour red exclusively. The title illustration of the movie had also been done by me, and that was also in red. So I chose red


FE: You have been doing illustrations for a children magazine. How different was the work for TBH? BM: TBH graphic novel is exclusively for elders. When the subject is so ,wont be picture too? Angles,beauty of picture and all were done that way. The difference from children’s illustration is that the picture for children must be exciting,curious and simple. Different columns shall be there, and the way of narration must be simple.

FE: Graphic Novels in India has seen a sudden boom in popularity. What are the trends that are going to rule in the near future? It is not advisable to use stereotypes in graphic stories. Different experiments in illustrations,diversity in narration,change in production will create interest among artists and readers. Definitely this treatment will bring popularity for graphic novels. I think in India we have a great possibility in this field -movies,literature,experiences and so on.


Thunder On The Hills Text: Shahwar Hussain Photographs: Anuj Singh

It is still not the height of summer but already the heat is unbearable in the plains and more so in Delhi, what with its concrete jungle and smog. I was itching to take a trip to the hills to enjoy the sights and the winding roads. But to get out of Delhi and on to the hills, I had to travel a considerable distance through the plains. Boring, hot, dusty, congested plains. And that’s what I dread, but the lure of the hills is a dangerous thing and it just keeps getting stronger. I have been to Mussoorie but never beyond and that was a long time back. I have heard that once you cross Mussoorie, the traffic progressively gets thinner and an easy ride up the hills can be very satisfying. What better motorcycle than the Thunderbird, the cruiser bike from Royal Enfield. With its low seating position and high handlebars, it makes for a typical long distance bike. The route that we had planned was almost 1500 km long and we had to prepare the bike accordingly. Nothing much mechanically, since the engine was perfect but we did need to change the brake shoes. Brakes are something that you simply can’t compromise with. We also fitted in two racks at the rear for our bags and they made our life much easier. The frames were of the smaller variety. All the better, because, with photographer Anuj Singh as pillion rider, it made riding on unpaved steep gradients rather dangerous. He weighs 90 kilos and I, a mere 60 kilos. Coupled with the weight of the luggage, the rear section became a little too heavy. I had to let him ride on a lot of the gravel section. He is not really overweight, just slightly healthy, as he loves to say.


We started out at about 8 o’clock in the morning, a day after the elections in Delhi. A mistake. Even though the roads were relatively empty, the sun was unforgiving. We should have started out at least three hours earlier.

By the time we reached Moradabad, the sun was shining in all its glory. By late afternoon we reached Mohand from where the road starts a gradual incline. There are huge Saal trees on either side of the road as it runs alongside the impressive Rajaji National Park. By this time the two fried brains were in no position to enjoy the beautiful sights. We did that on the way back. Gradually as the road started winding up, we began to enjoy the ride. All along the way we rode with the headlight on for better visibility to oncoming traffic. A few kilometers before Dehradun we came across a tunnel, and as we entered its dark recesses, we started cursing the bike’s headlight. The high beam indicator flashed on the instrument panel but we could not see any beam up front. Lousy light, we concluded. A few seconds later we realised we had our dark glasses on! That’s what the sun does to your brain. Beware!


Dehradun was crowded as usual and more so in the evening. So after a light snack we decided to push on straight to Mussoorie. The 34-km ride to Mussoorie with numerous hairpin bends is delightful and even though it generally takes an hour to reach, we managed in all of three hours. Ride slowly and you can’t help but stop along the way to admire the beautiful landscape. The cool mountain air takes away all your tiredness.

Mussoorie is alive and happening at night and because of the heat in the plains, the place was teeming with domestic tourists with a few Israelis thrown in. Mussoorie was once called the Queen of Hills and although the gleam has faded a bit, it is still worth a visit. I am sure most motorcycle tourers (including me) would like to avoid the usual tourist places and instead look for offbeat locations that offer fantastic rides and views. There are also lesser tourists in these places. The Mall Road in Mussoorie is where all the activities are. It is so crowded that you would feel claustrophobic in no time. Motorists have to pay a toll to enter the area. Just as well, makes it less chaotic. We found the Mall highly avoidable and so after a heavy breakfast we set out for Mori. We thought we would never make it because we stopped ever so frequently to soak in the beauty and shoot pictures. Just out of Mussoorie, the road dips dramatically all the way to Yamuna Bridge. 10 km out of Mussoorie we came across the Himalayan Adventure Institute that offers courses on a variety of activities, ranging in duration from three days to three months. The charges are reasonable too. One of the activities posted on the signboard at the entrance mentioned shooting, among other things. But we were rather disappointed when told that there were only .22 air rifles. Anyway, we tried our hand at rock climbing on an artificial rock face. It was fun but I realised it calls for a high level of fitness.


As we made our way towards Kempty Falls, traffic gradually increased. Kempty Falls was rather empty of character and water but it certainly was full of tourists. The plunge continues till Yamuna Bridge, at a distance of 12 km from Kempty falls, and then starts a steep climb. Here the Yamuna flows out of the mountain into the terai region. The sight of water bodies soothed our state of mind. We took a right turn from the bridge and 12 km later we reached Nainbagh, a small, rather insignificant town. A left turn from Nainbagh ultimately leads to Yamunotri and that’s where most of the pilgrims were headed. The hills in this region are rocky and barren with little vegetation. They seemed fragile but the ride was hugely satisfying. The sight of the Yamuna flowing below was awesome at times. 30 km out of Nainbagh we took a diversion that leads to the historical village of Lakha Mandal. Here Duryodhan built a house of lac where he planned to burn the Pandavas. The village is protected by the ASI and has some amazing temples and artifacts from the time of the Mahabharat. There are still some families here who practice polyandry but the practice is on a decline. We reached Naugaon after sundown and the first thing that we did was tank up. Naugaon has the last petrol pump for a very long way and there are none on the route through Chakrata till Mussoorie that we planned to take.


For a small town, Naugaon has an unusually high concentration of guest houses. I wondered why, until I was told that this was a stopover for pilgrims on their way to Yamunotri. The lodge where we stayed was cheap, clean and friendly but the only grouse I had was the beds which were too small. Half my legs hung out and that sure is not a very comfortable way to sleep. The vegetation gradually starts to change and from Purola onwards deodar trees cover the slopes and the air gets progressively cool. The ride till Mori is one of the finest I have had in a long time. As we neared Mori we could see the Tons river gushing down below. Mori is the only place in India where Duryodhan is worshipped. Anuj had a mild case of food poisoning and so we decided to stay at Mori. We met an acquaintance, a forest ranger, and he arranged our stay at a forest guest house. Mori is such a beautiful place that I could have easily stayed a couple of days more but time was at a premium. The fresh air and wooded slopes are unspoiled as are the banks of the Tons river. The water looked so inviting that we couldn’t help but take


a skinny dip. We should have taken our tents as there are some lovely camping sites here. Maybe, next time. At Mori you can go river rafting, cycling and trekking. Or you can simply become a recluse, do nothing in particular and just enjoy the place.

From Mori we took a left turn and reached Hanol, a Hindu religious place. Operators conduct river rafting both in Hanol and Tiuni, but pity, we could not step into a raft. From Tiuni we rode down to Chakrata, a distance of 77 km. There are some who will be disappointed by what Chakrata has to offer. It is not half as commercialised as Mussoorie but the ambience has to be soaked in. Chakrata was established 125 years ago by Colonel Hume of the British army. This small cantonment area is still in a time warp. The neat bungalows with their flowers, green hillsides and walks on the Mall, all give it a very colonial feel. Chakrata houses a regiment of the army’s special force and perhaps this is one reason why the place is so neat and clean. The terrain offers excellent training facilities to the Special Forces. We spent quite a few hours riding through the narrow roads and lanes and concluded that each new bend offers a view that seems better and grander than the previous one. This is one big advantage of taking a bike tour as it allows unlimited freedom to explore and discover at will. We wanted to spend a night at Chakrata but Anuj was not feeling particularly well and so we decided to push on to Mussoorie where he could see a doctor. Oh yes, we ran short of petrol because of our exploration exercises and had to buy fuel at Rs. 80 per litre. Expensive, yes, but at least we got it. After Chakrata, the road winds down most of the way till it reaches Yamuna Bridge at a distance of 52 km. Although the road is black topped there are stretches with loose stones and on gradients these can be particularly dangerous. We did face some difficulty at places but overall the weight and the wide tyres of the Thunderbird saw us through.


We crossed Kempty Falls late in the evening and thankfully it was quite isolated. We checked in the hotel and after a bath strolled down to the Mall almost at closing time. We encountered a maverick salesman who managed to sell us some watches and a few knick-knacks. If we had lingered on a little more, I am sure he would have emptied our wallets. The ride down to Dehradun was delightful with all those curves and the Thunderbird behaved impeccably all along. We lost our way in Dehradun and stumbled upon an antique shop with amazing stuff. I am usually able to resist the Goddess of Temptation much better these days but I succumbed and bought a very old table fan, made in the late 1800s for Rs. 1500. I wish I had the money to buy the other fan that ran on kerosene and had wooden blades. So far it was fun riding in the hills but I dreaded riding through the hot and dusty highway from Dehradun to Delhi. To avoid the heat we started late evening but it is not a very wise thing to do. Truck drivers do not know the meaning of the dipper and maniacal Sumo drivers make riding a very risky proposition. But we did manage to reach home in one piece with a bagful of dust in our eyes. No more highway riding at night.


