Author: Anupam Sinha
Publisher: Paper Clip Books
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After enthralling millions with his iconic creations like Super Commando Dhruv, Detective Kapil, Space Star and Manas Putra. , Mr Anupam Sinha, India’s answer to the legendary Bob Kane, has penned down his first graphic novel a relentless adventurous ride “The Virtuals”. Its the sort of publication that stands out in a pile of books. The textured cover, is complemented by the intriguing caption:”They are everywhere and nowhere”, automatically triggering the urge to pick it up to know more.
In essence, the ‘Virtuals’ chronicles the transformative journey of the teenage protagonist from an unassuming ‘joker’, to the ‘ace ’, in the duel between the ‘Gods’. He is ably supported( and sometimes thwarted) in his quest by a plethora of well crafted characters, like the affable ‘Jhala’ (his platonic comrade), or the treacherous ‘Monk’. Intricately woven flash-back sequences lend an effortless flow to the narrative.
Being a virtuoso artist, the author is able to provide a whole new level of textual imagery, connecting ever so beautifully, with the ‘eyes of the mind’. The action sequences, though a tad repetitive, pay homage to power of the ‘psyche’ and its ability to perceive and control surroundings, tying in perfectly with the central idea behind the book; the unlikely confluence of conscience and faith. Moreover the constant shuttling from one mesmerizing dreamy landscape to another, lends credence to the relentless pursuit of a reality,that has been distorted at will by the Gods themselves. Pithy one liners, such as ”Diplomacy gains cipher, without incentives.” offer us temporary reprieve from the breakneck speed of the unfurling plot and provide valuable insights into the character’s frame of mind and subsequent course of action.
The unconventional characterization of the Gods, as power hungry shrewd manipulators, is absolutely intriguing, paving the way for self-reflection and questioning of our inner beliefs.
All in all, a seamless transition for Mr. Sinha from a visual wizard, to an impeccable narrator who has given us a ‘virtually’ gripping tale, that could escalate into an epic saga. Watch out for the rest of the series.