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
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.

01/31/13

The Digital Edition covers

When Archaia decided to release Mumbai Confidential as a 9 issue “Digital First” edition on ComiXology, Vivek and I had to scramble to create 9 covers. It was a fun gig. We reused concept art, interior sequentials and pin ups submitted by other artists to create the covers. Scott Newman and I ended up doing the “dressing up” for the final versions.

Mumbai confidential “Digital First” editions can be purchased here for reading on iOS/Android/Web/Kindle. The print hardcover edition is due April 30, 2013 and can be pre-ordered via Amazon.

12/23/12

Sneak peek at the interior pages of the hardcover

The Mumbai Confidential hardcover edition is getting ready to be sent to press for a March 2013 release from Archaia. We had the awesome design team of Howling Monkey Studios cook up some great looking interior design pages. Posting sneak peeks of the table of content and the interior title page of the hardcover here.

The Interior Title Page
00_mc_title

The Table of Contents
01_mc_toc

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 March 2013 from Archaia. Please do follow us on Facebook and/or Twitter.

10/21/12

Mumbai Comic-con Trailer for Mumbai Confidential

Vivek and I, along with Saumin Patel and Vinay Brahmania did a session for the Mumbai Film and Comics Convention yesterday (with the artists on stage, yours truly dialing in via Google+).

We had some connectivity issues during the session and Devaki couldn’t join in. I also got disconnected a few times. Overall, we spoke about the history and vision of MC as a project and it was a good discussion.

Thanks to the Comic-con India team for hosting us, and thanks to all of our fans who attended.

Mumbai Confidential is a crime-noir comic book created by Saurav Mohapatra and Vivek Shinde. It’s now available digitally at ComiXology and the print hardcover edition from Archaia will be available in March 2013.

Facebook: http://facebook.com/mumbaiconfidential
Twitter: @mumbaiconfid

10/10/12

Conventions! Conventions! Conventions!

Mumbai Confidential team will be there at two conventions in the next two weeks. First off I’ll be signing at New York Comic-con from Oct 11-14 and then the MC team is scheduled to make a special appearance in an interactive Q/A session about comics in general and the making of MC at Mumbai Film and Comics Convention in Mumbai on Oct 21st.

Mumbai Confidential signing schedule at NYCC 2012

ARCHAIA Booth #1520

  • Thurs, 10/11 7-8pm, Table 3
  • Fri, 10/12 5-6pm, Table 3
  • Sat, 10/13 12:30-1:30pm, Table 2

Here’s the free giveaway postcard/mini-litho I’ll be signing. So drop by and say hi.


Here’s the details for the Mumbai convention session

Vivek and I will be doing a session about Mumbai Confidential at Mumbai Film & Comics Convention on Oct 21st.

Plus, we might have some surprise guests :D from the extended Mumbai Confidential family!

We’re not big on formality, so mostly we’ll be shooting the breeze about comics and breaking into comics. We hope to have mostly a free form Q/A with the audience. Vivek and the other artists will be there in person and I shall be “live via satellite” :D

Customary shameless Plug: Mumbai Confidential issue #4 is now online at http://bit.ly/mcdigital4

and print hardcover is due from Archaia Entertainment in March 2013.

09/29/12

Mumbai Confidential interview with Mid-day

Vivek and I were interviewed by Fiona Fernandez from the Mumbai based newspaper Mid-day. The interview is now out as part of the Sept 29, 2012 edition of Mid-day.

Click the image for a hires version.

Mid-day E-Paper Link : (Image-version) (Text-version)

Also, just a reminder that issue #4 of Mumbai Confidential will be online at ComiXology first week of October. You can buy issue #1-#3 from ComiXology for your iPad, iPhone, Android, Kindle Fire and Web reading pleasure at http://bit.ly/mcfull.

The print hardcover edition will release in March 2013 from ARCHAIA.

About Mumbai Confidential

Mumbai Confidential is a crime noir comic book series (about the infamous encounter cops of Mumbai) created by Saurav Mohapatra and Vivek Shinde [more...]

08/29/12

Reviews and updates

So the reviews for Mumbai Confidential are trickling in.

and, before we leave… a sneak peak at the cover of Mumbai Confidential #5 (inspired by the hand painted retro film posters of Bollywood of yesteryear) :)

Do check us out on Facebook and Twitter for the latest and greatest on the news front, and sneak peeks, previews and concept art galore. :)

Mumbai confidential “Digital First” editions are now available for purchase at ComiXology for iOS, Android and Web. Mumbai Confidential #3 will be online and available for purchase first week of September.

The print hardcover edition is scheduled for MARCH 2013 from Archaia

About Mumbai Confidential

Mumbai Confidential is a crime noir comic book series (about the infamous encounter cops of Mumbai) created by Saurav Mohapatra and Vivek Shinde [more...]

06/24/12

Close Encounters

So, the Archaia page for Mumbai Confidential is up. So are creator pages for both Vivek and yours truly. As you can see on the page for MC at Archaia site, digital run starts July 2011 and the final print collection is scheduled for March 2013. So load up on the Chai Cutting and Vada Paav, the Mumbai invasion has begun :)

Do check out the MC Facebook page and Twitter feed. We’d love to hear back from you.

And, since we’ve made it this far, here’s a brief (in no particular order and by no means a complete) list of people (apart from the editorial team at our awesome publisher Archaia) we’d like to say thanks to (without whose support MC would’ve never happened):

  • Preeti Padhy
  • Aditi Kelkar-Shinde
  • Sid Kotian
  • Saumin Patel
  • Vinay Brahmania
  • Ron Marz
  • Mark Smylie
  • Samit Basu
  • Pradipta Sarkar
  • Mukesh Singh
  • Devaki Neogi-Kiran
  • Shounak Jog

About Mumbai Confidential

Mumbai Confidential is a crime noir comic book series created by Saurav Mohapatra and Vivek Shinde [more...]