Mario De Miranda – A tribute by Hrishikesh Bhorali [When we are talking about graphics and animations and comics and cartoons, it would be inapt to forget the world-renowned cartoonists of India. If not all, Mario Miranda, who breathed his last in his ancestral home at Loutolim, Goa, in the early hours of Sunday, 11th December, definitely needs to be mentioned. Here’s a tribute to the maestro,by Hrishikesh Bharali ]

Among the myriad faces in the Indian cartoonists scene, there features a Goan named Mario Miranda whose vignettes of Goan life on canvas in his trademark style captured the imaginations of the people for over two decades and put India on the world map. His lack of formal training in the nuances of cartoon never proved to be a constraint in his way up the ladder. Although, comparisons with his more illustrious contemporary R.K. Laxman were rife, Mario Miranda was successful in carving his own niche in the world of cartoon. As his long-time friend Khushwant Singh puts it in his inimitable style, “Comparisons with RK Laxman were inevitable. Everyone agreed that there was no cartoonist in the world to match Laxman. He agreed with the assessment and exuded an aura of self-esteem. Mario, on the other hand, had very little self-esteem and exuded an aura of modesty.” Khushwant Singh further delineates the structural shift in their bailiwick that reflected in their doodles.”Laxman’s cartoons made political social statements. Mario simply depicted Bombay’s upper class or the common folk of his native Goa. His cartoons depicted farmers clad in nothing more than langotis (loin cloth) and their women folk in bars sipping local Feni. He also made cartoons of fisher folk, fish markets, cathedrals and the Goan country-side. Both contributed handsomely to the spectacular increase in the circulation of The Illustrated Weekly of India.” Ironically, he went on to work with R.K. Laxman during his stint with Times of India. Miranda was born on May 2, 1926 in Daman and did his schooling at St Joseph's high school, Bangalore and did his BA in history at St Xavier's college, Mumbai. Mario displayed a keen interest in sketching and caricaturing from an early age. He


used the walls of his own house in Loutolim as a canvas for his creations, to the utter dismay of his mother, who finally brought him a blank book. He even started getting into trouble at school, for sketching Catholic priests! He started his career as a cartoonist for the Times of India Group in 1953 and later moved into illustration and fine art. He rose to fame for his creations such as Miss Nimbupani and Miss Fonseca which appeared on a regular basis in Femina, Economic Times, and The Illustrated Weekly of India..

Miranda was offered the Fundacao Calouste Gulbenkian Scholarship, which enabled him to travel to and stay a year in Portugal and this time in Portugal, according to Miranda, helped him to broaden his horizons. After a year in Portugal, Miranda travelled to London, England and was to spend five years there, learning as well as doing jobs for newspapers and even worked in television animation, at Independent Television. Miranda's cartoons were featured in the magazines Lilliput, Mad (once), and Punch (twice). This supplemented his finances, and enabled him to travel around Europe, interacting with other cartoonists, gaining considerable knowledge and exposure. This led to his meeting of Sir Ronald Searle, whom Miranda considered his mentor.


Besides cartooning, Mario’s murals continue to adorn the walls of south Mumbai's

famous Mondegar Café. His calendars, year-planners for various publications, private and governmentorganisations, illustrated diaries and books continue to be treasured possessions. He has illustrated numerous books including Inside Goa by Manohar Malgonkar, A family in Goa and The Open Eyes by Dom Moraes, children's books authored by Uma Anand like Dul-Dul, The Magic Clay Horse,The Long-tailed Langoor and The Adventures of Pilla the Pup, in Mumbai. He has also penned several books, including Goa with Love, A little World of Humor, Sketch book, Germany in Wintertime, Impression of Paris and Mario de Miranda. In his long career span of six decades, Mario has held solo exhibitions in over 22 countries, including the United States, Japan, Brazil, Australia, Singapore, France, Yugoslavia, and Portugal. He was honoured with the Padma Shri in 1988 and the Padma Bhushan in 2002. The All India Cartoonists’ Association, Bangalore, honoured him with a lifetime achievement award. The King of Spain, Juan Carlos, conferred on Mario the highest civilian honour of ‘la Cruz de Isabel la Catolica’ which was presented to him on 11 Nov,2009 at his family home in Loutulim by Don Miguel Nieto Sandoval and on 29th Dec,2009 Portugal. He was also decorated with the title of "Comendador da Ordem de InfanteD.Henrique", a Portuguese National Order of Knighthood.


He will be best remembered for the ubiquitous man-inthe-bulb logo of Khushwant Singh in which he is shown scribbling on a sheet of paper with a pile of books on one side and a bottle of whisky on the other.� Ever since, whenever my articles appear, editors use the bulb logo designed by Mario Miranda over forty years ago. Believe it or not, on many occasions I have received letters simply addressed to: Man-in-the-bulb, New Delhi!�, adds Khushwant Singh. An avid traveller and music, Mario married Habiba Hydari, an artist. The couple has two sons - Rahul, a hair stylist in New York, and Rishad, a cartoonist based in Goa. In the wee hours of Sunday, 11th of December, Mario Miranda left for his heavenly abode at the age of 85 leaving behind a rich contribution to the Indian Cartoon depository.


Embryo by Pronami Tamuli

Curled up little flesh blob You bob up and down In lush amniotic Mush. I touch my skin to try. And touch yours. To feel a flutter beneath my finger.An infinitesimal heart beat.To breathe knowing You breathe with me.


Top 10 animated features of all times: By Vinayak Gole It wasn’t long ago when the easiest way to calm down a wailing child was to switch on the cartoon channel. But animated movies or "cartoons" are no longer just certified for the kids. Every one of us has knowingly or unknowingly, at some point liked and cherished an animated feature. As the year which gave us some of the best sequels to animated features has just faded away, we decided to line up some of the best animated features to ever adorn the large screen. Our top 10 choices are: 1. Toy Story:

Pixar's flawless animation riding on top of a compelling story line makes Toy Story our top pick. The feature tells the story of a group of toys who pretend to be lifeless in the presence of humans. Earning more than $361 million in revenues worldwide, Toy Story marked the breakthrough of computer generated animation into the mainstream. 2. The Lion King:

Simba's story of rising from remorse and self penance to being the king of the fabled Pride Lands has captured many a Kids’ dreams. With a titillating musical score complimenting the story line, the film gathered two Academy awards and a


Golden globe. The film is the highest hand drawn animation film of all times, Lion king has garnered more than $945 million worldwide. 3. Akira:

Set in 2019, Akira tells the story of the confrontation between bikers Shotaro Kaneda and Tetsuo Shima and the struggle to save Neo Tokyo from total annihilation. Akira, brought together, several top production houses of the Japanese film industry and is considered a landmark in Japanese animation history. The film based on the original manga epic of the same name has moved on to become a cult movie.

4. Pinocchio:

Even after about 70 years, the Walt Disney Classic, is just as interesting and engrossing to the audience today. Narrating the story of, Pinocchio, a wooden puppet, brought to life by the Blue Fairy, the film takes the viewer through the puppets journey to become a real living boy. The film, tough initially unsuccessful at the box office, has risen to critical acclaim over the years.


5. Shrek:

Perhaps everyone in the world has heard of Sherk. Perhaps, just perhaps. But the fairy tale of the loveable ogre and his love for Princess Fiona has let DreamWorks Animation stand up to competition with Pixar. The film won the first ever Academy award for Best animated feature and was also nominated for 6 BAFTA awards.

6. Beauty and the Beast:

Based on the popular fairy tale love of the Prince who gets transformed into a beast and young woman he imprisons, Beauty and the Beast is everything a romantic could ask for. Again, from the Walt Disney repertoire, the film went on to becoming a major success, garnering more than $403 million in revenues. The film mopped up several awards including the Academy award for the best music and song.


7. Yellow Submarine:

Yellow Submarine is a musical animated feature based on the music of the Beatles. The film is based on the musical victory of the Beatles over the music hating Meanies who have taken over underwater music loving land of Pepperland. The Yellow submarine which transports the Beatles, forms the film’s title as well as the title song of the Soundtrack. The film has been gathered praise and awards alike including the Grammy for the best original score for a Motion Picture. 8. The Iron Giant:

Based on the novel, Iron Man, the film tells the story of a lonely kid, Hogarth and the aftermath of his friendship with a giant alien robot. Released by Warner Brothers Animation, the film captured the attention of viewers and the critics alike. The film has been nominated for several awards, went on to gather $103 million worldwide. 9. Wall·E:


A simple story coupled with Pixar's excellent animation, made Wall路E, make more than $531 million at the box office. The film tells the love story of two robots and the after effects it has on the human race. Wall路E won the Academy award as well as the golden globe for the best animated feature and was nominated for several others. 10. Snow white and the seven dwarfs:

Based on the classic fairy tale of Snow white and her association with seven dwarfs who save her life, this Disney Classic from 1937, is still one of the most liked animated features. The film has won critical acclaim and has won Disney an honorary Academy award. The feature has been unanimously noted as a path breaker in animated films by many film critics. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the list of the top animated films till date. With better technology aiding creative minds, the list hopefully will get updated soon.


METAMORPHOSIS- PART I by Lasya Shashimohan

It was those days of yore. When romance still held charm. Lush carmine roses…. Liqueur chocolates rich… with many a Romeo abound. Still her heart beat for none… which is the shame tch-tched everyone young and old… for a beauteous maiden; ‘delicate as a dewdrop’, ‘compact as a china doll’, ‘Surreal as a dream, occult as an enchantress…’. It was said that Sienna’s eyes, with their whites dove white; blacks raven black with feathery lashes; bewitched one and all she locked them with and their spell had them heady for at least a day and like Shakespeare’s witches who spiked their cauldrons with the eye of newt, leg of frog and the rest, Sienna laced her ‘spells’ with her sweet-saucey brow dramatically arched like some birds’ ravishing wing; her nose of strong bridged character; her scarlet wound of a mouth that laughed and mocked alternately; her skin an even burnt sienna hue like that of some a queen’s of some exotic land… “oh, why can’t she be mine’ the lads lamented (some lasses too, in secret). ‘Forget that witchy- witch. Something’s’ not quite right there’, their mothers tried to console. A typical case of sour grapes! And so the lads settled for lesser beauties and their mothers muttered obscenities under their breath as Sienna passed. So almost all thought her an ice-maiden. Some called her a ‘luscious plum’ with a stone for heart. If only they knew…… Apparently because they do not posses a soul.


It was those nights of yore… the nights were young and so was she. The air was replete with the sweet scent of her baited breath. As she held ivory rails; with sweet anticipation, her visage reflected in the peridot waters beneath. She waited. For the one she knew was hers. At first sight – when the wolves had bayed while the owls had hooted. Time had stopped… the air was still… a barely percephable movements and his papery profile had captured a sliver of the moon. He had turned. Facing her. Their eyes met. She had known. Immediately. His little secret. As undoubtedly as she knew he was hers. She knew he was one of them and she yearned to be his and so she waited. To frenzied patter of wing that metamorphosed to a sprawling purple robe. He stood behind her hushed. A vein below her ear pulsated pleasantly life blood rushed to her face. She caught a glimpse of herself in the waters below. As for him- he cast no reflections, nor shadows. This is common truth about ‘them’. Apparently because they do not posses a soul.

