Virgin Comics

Virgin Comics


Virgin Enterprises Limited Animation

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. On September 24, 2008, it was announced that Virgin Comics changed its name to Liquid Comics after a management buyout.



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. The companies seem to have 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. 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. The companies are based in Bangalore, India, with the comics arm having its headquarters in New York.[4] Variety reported that Devarajan and Chopra planned to spend 2006 "staffing the Indian operation with approximately 150 people, most of them artists".

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."

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".

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."

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." Sharad Devarajan referred to the Japanese forms of Anime and Manga, stressing their impact on world media, and outling 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."


At the San Diego Comic-Con, 2006, Deepak Chopra outlined his vision for Virgin Comics thus:
“ I have always felt that a culture is sustained and nurtured by its myths. Mythical themes influence our behavior and even our habits of consumption. Myth encapsulates the collective imagination, the collective dream, the collective aspirations of society. We are in need of new myths as we move into a global culture. The super heroes of tomorrow will be cross-cultural and transcend nationalistic boundaries. They will provide the raw material for a new imagination that will take us across the seas of space, time and beyond. I am excited about participating in the creative aspects of the comic project because I see an opportunity to bring to our society a message that goes beyond the narrow boundaries of nationalism, and invites them to a domain of awareness where we experience our universality and hopefully, go beyond racism, ethnocentrism, bigotry, prejudice, and hatred. The new super heroes will be hybrids of all cultures helping us dream infinite possibilities and actualize our highest potential.”

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.


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. 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."

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."

Shakti titles

* Devi
* The Sadhu
* Ramayan 3392 A.D.
* End of Story
* The Asura Analogues
* The Master Blaster

[edit] Director's Cut
7 Brothers #1Art by Yoshitaka Amano
7 Brothers #1
Art by Yoshitaka Amano

The Director's Cut line is designed to showcase the work of film directors, and effectively give them an unlimited budget to create works that might be more difficult to realise on screen. It sees directors such as Shekhar Kapur, Guy Ritchie and John Woo creating comics, and is rumoured to include the legendary Terry Gilliam at some point in the future. Gilliam's reputed interest (and that of the other directors) is said to be in part due to the comics' ability to "provoke new Hollywood interest in old ideas and, if nothing else, give the audience a glimpse of what [was] intended" in a potential film version.

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".In fact, the first "Director's Cut" comic, and Virgin Comics' second overall was Snakewoman, from Shekhar Kapur and artist Zeb Wells. It revoles around 25-year-old Jessica Peterson, a Los Angeles-based woman with the tagline: "STUDENT…WAITRESS…MASS-MURDERER."

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. John Woo described his experience "working in comics [as] quite comfortable", since "it's like the ultimate storyboard". 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."

The covers were by Yoshitaka Amano, with Greg Horn producing a variant for #1.

Director's Cut titles

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


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". It was scripted and expanded by Jeff Parker, author of the acclaimed comic Interman.

Voices titles

* Walk-In
* Voodoo Child
* The Stranded
* Masked Magician
* Jenna Jameson's Shadow Hunter (comic)


Additionally, "the company will tap into innovative creators in comics, film and entertainment from around the world." Virgin Comics animators have worked on graphic novels, and the venture is linked to Virgin Animation.

Novel art

* Kama Sutra
* The Life of Buddha

Comics creators

Virgin Comics' creators include:

* Jenna Jameson
* John Woo
* Nicholas 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


Virgin Comics will also be co-producing a number of TV series with the Sci-Fi Channel and the first will be The Stranded, written by Mike Carey. (Credit: Wikipedia).




Gotham Chopra, Virgin Comics Chief Creative Officer



The Master Blastesr
Cricket Star Sachin Tendulkar featured in new super hero comic
(Credit: Asian American Press)

BANGALORE, India (March 15, 2007) – Legendary cricketer, Sachin Tendulkar and Total Multimedia Limited announced that they are teaming up with Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Comics to create a new superhero character, Sachin Tendulkar’s The Master Blaster, for comic books, animation and games.

Sachin Tendulkar is one India’s great sports heroes. In a country obsessed with cricket, Sachin personifies the dreams and aspirations of every Indian, young and old. In an outstanding career, he has spent more of his life on the field, shouldering the dreams and expectations of fans. He has come to be more than just a sportsman to the Indian people, he is a leader, a role model, a source of inspiration and hope, and a friend to the nation. In this new venture, Sachin hopes to bring more excitement and joy to Indian children.

“This relationship with Sachin Tendulkar and Total Multimedia Limited, launches an important step for Virgin Comics as we continue to pioneer a new character entertainment industry for India,” said Virgin Comics CEO, Sharad Devarajan. “Sachin is a living legend and the perfect choice to be immortalized as a new superhero character that will exist for generations to come.”

“When two powerful brands like Virgin and Tendulkar collide, an iconic hero like Master Blaster is the result,” commented Gotham Chopra, Virgin Comics Chief Creative Officer, "Sachin's unparalleled skill on the cricket field and his dynamic personality off of it make for the raw elements of a great hero that will inspire kids all across the planet."

“As we continue to expand our animation facilities in Mumbai and London, we are proud to partner with Virgin Comics to create this exciting new character and story that will surely live beyond the pages of the comic book,” added Arif Morbiwalla, Founder of Total Multimedia Limited. Total Multimedia Limited is part of the Lamu Entertainment Group.

Acclaimed filmmaker and Virgin Comics Co-Founder, Shekhar Kapur added, "What more can I say about Sachin Tendulkar but that I am an adoring fan. My respect for him goes far beyond the game of cricket. I am so excited to be associated with him in any way. I know that the ‘Master Blaster’ superhero will be an exciting, educational and uplifting entertainment character for kids of all ages.”

Tendulkar added, "I am thrilled to be working with the talented creators at Virgin on the Master Blaster character. We have been working with Arif and the team at Total Multimedia over the last couple of years to develop projects in animation and gaming and the combined forces of Virgin will take this project to another level."

"Sachin’s success in cricket is legendary and we are delighted to collaborate with him to create this exciting new superhero for India," added Sir Richard Branson.

The first Master Blaster comic book is expected to hit newsstands later this year.

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Media Man Australia does not represent Virgin Comics or Total Multimedia Limited