Monday, March 26, 2012

Review | Ravanayan

Some of my fondest childhood memories involve my Pati  and her bedtime stories. Each night I would hear about how a child lost his head and was given an elephant head in return or how asuras and devas fought a tug of war on either side of a turtle while a beautiful apsara walked in from the ocean, much like a Bond girl, holding a potful of eternal life. Mythology pervades our everyday Indian life which makes it ironic how little magic there is in our books or movies. I am sure we can debate that for hours.  It's not lack of interest on part of the reading public- The Kingdom of Melua has been a huge success.  Holy Cow is tapping into that same audience with their series of comic books based on the life and journey of the greatest villain in Indian mythology, Ravana. They state in their introduction that : Ravanayan is not the opposite of Ramayana. It is only a different shade.

See the trailer for the series here. The art is very compelling.

And with that they embark on retelling the story of a misunderstood youngster who is caught in a moral abyss right from the very start. We begin with a very hollywood style narrative about men and their need to find out who they are. I can imagine Morgan Freeman or Amitabh Bachchan narrating it. I have to admit it confused me a little. Then comes a flashback which takes us to the beginning. For us comic book lovers, this is the origin issue and Ravana is our super hero. We meet his siblings and witness an event that gives us a peek into the contradictory nature of this twisted mind. I did not know that Ravana was called Dashanan as a child or that he was the son of a sage. Also do not know how many liberties our writer has taken with the storyline. 

It ends abruptly but with you wanting some more. I loved the look of Dashanan, white flowing hair that reminded me of Axl Rose. The art work is of a high quality with nuanced movement and some lovely facial expressions but completely let down by the printing. Much of my first issue was blurred and that is detrimental to a comic. Perhaps the glitch was only in my cop.  I very much hope so. I bought this via Flipkart but the Holy Cow website is offering me subscription to the series for Rs 500 which I will buy right after I finish this review. 

Vijayendra Mohanty and Vivek Goel are the brains behind Holy Cow comic books. The introduction gives us an insight into what inspired the series and almost a justification for why they are dedicating it to such an unlikely hero. As a child I was somewhat fascinated by Ravana and did think he was rather misunderstood as all he did was defend his sister, who I admit was a bit of bunny boiler.

To subscribe to all ten issues in the series visit Holy Cow Entertainment and Vivek Goel will give you the details. It costs  Rs 500 and includes a complimentary copy of a new series.  For just a taster you can buy the first issue from Flipkart like I did. Quite pleased that we have a graphic novel company to call our own now. 


  1. Nice review, but there are many grammatical mistakes. No big deal though.

  2. Completely agree. I must have written it in my sleep! Thanks for the heads up. It's been cleaned:)



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