She knew what he was… she knew his sustenance.. she had witnessed his predatory ways. The key to his eternal youth… but still?! Why was she doing this? She knew not herself. She knew nothing. Except the moment. She laid a palm ever so gently on his chalky white face. His eyes looked for a moment ever so pathetic… almost soulful… but how could that be for ‘they’ have no souls.

His lips were drenched with red wine or blood. She was seized suddenly with a ravenous thirst for immortality. He understood. Cut a long finger and let it bleed into a goblet. And held it to her lips. She tasted eternal youth. And bared her fangs at him. In earnest gratitude. He smiled too. He knew what she wanted now. Out came a ring from nowhere which he lithely slid in her finger.They became vampire and wife and sealed their union with the kiss of death.


What exactly does metamorphosis mean? … the shedding of ancient skin… the formation of new? … a rejuvenated spirit? Tuning into a totally fresh frequency? A dramatic shift in focus?; The cessation of life or relationships and spurting or rekindling of new?; suddenly breathing in intuition instead of air?; A soul makeover or a free fall that Sienna’s experiencing at the moment as she turns wolverine with wings at will… the changes in sequence are apparent yet so fluid… she flits across bright city lights, clouds and galaxies, her being now in contact with warmth and now in contact with chill in air… the changes in air pressure bring about a sweet ache in her ear… reverting to the idea of metamorphosis… could it be more drastic than turning from maiden to wife, from Sienna the human to Sienna – the vampire all in one night.. or as queer as forgetting completely the aunt who had reared her and whom sienna had once loved with all her LIFE? She looked at Ethan flying beside her. She now loved him with all her DEATH. So is there anything called metamorphosis at all?.. or only shift in focus…..


It was time for supper. As Sienna drew first blood Ethan caressed her gullet with sensual long fingers… ‘You are exquisite’ he whispered as the red fluid rippled down her throat ‘so transparent… your neck has actually turned crimson’… Sienna blushed. “The face too has followed suit” he laughed now- a casual laugh. Then he rakishly took her hand and twirled her round and round. Abruptly he stopped. The kaleidoscope of magic they had whirled in a moment ago had broken. All that remained now was a wooden inscrutable look. And a detached bantering tone. This was the Ethan Sienna had to live with for the next two decades. The shattered glass already reflected albeit hazily, her life to come.

His house was everything she had put her money on- Gothic architecture, broad motes and shady coffins, except that Sienna hadn’t bargained for all the cobwebs that had confiscated that place. She picked a broom and with firm purpose launched operation Gothic de-cobwebing. A clearer picture of what was to be her home sweet home gradually started emerging. Slashing silky strands of spider cord, she marched upstairs and started working on the chambers. In one room she noticed a coffin, not quite closed. Someone seemed to be lying in there-a plump lady. She awakened, the astonished Sienna expected antagonism but received a broad smile instead “So Sienna’s here”, the lady extended a podgy hand, ‘By the way, I am Jade.’

Sienna took the offered hand in a trance. In her irrational infatuation for Ethan; she had ceased to notice the agape chasm that existed between them, screaming questions. What did she know about him anyway: except his little secret. Nothingno confidences no familiarity. She had taken the plunge into vampirehood and matrimony without a query. Based on fleeting sensations, her odd quirk for anything unusual, the magnetic pull of the unknown. What had Ethan chosen her for she wondered- her uncommon beauty, her prior vitality (she was dead now, she was confused as to whether she still was supposed to possess vitality) or…? And who was THIS JADE?

‘I can see Ethan hasn’t bothered to make a mention of me.’ Jade sniggered at Sienna’s frozen attitude. “I am his mother” she said stressing on each syllable with slow almost cynical deliberation. “You can go now” she said curtly before stifling a yawn. In a minute she had dozed off.


Sienna spirited down stairs to come face to face with Ethan. ‘Sienna?’ he inquired noticing her bafflement and then laughed in realization. “I can see you have met my “Mother” (the same sarcastic emphasis on “mother”). You are going to have it tough sweet heart’ he said, his tone kind but distant ‘getting used to Jade. Getting used to everything here. Getting used to me for that matter’. ‘I am game’, answered Sienna earnestly. After all you are the one I’ve chosen out of my own desire. This is the life I wanted. But tell me one thing- why have you chosen me, me in particular?” “you’ll know in good time, Sienna, in good time.” Ethan muttered before walking away, turning his back on her.

For the next fortnight the newly wed vampire bride saw a great deal of Jade and nil of her husband. The love lorn heart pined for a mere glimpse of her beloved, until it hurt physically. All Sienna could do during these times was clutch her bosom and sigh and of course, hear Jade out. Sequestered inside the sprawling mansion to escape sunlight; that was hemlock to vampires, she witnessed Jade’s hedonism. The aging vampire was debauchery personified. Her impulses had not moved beyond Freud’s oral stage – she drank lustily her face getting ruddier by the second, chattered and smoked incessantly- an overdose of fags had rendered her long finger nails yellow and there were broad gaps between her fangs. Freud would have probably said this is a sign of high libido, well he would have been right in Jade’s case at least. The vampire grand dame who had been a prosperous butcher’s wife when she was human couldn’t withstand her run of the mill lifestyle – the monotony created such an urgent need to vent that she thought she would explode. So she let a vampire seduce her into turning one herself and from then on there was no looking back for this zesty lady.

And Ethan wasn’t Jade’s son, Sienna learnt. As Jade talked Sienna’s could visualize an unsuspecting young wood-cutter, returning home at twilight, probably looking forward to nothing more than a simple dinner and a good night’s rest by the cozy hearth. Instead he was bitten by Jade as the dusky sylvan beauty looked on hushed. Ethan could never return home to his mother after that night. She had died pining for him. From then on the hapless Ethan had lived a vampire’s life, with Jade. The vampire community thought of them as mother and son for all practical purposes. He had been a vampire for 90 years now.


Jade loved extracting stories out of him- as to how he had led his life, how he had dropped out of school to help his father cut wood, how he had frolicked in the village pond with his cronies, his first crush, the colorful village fairs and festivals, elaborate description of the clothes ladies and gentlemen wore on such occasions…. Jade was simply insatiable. She craved to be a part of both the homo sapien world she had renounced and the vampire world that she had embraced and after a while Jade became jaded. No quantity of Ethan’s and her vampire chums’ stories narrated time and again (cycled and recycled) excited her anymore. If only she could welcome someone new into her mansion; someone female…. these males could be colossal bores at times – take her butcher husband for instance, take Ethan. A lightening of an idea struck her. Why shouldn’t she ask Ethan to bring home a bride… she could entertain her with juicy tit-bits of mortal gossip. Ethan hadn’t agreed. He didn’t want to force his wretched lifestyle on anyone else. He was hardly Jade. One day he mentioned Sienna out of the blue and brought her home shortly after.

After being smothered by thick curtains during morning’s quarantine, Sienna stepped out on the terrace. She savored the freedom darkness brought and deeply inhaled the delicious chill brought in by the air of the new night. She brushed a lock of dark hair off her face and looked fondly at the ring on her left ring finger- her one ornament. Her thoughts flitted to Ethan and their brief wedding ritual; when Ethan had slipped the same simple lovely gold band on her finger. Instantly there was a faint rustle of wing and a giant vampire bat morphed into Ethan. Wordlessly he handed her an ebony-box. “Here’s some jewelery” his speech was terse- ‘mother wanted me to give them to my wife. I went and got them from home one night after her death as well as mine”. Sienna gingerly opened the lid. Antique ancestral jewelery – pearls set in the purest gold; diamond studded bracelets; emerald and ruby delights probably handed ones to and treasured by daughters-in-law for many a generation, winked at her. They were probably never meant to be sold whatever one’s financial status was.

Sienna stood as if hypnotized. “Are all these mine?” she finally spoke slowly. “Yes, all” he replied and turned to go. ‘Ethan’ she stopped him. “You still haven’t answered my question.” ‘What question’ he blinked. The reason you chose me, me is particular” she persisted. He ignored her question and prepared to fly. They flew side by side in stubborn silence.


Her head was throbbing with the pain of this silence. Whatever she has expected of martial life, it wasn’t this. Anything was preferable to this aloof behavior he showed her. He treated her as if she was a stranger. Anything else she could have with stood – heated quarrels… differences of opinion… open incompatibility… accusations. Anything was preferable to this ugly icy reserve. Why had he wed her if he had to keep her at bay? What in the world stopped him from sharing his feelings?

Had Sienna been a modern 21st Century vampire wife, she would probably have consulted a vampire marriage counselor for help. But these were times when all this hadn’t arrived. So all she could do was suffer in silence.

Upset she might have been, but Sienna was as loyal as they come. She never snitched on Ethan to Jade or anybody else; not once. Something in her refrained from showing Jade the family heirlooms she had received from him. They were as sacred to her as their relationship itself. They were too personal to be flaunted.

Meanwhile Jade wore Sienna out, as she churned out one story after another at Jade’s insistence. Only during evening hours did she get some respite when Jade went cavorting around. ‘Socializing’ was the word she used. Sienna could then indulge herself doing fine thread work on silken robes-vampires night time vision is excellent. At other times she and Ethan flew anywhere they wished – except above consecrated grounds – such as temples and churches; definite forbidden territory to vampires. Vampires also for some reason were unable to cross running waters.

Poor Sienna was so preoccupied with sad thoughts that she knew not where she flew. She suddenly became aware of dark vast stretches extending all around her. There was no sign of Ethan. Sienna’s heart pounded with fright. She didn’t know her way home for her sense direction of was very poor. Ethan had been her guiding star all this time, leading the way for her and she had followed him blindly, without bothering about landmarks and such ‘rubbish’ and now the vampire wife was in big trouble. She was on the verge of tears when her attention was distracted…. Faraway strains of song… a little sweet… a little melancholy. They beckoned her to their source and she followed their mellifluous trail. Ethan sat on the branch of a tree, singing. His back was turned on her. His was voice was rich, soft and pleasant. Sienna sat down quietly on a branch and listened. He sang:-


On my way to chop wood I frolicked among rushes By the brook…. They gently swayed to my rhythm My soul was warmed by sunshine Bursting forth the trees Now there is neither No sunshine nor soul Also the heart is dead And rushes don’t dance no more.

