Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Virgin is dead, Long live the Virgin

A few years back (2006) someone had a good idea. The mythic figures and ideas that existed in the culture of India seemed ready made for adaptation to comics. Since this website considers all aspects of popular culture, the example of Virgin Comics is vital. You see, the American direct comic market is insular, xenophobic, and slowly being strangled by publishers trying to squeeze the very last dime from the same customers.

Virgin Comics tried to expand the market, tried to do so using unfamiliar figures, but focusing upon templates that Americans could understand, and did so with a talented group of creators. But readers vote with dollars...

The Devi was a warrior figure, involved in intrigue, given a portion of the divine figure's powers, to stop an enemy of the Gods. She was beautiful, and very able to bring the battle to the enemy.

Snake Woman was a figure from myth who was able, in times of stress, and hunt, to transform from human form to that of a snake. In the comics, she is a young woman in Los Angeles, who is both killer, and vigilante.

The Sadhu was a being of infinite lives, wisdom and strength. He stood astride the generations, and his goal, whatever else is going on, is to sever his connections with the past, and become timeless in wisdom and mental power.

Ramayan 3392 A.D. was the title that showed the flexibility of the stories, and the epic power available for adaptation. The post apocalyptic world had seen nuclear wars, drought, famine, plague, and the Gods fought over the future of the world.

And now, Virgin Comics is gone. But, you can find much of their product, including TPBs, single issues and more, on Amazon.com, and a wide variety of comic stores, and used book stores. Why should you? Because whatever their level of success, and market entry, the work was good, different, and worth your time.

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