'Harry Potter' animator sees hope for homegrown comic books, animation in India
New Delhi, April 16 : After working on the "World War Z" and the "Harry Potter" series as well as with the legendary Stan Lee, Indian comic artist and animator Roy Soumyadipta is set to launch his own comic book series, which he hopes to turn into a motion comic and then finally into an animated movie or TV entertainer.What's the scope of popularity for a new comic book series when consumers today are consumed with the variety of entertainment options available?
"We've all heard about 'Avengers', 'Spider-Man', 'Black Panther'... They were all comic books before. If we can utilise the potential of comic books, it should be recognised. Once we can reach out to the readers, we can eventually expand into other variety of entertainment options. Comic books are an excellent product," Soumyadipta told IANS in an email interview.
He says it entertains differently.
"It stimulates sensory experiences just like any story would, but with a sequence of colourful art works or those visually inclined people - like me - who would prefer a bit of graphics over just a wall of text. As much as it entertains, the practice also helps cognitive skills, observation, attention span. Clinical psychology has used relevant comic books as a part of their therapy for children and as well as adults to handle stress and anxiety," he added.
The idea of telling a "homegrown" story led him and his wife Riddhi to marry science fiction with ancient Hindu literature for "Winter Child", a comic book set in the distant future - wherein the ice-apocalypse has brought an end to the world. It is based on the different post-apocalyptic theories according to Hindu mythology and science.
"It conceptualised during a conversation between my wife and I about Kalyug and science fiction. Kalyug predicts mankind to become self-destructive to an extent where humans will begin to feed on humans - which also sounds like zombie movie's plot.
"A post-apocalyptic genre is often confused with a gore movie. I differ and say it's not. In this genre, we may talk about the world collapsing - but we are really talking about are the challenges of society at its extreme, and how we can face another day together being at each other's aid," he said.
They are done with 40 per cent of the book, and have to finish illustrating the 100-plus pages. The husband-wife duo is crowdfunding for it on Wishberry, trying to raise Rs 700,000 to publish the first set of "Winter Child" books.
The art industry happened to Soumyadipta due to his interest in drawing cartoons.
"I was highly encouraged by my parents. Though they have no clue of what it entails to have a career in drawings, but still researched around to channel my enthusiasm into an art of animation education.
"I went on a domestic to international art and animation adventure since then - working for comics, TV, movies, recently games, and scheduled to step in to virtual reality soon," said the artist, who started by working in Moving Picture Company, where projects like "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows", "John Carter of Mars" and "World War Z" would go on.
His first roto-animation shot was for "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2", where Harry drives the fang into one of Voldemort's 'horcruxes'.
"I was delighted to get an opportunity to work for Harry Potter movies, being a huge fan myself," said Soumyadipta.
He is convinced animation will pick up in Indian cinema with time.
"I think it is happening now with enthusiasm rising in the country. We have to be a bit patient if we want to see animation and VFX explosion everywhere," said the young talent, who feels "Hollywood an Bollywood make a great team"
"We should do more and use our potentials to show good things for the world," he said regarding the contribution of animators and creative experts in the animation and visual effects scene abroad.
His next film project is an upcoming fantasy fiction called "Bhakta Kannappa", involving superstar Mohan Babu and Vishnu Manchu. Soumyadipta has created the character designs and storyboards for it.
(Radhika Bhirani can be contacted at [email protected])