The comic book scene in Bangladesh is expanding as new writers and artists are rolling out their tremendous works. We reviewed some of the comic books published in the Ekushey book fair this year. Panjeree and Dhaka Comics, two of the prominent comic publishers, have a number of new comics to offer
1. Rong Pishach
Writer/artist: Nurul Aftab
The first issue of "Rong Pishach" introduces us with a haunted painting of a witch-like woman. The painting emanates a mysterious odour, often killing people who come near it. Aftab and Maria, two teenage friends stumble upon this painting. As soon as they smell of mystery behind the painting, they start to dig out information about it.
In a weird turn of events, Aftab is transported to a dimension beyond our reality. In that dimension called "Alpha level", Aftab confronts an unnamed evil entity. It threatens Abrar to stay away from the painting.
The first issue of "Rong Pishach" briefly hints at the "Alpha level", a hyperreal dimension, whose mystery will be further explored in the next issues.
Writer/artist: Bushra Ferdousi
Bushra Ferdousi conceived the idea of "Tonu" from the legendary artist Ahsan Habib. "While chatting with Ahsan Habib at the Unmaad office, he gave me the idea for the story of Tonu," Bushra wrote in the preface of the comic.
Tonu, the protagonist of the comic, is a troubled teenage girl. She is frequently teased by a group of young boys. This one day, she was sprinting away from those bad boys when a miraculous accident happened. A debris of a comet from outer space entered Earth and hit Tonu. Following that, Tonu was hospitalised following the accident.
Soon, Tonu realised she had gained superpower after her contact with the comet. With her superpower, Tonu taught those unfriendly boys a lesson. More adventures will follow in future issues.
3. Lungiman ar motivation bhai
Writer/artist: Romel Borua
The second issue of the Lungiman series continues the comical journey of "Lungiman", an eccentric superhero. The story is set in the fictional city of Tufan Nagar. Lungiman encounters a man called "Moti bhai". Moti bhai, a popular figure of Tufan Nagar, is a motivational speaker. Seemingly, he is a preacher of positivity, just like any other speaker. But Lungiman soon discovers his evil intentions to control people's mind with his high tech gadgets.
The second issue of Lungiman takes a satirical approach to criticise some "so-called" motivational speakers who manipulate people with their eloquence. Overall, this comic will attract readers of all ages.
4. Tufan-Rajjochara 2
Writer/artist- Asifur Rahman
Artist Asifur Rahman used the usual tropes of fairy tales, but added a dash of modern day humour in his comic.
Tufan, the titular character, is the commander of the army of a medieval city. He is the adopted son of the chief minister, a direct advisor to the king. The king is discontent with his own son, who is not fit to become the next king.
In a fateful decision, the king decides to name Tufan as the heir to the throne. But his wife, who is a witch, does not accept this decision. She uses her witchcraft to turn the king into a cat. Subsequently, the evil queen banishes Tufan out of the country. Tufan, alone and helpless, meets a girl named Brishty. Together they find out ways to rescue the "cat" king. The second issue follows the adventures of Tufan and Brishty. Do they rescue the king of Bikrampur? Read the comic to find out.
As kids these days are tech savvy, there was a dire need for augmented reality enabled comics in Bangladesh. "Firrefighter", an interactive comic, intended for kids aged 3-7, seems to fill the vacuum.
Firefighter is about the heroic exploits of the firemen of our country. Through a mobile app, kids can see and hear interactive animation. All they have to do is place the phone over the comic. Comics like these could become a new modern way of learning for kids.