10/4/13

Signing Schedule at New York Comic-con (NYCC 2013)

Reposted from mohaps.com

I will be signing Mumbai Confidential at the BOOM!/Archaia booth (#1344) at NYCC 2013:

  • Thursday, 10/10 – 3-4 p.m. and 5:30-7 p.m.
  • Friday , 10/11 – 3-4 p.m.
  • Saturday, 10/12 – 11 a.m. – 12 p.m.

See you in New York.

Here’s the link to the official post : http://www.archaia.com/boom-studios-reveals-its-new-york-comic-con-signing-and-panel-schedules/

08/22/13

New Interview / Podcast at SeeBrianWrite

My interview is up at the See Brian Write Podcast site. I speak with Brian LeTendre about the craft of writing, comic books, my influences and how I got my start among other things. There are some unscheduled detours into analyzing social upheavals using Computational Fluid Dynamics :) and other weird stuff.

We also get to dive into the social/human context of Noir in general and Mumbai Confidential in particular. I enjoyed the chat immensely. You can listen to it at Brian’s site or on Soundcloud.

About Mumbai Confidential
Mumbai Confidential is a creator owned crime-noir comic book series created by Saurav Mohapatra and Vivek Shinde. The “Digital First” edition is available on ComiXology and the print hardcover is available on Amazon and FlipKart, from Archaia. Please do follow us on Facebook and/or Twitter.

Reviews: http://mumbaiconfidential.com/reviews

08/7/13

The Mumbai Confidential pitch document

When Vivek and I started shopping around Mumbai Confidential, we prepared a simple two page pitch document that tried to introduce the story and high concept to publishers. There’s no right or wrong way to write a pitch. This worked for us. So we’re sharing this for other creators who wish to see a real pitch document (Given that Archaia published Mumbai Confidential, the pitch actually worked! :) ).

This document goes into some details about the plot. So it might contain *SPOILERS* about the book. You can purchase the hardcover for Mumbai Confidential on Amazon or Amazon India.

About Mumbai Confidential
Mumbai Confidential is a creator owned crime-noir comic book series created by Saurav Mohapatra and Vivek Shinde. The “Digital First” edition is available on ComiXology and the print hardcover is available on Amazon and FlipKart, from Archaia. Please do follow us on Facebook and/or Twitter.

Reviews: http://mumbaiconfidential.com/reviews

Here’s the text of the pitch document we sent out:

MUMBAI CONFIDENTIAL

Book 1 -"Good Cop, Bad Cop"
Proposal for a 120 Page Graphic Novel
By Saurav Mohapatra (mohaps@gmail.com)

Logline

"James Ellroy writes SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE"

The Hook

Hardboiled noir about a Dirty Cop taking on Killer Cops in Mumbai

What is it?

A 120 page crime-noir graphic novel about the "Encounter Cops" of Mumbai.

Who is it?

Saurav Mohapatra (story) and Vivek Shinde (art)

The Pitch

In the Indian city of Mumbai, Cops tasked with carrying out extrajudicial executions of wanted criminals turn it into a business for contract killings and extortion.

Troubled by the rise of the underworld that ran amok in Mumbai, the government authorized an elite police unit to apprehend and execute gangsters. These extrajudicial killings were filed away as fake "encounters" and thus the cops came to be known as the "Encounter Cops". But as the gangsters powers waned, the encounter cops themselves stepped in to fill the vacuum and ran the very same rackets they were created to eradicate.

That is the basic premise of Mumbai Confidential (MC) book 1 – "Good Cop, Bad Cop", a hardboiled crime-noir tale told though the eyes of ARJUN KADAM, a washed out drug addicted ex-cop. Once KADAM was a rising star in the ranks of the encounter cops, however the death of his pregnant wife at childbirth triggered a downward spiral that left him a pale shadow of himself. When KADAM is the victim of a hit and run, that also claims the life of a street urchin, he goes into coma for a month. After waking up, he finds a new sense of purpose and pursues the investigation into the identity of the driver on his own, when the police close the case for lack of leads. KADAM finds out that the driver was BALWAAN KHAN, an over the hill Bollywood B-Movie actor. This brings him into direct confrontation with his ex-colleagues (the encounter cops), who are now de facto gangsters in uniform and use KHAN’s movies to launder their money.

Mumbai Confidential is an attempt to bring the sub genre of "Mumbai Noir" to the international audience and to fuse it with the grim and gritty sensibilities of a James Ellroy tale.

