Welcome to the Tall Tales of Vishnu SharmaJanuary 22, 2008
Who is Vishnu Sharma and what sorts of tall tales is he telling? That’s a good question, and one that provokes many different answers. The Tall Tales of Vishnu Sharma: Panchatantra is the latest series from our Shakti imprint, spotlighting the best of India. Created by two of Indian comics’ most promising comic talents, Samit Basu (Devi) and Ashish Padlekar (Walk In), Tall Tales mines the stories of the Panchatantra—India’s precursor to Aesop’s Fables.
But this ain’t your Mother Goose’s story. In these tall tales, the characters of antiquity are being exterminated by other creations of fiction whose strength lies in their mass-market appeal, and whose bloodlust for the rebel Panchatantra characters is as real as the paper this is printed on. The fable-characters’ great hope is the titular Vishnu Sharma, descendant of the first Panchatantra storyteller, but a total child of his time. He’s too busy playing in online tournaments to worry about fighting storybook wars. But when a none-too-fictional talking Lion, Monkey and Bull arrive at his doorstep, Vishnu must choose between following in his ancestors’ footsteps by protecting the tales of the Panchatantra, or silently standing by as they disappear into storybook history.
Fantasy? Sure. Fiction? Not entirely. Around the world, the indigenous mythologies of great cultures are being forgotten. In Mexico and Brazil, Ethiopia and Norway, in China and in India, the effort to maintain our cultural identity in an increasingly integrated world has become a great struggle. The stories of our ancestors are dying out as younger generations are seduced by the Pokemons, the Harry Potters and the Samurai Jacks that are, for better or worse, becoming our new planetary myths. Tall Tales reclaims these stories by giving them a booming voice. So be it the wit of the Monkey, the might of the Bull or the ROAR of the Lion, The Tall Tales of Vishnu Sharma: Panchatantra is bringing the battle to us. And like Vishnu, it’ll be up to you to decide what you’re willing to fight for…. See you on the inside.
& the Virgin Comics Editorial Team
Check out the sneak peek to Issue #1: http://www.virgincomics.com/talltales.html