Kalapani Comics, the sister company of Vimanika Comics (the multiple-award winning, international bestselling comics company) launched its first pilot project: Kaged Muscle at Bandra’s Title Waves Bookstore last week.
Vimanika came up with Kalapani primarily to be known for other genres beyond mythology/history and this was accomplished by coming up with its first project – Kaged Muscle. It was launched by none other than the celebrity body builder Kris Gethin. Kris is a Natural Pro Bodybuilder who’s highest accolade was being a runners-up at the World Bodybuilding Championships. He is the author of the #1 Best Seller Body by Design, and also the CEO of Nutrition by Design, founder of DTP, director of Gethin Gyms and CEO of the supplement brand KAGED MUSCLE.
Present at the launch were hundreds of Gethin’s fans, who had come to catch a glimpse of the famous bodybuilder and Gethin’s friend – Ulisses and take part in an interesting chin up competition.
This is the first time that Vimanika/Kalapani Comics have launched their product in an open event rather than at Comic Con. The reason behind launching the novel outside Comic Con is because Kris wanted to launch this novel in Mumbai itself and couldn’t wait till December as that’s when the Con takes place. Also he didn’t want to launch it in Hyderabad Comic Con which will be held in September. The idea behind choosing the launch destination as Title Waves was because it’s a boutique bookstore which is doing well and Karan and Kris always admire ideas that are innovative and creative.
Kaged Muscle is a graphic novel which has a mixture of science fiction and physical fitness and is inspired by martial arts. It follows Kris Gethin’s beliefs and is based on it. We at TheGraphicSlate.com got chatting with Karan Vir Arora, the chief director and writer of the Kaged Muscle graphic novel and the founder of Vimanika Comics to know more about India’s first body building based graphic novel starring Kris Gethin (the man who has trained Hrithik Roshan, John Abraham and more recently Arjun Kapoor).
On the thought of coming up with something unique like a Comic based on fitness, Arora expounded: “Firstly we are a company which is into graphic novel and comics. We thought why not merge the whole concept of fitness and superhero where the bodybuilder trains people about fitness and nutrition while being superheros. Also it’s more relatable to the youth because the fans of Kris Gethin are all young; mainly the X and Y generation.”
He continued: “We wanted to connect with this audience and there was no better way than coming up with this graphic novel. Kris Gethin would also profit from this as he would be able to share his knowledge and it would profit Kalapani Comics as well to establish it as a brand new proposition for the Indian Comic industry.”
The work on the graphic novel commenced about six months back and has a concentrated target audience of an age group between 18-35 as that’s the age of Kris’s fan and the readers of Vimanika and Kalapani Comics.
Coming up with such an unusual graphic novel is no easy task. There’s a lot of research and hard work that goes into the making. The challenges faced by Kalapani Comics while bringing out this comic were further highlighted by Karan. “The main challenge was to understand Kris’s belief and his techniques. It was essential to understand what he believes in and how he works at it and executes it; in and outside the gym. The writers did a lot of research and the artists worked hard on it to not miss any details, and to better understand Kris’s body, the muscular demographic of his physique and the storyline. They had to make it entertaining and not too preachy, so they had to strike balance between education and entertainment.”
About 5 to 10 artists have worked on this graphic novel with Kshitish Padhy being the creative head and Shashank Avvaru, the scribe. Revin, Bhakta Ranjan and Rohit Rojal were brought on board to do the pencilling, coloring and lettering respectively. And the cover has been beautifully illustrated by Adriraj Paul.
The novel will be digitally available and soon will be seen on some leading comic platforms where readers can read it online. Since Kalapani Comics has IBH as its distributor, Kaged Muscle will be available across India even at airports and railway stations. The cost of one graphic novel is pegged at Rs 199 at launch date.
Currently there is no dedicated website for the Kalapani Comics, but it has a web and social media page. This is sort of the company’s first pilot project and it will be soon coming up with more titles; with the website going live early next month.
As for the future series, Karan revealed: “The graphic novel is season based. One season will focus on 1 to 7 volumes and currently we have planned for only one season and then we will see the response and take it ahead from there.”
The next volume of Kaged Muscle will be out in another 4-5 months. For now, there’s good news for fans, Kaged Comics will soon be launching apparels based on the series as well.