Format

The story is told with a grayscale "wash" painted style and the narrative cuts between three timelines (the present, a month or so back and five years back). The story can either be presented as six 20 page issues or as a single 120 page original graphic novel.

Additionally, MC comes with a series of "Digital Shorts", which serve to enhance the main storyline. These will be printed in the eventual Trade Paperback or Collection as Bonus materials.

Demographic

MC is targeted at an audience similar to that for Frank Miller’s SIN CITY, the CRIMINAL series by Brubaker/Phillips and the fan base of James Ellroy. Though it is set in Mumbai, the creators sincerely feel that the universal appeal of hard-boiled crime-noir will make it accessible to the audience at large, with the exotic and unique setting adding to the flavor.

Plot

ARJUN KADAM, an ex-Encounter Cop, has lapsed into depression and heroin addiction after his pregnant wife’s death at childbirth. When he is involved in a hit and run, that leaves him in a coma and kills a street urchin, KADAM finds a new purpose in trying to solve the case the police quickly abandon as "unsolved". He finds the culprit – over the hill Bollywood B-Movie star BALWAN KHAN. But in trying to bring him to justice, he crosses paths with his ex-colleagues. The "Encounter Cops" led by the psychotic Inspector SAWANT have become the very thing they were mandated to eradicate.The corrupt cops now run the protection racket and launder their money through KHAN’s movies.

KADAM finds help from unlikely quarters – the gangsters, who lament the loss of control of the lucrative extortion racket to SAWANT’s cops. KADAM pits the gangsters against the crooked cops and in a final desperate gambit, sacrifices his own life to bring down the corrupt machine.

Creative team

Saurav Mohapatra lives in California and has written WITCHBLADE for Top Cow/Image DEVI, SADHU, INDIA AUTHENTIC and RYDERS for Virgin Comics. He co-created MUMBAI MACUGFFIN and JIMMY ZHINGCHAK for Virgin comics and has contributed to the second volume of THE PHANTOM CHRONICLES by MOONSTONE BOOKS. He’s currently working on his creator-owned projects MUMBAI CONFIDENTIAL and DHURANDHAR.

Vivek Shinde is a Mumbai based artist who has worked on SNAKEWOMAN, PROJECT: KALKI for Virgin Comics. He co-created and drew the newspaper strip SPECIAL OFFICER SAWANT for MID-DAY, a Mumbai daily. He’s also a freelance illustrator, concept/storyboard artist and a painter specializing in photo-realistic renderings. His past clients include INX Networks, Oglivy & Mather and Leo Burnett.

Further Reading and References

  • Mumbai Police "Encounter Squad" – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MumbaiEncounterSquad
  • "Bollywood",the Hindi film industry and the Mumbai Underworld – http://www.bollywhat.com/darkside.html
  • Bollywood Star involved in hit and run – http://www.rediff.com/news/2002/sep/28khan.htm
  • Mumbai Confidential website – http://mumbaiconfidential.com
  • Saurav Mohapatra’ blog – http://mohaps.com
  • Vivek Shinde’s blog – http://vivekshinde.blogspot.com
05/31/13

GQ India (March 2013) Interview/Book Review of Mumbai Confidential

GQ (India) did an interview and book review of Mumbai Confidential in their March 2013 Issue. Here’s the PDF of the article:

Mumbai Confidential book review on GQ India by mohaps

Also, if you’re in Bangalore this weekend (June 1-2), do come by and visit the MC Team at Bangalore Comic Con. Details: http://www.mumbaiconfidential.com/2013/05/27/mumbai-confidential-heads-to-bangalore-comic-con-2013/ for a session on the “making of” MC and a signing at the Pop Culture Publishing booth (A23) on Sunday, June 2nd at 3:00 PM.

About Mumbai Confidential
Mumbai Confidential is a creator owned crime-noir comic book series created by Saurav Mohapatra and Vivek Shinde. The “Digital First” edition is available on ComiXology and the print hardcover is available on Amazon and FlipKart, from Archaia. Please do follow us on Facebook and/or Twitter.

Reviews: http://mumbaiconfidential.com/reviews

05/27/13

Mumbai Confidential heads to Bangalore comic con 2013

We will be doing a session on the “Making of” Mumbai Confidential at Bangalore Comic-con and the artists (Vivek, Vinay and Devaki) will be on a signing on June 2nd. I will be “dialing in” for the interactive session about why and how we created Mumbai Confidential and the artists will be there in person. This will be followed by a short Q&A session with the audience.

