Speech Bubble Entertainment is an independent Indian publishing house committed to producing ground-breaking work in the graphic novel medium. Their first Flagship Character Taranath Tantrik has become very famous among comic book fans, in a very short period. Today we are happy to present Surojoy Bhowmik’s Interview, one of the founder of Speech Bubble Entertainment.
Hey Joy, first of all, thanks for your precious time, how are you?
Thanks Kishan, I am fine and doing well.
You live in UK, tell us how did the foundation of Speech Bubble Happen?
From my very childhood, have been continously fed on Phantom, amar chitra katha, tintin to name a few. I had access to some super libraries that stocked DC and Marvel in 70’s… so needless to say, became a comic book fan at a very early age. Work brought me to England 14 years ago and have been living here since but the dream of creating a comic book always remained within. I bounced the idea off a few fellow comic lovers, my closest friends and SBE was born. All my partners in the SBE venture are great comic fans and invest a lot of time in SBE taking care of the ground work. Internet has eased the dream of managing the business remotely…
Speech Bubble’s first character is Taranath Tantrik and it’s become very popular in short time, how it feels and please share some of your thoughts behind the character.
During one of my visits to India, I met Shamik in Mumbai and had a detailed conversation on a character that would appeal the mature readers. Both of us agreed on this character which would be essentially a paranormal investigator. Taranath Tantrik could have been named anything else, but as a tribute to the Late author Bibhuti Bhushan Bandopadhyay (we both are big fans), we decided to call him Taranath TNT in short. The stories have no connection to the original character created by Bibhuti babu. These are contemporary stories penned masterfully by Shamik, who needs no introduction. We were amazed at the kind of response that TNT 1-4 got across all reader base. Recently the Hindi version of the parts 1-2 has created a deep interest in Hindi readers too, which is quite pleasing. We are planning on the next book which comes out by end of this year and shall be available in 2 parts.
We heard there are several partners in Speech Bubble Company, tell us more about them?
As mentioned before, some of us friends came together to form SBE, though the mantle of leading was donned by myself, each one has their job cut out and have worked equally and extremely hard to promote SBE. The partners: Soumendu Dasmunshi, Prabuddha Neogi and Nirakar Vaidya (from London) all have their day jobs and SBE for us is a passion area. Soumendu is a software engineer currently running his own company; Prabuddha – a journalist by profession and an emiment columnist and author and Nirakar is a financial consultant with a leading IT firm in London. He is also an investor in the company. Another notable individual at SBE is Sauvik Banerjje, who happens to be our marketing advisor, who also holds a leadership role in SAP. Based out of Mumbai, Sauvik has been instrumental in our appearances at comic cons, book fairs, cross promotions and all corporate communications.
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You hired Shamik for Taranath Tantrik, how’s experience with him, and how you pitched him?
Shamik became known to me through a common friend Santanu Ghosh, who is a comic expert and a publisher from Kolkata. I met up with Shamik in Mumbai and we struck a great rapport in our first meeting. It did not need much time to convince him to write something that he wanted to for a long time and I assured him of support from SBE… that was the beginning of our journey and touch wood have been doing well so far. He is a class act when it comes to authoring graphic novels and has a keen eye for detailing. The story it self has garnered rave reviews across India.
What fans can expect in coming year from Speech Bubble Entertainment?
We really do not want to restrict ourselves to horror or any particular genre, but entertain young and talented writers and artists from all over. Currently, apart from TNT, we are working on a detective duo Rik-Ved which we plan to launch in 2017. SBE also has a Graphic Art Coffee table book on Kolkata called Kolkata Kaleidoscope. We have plans to release one TNT book every year in the next 5 years. We are also toying with an idea in the super hero space for children below 15.
Taranath Tantrik all issue available at their ONLINE STORE.
What is the future of Indian Comics in coming years?
A lot has been said in this regard and I can only hope it is going to get bigger by the day. Graphic novels/comics are getting children and adults back into the reading habit and that is a welcome change.
Tell us about your personal life?
Like any other married Indian, I lead a very wife fearing life; have a little girl who is all of 3 and can tell Master Yoda from Hulk – the training has started from a very young age for my padawan. I run my own consulting business in UK and that is my day job. I also run a radio station in London which is another thing that I invest my time in.
What do you do when not working?
I have been performing as a vocalist for almost 25 years now and that what I do in my spare time, if I am left with any.
Any advice you want to give to your fans?
Keep Calm and read COMICS!