He paused poignantly for a moment before continuing

At the stars I had gazed Dreams of all good I’d do Simple work, kindly deeds For people, all the people.

Sienna felt a lump in her throat. The irony in the last stanza of the song was so grating. Ethan so full of kindness and good intent; who had once had visions of helping people, now in his present form preyed on them. They were his sustenance now…; his life force, while his victims slowly wasted away into cadavers. Fate had


a cruel way of dealing cards – especially in Ethan’s case. How agonizing it must be for a being with ideals to live a life so lowly.

She has started sobbing loudly. Ethan heard her and stopped singing abruptly. “Sienna, I didn’t hear you.” He spoke fast, words stumbling over one another. He got up hastily and made an ostentatious gesture of dusting his hands on his trousers and pretended not to have noticed her tears. He seemed extremely embarrassed. “It is nearly daybreak”, “shall we leave?” he asked. Sienna nodded and managed a small smile.

Metamorphosis into wolf, bat, owl… flights unto darkness… nightly rounds… sinking fangs… drawing blood… watching forms languish and finally die. Ethan… reticent ways… few words… kind eyes… hurtful long silences punctuated by nothing… music- its soulful strains.

Jade…. Chatter

Looking the same year after year after year. Twenty years went past in a swish of the robe and no, Ethan hand still not answered Sienna’s question as to why he had chosen her. She had stopped asking anyway.

After her prowl, Sienna returned home to find Jade in a queer state. She was pacing up and down in her parlor with feverish restlessness. Her ruddy complexion had darkened to an alarming purple. Sienna watched with some discomfiture. Jade covered her ears with her hands and screamed – loud and long – she looked like the tormented image depicted in Edward Munch’s painting ‘The Scream’. “Jade!” Sienna ran up to her extremely worried now- “what’s wrong?” This one women blue murder also brought Ethan there as well. “What in the world was that?” he stammered looking from Jade to Sienna in confusion. “It’s killing me” was the illuminating answer. Ethan and Sienna exchanged puzzled glances. “Oh, its killing me”, she continued “life… the ladies club – sooo boring, this ridiculous mansion –


such an eyesore. The same ugly vampire mugs in your face for infinity’ she spat the words out passionately.

One Craves chutzpah in life – what say? An adrenaline rush; you know. A roller coaster ride, novelty, good company!

‘But I thought Sienna was extra company enough’ Ethan ventured. “Are you talking about this nit-wit’ Jade snarled showing her fangs “she’s not come up with a good story for two whole weeks… tell her to stick her stupid mug down the manhole”. “Jade… please” Ethan tried to persuade her without much success. The incorrigible of incorrigible continued to shower abuses on Sienna. Ethan quietly escorted Sienna outdoors to save her the pain of further insult.

Ethan and Sienna sat facing each other. They were both silent. Both of them knew Jade well enough to know that something drastic was in the offing, that would change the geography of their existence and tried hard they did but couldn’t drive butterflies that jigged in their bellies, unable to stay still because of the suspense.

Somehow when it came to Jade, Sienna and Ethan seemed to lose control over all decisions. They became dumb puppets she could manipulate at will.

Finally Jade emerged. The butterflies toned down their jig.

On reflection, one could say Jade was very ahead of her times. She could well have been the personification of the chronic discontent that has gripped the modern era, where people have taken to aggressive consumerism to stay happy. They needed external reality to feel complete.


Jade likewise WANTED and note with a big W- things- No, nothing as common as new clothes or an unusual coiffure – a new place, sir, (nothing more nothing less) and a twin identity – she wanted to pose as a woman during the day and let her true nature rule, in the night. Sienna’s vivid description of her village – picturesque and alluring, had caught this hippie gypsy’s fancy. But the million dollar question was – how would they survive their enemy, sunlight?

Jade smugly raised a brow and with a saucy half-smile locked herself in her parlor. She emerged after three whole days. Her pig-like beady eyes glittered with the unsuppressed vanity of victory. Ethan and Sienna had sensed that frivolous Jade who usually avoided books like disease had been studiously pouring over them and she was up to something bombastic. What was it?

Abracadabra Magic portion in glass crystals Abracadabra Face the sun like real mortals. Uncork the bottle; Unincarcerate the worthy liquid Which bubbles out like bubbly Jade. Apply it lavish; on body and face.

Nervous eyes that dart in sunlight Push behind your cares Wear these wonder pairs of lenses – stare the sun down


In this mighty duel.

These marvels had taken Jade energy and concentration enough needed to go through a mighty séance. Anticipation of all the excitement ahead had energized the usually unfocussed Jade to work with gusto. oh! If only morning sweet morning arrived soon. She couldn’t wait to embark on the adventure.

But now it was time for ‘din din.’ Jade had not eaten for THREE WHOLE DAYS. She was hungry enough to devour their chateau, if required. She buzzed off to hunt, dancing a minuet. Sienna and Ethan stood like wax statues.

Morning arrived and the threesome made due preparation for their journey. Applied lotion and wore lenses of sorcery. Ethan and Sienna wanted to bid goodbye to their vampire acquaintances but Jade forbade them. ‘If they as much as get an idea, all the ninnies would want to swarm there. ‘Do you want your entire village to be vampire – infested, honey?’ she asked Sienna in saccharine sweet tones.

They left without telling anybody.

Tap a tap a tap A bee in the cap Three vampires arrive For a taste of life’s sap Arms around each other wrap


Clap! Clap! Clap!

Is this and event that merits applause?

Vampire footsteps in tandem A soldier’s stately march People turned to stare Many raised a hair! Could this be Sienna? Still so young and fair.

Her contemporaries had aged Fine lines tinged their brow She in contrast looked Fresh and pretty as a rose She was twenty then She’s twenty now They all wondered how If only they knew‌.

Sienna fabricated that she had eloped with her beloved, twenty years ago. and had lived in a variety of places, including the East. She had been connoisseur of more than one flavour of the exotic and all she craved for now was the comforting


familiar bread and cheese – her village. She had missed, she said, the maternal luxury of her aunts lap, which was always there to lay her head on, whenever she had needed love or comfort and so she had come back; bringing her husband and ‘mother-in-law’ along. Sienna learnt from the villagers that her dear aunt had passed. For the first time in years Sienna’s heart clenched in extreme sorrow (and some guilt). May be her aunt would have survived had she stayed back… or maybe not – who could say for sure? In the careless impulsiveness of youth, she had taken flight (literally) with Ethan. She had to admit that at that time her aunt hadn’t crossed her mind at all. Now to come to think of it, Sienna reflected, she had been rather self-centered at that age. All she had cared for was gratification of self. Had she confided in her aunt (about her love for Ethan) she might have even let her go. But no, she hadn’t done that. Was she to point a finger at flighty youth or was she doing this to purge herself of all guilt? There was no use ruminating now. Her aunt was dead.

The house now belonged to Sienna. That had been her aunt’s last wish the villagers said. They gave her the key. It was just a matter of time before Sienna settled down comfortably with her family. To be contd…. next issue


VISUAL- I – ZATION by Rakib Ahmed Visualization, Entertainment and the Virtual World of Today 2011 FE readers and players, a new year has begun but it was 2011 that delivered some of the most exciting games, movies, and may more to the world of entertainment. Technology is at its best now and there remain very few things that are impossible to do! However in the virtual world there is nothing that cannot be done and it’s near impossible to say it’s not real. With the change in time the demand for good quality visualization has become a need. The Gaming or the Movie industry is pushing technology to its limits and even go beyond to deliver something new and different. This was is one such example where we have seen technology mutating and giving new. The tools of today are capable of doing things, that were once ever impossible to image. The latest in the block is the 3D technology. Movies, comic books and even games are now 3D. Put the glass on and you will see everything coming out of the screen. The last year has been an unbelievable year for movies. *TOP 10 Movies with Animation and Technology to make the Virtual look real: 2011 was a fascinating year for quality movies. Movies with the touch of technology to its full potential to animate or to give 3D effect or even create an entire virtual world to fit the story. Movies like the Rio, Cars, Transformers: Dark of the Moon were some of the movies that used the technology which is available today to make it look real and has something different to say. Here are top 10 Movies/Video Games/Digital Comic Books of 2011 that have the touch of technology to make something new and different. If you have missed it, it’s not late……! Rio Release Date: April 15th, 2011 FE Stars: ***** Studio: 20th Century Fox Official Site: www.rio-themovie.com


Cars 2 Release date: June 24th, 2011 FE Stars: **** Studio: Walt Disney Pictures, Pixar Animation Studios Official Site: www.disney.go.com/cars

Kung Fu Panda 2 FE Stars: **** Release Date: May 26th, 2011 Studio: DreamWorks Animation Official Site: www.kungfupanda.com


Puss in Boots Release Date: October 28th, 2011 FE Stars: **** Studio: DreamWorks Animation Official Site: www.pussinbootsthemovie.com

X-Men: First Class Release Date: June 3rd, 2011 FE Stars: **** Studio: 20th Century Fox Official Site: www.x-menfirstclassmovie.com

Transformers: Dark of the Moon Release Date: June 29th, 2011 FE Stars: ***** Studio: DreamWorks Pictures (Paramount) Official Site: www.transformersmovie.com


Real Steel Release Date: October 7th, 2011 FE Stars: **** Studio: DreamWorks Pictures, Reliance Entertainment, 21 Laps Entertainment Official Site: www.steelgetsreal.com

Immortals Release Date: November 11th, 2011 FE Stars: **** Studio: Relativity Media, Virgin Produced Official Site: www.immortalsmovie.com


The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn Release Date: December 21st, 2011 FE Stars: ***** Studio: Amblin Entertainment, The Kennedy/Marshall Company, Nickelodeon Movies Official Site: www.tintin-movie.net

Green Lantern Release Date: June 17th, 2011 FE Stars: **** Studio: Warner Bros Pictures, Entertainment OfficialSite: www.greenlanternmovie.warnerbros.com

DC

As we move up the ladder, the Video Gaming Industry is one of the most rapidly growing industries in the world. Video games have influenced many generations, yet many don’t know how it all started from. The history of video games dates back to late 1940’s; however it gained the mainstream popularity sometime late 1970’s and 80’s with the introduction of arcade and computer games.


We have it grow from the 1 st generation to the current state. In the last three decades, this industry has grown and achieved new heights. To know more, wait for the FE issue on the HISTORY OF VIDEO GAMES.