The session will be followed after a short break by a signing at the Pop Culture Publishing booth (A23) on the convention floor. Vivek, Vinay and Devaki will be signing copies and giving free sketches to all who purchase a copy.

Here’s the flyer for the event.

Official Schedule: http://www.bangalorecomiccon.com/index.php?page=schedule&days=19 (scroll down to 3:00 PM)

  • “Making of” Session and Q&A – June 2, 3:00 – 3:30 PM
  • Signing at the Pop Culture Publishing Booth (A23) – June 2, 3:40-4:30 PM

Comic Con India will have a limited number of copies of the hardcover available for sale through out the two days at the convention. So grab yours and get it signed.

About Mumbai Confidential
Mumbai Confidential is a creator owned crime-noir comic book series created by Saurav Mohapatra and Vivek Shinde. The “Digital First” edition is available on ComiXology and the print hardcover is available on Amazon and FlipKart, from Archaia. Please do follow us on Facebook and/or Twitter.

Reviews: http://mumbaiconfidential.com/reviews

05/16/13

Finally, it’s out! (and some reviews/updates)

First of all, Mumbai Confidential Book 1 “Good Cop, Bad Cop” hardcover from Archaia is now out in the wild! It is now available for purchase at Amazon, FlipKart (for India), ComiXology (digital edition for iOS, Android, Kindle and the Web), and your friendly neighborhood comic book stores. From May 21st, MC will also be available in bookstores nationwide.

MC was a labor of love for both Vivek and me. We set out to create the “best goddamn comic book” we could, and poured our heart into it. Now as I look back over the four long years it took to finally reach this stage, I can’t but feel a little bit proud of what we’ve achieved. We’ve managed to put out a book that is (for all intents and purposes) the first “Indian” crime-noir comic book. We couldn’t have done this without the support of our fans, friends and family. Industry veterans like Mike Carey, David Lloyd, and Bart Sears (to name a few) encouraged us with feedback and comments. I’m especially indebted to my mentor and friend Ron Marz for supporting the MC project with his kind attention and feedback from day one. (Ron also provided the foreword for the hardcover edition). Both Vivek and I would like to thank Gotham Chopra, Arnab Ray, Samit Basu, and Anupam Sinha for taking the time to write the forewords for the digital issues that ran from July 2012 to Feb 2013 on ComiXology.

A hearty round of thanks also goes out to Sid Kotian, Mohan Prabhu, Devaki Neogi, Saumin Patel, Shounak Jog, and Vinay Brahmania for doing the Mumbai Confidential interludes (backup shorts) that are also collected in the the hardcover volume.

Finally, the awesome team at our publisher Archaia – Mark Smiley, Mike Kennedy, Mel Caylo, Rebecca Taylor, and Scott Newman (also Howling Monkey Studios, that did the awesome casewrap and book design of the hardcover) – you folks rock! Big Time! :)

In many ways, MC was an experiment – an attempt at blending the universal sensibilities of noir with a fresh and unique setting (the genre born out of this fusion is sometimes referred to as “Mumbai Noir”). So it was a great kicker of a moment for both Vivek and me, when the acknowledged grandmaster of this genre – Anurag Kashyap invited us to meet him at Sundance 2013. He even tweeted about MC later.

On 14th May, 2013 MC debuted at #9 on Amazon’s Hot New Releases list for Graphic Novels/Mystery (rubbing shoulders with CRIMINAL, FATALE, FROM HELL and few other choice classics).

Here are some reviews from around the web:

  • Matthew Rosenberg over at Forbidden Planet called MC “Equal parts Hong Kong action flick and crime noir comic” and “well worth your time.”
    Money Quote:

    I love a book that comes out of left field and just floors you. For me that was MUMBAI CONFIDENTIAL. A gritty cop story that doesn’t look like anything else on shelves, Mumbai Confidential is a stunningly good book.

    [full review]

  • Brett Schenker of Graphic Policy had this to say about MC

    I found myself not just sucked in, but sucked in so much I had to complete it in one day. It’s look, characters and voice is something unique in the comic industry. Here’s hoping folks are willing to take a chance on this gem.

    [full review]

  • David Goodman of Geekadelphia called MC “flat out brilliant”, “a perfect example of noir storytelling in comics” and “an instant classic”.

    Money quote:

    I try not to throw the word “classic” around that much when I write my comic book reviews. Who can know what will stand the test of time and become a book that people will look back on and consider a defining work in graphic literature?

    But this once, I have to make an exception.

    Mumbai Confidential is flat out brilliant, an instant classic that when people want to read a perfect example of noir storytelling in comics, this is the book they will look for.

