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Finally, Comics on Sikh History!

Discussion in 'History of Sikhism' started by Admin Singh, Oct 12, 2011.

  1. Admin Singh

    Admin Singh
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    <label for="rb_iconid_3">
    [​IMG]</label> Special Offer: Buy all of these amazing comics for your next generation Now! All SPN Members and Visitors may Use Discount Code SPN10off to avail an additional 10% discount on all purchases you make at http://www.sikhcomics.com!

    Comics on Sikh history and a six-part graphic novel on Guru Nanak’s life take a look at the bygone times in a creative way

    When Daljeet Singh Sidhu wanted to introduce his three-year-old son to Sikh heroes and history, he was not at a loss of words. But what he did not have, was a story that his boy could see, feel and later read. That’s when it struck Sidhu; that Sikh history has many heroes, but no graphics. So after 12 years in the US, he packed his bags and moved back to India to chronicle Sikh history, its great gurus and warriors and present them in the comics format. That’s how www.sikhcomics.com, a Sikh comics project, was born.

    “Children in India and abroad are oblivious to our rich heritage. Therefore, the comics appeal to people everywhere. Also, initially our target audience was children but our first two all-colour titles in English have received a great response from adults too,” says city-based Sidhu as he flips through the stories of Baba Deep Singh, the Sikh martyr and scholar.

    guru-teg-bahadur-comics.jpg baba-deep-singh-comics.jpg

    Scripted by Sidhu, the basis of the stories are books by historians like Bhai Veer Singh, Tirlochan Singh and Satbir Singh. “The facets of Sikh history have to be authentic,” says Sidhu, who hopes to finalise the title in a month, and has planned 20 illustrated titles on history and five volumes in the same format on Guru Nanak. Animation projects based on the comics, and later some fiction are also on the list. “There is a huge demand for translating these into Hindi and Punjabi and we’re looking forward to it,” says Sidhu.

    These books are priced at 99 in India. All future titles will be priced at `50-60 in India and $3-$3.50 elsewhere. Working over-time on the comics is city-based artist and film-maker Amarjit Virdi and his talented team of illustrators. The team is also the creative brain behind animation films like Chote Sahib Zade, Rise of Khalsa and Maharaja Ranjit Singh. “We realize that the medium of comics and animation films has a huge reach and is an absorbing way to get the point across,” says Virdi, whose team is busy creating characters, their look, expressions and iconography in accordance with every scene, so that the reader can feel the pulse of each situation. “I am an actor with a pencil,” says Virdi, as he gets back to the board for his next comic, The Battle of Saragarhi.

    Elsewhere, 27-year-old George Emmanual, a former student of the Government College is working on an exhibition, which will display the making of a graphic novel. “The content may be for children, but what goes behind each illustration is a story in itself. The process of creating comics has changed with technology and I want it to be an interactive and interesting display for both students and young artists,” says Emmanual, who adds that his research for the art work took him to Sikh museums, gurudwaras and exhibitions. Now, Emmanual is busy working on a six-part graphic novel on Guru Nanak’s life. An Indo-Canadian project, it will be released later this month in English, Hindi, Punjabi and Italian.
     
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  3. dssidhu

    dssidhu India
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    About 7 years ago when I had kids, like a good Sikh dad wanting to imbibe good Sikh values in his kids, I went out looking for good books on Sikhism for toddlers. While there were tons of books available in the US for Christian kids, Jewish kids, Muslim kids, Hindu kids, unfortunately I could find nothing for Sikh children. Driving back home from the book store... disappointed, I wished there was more good literature available for Sikh children.

    As I entered the house, I asked my wife, "Why doesn't someone create good books on Sikh values and Sikh history". Little did I realize that five years later I will be that "somebody" to work on them. I credit my three year old son, Kabir, to shake me up and take notice that something needs to be done.

    It was a nice summer morning in San Jose. My wife and I were sipping coffee, waiting for the kids to wake up on a Saturday morning and plan the day with them. My son Kabir walks in, hugs me and goes... "Daddy, I want to be strong". "That is a great idea son", I replied. "No daddy, you don't get it. I want to be very very strong. I want to be as strong as Hanuman ji!"

    Now there is nothing wrong in wanting to be as strong as hanumanji. He is a Hindu deity and revered by millions. But for a Sikh child to not want to be as strong as Baba Deep Singh, or Baba Banda Singh Bahadur was disturbing for us. I asked Kabir, "Beta, why not be as strong as Baba Deep Singh". His answer told me exactly what we needed to help this child learn about Sikh history, heroes, Gurus and martyrs. Kabir told me that he has listened to all these Sikh stories but he has never "seen" or "felt" them like he could with his other books. We had to develop books to help this child be an "informed" Sikh and the SikhComics project was born.

    We are on SikhComics project for about six months now. Two comics are already in print and seven more are on the table in different stages of development and likely to be released before the end of the year. These include a book on the battle of Saragarhi and a five volume series on <A HREF="http://www.sikhcomics.com">Guru Nanak Dev</A> ji. TV serials and animation films are also under active consideration.
     
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  4. Joginder Singh Foley

    Joginder Singh Foley United Kingdom
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    WJKKWJKF Sat Siri Akal

    A long overdue and long needed seva keep up the good work Respect I shall be adding them to my Comic collection it will make a change from the usual Judge Dredd and the
    japanese Manga that my comic collections currently consist of
     
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  5. dssidhu

    dssidhu India
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    Thanks Joginder Singh Foley ji for your support.
     
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  6. Randip Singh

    Randip Singh
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    Great stuff.

    I grew up with Sikh comics, and then they dissapeared.

    I remember reading my Spiderman comic and then the Banda Bahadhur one up. I loved them. All were Superhero's to me, but I knew only one of them was real.
     
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  7. Randip Singh

    Randip Singh
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    also would be great to buy these online.
     
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  8. dssidhu

    dssidhu India
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    Very true S. Randip Singh ji.

    If Guru continues to lend his support to us, we will probably create 100 comics covering all the major events of Sikh history.
     
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  9. dssidhu

    dssidhu India
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  10. Randip Singh

    Randip Singh
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    Many thanks!! :)
     
  11. Randip Singh

    Randip Singh
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    Just one point to remeber.

    The Patiala style pugh only came into being about 100 years ago. Before that turbans were circular.

    If you look at Sikh art from even 150 years ago it is circular.
     
  12. dssidhu

    dssidhu India
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    yep. you are right about the turban style. And fortunately only the cover and a couple of pages inside the comic feature turbans that give a hint of patiala shahi dastaar. Rest of the comic has circular turbans.
     
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  13. Randip Singh

    Randip Singh
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    Brilliant...

    I love Sikh history and pugh styles in particular fascinate me. :)
     
  14. Navdeep88

    Navdeep88 Canada
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    thanks dssidhu ji,

    i think my baby brother and my handful of neices and nephews would love these.

    ***please do not forget the strong females in sikh history (both in a physical sense (mai bhago), and in the emotional maternal sense (mata gujari ji).
     
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  15. Joginder Singh Foley

    Joginder Singh Foley United Kingdom
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    WJKKWJKF Sat Siri Akal

    It looks like some Sikhs are starting to make serious effort on this as I found a trailer for an animated film about Maharajah Ranjit Singh on Youtube does anybody else know anything about this, how factual is it and how good is it ????
     
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  16. dssidhu

    dssidhu India
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    the movie on Maharaja Ranjit singh was released a few months ago. The art director of the movie is the one working on my team to illustrate the comic books.
     
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