Atari 2600 (1977) Atria 7800 (1986) The world today has set new limits for the future and our expectations have also gown for something better than the last time. Let’s have a look at what happened in 2011 in the works of Video games. *TOP 15 Videogames that really made a difference: The last year has been a year of innovations and even revolutions in the gaming industry. Some of the most eagerly awaited games and Big-titles came and went; only a selected few remained in the countdown. With so much technology around no game comes with a look that you won’t like. Here are the top 20 games of this year. Some of them are most waited and some them were a surprise with what they has in them. No.15. Dance Central 2 Platforms: Xbox 360 Kinect FE Says: A game for the Dance Lovers to knock them out. Few might not like since this don’t have guns and unlimited ammo to shoot anything and everything in the game. However, this latest dance simulation has a very nice presentation with impressive graphics to make you love it. You don’t have to be a dancer to play this, but this will make you dance, and this has some really good music too. Bring the child in you, and you will love it.


No.14. FIFA 12 Platforms: PC, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Mac OS X, PSP, iOS FE Says: the EA Games FIFA series has been one of the most popular titles for the sports game lover. FIFA 2012 has enhanced features with improved game play and an astonishing graphics. It has everything make you say WOW. Play it to feel the difference.

No.13. Shadows of the Damned Platforms: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 FE Says: A third-person shooter game that will take you to dark ride. A Shadow of the Damned is a game where death and destruction are around every corner. The gamer gets to kick some bad ass demons. A professional demon hunter Garcia Hotspur is in a journey to harness the power of the light to save his love for the Demon Lord. It’s a game with a story for you to tell.


No.12. Warhammer 40000: Space Marine Platforms: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC FE Says: A heavy machine action packed game with hardcore killing and brutal action. Slice your enemies or hack them with a Chainsaw Sword or with guns. The shooters will love it.

No.11. Dark Souls Platforms: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 FE Says: A game with an extraordinary roleplaying game that transports you to an awesome and menacing world you may never forget. The game takes you to a gorgeous and frightening world from which you will not like to get out off.


This game has many remarkable bosses test your game experience and skill. A must play game. If you ask my opinion, I would love to play it over and over again.

No.10. Yakuza 4 Platforms: PlayStation 3

FE Says: The 1st of the Yakuza came during 2006 for PS2, since then this game has been in the list. The game has a different approach. A very fine story with Street combats to gun fights. Use your skills/charm to impress ladies to force to knock your enemies with impressive actions. It has everything in style. Curve you way to become the king in the underworld. Be a part of the story and you will like everything, nothing you won’t.

No.9. Total War - Shogun 2 Platforms: PC FE Says: This one of the best real-time strategy games of the year. This game presents an outlook of the 16th-century Japan and the battles of the Japanese clans and their lifestyle with a very


wonderful gameplay. Each clan has its own adventures and with specific features. Take up a clan and get started with the adventures. Like the Chosokabe Cal can recruit superior archers where as the Hojo are greater builders. Drive your own adventure. A must try game.

No.8. Saints Row: The Third Platforms: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC FE Says: Saints Row: The Third, well words are less to describe about it. I played the game three times so far and every time it’s fun. The game has everything to glue to the seats till you braking point. Have fun shooting someone in head or between the legs. Fight your way through the city goons to become the Boss of the underworld and play it anyway you like. Whatever you do it will be in style. Fantastic works of art with an amazing graphics to give the looks the game deserve. The best word to describe the game, “Its Kick Ass”. All I will say is grab a copy right now and you will know it was worth. Note: Adult content in the game so user discretion is recommended. No.7. Gears of War 3 Platforms: Xbox 360 FE Says: Well less said than done. "Gears of War (GOW)" fans will know what we can say about this one. GOW is about human race on the verge of extinction and a bunch of hard ass solders are making sure that we survive. The graphics is amazing and undoubtedly so as the game play with a very fascinating story and splendid action. Save the human race and emerge victories to tell the


story. If you have missed the first two then I would say get started right away. You can thank me later for telling this.

No.6. Deus Ex -- Human Revolution Platforms: PC, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Mac OS X FE Says: a game with a fantastic AI. A story with technology, weapons with brains and a Hero with his heart. This game takes the gaming experience to a whole new level. If you remember this is the third release. The first one came sometime in 2000. Back then and now this game is about using the available technology to give players a game with a very high level AI. With the modern day technology the developers have give a very high end graphical presentation.

No.5. Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception Platforms: PlayStation 3 FE Says: Let’s see what we have here. An adventure to unfold hidden treasure in an uncharted location, with a very well described cinematography, story and action.


An "evolved" version of the same game engine that was used in Uncharted: Drake's Fortune and Uncharted 2: Among Thieves to provide high definition physics, visuals, and environmental effects. The AI is good and will make you wok before you can make you way to the end.

No.4. Batman: Arkham City Platforms: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC FE Says: Well, well, well! Here we have the Bat and the Cat together. Play as the Batman and Catwoman along the story. Unfold the conspiracy of the Arkham villainy. Swing between the buildings or make an amazing entrance before the action begins. This game has sty and story. Technology has given the game the necessary looks and the outfit best fit the story.

No.3. Battlefield 3 Platforms: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC FE Says: this is one game one must play. Even though this is a War/Battle game, this one has more than enough breathtaking moments to keep your adrenaline rush running for days. You can only feel this if you play it. You will be missing out a lot of action and shooting if you miss it. A large-scale multiplayer warfare with hundreds batters, high level AI enemies, high definition physics, visuals, and environmental effects to blow


your mind off. Use high tech weapons, long range sniper kills, tank battles any so much more.

No.2. Call of Duty -- Modern Warfare 3 Platforms: PC, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii FE Says: One of the most awaited games of the year; as awaited so was the delivery from the game. The users were more than fully satisfied with the game play, story, the action and the presentation. Very high levels of details were put in to the game to give the original looks of the battles and the environment. The game is making history. An overwhelming story and lots of action, high end guns, a high level AI enemy, anything and everything a gamer can ask for. Let the adrenaline flow through you and don’t let your fingers stop triggering. Sink to the right or sink to the left, shoot at the head or strangle from the back. It’s all yours.

No.1. Skyrim, The Elder Scrolls V Platforms: PC, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 FE says: "Skyrim" a long running fantasy epic and now this is a fifth installment in for the players. This is an Action/Adventure Role-playing game. If we compare the pervious release, we would know what has changed. When I was talking about the touch of the technology, this is an example. A very high level and detailed research was done on the environment. The game engine evolved and we have an overwhelming game to ply. The gaming experience beyond compare, the story is something that will take to a different journey. The experience is best described when you play the


game. If you are still missing it, grab a copy and get lost in the game, you will not feel the time move.

Take look at the Skyrim, The Elder Scrolls V

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CHEESY CREAMY CHICKEN DELIGHT by Surinder M Konwar Serves: Four Cooking time: 1 hour Ingredients: • 250 gm boneless chicken (cut into cubes) • 250 gm paneer cubes

For 1st Marinade: • 1 tbspn ginger paste • 1 tbspn garlic paste


• 2 tbspn Worcestershire sauce (Or Vinegar) • ½ tspn salt.

For 2nd Marinade: • Butter 100 gm • 2 tspn gram flour • 2 tspn curd • 1tsp ginger paste • 45 ml cream • 1 tspn ground black pepper • Salt to taste


METHOD: Combine all the ingredients of the 1st marinade and add the chicken and paneer pieces in a dish and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for several hours, or as desired. Heat oil in a large pan, add the chicken and paneer pieces and stir fry till tender. When done, remove from fire. Blend the 2nd marinade ingredients together with the cooked chicken and paneer pieces. Take a greased oven proof baking dish and put a thick layer of bread crumbs at the bottom. Empty the cooked paneer and chicken on top of the bread crumbs and sprinkle some pepper on it. Bake at 200 Degree Centigrade for about 30 minutes or till light brown. Just 5 minutes before serving, remove the dish from the oven and pour the remaining cream on top along with some grated cheese. Serve hot immediately. Enjoy the cheesy delight.


COMICIZATION : The Indian Version by Juba Pratim Gogoi

For me, getting a comic book to read was not easy in those days of being a teenager. When I used to ask my father to buy me a comic book, he replied, “You can’t even complete your educational books, leave aside the comics”. Thus, it became a reason for my being fanciful and feeling jealous about one of my

benchmates in the class. He used to bring dozens of beautifully sketched glossy comics every week and would happily flaunt it in front of us. I remember, ‘Spiderman’ from Marvel Comics was one of them. In the evening, I

would eagerly sit in front of our Black and White Television set at home to watch my most awaited programs in the DD Metro Channel, ‘the cartoons’. But, sometimes I lamented over why we don’t have a cable connection (especially to watch more cartoon channels). During the breaks, many advertisements especially targeting us would come up. An advertisement of Diamond Comics that I still remember goes like this way –“… paaiyein ‘Chacha Chaudhary’, ‘Phantom’, ‘Mandrake’ ‘Billoo’… WoW!” Being with Mickey and Friends for 15 minutes and temporarily shifting to the world of comics was one wonderful experience. It was a completely different world beyond reality, where people are super human beings possessing extraordinary power. Those super heroes could fly like the birds, walk in the water, can stop a running train and what not.


As I was on the ‘search mode’ to have some basic study over comics in different websites I found it quite interesting to know what role comics played in molding a young mind and how it started. Comics have a hidden meaning altogether. In spite of dragging the young minds towards the ‘fantasy World’ comics mark the basics of storytelling, education through entertainment, building a character and maintaining the pulse of and most importantly delivering different flavors to people of different age groups. I now feel why ‘Asterix and Obelix’, ‘The Adventures of Tintin’ and many more still remains as hot favourites. In India Comics made its mark almost around late 1940’s. The distribution of comics in India is more recent than the European, American and Japanese industries, but is nevertheless more than 80 years old. Despite the publication of about 100 million copies a year, comics in India are still largely dominated by American characters. Our comics are slightly marginal in quality than the Japanese ‘Manga Cartoons’ thus local production remains marginal. One of the earliest attempts In Indian Comics was by comic magazine ‘Chandamama’. ‘Chandamama’ has published in more than 5 languages since 1947. It developed from the adaptations of the Ramayana and the Mahabharata in the 1960s, to educational comics for children, caricatures in print media, and adaptations of American superheroes.

