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India Currents gave me a voice in days I was very lost. Having my articles selected for publishing was very validating – Shailaja Dixit, Executive Director, Narika, Fremont
Asvin Srivatsangam is passionate about providing a window into Indian culture through comic books. He founded the comic book publishing house, Yali Dream Creations in 2013. His passion for this creative medium has enabled his audience to acquaint themselves with horror and fantasy novels like The Caravan, The Village, and Rakshak: A Hero Among Us.
Now, Amazon Prime Video is adapting The Village into India’s first-ever live-action adaptation of a graphic novel. As described by Srivatsangam, The Village easily becomes the “The Walking Dead of India” with its rich ties to India’s casteism issues, spiced with elements of “horror, action, and adventure” through a mutant-created world. Tamil actor Arya will take the lead role.
A Haunted Village
The story is set in 2023. A young doctor, Gautham Subramanian, and his family experience a car breakdown in a deserted village while traveling from Nagapattinam to Chennai. Unbeknownst to the doctor, the village is haunted by bloodthirsty ghosts.
The series will be directed by Milind Rau.
Inspired By Stephen King
The process of being able to brainstorm the character designs of the mutants in the graphic novel spoke the most to Srivatsangam in his efforts with this project. He found inspiration for this wonderful project through the series The Hills Have Eyes and Stephen King’s One for the Road.
The project overall helped Srivatsangam discover the endless possibilities available to him. “Post the completion of the graphic novel, no one would have imagined that five years down the line, we would have an Amazon series based on the original source material. Life is full of surprises.” He next hopes to create “a sequel or two.”
Cartoons And Comics
Srivatsangam’s love for comic books was nurtured early on in his life. He shares that he “grew up watching Hannah Barbera cartoons in Brazil, then Amar Chitra and Tinkle.” Other influences that contributed to his passion include Asterix, Tintin, DC, and Marvel comics. These fueled his interest in pursuing a career that revolved around the comic book industry. Comic books are “a great visual medium,” he says, providing a bridge between other platforms, such as movies and even video games, while offering a “diminutive version of the other mediums.”
Srivatsangam used the creation of Yali Dream Creations as an opportunity to focus on Indian-centric content that he enjoyed, while creating an avenue for publishing his work. He finds this process to add professional and personal value to his life. “Personally, it has been a source of joy, escapism from reality, and sometimes enlightenment,” he says.
Yali is a mythical creature seen in many Indian temples, often sculpted onto the pillars. This constituted a vital attraction to Srivatsangam for its “anamorphic and iconic nature.”
Yali’s Rakshak has been acquired by director Sanjay Gupta for a movie adaptation. And Srivatsangam is in early conversation with a studio for the adaptation of The Caravan.