Virgin Comics


Virgin Comics

Infobox Company
name = Virgin Comics

type = Comic publisher
genre =
foundation = 2006
founder = Richard Branson
Deepak Chopra
Shekhar Kapur
Sharad Devarajan
Suresh Seetharaman
Gotham Chopra
dissolved = 2008
location_city =
location_country =
location =
locations =
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key_people =
industry = Comics
products =
services =
market c

revenue =
operating_income =
net_income =
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homepage = official|http://www.virgincomics.com
footnotes =
intl =

Virgin Comics LLC is a comic book company, founded in 2006, which produces stories (many of which are Indian-culture related) for an international audience. The company was founded by Sir Richard Branson and his Virgin Group, author Deepak Chopra, filmmaker Shekhar Kapur, and entrepreneurs Sharad Devarajan, Suresh Seetharaman, and Gotham Chopra. In August 2008, it was reported that the company will be restructuring, including closing its New York office and relocating the company to Los Angeles.cite web |url=http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117991174.html?categoryId=1350&cs=1|title=Virgin Comics to close shop in N.Y. |accessdate=2008-09-03 |work=www.variety.com |publisher="Variety" |date=2008-08-26 ] cite web |url=http://www.publishersweekly.com/article/CA6590174.html |title=Virgin Comics Shut Down |accessdate=2008-08-26 |work=www.publishersweekly.com |publisher="Publisher's Weekly" |date=2008-08-26 ] On September 24, 2008, it was announced that Virgin Comics changed its name to Liquid Comics after a management buyout. [ [http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117992793.html?categoryid=18&cs=1 Variety] on the end of Virgin Comics and the start of Liquid Comics]

Company

Formation

"Virgin Comics LLC" and "Virgin Animation Private Limited" are collaborative companies formed by Virgin Group entreprenaur Sir Richard Branson, author Deepak Chopra, filmmaker Shekhar Kapur and Gotham Entertainment Group (South Asia's largest comics publisher) in 2006. [ [http://www.newsarama.com/virgincomics/virgincomics.htm VIRGIN COMICS, VIRGIN ANIMATION Press Release] . Accessed February 6, 2008] The companies spun out of the previously announced partnership between Chopra, Kapur, and Gotham Entertainment (but not Branson). "Gotham Studios Asia" was announced in late 2004, planning its first release in 2005, which failed to occur. "Variety" reported in January 2006 that Gotham Entertainment head Sharad Devarajan and Chopra's son Gotham were the key movers, and approached Branson as a potential partner. [ [http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117935558.html?categoryid=21&cs=1&s=h&p=0 Gardner, Chris "Branson taking a passage to India: Virgin comics goes East"] . Accessed February 6, 2008] With Branson on board, Gotham Studios Asia became "Virgin Comics and Animation", with Devarajan taking the role of CEO, with Gotham Chopra as chief creative officer, with Indian advertising executive Suresh Seetharaman running Virgin Animation from India. [ [http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117935558.html?categoryid=21&cs=1&s=h&p=0 Gardner, Chris "Branson taking a passage to India: Virgin comics goes East"] . Accessed February 6, 2008] The companies are based in Bangalore, India, with the comics arm having its headquarters in New York. [ [http://www.newsarama.com/virgincomics/virgincomics.htm BRANSON ENTERS COMICS WITH VIRGIN COMICS, VIRGIN ANIMATION & Press Release] . Accessed February 6, 2008] Variety reported that Devarajan and Chopra planned to spend 2006 "staffing the Indian operation with approximately 150 people, most of them artists". [ [http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117935558.html?categoryid=21&cs=1&s=h&p=0 Gardner, Chris "Branson taking a passage to India: Virgin comics goes East"] . Accessed February 6, 2008]

Devarajan, who continues to operate Gotham Entertainment as a separate entity, stated the aim of the Virgin imprint was to:

"create content that not only reaches a global audience but also helps start a creative renaissance in India." [ [http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117935558.html?categoryid=21&cs=1&s=h&p=0 Gardner, Chris "Branson taking a passage to India: Virgin comics goes East"] . Accessed February 6, 2008]

Focusing on Asia "as an area to inspire and create content and drive revenue... to reach a global audience", the two arms allow for properties to be translated into "full media properties across a wide line of products and media outlets". [ [http://www.newsarama.com/virgincomics/virgincomics.htm Matt Brady "BRANSON ENTERS COMICS WITH VIRGIN COMICS, VIRGIN ANIMATION"] . Accessed February 6, 2008]

The companies' Press Release qualified this focus, writing:"The Company believes that in the next decade, Asia will become one of the largest producers, as well as the largest consumers, of entertainment products. Virgin Comics intends to look to Asia, and India in particular, as both a growing market for consumers of entertainment products and also a source for unique, innovative content to be brought to the world in comics and licensing into movies, animation, toys, video games and consumer products...