One of the early Indian comic authors was Aabid Surti, who published the first 3 panel strips ‘Dhabbuji’ based on the protagonist who is a lawyer by profession and is witty, in the magazine ‘Dharmayug’. Pran, another Comics Author, created numerous strips, like ‘Shrimatiji’, ‘Pinki’, ‘Billoo’ and the popular ‘Chacha Chaudhary’ in the 1970s. These comics continued to be inspired mainly by newspaper strips, and popular early superhero based Western comics. Among local languages, cartoon strips and comic books thrived, especially in West Bengal. Pratulchandra Lahiri created two strips on a regular basis, for the Jugantar newspaper in Bengali and for the Amrit Bazar Patrika in English. One of his creations, Batual the Great is one of India's earliest superheroes as it was conceived during the sixties.


Comics in the middle years were influenced by the popularity of American ‘Archie Comics’ and series like ‘The Adventures of Tintin’. In 1967, the editor Anant Pai of the India Book House (IBH) launched the series ‘Amar Chitra Katha’. Its objective was to transmit the great stories of historical figures and of those in religious texts of different religions to the children. ‘The life of Krishna’ was the first in the series, joined rapidly by the ‘Ramayana’ and the ‘Mahabharata’. Anant Pai along with IBH launched the first Indian comic magazine for children, called ‘Tinkle’ in the beginning of the 1980s. It was a big success. Tinkle diversified on the educational themes developed by ‘Amar Chitra Katha’, including science, contemporary culture, etc. The magazine introduced numerous recurring heroes like amusing ‘Suppandi’, ‘Mooshik’ the adorable mouse, ‘Kalia’, the crow and the malicious minister ‘Tantri’. ‘Target’, another magazine was an innovator. It had its

own artwork and originality and was

of a high quality in its time. Manjula Padmanabhan, one of the few Indian female comic authors, did illustrations for Target.

She also created a female comic character called ‘Suki’ which was serialized in ‘Sunday Observer’ in the 1980s. Raj Comics, another notable Indian comic publishing house homes to characters such as ‘Nagraj’, (a superhero who has subsequently made the transition to television), ‘Doga’, Super Commando ‘Dhruva’, ‘ Parmanu’ and various others. In Assam, ‘Rongmon Comics’ was the first coloured comic magazine published in Assamese language. It started its first publication from February 2005. It depicts Assamese fables, stories from epics, folk tale, comic story, science fictions and general knowledge.


A partnership between Richard Branson's Virgin group, and India's ‘Gotham Comics’, led to a new company, ‘Virgin Comics’. In 2006 it geared towards creating new lines of comics rooted in Indian mythology andIndian history. The first series of comics were published the same year, to mixed critical reviews. The main icon of Virgin Comics was the superhero Devi. In addition to the recent development of more mature comics, in 2004, Penguin’s ‘Corridor’, by Sarnath Banerjee, which was widely advertised as India's first graphic novel, followed by a second foray in 2007. However, a 60 page comic called ‘River of Stories’ by Delhi based artist Orijit Sen, published in 1994 by ‘Kalpavriksh’, about the Narmada Dam Projects controversy, is an important precedent and can be regarded as one of the early Indian graphic novels. In 2009, the Virgin Group pulled out of Virgin Comics, and a new company Liquid Comics has taken over with the same core team of Gotham Chopra and his group. Their significant achievements include ‘Devi’, ‘The Sadhu’, ‘Snake Woman’, etc. Based out of Mumbai, ‘Level10 Comics’ was founded in the same year. It owns a flagship publication titled ‘Comic Jump’ that is targeted at the 18-30 male audience. They experiment with a number of genres, namely ‘The Rabhas Incident’ which is a Zombie thriller, Shaurya which is about five young people with Super Human qualities etc. They have also published creator-owned titles. The art of Indianization Comic artists such as Grant Morrison’s ‘Vimanarama Comic’, and Marvel’s ‘Spiderman: India’ project, were the first major release by a large comic company. It introduced India-based artists’ talent to the mainstream, and which was published in India by Gotham Comics. Newspaper Medium Comics In the 1990s, newspapers started publishing more caricatures of Indian origin. Among the most famous caricaturists are Joseph Arul Raj, Ashok Dongre, Anupam Sinha and Neelabh Bisen. Anupam Sinha’s weekly strip superhero "Rudra" is being hailed as trend setting in hindi newspapers like Dainik Jagran. Shiv Sena Chief Bal Thakeray was also a caricaturist when he was young, and has worked for 'The Free Press Journal', where cartoonist R.K.Laxman has also worked.


Web-comics The increasingly popular Web Comic medium after the radical shift from the mainstream Comics is mostly dedicated to short online comedy strips. It has also been used by a small number of Indian artists or writers. The Indian blog "Daily Humor" also publishes web comics and was featured on one of India's premiere blogs "India Uncut". Also famous among youngsters, 'Savita Bhabi', a web comic, is possibly the first pornographic comic in India. The Offbeat Very recently a new genre of comics has come up. It is known as ‘World Comics’. The Indian wing ‘World Comics India’ launched syndicated comics service in 2004 headed by cartoonist Sharad Sharma. The idea behind this service was to disseminate information on varied issues to a wider audience. Mainstreaming unheard voices through newspapers is the key objective behind “Syndicate strip service”. These Comics are drawn in four-panel format and are converted into comic strip form, so that it can be circulated to newspapers, magazines and NGOs’ journals. Through this a voice from a remote region of the country reaches the mainstream and is heard across different parallels. These are comics maybe drawn by common people living in rural hinterland and remote towns of the country. So far this strip services were circulated in Rajasthan, Mizoram, Assam and Uttarakhand. The Final Addendum With the advent of India's potential and demand of quality comics, but lack of institutes for the speciality in comics art, Mr. Anupam Sinha has launched his own ‘Anupama Academy Of Art’ for specialization in departments of creation of comics. Moreover, at this time we see a sea change in the mindset of the youngsters and others. With the advent of ‘Cable revolution’ in India, the ‘Comics Readers’ have decreased drastically in the 90’s and the internet and video games have been pouring the salt over it. Children at this age hardly know who ‘Supandi’ is but they know about ‘Doremon’. It is quite ironical that this art is facing severe competition from all sides. Ten years before, thousands like me were compelled not to read comics. But now, we ourselves are ignoring not to read them. Thus, leaving a bleak question open, “Is it going to be another ‘Dodo’?” Definitely not! On February 2011 A Comics Convention was held at Dilli Haat, New Delhi. It happens to be the first for India that took the San Diego Comic Con (Convention) as its inspiration. This signals its horizon to reach new heights in popularizing Indian Comics over its readers nationally and globally in a more creative and innovative way in the coming years.


Avatar - A milestone by Roopam Gosawmi To try something different requires courage and innovation. To try something outrageously different requires something much more than that. James Cameron tried the latter and the results are there for all to see. First of all, to even visualise such a movie way back (he wrote an 80 page scriptment) in 1994 is itself a huge thing.

And then to start working upon the script there and then it also deserves accolades. Cameron then delayed the filming simply because he felt that the technology at that time was not up to the mark. Finally the work on the film began in late 2005. The Animation Factor: When Cameron announced his plans of making such a futuristic movie set many years ahead in the future, he of course was panned by production houses which included FOX studios, the producer of Avatar. Why exactly was he criticised? Because of the production costs involved and the delays that happened. The film needed a grand canvas to make it realistic, the technology and animation needed were to be developed after experimentation.

A number of innovative visual effects techniques were used in the production of Avatar. According to Cameron, work on the film had been delayed since the 1990s


to allow the techniques to reach the necessary degree of advancement to adequately portray his vision of the film. The director planned to make use of photorealistic computer-generated characters, created using new motion-capture animation technologies he had been developing in the 14 months leading up to December 2006. Along with this, Cameron had to collaborate with several experts to develop the language, music and the imaginary settings for the alien world. These factors resulted in severe cost overruns. Avatar broke barriers of cinematic excellence once it was released. The movie, both in terms of content and style scored full points in the box office. The collections of Avatar are history.

Let us see what Avatar did to world cinema. Firstly, it changed the way we viewed cinema. Rather than cinema always being a representation of the common man’s story, Cameron proved that a futuristic story, if well supported by technology will also fare well among the audience. The critics hailed the visual effects and the animation that were efficiently portrayed in the movie. Avatar took animation to a different level altogether. From the creation of the Navi man to the action sequences, Avatar was an animator’s delight. But more importantly, it took us to the year 2148 effortlessly. The benchmark set by Cameron will be really tough to emulate in the sense that it took him so many years to complete the movie. VFX got a new meaning and inspired film makers throughout the world. Two such Indian movies viz. Ra One and Krissh 2 are the ones which have a huge number of VFX shots. All in all, James Cameron deserves all the plaudits he has received for the movie. He might have missed the Oscars, but for the audience he is the pathfinder and the torchbearer of imagination.


A world of our very own Archie Andrews and Friends. By swagata Sharmah Baruah December 22nd 2011 marked the 70th year of Archie Andrew's first tryst with our world. Yes, on December 22 nd December 1941, Mr. Andrews came into our life for the first time and till date has remained a memorable and invincible part of our lives. Needless to say that every other teen has had his share of Archie and his gang in the town of Riverdale, USA. Interesting to note that Archie Andrews, a regular accident prone, lovable 17 year old and his friends Betty Cooper, Jughead Jones, Veronica Lodge, Reggie Mantle and the others were created by publisher/editor John L. Goldwater and Bob Montana, basing them on real life people they had met. Goldwater had hoped to appeal the fans of Andy Hardy movies of 1940s and 1950s starring actor Mickey Rooney when he introduced Archie Comics. The concept of Archie was derived by Goldwater by bringing to light the life of a normal ordinary person to which the readers from various walks of life could relate to. It was “America's newest boyfriend”, “America’s average teenager”, Archie Andrews. One by one the infamous characters of the 'Archie brand' was introduced to the world starting with Betty Copper as the quintessential best girlfriend or the girl next door and Veronica Lodge as the posh and rich girl friend. We saw the character of Jughead Jones as the best friend with an insatiable appetite for all kinds of junk food, yet somehow he always managed to remain stick thin. His obsession with food went to such great heights that he would name his pet dog as 'Hotdog'. Hotdog is also a regular character in the comic series. Archie found a prankster and competition in snooty Reggie Mantle, both of them competing to gain the attention from 'Ms. Cynosure of all eyes', Veronica Lodge. Mr Weatherbee, Ms. Grundy as the principal and the professor of Riverdale High where this bunch of kids attend school. Moose as the jock who was definitely unbeatable in the department of brawn but beatable easily by a child in the department of brains! Ironically, Moose always finds a best friend in Dilton Doiley, a child prodigy with an indigenous gift of gray matter, the local scientist of Riverdale. Over the years, we have seen Mr. Lodge, the father of Veronica and the local multi-millionaire sometimes warming up to the gang but most of the times disturbed and annoyed with Archie’s clumsiness.


