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Ron Marz Introduces Ramayan 3392A.D. Reloaded

August 7, 2007

I’m a sucker for the epic stuff.

I was in the theater for the first show on the day that “The Fellowship of the Ring” opened. And first in line when the DVD went on sale. Seeing “Star Wars” was a huge, formative experience in my childhood, and probably one of the main reasons that I do what I do for a living.

 

So when the opportunity arose to edit a post-apocalyptic retelling of one of India’s most famed epics, it was a no-brainer. When I agreed to take on some editorial duties for Virgin, we settled on three books in the Shakti line: Devi, Sadhu and Ramayan 3392 A.D. They were all, in one way or another, about the process of becoming a hero, one of my favorite subjects both as a reader and a writer. I’m a fan of Joseph Campbell’s work, especially his seminal “The Hero with a Thousand Faces,” which explores the commonalities found in myths from many cultures. Not coincidentally, it was a big influence on George Lucas in his creation of “Star Wars.”

 

I liked the first bunch of Ramayan 3392 A.D. issues. They presented a completely new take on an ancient story, in a unique setting. They were … epic. But I felt like we could do better. I felt like we could keep that epic sensibility, but bring even more focus to the characters, to the people we’re supposed to care about. Because that’s really what keeps you coming back every month – you want to find out what happens to these people. The spaceships and lightsabers in “Star Wars” are great, but you come back because you want to find out what happens to Luke and Leia and Han Solo, not to mention Darth Vader. Most writers will tell you that any good story begins with character. We wanted to make sure this one did.

 

So we decided to bring Ramayan 3392 A.D. to a close, take a few months off while we retooled our approach, and then put our best foot forward. The result is Ramayan 3392 A.D. Reloaded #1, which we just sent off to press and should be on the shelf in no time.

 

For those of you who have been reading Ramayan from the beginning, the story continues. For those of you who haven’t been picking it up, this new #1 issue represents a perfect place to jump on. It tells you who’s who, what’s what, and how we got here in one fell swoop (as they say). You meet our hero, Rama, his brother Lakshman, the beautiful Seeta, and the inhuman villain Ravan. You’re introduced to the visually stunning landscape they inhabit, a far future where civilization exists only in pockets, savage beast-men roam the land, and a dark lord threatens to crush the world under his heel. Plus, you get a pretty nifty adventure while you’re at it, as Rama’s long journey in exile from his homeland continues.

Shamik Dasgupta remains as writer on the book. I can’t even count the number of e-mails he and I have kicked back and forth, honing our approach to the book, making sure the characters are front and center, and coming up with the most visual way to tell the story.

The “new guy” on the team is the supremely gifted artist Jeevan Kang, who already put his stamp on Virgin’s 7 Brothers. Jeevan has made the book utterly his own, spending weeks on design and exploration artwork before ever drawing his first page. When his first pieces came rolling in, both in pencil and in color, we knew we’d found not just the right guy for the job, but the perfect guy. Jeevan breathes life into the world and people of Ramayan 3392 A.D. Reloaded. We’re tinkering with a project now that will give you a chance to check out a lot of the amazing artwork Jeevan generated.

Since I didn’t want Shamik and Jeevan to have all the fun, I wrote a series of five short backup stories, one each for the first five issues of the series. Each story focuses on a particular member of the cast, fleshing out each character even more, and I invited five stellar artists along for the ride.

 

In issue #1, I’m joined by Mike Oeming as we tackle Rama. In issue #2, my friend and mentor Jim Starlin contributes the art for a tale of Ravan. My issue #3 collaborator is David Petersen, whose book Mouse Guard is a deserved sensation; David and I will be introducing Hanuman into the series. In issue #4, I’m joined by my Samurai: Heaven and Earth partner (and upcoming Devi cover artist) Luke Ross, for a story about Seeta. And my buddy Bart Sears contributes some eye-popping art for a Lakshman story in issue #5.

Like I said, I’m a sucker for the epic stuff. That’s exactly what Ramayan 3392 A.D. is. It’s also a damn good book, and I’m proud of it.

– RON MARZ

Pages 1-3 of Issue #1:

 


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18 comments

  1. This just looks awesome and will definitely be worth the wait. Thanks, Ron!


  2. […] are some preview images. Check out the Virgin Comics blog for many more images (and the full pages of the panels you see here) as well as some input from the […]


  3. […] here for a preview of Issue […]


  4. Initially i liked Ramayan reloaded but you people have twisted it completely. The depiction of Lord Ram is wonderfull, but keep in mind its a sacred text, so do not tamper it.


  5. Hi Guys,
    I would Like to mention here that the depiction of this Epic of our Ancient civilization is worth Lauding.
    No Body has till now thought of such powerful presentation of this Epic though in some respect it differs from the original relic.
    I request all of the people to be a li’l bit patient
    to allow them to continue with their original thought.
    As far as i can think the reading of this comic would lead to the reading of original Holy book which would help people to recognize our Rich culture.
    Thank you All
    Pankaj


  6. I think all of your books are beautifully colored. What methods are the artists using? Digital? Traditional media? A combination? What software are some of these artists using to color?

    Thanks


  7. Since no one has commented on my question, is there a more appropriate blog to post a technical question? I’m sure I’m not the only person interested in the coloring. Thanks, Bill


    • If you could masesge me with some tips about how you made your site look this cool , Id be thankful.


  8. Hi, Bill – Thanks for the comments. The artists use a mix of traditional media but mostly digital. Photoshop and Paint are the popular software packages used.

    Cheers,
    Gaurav


  9. hi jeeven, your artwork is great, only one thing i want from you, ……..ram looks very bluish, some sort of alien but we know he is human, so show us some human colour in ram, show us some Blood in ram, beacause when we fight or do workout our face become red with blood, so show some of this kind of sign that ram is not completely alien in human form, he is human.

    cheers
    ORC.


  10. i think jeevan did not get my message, hey virgin blog send this message to jeevan or is there any other blog where i can post my suggestions for artists and story writers?

    regards
    ORC.


  11. we’ll make sure to pass the link to jeevan. thanks for all the comments — we appreciate it.


  12. WOW.. I just received the mails with the pics of Ramayan Reloaded.. Its awesome.. m not into Epics but I think now ill actually read it…


  13. Hi, at 1st u people have done a fantastic job with the reloaded. it appreas too impressive. on a interest note would be appreciable if you come out with an animation movie of the same degree..

    cheers,
    UT


  14. Hello webmaster
    I would like to share with you a link to your site
    write me here preonrelt@mail.ru


  15. when is the other issues coming i cant wait to read it..
    till now only 8 issues of reloaded has came.. what about the other ones.


  16. I think you may have the “virgin” part cnsfuoed with olive oil. There is no such thing as virgin coconut oil, as you say. I’ve never heard of coconut oil for deep conditioning one’s hair, although I don’t think it would do any damage if you tried it.


  17. Hello my loved one! I wish to say that this article is awesome, nice written and
    include approximately all important infos. I would like to peer more posts
    like this .



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