When it’s all about comic books—an exclusive interview with Fenil Sherdiwala

August 2-2018
When it’s all about comic books—an exclusive interview with Fenil Sherdiwala

Given our love for comic books, there are a very few Indian comic book publishers who have produced remarkable work that the readers have truly enjoyed reading them. One such publisher, Fenil Comics, have developed various popular books based on superhero and superhuman genre. The brainchild of Fenil Sherdiwala, Fenil Comics believes in the principal of providing original content with quality prints. The same is applied in their upcoming comics that are highly anticipated as the story will be both gripping and empowering with beautiful artwork.

Since its inception in 2010, Fenil Comics has made a name for itself for its compelling creator-owned work. The founder took out some time to share some insights into Fenil Comics and its work:

Fenil Sherdiwala,

What was the inspiration behind your comic books? Are they all based on real-life characters?

It was when I was 12 that I started reading comic books. My parents used to buy me various comics and storybooks in those days. As the time passed, I became addicted to comic books. Even in my school days during those class lectures, I used to sketch and one day I created a sketch of a human robot which was inspired by Robocop. It was later on that I realised my first sketch would inspire a comic book character. I named him ‘Faulaad’ when I started working on the first comic for Fenil Comics. Soon enough, I wrote a story on the same character and illustrated 64 pages book. Since it was just the beginning, the work wasn’t as professional as required, but childish. Thus, with help from professionals, I created fresh designs and single-handedly created a whole new story for the character which was in no sense similar to the childhood version. From there, I created many more characters and launched Fenil Comics publication. All my characters are fantasy and none based on real-life characters.

Who are your core team members and their contribution to the comic books?

We are a team of four writers, three pencilers, three colourists, two proofreaders, and one Hindi to English translator. It has been because of their contributed efforts that we have become what we are today with a row of accomplishments and comic books in our name. Our future comics will also hold a great input from my trusted team.

What’s the genre of your comic books?

The genre of our comic books is superhero, vigilantes, superhuman and many more. We limit ourselves to certain genres due to the readability quotient. Since our fans love to read new stories and concepts in the superhero genre, we put our focus on delivering as per their interest.

Describe the process of making of the series at Fenil Comics?

It is the same process that we follow at Fenil Comics just as any other publication would do. First, the script is written followed by penciling, colouring, calligraphy, and proofreading. We approximately take four months for a comic book to complete.

 What were some of the challenges you faced when selling a comic book, and how did you overcome them?

The biggest challenge for all comic book publishers is the distribution of books. No one in India is able to overcome this problem successfully these days. Our distribution channels include our own online store and certain bookstands in North India and Mumbai. Soon, we are making the comic books available for our fans on Amazon online store.

How important was Taskara (2017) to Fenil Comics? What is the reach of the comic in India today?

Taskara is a graphic novel written by Kiriti Rambhatla and adopted by Sudeep Menon. Rambhatla also played the role of superhero Taskara in the movie. Later, he decided to launch Taskara graphic novel through Fenil Comics. We have big plans with Taskara we shall disclose soon. Taskara is a part of ‘Fenilverse’ (Fenil Comics Superhero Universe) which further is a part of ‘Universal Kings’ (similar to Marvel with Avengers, DC with Justice League.)Taskara will play a big role in ‘Universal Kings’, our upcoming comics.

Here’s an exclusive look into the newest superhero community, Universal Kings:

Universal Kings

Universal Kings

Are there any plans of transforming the comic books into animated series?

We are working on live-action projects of some characters these days, Vetaal and Jasoos Balram. Two more projects which are in pre-production work are Sannu Mannu and Crimefighter. We are not working on animated series at the moment, but if in future any animated studio shows their willingness to adapt our comic stories into a series, we shall definitely consider and act upon it.

What message do you wish to spread among the kids through these books and the titular characters?

Read more comics, save the comics industry. It is a sad truth that comic books are less read as compared to the gone years. But, with more readers, we can sustain and give extended life to the popular comic books in our country. If the Indian comics industry survives for the next 4-5 years, they will give strong competition to the foreign companies. We are no less than them when it is about content and quality.

When are your next comic books releasing? Any highlight of the same?

All I can say at the moment is that our next two comics will be released at the end of August 2018. Time will soon arrive when I will share insights into these comics with you through Animation Xpress. Stay tuned!

Fenil Comics

Fenil Comics

Besides the humour and fun, the comic books have also conveyed valuable messages to the readers through its superhuman and superhero characters. The comic books’ message is simple and the story is effective, and will continue to be so.