Living across the oceans in India, far away from the Archie's home abode in USA, teen years were fun getting submerged in Riverdale and the antics of all the lovable characters. The world sketched by Victor Bloom and created by Goldwater itself felt so real that when fourteen years or so later I moved to USA and while driving through Bronx, NY passed an affluent neighborhood called Riverdale, surreal feeling just passed me by and it felt as though any minute, I would have a tete-atete with my favorite boys and girls. Archie Comic Publication has their head office in the little town of Mamaroneck in New York. As years have passed by, Archie Comics have seen a substantial change to stay current with the times. To cite an example of which, is the introduction of an openly gay character called Kevin Keller which has met with substantial popularity. Beloved history teacher, Ms. Grundy meets her death and Archie Andrews get married. But the stories of Riverdale will never cease to die as it is almost like a tradition of passing it through generations. For example, my father, an ardent fan of Archies introduced me to the world of AA and I did the same to my sister. Between us, we have a plethora of a collection of Archie comics and digest and with many friends I know, it is the same story. As far as I know, most of you readers are reading this line as you are an Archie fan and can relate to what you are reading. :) To the love for the world of Archie- may you never cease to entertain us and engulf us in the antics of yours and your friends. Cheers!


RIO – THE MOVIE by Purbarag P Choudhury My first encounter with the characters of Rio was when I played the Angry Birds Rio application. I did not realize the connection between the App and the movie. So I finally put the two together from the start of the movie. From the makers of the hit Ice Age series, Blue Sky Studios brings Rio the Movie – a colorful and vibrant animation set in Rio De Janerio. It tells the story of Blu, a domestic macaw who never learned to fly. The movie spins around Blu’s adventure as he set out for Brazil to mate with his female counterpart (Jewel). And when a domestic city slicker Blu meets a wild and free Jewel there is bound to be a firework, which forms the core of the movie. But apart from the love birds, there are a host of other characters, like the drool drenched bull dog Luiz, the red crested cardinal Pedro, the yellow canary Nico and the villainous Nigel. The movie is a feast with state-of-art animation. Rio's brilliance comes from the exotic locale. The spice and flavor of Rio de Janeiro brings this festive flick to the movie and adds a rich cultural backdrop.

The voices in general are well done. While Hathaway comes across as confident and worldly, Eisenberg with the right amount of nerdy confusion to make Blu convincing, makes a lovable naivete to this character. Creating a positive impression is Jemaine Clement, who perfectly spins the villainous role of Nigel with a welcome snarky snarl. Will.I.Am and Jamie Foxx lends their voices to Pedro and Nico adding a comic relief to the movie. Some of the best moments in the film are with the supporting characters. Nico and Pedro as the super fly street birdies provide fabulous one-liners and musical moments, the monkeys I love to hate, who in the movie add some of the better comical relief. I was laughing out loud when I saw the text message between the


monkeys. The music is equally fascinating. Without missing a beat, the filmmakers did a tremendous job capturing all the rhythm and sounds of Brazil that can be heard throughout the movie. All the praise for the supporting characters and music aside, I cannot say that Rio breaks new ground in terms of animation entertainment. And Anne Hathaway’s voice as Jewel was somehow not so appealing to me. For some reason I was hoping for a Brazilian accent and something less perfect sounding. The end seemed a bit rushed too. Though it lacks the ability to generate an infectious, amusing adventure, it is worth a watch. Recommended for anyone who enjoys animation. If I were to rate it, I’d give 4 out of 5.

Voice cast Jesse Eisenberg as Blu Anne Hathaway as Jewel Jemaine Clement as Nigel Will.I.Am as Pedro Jamie Foxx as Nico Jane Lynch as Alice Tracy Morgan as Luiz George Lopez as Rafael Bernardo de Paula as Kipo Wanda Sykes as Chloe Bebel Gilberto as Eva Leslie Mann as Linda Gunderson Jake T. Austin as Fernando Rodrigo Santoro as Túlio Monteiro Carlos Ponce as Marcel

Jeffrey Garcia as Tipa


Hard Boiled a book review by Pramathesh Borkotoky

I got this book last Christmas. I have always heard of Frank Miller but haven’t actually checked his books and comics. He made Daredevil a memorable character. I did not know about Geof Darrow. At first, I read it in some half an hour timespan, but I could not understand it that well. I kept the book aside for some time. The next Sunday, I picked it up again. I read a line and then stared at the picture for some time. It took me the whole week to complete the book. I really liked it. Quite a lot of brutal sex, ultra-violence and spilled blood illustrated to the meticulous details. There is clutter everywhere, and it is as lovingly detailed as are the bizarre residents of the dark future. Car seats and footwells are littered with junk food wrappers, spare parts, toys, and utensils. Cars parked on the street are dented. Trash heaps are strewn with recognizable artifacts, not only from the modern day but things that should be available any day now. The ultra-violence and the paranoia expanded the scope of comic books. I see a lot of this book inspires the creators of Level 10 comics, but that is just a personal opinion. The comic at that time attracted many debate about the kind of content, but nevertheless it was liked by comic book lovers for the graphics and it ushered a new era of comic book illustrations. The story cannot be said to be great. Nevertheless it is interesting. I believe that was deliberate as content was just to support the graphics and the illustrations itself would say a story and the story was like putting words and limiting the imagination of the comic book reader. As one of the reviewer said before I bought this book, don’t buy one copy but buy 2 copies – one for you and one for your friend so that you can discuss the book. The fact that even after 12 years someone is writing about the book so passionately says everything about the book


.

Plot (Warning: It can be a spoiler also, but I doubt.) In a dystopian, near-future Los Angeles, city tax collector Nixon is badly injured during a violent encounter with one of his targets, and must undergo extensive surgery in order to survive. Nixon wakes up in a bedroom sometime later, believing his previous experience was a bad dream, and that he is really Carl Seltz, an insurance investigator for the Benevolent Assurance Corporation, with a wife, two children, a dog, and an overall routine life. However, when his persistent dreams disturb his sleep, his wife distracts him with sex while his children inject him with a sleep-inducing drug, indicating not all is as it seems with Carl's "normal" life. The next day, Carl heads out to pursue a delinquent account, talking to himself the whole way. All the while, his ramblings reveal increasingly large inconsistencies in his own memory, to the point where he even starts referring to himself by different names. He is distracted when his target's vehicle appears on his car's scanner, and he sets out in pursuit. After a high-speed chase through the city, both cars end up destroyed, and Carl continues pursuing his targets, an old woman and a young girl, on foot. As the two parties battle each other, the old woman is injured and revealed to be a robot, which Carl seemingly destroys with a large grenade just as the police converge on the area. The resulting explosion blows Carl into a supermarket, where he finds that the flesh of his hands and face have been torn away, revealing robotic parts like those of the old woman underneath.


Dazed and confused, Carl begins making his way back home. As he navigates the wreckage of the battle outside the supermarket, he encounters the old woman again, who tears off the remains of her false skin to reveal her robotic chassis. She calls herself Unit Two, and informs Carl that his family are all actually paid handlers, that he is really a robot called Unit Four, codenamed "Nixon", and both his jobs as an insurance investigator and a tax collector are covers for his real function, as a corporate assassin for Willeford Home Appliances, the corporation that created all the world's robots. Unit Two explains that she and the little girl, also a robot, have broken the programming that forces them to serve humans, and are part of a revolutionary group led by Barbara, a robot that works inside Willeford's headquarters, that intends to free all robots from their programmed slavery. She claims Carl is the revolution's only hope, being the only robot powerful enough to stand up to Willeford's paramilitary security forces. Carl, however, refuses to believe her, and knocks her head off in a fit of rage. The little girl robot appears and berates Carl for his behavior, until Carl's dog arrives and reveals itself to be a robot as well when it destroys her. At the Willeford building, it is revealed that both Barbara and Mr. Willeford, the morbidly obese founder of the company, have been tracking Carl's movements through the city. Meanwhile, Carl steals a new set of clothes and makes his way onto the subway, where he is attacked by a group of frightened citizens and is forced to kill them. Carl's dog follows him onto the train as Carl finds a Willeford logo underneath the torn skin on his arm, and realizes that Unit Two's story was true. Carl's dog offers to lead him to the Willeford building to get some answers from his creators. Later that night, Barbara hears loud noises from elsewhere inside the Willeford building and goes to investigate, finding a trail of destruction and dead bodies leading deeper into the building. Realizing Carl has arrived, she rushes off to find him. When she finally reaches him, she sees that Carl has slaughtered most of the security forces, but has been all but destroyed in the process. When Barbara finds him, he is in the clutches of Willeford's mechanical aides and is slowly being pulled apart by his owner. Defeated, Carl makes a deal with Mr. Willeford to be put back together, have his memory reset, and be returned to his family. Her plans for revolution in shambles, Barbara commit suicide by hooking herself up to a large generator and overloading her circuits. Sometime later, Carl, with a new skin, new car and new memories, returns to his family, completely unaware of his true nature once more. Find this book in Flipkart: Hard Boiled


Why this Kolaveridi over a fan art? By Alok Sharma

A few days back, I left my copy of Kirigi Ka Qeher (one of my most favorite comic book titles for past two decades) with Saumin to scan it for Chitrakatha (www.chitrakathaonline.com). Unsuspecting Saumin was curiously flipping through pages one night and this comic played exactly the same role that mythical radioactive spider had played in Peter Parker’s life some five decades ago. Before he would realize, Saumin was entangled in the rollercoaster ride of a lifetime called Kirigi Ka Qeher. Swashbuckling action, epic scale fantasy and one of the ‘tightest’ stories narrated in the history of sequential art – Kirigi Ka Qeher inspired Saumin to do his own version of Super Commando Druve (Yes… yes… I know its Dhruv but Patel calls him Druve). That very night, not only Saumin drew his own version of the character (as a fan art of course) the daring man also decided to share it with his friends, fans and followers on Facebook and trust me we all loved this new version (with minor inputs dropping in from everywhere). Saumin’s daring act of re-designing one of India’s most favorite Superhero was backed by the most daring and open minded publisher Mr.Sanjay Gupta, who shared it with the (hardcore) Raj Comics fans on the Raj Comics FB page and as they say – all hell broke loose.