This partnership brings Virgin, one of the world's leading youth lifestyle brands, into the areas of comics and animation for the first time. Virgin Founder, Sir Richard Branson commented on the new partnership by saying, "India is an incredibly vibrant market which Virgin already, through Virgin Atlantic, has the pleasure of working in. Virgin Comics embodies all that Virgin stands for - innovation and launching, developing and opening up markets, for the benefit of the consumer - both at home and abroad... I am delighted that Virgin Comics, will not only help to launch the Indian comic market and spin it into the west, but will develop new and exciting talent - giving a whole generation of young, creative thinkers a voice." [ [http://www.newsarama.com/virgincomics/virgincomics.htm VIRGIN COMICS, VIRGIN ANIMATION Press Release] . Accessed February 6, 2008]

Adrian Sington, Executive Chairman of Virgin Books noted that "the market for comics and graphic novels worldwide is exploding... [partly due to] the emergence of comics out of Asia." [ [http://www.newsarama.com/virgincomics/virgincomics.htm VIRGIN COMICS, VIRGIN ANIMATION] (press release), Newsarama. Accessed February 6, 2008] Sharad Devarajan referred to the Japanese forms of Anime and Manga, stressing their impact on world media, and outlining Virgin Comics' "mission... to spark a creative renaissance in India, reinventing Indian character entertainment and permeating this new style and vision throughout the globe... launching a new wave of characters that simultaneously appeal to audiences from Boston to Beijing to Bangalore." [ [http://www.newsarama.com/virgincomics/virgincomics.htm VIRGIN COMICS, VIRGIN ANIMATION Press Release] . Accessed February 6, 2008]

Virgin Comics' "Vision"

Virgin Comics claims a two-fold vision:

# The creation of original stories and character properties that tap into the vast library of mythology and re-invent the rich indigenous narratives of Asia in a unique, compelling, and entertaining way.
# Collaborating with creative talent from around the world – from filmmakers, to writers, to musicians, and other artists – to craft original stories and character properties initially in the form of comics and graphic novels subsequently to be developed into films, television, animation, gaming, wireless content, online, merchandise and more.

Envisioned as a creative exchange, Virgin Comics and Virgin Animation leads the transition of India as an outsource to a source of innovative and dynamic creations and creators. With an eye on the rapidly evolving entertainment market (550 million kids under the age of 20 in the next 10 years in India alone), Virgin Comics seeks to create properties infused with a mythic sensibility that resonate with readers and audiences around the world.

Restructuring

On August 26, 2008, it was reported that Virgin Comics has shut down its New York office. A statement released by CEO Sharad Devarajan confirmed closure of the New York office, but indicated that the company would be restructuring and relocating to Los Angeles. Devarajan said that further information would be released later. Gotham Entertainment will be unaffected by this change. According to sources, Virgin will continue to own the rights for the properties which it published. [cite web |url=http://www.newsarama.com/comics/080826-VirginCLoses.html |title=Virgin Comics Shuts Down New York Office |accessdate=2008-08-26 |work=Newsarama |date=2008-08-26 ]

Management buyout and renaming

On September 24, 2008, it was announced that Virgin Comics changed its name to Liquid Comics after a management buyout. [ [http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117992793.html?categoryid=18&cs=1 Variety] on the end of Virgin Comics and the start of Liquid Comics]

Comic lines

Virgin Comics' initial lines were their flagship Shakti line, the Maverick (later Voices) line and the Director's Cut imprint. Although the first title, scheduled to debut mid-2006, was meant to be the first "Director's Cut" title, by John Woo, it in fact was the second "Director's Cut" comic, and Virgin's fifth overall when it debuted in October.

