Archive for the ‘Inside Virgin Comics’ Category

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Inside Virgin Comics with Gotham Chopra: Audioshocker Interview

March 19, 2008
A few weeks ago, someone forwarded me a link to a Nick Marino’s and Neal Shyam’s audioshocker podcast in which, amongst other things, they shared their thoughts on some of our books. At best, their reviews could be described as a mixed bag. That said, there was also clearly an intrigue around some of what we were doing and that caught my attention. So I decided to do what any big deal entertainment executive would do, I commented on their site and requested that they guys have me on their show to answer their questions. The good guys that they are, Neal and Nick invited me in to their show and the following link will take you right into our candid conversation about all things Virgin Comics.

Cutting to the chase, the gist of the interview centers on the business of comics and the huge challenges that all of the publishers are facing. In this brave new digital world, selling comics at the comic shop isn’t an easy task and yet it remains the most critical entry point for any publisher trying to establish a real presence in the industry. Sure you can come up with all sorts of dotcomics and slick up your trades for the mass market but first and foremost you have to charm the comic geeks if you hope to survive. In a world crowded by Superheros and Super-Heros, that’s no easy task. And yet, here we are, two years later, kicking and screaming, and hopefully, making our presence felt.

Anyone who’s got a taste of Virgin Comics knows that our books are split into two buckets, our “Indian stuff” and our “celebrity stuff.” Without going into all the detail that the interview does, the summary is that we’re trying to be original. We recognize the unique medium of comics, and how they can be used to incubate original ideas and stories. While we are always respectful of the comic itself, knowing that it’s an artform unto itself, we also know that it’s a great medium to nurture stories that can go on to live on film, tv, as video games, or online. Anyone that’s tracked us at all knows that so far so good here at Virgin. We’ve been able to create some distinctive books and managed to get them in the pipeline with some larger media companies to now evolve them as films, games, etc. That part of the process we don’t really control, though if requested, we’re happy to offer our two cents.

So without further adieu, check out the interview and let us know what you think. Aside from continuing to build out this company, our agenda is also to make the process as transparent as possible. Because, in our humble opinion, it’s not just the stories that we are creating that we hope are interesting and engaging, but the story about building the stories, that may be the most interesting. But that’s just my opinion. Why don’t you be the judge.

Gotham Chopra

Link to the interview with Gotham: http://www.audioshocker.com/2008/03/18/podcast-episode-023

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INSIDE VIRGIN COMICS: SEPTEMBER

September 11, 2007

Is it September already? Is the summer already gone? Wow—that was fast. Here at Virgin Comics, we’ve had a summer full of excitement, celebrating our one-year anniversary, finding new partners to play and create with, and building out our business so we have stuff to celebrate at our two-year anniversary and beyond.

Along the way, we’ve also been asking the oh-so-existential question: “who are we?”You see, it’s not just our own corporate adolescence we are dealing with, it’s also the fact that, you, our audience, and even some of our partners, are asking that question in an effort to figure us out. We get that our projects aren’t exactly classifiable into one overarching category. We generate stories that stem from great Asian mythos (Ramayan 3392 AD, Devi) and then tap into the creative minds of some of the coolest filmmakers and creators on the planet (Guy Ritchie’s Gamekeeper, Dave Stewart’s Walk In), churning out a fusion of eastern, western, and admittedly bizarre elements of storytelling. See, we’re obsessed with funky stories and funky creative partners and resist anything that puts us in a box. So as we continue down this path of self-discovery, we search for more ways to expand our creative horizons to further perplex, inspire and excite our audiences, our partners and ourselves.

In that spirit, we’ve partnered with Studio 18, one of India’s premiere film and television studios to create a line of graphic novels, as well as animation, games, and movies that cater to the teen horror genre. We thought it would be fitting to expand on our crazy fictional fantasies and delve into the wildly horrific, dark and twisted world of thrillers. For centuries India has enchanted the world with its entrancing and spiritually-minded stories, so it’s about time we turned up the freak factor.

Eat the Dead, included in the following pages as a sneak peek, is the first from our India Horror imprint, the premiere of our truly “graphic” graphic novels. It’s a story about what lurks in the shadows of our pasts, what happens when our karmic duties defy the laws of “humane” nature, and the dark deeds one must do to rectify their wrongs. And then, there’s also one crazy looking beast of a woman who’s not interested in playing nice. I won’t tell you more, because it’s wrong to ruin a great story, but I can say that this comic is a true testament to what we represent here at Virgin Comics… you’ll never know what to expect next.

See you on the inside….

—The Chief
and the Virgin Comics Editorial Team

Eat the DeadEat the Dead

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INSIDE VIRGIN COMICS: Trading Up

August 1, 2007

Storytelling is a tricky business. Don’t get me wrong, it’s an awesome business—I’m happy to work the long hours, take the endless meetings, and run myself ragged with all the other stuff, because it means I get to do things like decide how heroes live and die, create worlds and burn them down, and turn women into snakes and boys into zombies. I will be real with you, because, by virtue of picking up this book, I think you’re pretty cool: this job rocks.

But that still doesn’t mean there aren’t difficulties and nuances in the work—even the cool work. When you write a comic book (as when TV writers write an episode) you have to think about two stories at once: the issue story, which is a scant 22-pages long, and the overarching series story, and, on some level, have them both work. The problem is, while, when you’re finished with an issue you can look at it and say “that’s a nice issue,” you have to wait until you finish a whole arc before you can see if it all came together.

Fortunately for us, it has. We’ve just put out our first six collected volumes, and we’re all pretty stoked about the stories they tell. It’s a wide range of stories, moving from myth to mystery to metamorphoses, and typifies who we are not only as a company, but as storytellers. And, while all of these stories will live beyond these first stories, these are our building blocks, the foundation upon which we plan to build a universe upon.

I invite you to check them out, enjoy the births of our worlds, and get to know our characters from the very beginning, and then stick around: all of our series are continuing their journey as monthlies in comic book shops now. It’s going to be a wild ride, and I hope you guys will join us.

See you on the inside,

—The Chief
and the Virgin Comics Editorial Team