While a little percentage of fans was cool with this ‘fan art’ others seemed really offended with this version (may be they were simply scared that Raj Comics is planning a SCD reboot and a costume change ALA DC’s infamous Wonderwoman Costume Reboot). Though this fan art saw a hearty support from the artist


community but as its always expected “Fans are a super-irked unforgiving lot, so this new look was able to strike terror/a ting of hatred into their hearts”. Someone called it a Manga Ripoff, some called it Ben-10 just because of a Cargotrouser, someone compared the cargo pants to a Dhoti and was obnoxious enough to write a back-story based in a village to mock the look. Looking at the outrage, it made me rethink why fans got so put off with a ‘fan art’. Its more or less the same thing that we all have done as kids after reading a comic book – getting inspired and try to scribble down our own version of it. No offence meant to any creator or any design that’s already been there. Knowing Saumin personally, I know he was simply kicked and this was his way of saying that the Comic was just awesmackin’ awesome. Also, Saumin is a fan of X-Men series of movies and he has always appreciated the way they keep playing with the costumes in all their movies or spinoff titles, it was simply his way of trying out a new look for a Superhero, that he’d just discovered. But there is more to it, X-Men franchise itself has many offshoots and spinoff series that have come out of the original source material so it becomes easier to revamp the look/costumes (out of which many have been ridiculed in the past). But other than X-Men have we seen any mainstream superhero/a superteam getting a brand new look? Even the most popular reboot The Ultimates didn’t see much of a jump in the costumes of lead players like Ironman, though Cap. America’s costume has been evolved a bit, but it hasn’t been that big a jump. Even in DC we’ve seen this happening with characters like Green Lantern etc. Costume evolution is a calculated risk with B-Level characters, who doesn’t have that big a fan following. But the publishers themselves stay away from doing such major changes with their flagship titles and whenever they tried that, sudden uproar of fans pushed them back to their roots. Such new takes were ridiculed and rejected outright by the fans irrespective of the big names attached to the projects. One great example would be Tim Burton’s unmade Superman Lives with its Disco Superman Costume and the casting of Nicholas Cage, which has been a joke fodder for the fans for more than a decade now. Check out Tim Burton’s vision/costume/look for Superman here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UvhMejIcD9o Hardcore fans are disappointed again esp. after the ‘leaked’ Man Of Steel images started appearing online. Visionary Director Zack Snyder decided to remove Superman’s iconic red undies from his costume, and people feel that makes the man of steel appear a little ‘nude’ (I totally agree). While fans loved Snyder’s choice of campy costumes in Watchmen (not to be forgotten, Watchmen was based in the 1980s and that was the color pallete of those years, remember the early 1990s Batman films with cheesy colorful costumes?), they immensely dislike his choice of


costume in The Man of Steel, lets hope he has a storyline to support his vision this time as well. Now the Million $ question – Why it irks the fans, when they see their heroes in a new (rebooted) costume? ‘Please don’t kill my hero…’ Being a fanboy, I can totally understand this sentiment. I used to be a Bheriya fan, but as soon as a storyline was introduced in which Bheriya the Hero was divided into two entities – Kobi & Bheriya, it was the death of Bheriya as I knew him. I can’t even recall the number of hate mails I’d sent to Mr.Sanjay Gupta that summer. ‘You killed my hero’. The way I looked at his stories died with him, an entire series was suddenly meaningless, because they just changed the characters all of a sudden. I can go ranting about many such reboots or redesigning of characters that pushed me away from comics series I had been an ardent fan of. I have my sentiments attached to a hero and as soon as someone tries to change or tweak it in a way that renders the earlier stories outdated, I am going to DISLIKE it. Because no matter what the creator (artist/writer) had in mind, he just tried to push me out of my comfort zone by trying to tweak my hero/heroine. I know we have to renew the material to get fresh readers in, but that doesn’t mean we should toss away the sentiments of our existing readers. It can be achieved with new powerful stories. A DKR or a Year One can make me a Batman fan and I can always go back and read the classic Batman without even demanding a reboot in its design or stories. Today’s Raj Comics readers (many of them who were born after Mr.Sinha’s took over Nagraj) wont mind going back and trying to get a flavour of Late Mr.Mulick’s Nagraj. Why? Because even though Mr.Sinha changed Nagraj entirely he didn’t let the old mythology slip away and this is the blueprint that creators today have to follow and get fresh readers interested in these comic books. Though as a Publisher Raj Comics has changed the looks of Tiranga in the past and are coming out with two spinoff Nagraj series, but fans have been an unforgiving lot with these spinoffs and no matter what, you don’t wanna mess with the Fans. I remember Quintin Tarentino’s quote in a special issue of Wizard, where he said, he doesn’t want to direct a Superhero film because he isn’t comfortable with fans’ expectations that comes with all the existing Superhero franchises, but he also added that, he would love to create his own superhero to make a movie with. We can learn a lot from the smartass Tarentino. Fan favorite writer Mark Millar has learnt a lot from him. Rather than trying to reboot/redesign any ongoing series, Millar very smartly created his own universe with his own version of spinoffs. We are walking a thin line here, and we can learn a lot from Directors like Nolan and Jim Cameron who have tweaked the storylines a lot but never tried changing a costume. If you’ve read Cameron’s unmade Spiderman Scriptment, you will realize that even a badass director like Jim Cameron wouldn’t like to cross that thin line and face the


wrath of hardcore fans. While Mr.Cameron himself says Spidey’s costume is goofy and wasn’t very keen on having Spidey’s webshooters from the comics (Cameron gave him the biological webshooters, that was later used by Raimi in all his films) but Cameron made sure that the webshooter from Spidey’s costume is still there and totally justified its presence (How? Check out the scriptment page with storyboards here: http://dantom.altervista.org/spider_ing_part03.html). Lesson learnt: You don’t mess with the superhero costumes and don’t piss off the fans even if your name happens to be James Cameron, and you are the hotshot director of T:2. Another example would be Steven Spielberg who was really interested in doing a Superman movie once, but later refused the offer politely and moved on to direct Close Encounters, E.T. and Indiana Jones (creating his own Superhero). He came back to direct a film based on a comic book character much later with The Adventures of Tintin (2011), though he was developing it since as early as 1982. Despite being a totally enjoyable adventure extravaganza many Tintin fans have disliked Spielberg’s version of Tintin (While I started seeing Tintin in a new light post - Spielbergian Tintin and have started finding it much more exciting). Though Spielberg took liberty with the story, he retained Tintin’s classic look intact. Why? Because he wasn’t ready to face the Kolaveri of Tintin fans. But then you might have to change the costume/look a bit to make your hero work in some other medium like Animation or Movies, may be fans might be a little more forgiving when they see these little changes in animation or a film. Personally speaking I would love to tweak/rewrite a lot of characters, but I would rather do that in my Universe with my own characters and earn some new fans.


The Big Baroda Show- an event notification (press release)

Announcing the Big Baroda Show Date: 21 Dec 2011 – 12 Jan 2012 Venue: Priyasri Art Gallery 42, Madhuli, 4th Floor Shiv Sagar Estate, Next to Poonam Chamber, Dr Annie Besant Road, Worli, Mumbai 400018 Time: 11 am to 7 pm THE PREVIEW RECEPTION was SCHEDULED 22 ND DEC 2011


Participating artists:

Abir Karmarkar, Sunil Mamdapur, Tarun Gajjar, Hrushikesh Biswal, Bhavin Mistry, Dushyant Patel, Mitali, Neha Thakar, Heena Mistry, Mukesha Ganji, PRagati Kumar, Malleshi H.v., Sudip Dutta, Nikita Parikh, Raju Patel, Arunanshu C., Anusuya M., Heeral Trivedi, Nikhileshwar B., Ajay Kanval, Nityanand, Vinod Patel, Wangdi Sherpa, Kiran Varia, Swapnesh V., Ravein Godani, Alok Bal, Debraj Goswami, Apurba Nandi, Shiv Verma, Shefalee Jain, Deepjyoti Kalita, Shatrugan Thakur, Chirag PAtel, Anil Majumdar, Lokesh Khodke,Ronak Sopariwala, Ketan, Ushmita Sahu, Jolly Pramanik, Riya Chatterjee, Deepak Khatri, Rahul Mukherjee, Anuj Poddar, Siddhath K., Manali Mehta, Sumedh Kumar, Meetali Singh, Rachana Badrakiya, Kanika Shah, Rajesh Kumar Prasad, Jagannath Mohapatra, Ashutosh Bharadwaj, Prabhakar Pachpute, Dimple Panchal, Debashish Dutta.


About the show


The Big Baroda show" is showcased every year since past 3 years at the Faculty of Fine Arts, Baroda. Most artists are attached to galleries in cosmopolitan cities, thus "Big Baroda Show" show is an attempt to have a sneak preview of their works under one roof. Its a treat to see 55 young masters. The show was hosted the third time by Priyasri Art Gallery in Baroda, M.S.U. fine Arts. Our attempt is to have a sneak preview of works of artists who have made Baroda their abode. M.S University has been churning out popular contemporary artist like T.V Santosh, Chintan Updahay. Baroda is a home to many masters who have been attatched to the university or have remained back to make it there home. Surender Nair, G.M Sheikh , K. G Subramanyan, Bhupen Khakhar and many others. The city is like an Art Capital for the artists if not for the buyer though it boast of patrons who have been exposed to masters like Raja Ravi Verma who was patroned by Maharaja of Baroda , the Gayekwads.

The question is why is Baroda being made a home for so many artists? And which is the art capital of India? Do the artists decide the art capital or the buyer? For the answers , do visit the Big Baroda Show , some of the samples of which have been exhibited here.


Lokesh Khodke- Look what I found? Oil on canvas. Courtesy- Priyasi art gallery- The Big Baroda Show

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