hakti

The Shakti line ("Shakti" means "power" in Sanskrit) feature Indian mytholgy, art, history, classical stories, and other related themes, often with a modern twist. It's debut titles - two of the first three to see print from Virgin Comics - were "Devi" and "The Sadhu". [ [http://www.comicworldnews.com/cgi-bin/index.cgi?column=headlines&page=1189 "Bring On the Virgins"] . Accessed February 6, 2008] "Devi" was written by Siddharth Kotain, and featured "a modern take on a very ancient myth", in which title character Devi becomes a "warrior of the light" after the pantheon of gods re-birth her in response to the "the rapid decay of the city of Sitapur" caused by "fearsome renegade god Bala." [ [http://www.comicworldnews.com/cgi-bin/index.cgi?column=headlines&page=1189 "Bring On the Virgins"] . Accessed February 6, 2008] "The Sadhu", written by Gotham Chopra himself, is a story of revenge, from an individual who "was once a "Sadhu" – what, in the East, they call mystics." [ [http://www.comicworldnews.com/cgi-bin/index.cgi?column=headlines&page=1189 "Bring On the Virgins"] . Accessed February 6, 2008]

hakti titles

*Devi
*The Sadhu
*Ramayan 3392 A.D.
*The Tall Tales of Vishnu Sharma
*The Asura Analogues
*The Master Blaster
*Project Kalki
*Beyond
*
*Buddha
*Priyanka Chopra comic
*Mumbai Macguffin
* Jimmy Zhingchak - Agent of D.I.S.C.O.

Director's Cut

to be made into a motion picture, set to start filming sometime in 2009. fact|date=September 2008

Virgin Comics' initial comments stated that the aim was "to launch comic titles in collaboration with iconic film-makers", with "Woo’s Seven Brothers [originally listed as] the debut comic of the Director’s Cut line". [ [http://www.comicbookresources.com/news/newsitem.cgi?id=7815 Weiland, Jonah, "JOHN WOO AND GARTH ENNIS CREATE NEW PROPERTY FOR VIRGIN COMICS" July 13, 2006] . Accessed February 6, 2008] In fact, the first "Director's Cut" comic, and Virgin Comics' second overall was "Snakewoman", from Shekhar Kapur and artist Zeb Wells. It revolves around 25-year-old Jessica Peterson, a Los Angeles-based woman with the tagline: "STUDENT…WAITRESS…MASS-MURDERER." [ [http://www.comicworldnews.com/cgi-bin/index.cgi?column=headlines&page=1189 "Bring On the Virgins"] . Accessed February 6, 2008]

Virgin's highest-profile comic in the west, and the one announced before any other, became the company's fifth release in October, 2006. John Woo's "Seven Brothers" was a Chinese folklore idea was expanded by "Preacher", "Hitman" and "Punisher" author Garth Ennis into "a modern, global story," in a manner that is "clearly a brother to the film medium," said Woo. [ [http://www.comicbookresources.com/news/newsitem.cgi?id=7815 Weiland, Jonah, "JOHN WOO AND GARTH ENNIS CREATE NEW PROPERTY FOR VIRGIN COMICS" July 13, 2006] . Accessed February 6, 2008] John Woo described his experience "working in comics [as] quite comfortable", since "it's like the ultimate storyboard". [ [http://www.comicbookresources.com/news/newsitem.cgi?id=7815 Weiland, Jonah, "JOHN WOO AND GARTH ENNIS CREATE NEW PROPERTY FOR VIRGIN COMICS" July 13, 2006] . Accessed February 6, 2008] Ennis described the manner in which he became involved as remarkably straightforward. Indeed, in his own words: "All they had to say was ‘John Woo’ and I was sold instantly." [ [http://www.comicbookresources.com/news/newsitem.cgi?id=7815 Weiland, Jonah, "JOHN WOO AND GARTH ENNIS CREATE NEW PROPERTY FOR VIRGIN COMICS" July 13, 2006] . Accessed February 6, 2008] The covers were by Yoshitaka Amano, with Greg Horn producing a variant for #1.

Director's Cut titles

*"Dock Walloper" (Edward Burns project)
*"Guy Ritchie's Gamekeeper" (Guy Ritchie project}
*"The Megas" (Jonathan Mostow project)
*"Seven Brothers" (John Woo project)
*"Snakewoman" (Shekhar Kapur project)

Voices

The Voices line (formerly known as the "Maverick" line) is intended to feature new talent, as well as presenting comics by actors and musicians. The lines first release was in December, 2006, and written by Eurythmics frontman Dave Stewart. "Dave Stewart's Walk In #1" was loosely based on "Stewart’s real-life experiences as a young man doing stage shows as "Memory Man" and – during this time of his life – suffering from odd moments of memory loss himself". [ [http://www.brokenfrontier.com/reviews/details.php?id=1165 Review of "Dave Stewart's Walk In #1" at Broken Frontier] . Accessed February 6, 2008] It was scripted and expanded by Jeff Parker, author of the acclaimed comic Interman.