    [full review]

About Mumbai Confidential
Mumbai Confidential is a creator owned crime-noir comic book series created by Saurav Mohapatra and Vivek Shinde. The “Digital First” edition is available on ComiXology and the print hardcover is available on Amazon and FlipKart, from Archaia. Please do follow us on Facebook and/or Twitter.

04/27/13

LiveMint (WSJ India) Article/Interview on Mumbai Confidential

I was recently interviewed by Sanjukta Sharma of LiveMint / Wall Street Journal India and the article is now online.

Money Quote:

Mumbai Confidential is a racy read sure to hook any serious Hindi film lover

About Mumbai Confidential
Mumbai Confidential is a creator owned crime-noir comic book series created by Saurav Mohapatra and Vivek Shinde. The “Digital First” edition is available on ComiXology and the print hardcover is available on Amazon and FlipKart, from Archaia. Please do follow us on Facebook and/or Twitter.

04/23/13

Reviews, Mentions, and the buzz – Oh My! :)

First off, an update on the Amazon snafu : The amazon preorder page has been updated to reflect the release date of May 21st (which is playing it safe, the book should be with you before that). The India pre-order page at FlipKart.com correctly shows the release date as “Early May”.

If you haven’t preordered yet, please do book your copy on Amazon or FlipKart (India). Also do spread the word about MC and follow us on Facebook and/or Twitter for latest news/updates etc. We look forward to hearing from you.

Now, onwards to the buzz around Mumbai Confidential on the wild wild web:

  • First off, Anurag Kashyap (whose body of work was a big influence on Vivek and me in creating Mumbai Confidential) tweeted about MC. Thank you, sir! Coming from you, it’s high honors for both of us.
  • Criminal Element posted an awesome review of Mumbai Confidential.

    … written with a mordant wit and illustrated with such clarity and attention to the small moments [...] that it genuinely brings something new to the genre. [read the whole review]

  • Pipedream Comics posted a review of MC and an interview.

    It reads like a sub-continental version of Sin City and has all the best elements of classic crime noir, with twists, turns, violence and corruption, all played out in the grimy, monsoon ridden streets of Mumbai and the glamour of Bollywood instead of downtown LA and the Hollywood Hills. [read the whole review] [read the interview]

  • And we end this update with a great reader review on GoodReads that sums the book up as “dark and mesmerizing”. Thank you for your kind words, Jamie Chadam.

About Mumbai Confidential
Mumbai Confidential is a creator owned crime-noir comic book series created by Saurav Mohapatra and Vivek Shinde. The “Digital First” edition is available on ComiXology and the print hardcover is available on Amazon and FlipKart, from Archaia. Please do follow us on Facebook and/or Twitter.

04/9/13

Arcane Algorithmic Anarachy aka Amazon Preorder Hijinks

Due to some algorithmic snafu, Amazon preorder page for Mumbai Confidential shows the ship date as July 9.

That is not correct. The books are already in the warehouse(s) stateside and should reach you on schedule latest by mid-May from Amazon.

They will be available in comic book shops even earlier (May 1).

So if you received an “Order update”email from Amazon for your pre-order, don’t worry. MC will reach you on time. We’re working with Amazon via our distributor Diamond to correct the info on the Amazon system and the pre-order page. Will update when that is done.

The India pre-order page thankfully is free from such shenanigans. (You rock FlipKart!):)

Mumbai Confidential is a creator owned crime-noir comic book series created by Saurav Mohapatra and Vivek Shinde. The “Digital First” issues are available on ComiXology and the print hardcover is due out in April 2013 from Archaia. Please do follow us on Facebook and/or Twitter.

04/4/13

India Preorder Link now up!

Just a quick note to say that the India pre-order link for the Mumbai Confidential Book 1 Print Hardcover is now up on FlipKart. This has the whole graphic novel and also all of the awesome shorts.

Thanks to the wonderful folks at FlipKart for setting this up, and Abhishek Singh for putting me in touch with team FlipKart.

So, if you’re in India … preorder your copies today! #NoMoreExcuses :)

In other news, the digital first edition of the complete Book 1 (156 pages hardcover) is now available at ComiXology for your digital reading pleasure.

Mumbai Confidential is a creator owned crime-noir comic book series created by Saurav Mohapatra and Vivek Shinde. The “Digital First” issues are available on ComiXology and the print hardcover is due out in April 2013 from Archaia. Please do follow us on Facebook and/or Twitter.