THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: ‘Simian’, a graphic novel by Vikram Balagopal, has won the Best Graphic Novel award instituted by ‘Comic Con India’ for the year 2014. Vikram is an author, filmmaker, poet, illustrator and cartoonist.
Comic Con India released the following statement about the award: “Written and illustrated in black-and-white by Vikram Balagopal, this is a meditation on war. It straddles the two major Hindu epics: it is about the Ramayana, but with the Mahabharata as its setting. Bhim comes across an unwell monkey and then realizes it is none other than Hanuman himself. The two then settle down for a night of conversation about war, which is, of course, one of the central concerns that binds the two epics together so strongly.
‘’This fraternity is mirrored in the characters of Bhim and Hanuman, who are both sons of Vayu. Balagopal uses this framing to retell the story of Ram from Hanuman’s point of view, and challenges the idea that Hanuman didn’t question Ram or Sugriv’s actions. His cover artwork for this book is much acclaimed, and is outstanding.”
A comic-based convention in India, Comic Con India was first held in New Delhi in 2011, where its annual edition takes place and the express editions in Mumbai and Bangalore.