Voices titles

*Walk-In (David A. Stewart project)
*Voodoo Child (Nicolas Cage project)
*The Stranded (joint venture with the Sci-Fi Channel)
*Masked Magician (based on the character from )
*Shadow Hunter (Jenna Jameson project)
*Zombie Broadway (David A. Stewart project)
*Nowhere Man (Hugh Jackman project) [ [http://forum.newsarama.com/showthread.php?t=151295 Hugh Jackman to Create Comic Book Property for Virgin] , press release, Newsarama, March 25, 2008]

Other

Additionally, "the company will tap into innovative creators in comics, film and entertainment from around the world." [ [http://www.newsarama.com/virgincomics/virgincomics.htm VIRGIN COMICS, VIRGIN ANIMATION Press Release] . Accessed February 6, 2008] Virgin Comics animators have worked on graphic novels, and the venture is linked to Virgin Animation.

One such graphic novel is the upcoming children's environmental book The Econauts.

At the NYCC it was revealed Grant Morrison would working with Virgin Comics to produce "webisodes" (short animated stories) based on the Mahābhārata, he said it wouldn't be a direct translation but "Like the Beatles took Indian music and tried to make psychedelic sounds…I'm trying to convert Indian storytelling to a western style for people raised on movies, comics, and video games." [ [http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=16079 NYCC: Virgin Comics Announces Grant Morrison Webisodes] , Comic Book Resources, April 18, 2008] It was also announced that Stan Lee will create a new superhero team to appear in a new Virgin title, the details of which were being kept secret for the moment. [ [http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/la-et-virgin19apr19,1,7072456.story Stan Lee to oversee Virgin Comics' superheroes] , "LA Times", April 19, 2008]

Virgin also started Coalition Comix on MySpace [myspace|coalitioncomix|Coalition Comix] , where users could suggest ideas for a comic which would then get made. The first one was "Queen's Rook", written by Mike Carey. [ [http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=16337 Mike Carey talks Virgin & MySpace's Coalition Comix] , Comic Book Resources, May 8, 2008]

Novel art

*Kama Sutra
*The Life of Buddha

Comics creators

Virgin Comics' creators include:

*Jenna Jameson
*John Woo
*Nicolas Cage
*Garth Ennis
*Alex Ross
*Guy Ritchie
*Shekhar Kapur
*Deepak Chopra
*Gotham Chopra
*Samit Basu
*Dave Stewart
*Andy Diggle
*Mike Carey
*Saurav Mohapatra
*Shamik Dasgupta
*Terry Gilliam
*Edward Burns
*Duran Duran

Television

Virgin Comics will be co-producing a number of TV series with the Sci-Fi Channel and the first will be "The Stranded", written by Mike Carey. [ [http://forum.newsarama.com/showthread.php?t=132255 The Virgin Days Of Mike Carey - Talking "The Stranded" And "Voodoo Child"] , Newsarama, October 9, 2007]

ee also

*Indian comics
*Gotham comics
*Raj comics
*Indrajal comics
*Amar Chitra Katha
*India Book House

References

External links

*official|http://www.virgincomics.com
*MySpace|virgincomics|Virgin Comics
* [http://www.gothamcomics.com Gotham Comics]
* [http://comics.ign.com/articles/712/712865p1.html Virgin Comics #0 - Devi and Ramayana Reborn] The entire preview issue of Virgin Comics #0
* [http://www.virgincomics.com/gallery.html VirginComics.com Gallery] - An art gallery featuring lots of artwork from upcoming comics

Interviews

* [http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=6176 The New Frontier: Gotham Chopra Talks Virgin Comics] , Comic Book Resources, January 8, 2006
* [http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=6188 Eastern Philosophy: Deepak Chopra Talks Virgin Comics] , Comic Book Resources, January 12, 2006
* [http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117960061.html?categoryid=14&cs=1 SciFi Channel, Virgin Comics Pact] , "Variety", February 5, 2007


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