Tale of Ayodhya in pictures

By Vishnu Makhijani

Author and screenwriter Ashok K Banker is back with Prince of Ayodhya, a graphic novel adapted from his first book Ramayana, after wroking with DC Comics.
“Keep in mind that each of those books is over 500 pages long and is packed with incidents and events. I had to cut out several sub-plots and reduce the whole to about 170 pages of illustrated panels with minimal dialogue and narration. This is also the reason why the graphic novel may seem more attractive to many readers — it tells you the main points of the story while detailing the crucial events and moments, just like a film adaptation,” said 55-year-old Banker, who has a staggering 70 books to his credit. “This graphic novel only covers the plot of the first Ramayana series books. Depending on reader response, the remaining seven books will be adapted as well to graphic novels,” he explained.
Noting that he had written graphic novels for DC Comics and other international comic companies, as well as collaborating directly with artists on a book or two, Banker said, “There’s always an equal balance, with a great deal of discussion and creative exchange between writer and artist, which is as is should be. In the case of (publisher) Campfire, I was only shown the final art after the book was completed.”
Banker says the graphic novel is for readers of all age groups who wish to “read a ripping good mythological fantasy adventure”.
“In this case, many people who don’t wish to read a daunting novel several hundred pages long can pick up the graphic novel and dive right in. No prior knowledge required. And of course, if you’ve read all the ‘Ramayans’ out there, then you will probably enjoy this one even more — just as a song changes in the voices of different singers, or a sunset looks so different when photographed or painted by different artists,” Banker explained.
Banker’s novel is the most recent addition to Campfire’s bestselling titles in the category where they largely publish Greek and Indian mythology. These retelling of the tales of Rama, Sita, Ravana, Karna and Draupadi are visually empowering, bringing forth very different perspectives of these characters than the ones we have often read of. (IANS)

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