A graphic novel "Don: The Origin" narrating the genesis and story of "Don" and "Don 2" starring Shah Rukh Khan, is expected to draw new segments of younger audiences to reading -- at a time when cinema is pushing books to the edge.
The novel, conceived and scripted by director Farhan Akhtar of "Don" (2006) and its sequel "Don 2" which is set to release Friday, has been published by Om Books. The bilingual graphic books coinciding with the release of "Don 2" -- a dark crime thriller with Shah Rukh as the anti-hero -- was unveiled by the cast and crew of the movie in the capital this week.
"A lot of people like reading comics during short breaks and in their cars. This ("Don: The Origin") is the first one in a series of comics that will narrate the making of popular and new movies. We will extend the series," Ajay Mago, the publisher of Om Books, told IANS.
"The graphic books were Farhan's idea and he approached us with it, followed by the Excel (Excel Entertainment) guys later. We had earlier published Shah Rukh's biography," Mago said. The publisher said he was in touch with various filmmakers for more "film-related graphic novel projects".
The slim volume begins with the origin of Don in present-day Sicily. Don's "mentor" tries to blow up his car - but Don survives and returns to gun down his mentor... and don his boots. It is the beginning of Don's journey into the heart of the underworld.
For Farhan, who has loved comic books all his life, "it is a dream come true". "... To think that a character that I have loved so much has been made into a comic," he said. Mago said he was inspired to create the series by the comic books about the making of "Mission: Impossible" in the US and on the movie "Inception" (in 2010).
As a prequel to the movie "Inception", Warner Bros released a 35-page comic book, "Inception: The Cobol Job", about the movie by Jordan Goldberg.
"We had brought 60 copies of the "Mission: Impossible" book - an animation series about the day-to-day shoot of the movie - and they were sold out in three days," Mago said. The "Mission: Impossible" graphic novel generated readers' interest in India because of the movie "Mission Impossible 4" starring Tom Cruise which was released recently, the publisher of Om Books said.
In 1996, Paramount Comics, a former comic book imprint of Marvel Comics, bagged the rights to publish comic books on "Mission: Impossible" and "Star Trek". Paramount Comics published a prequel to the first "Mission: Impossible" movie. It was the second comic book version of the "Mission: Impossible".
The first comic book series in five volumes based on the original American television series "Mission: Impossible", starring Peter Graves in the 1960s, was published by Dell Books.
A pitch made for a comic book on "Sholay" failed to take off this year while Satyajit Ray's "Feluda" detective novels - which were adapted into movies - were made into a series of graphic novels by Penguin India in the last two years. "In the US, the movie comic book is very common," Mago said.
On the other hand, the list of movies inspired by popular comic book is long. They include iconic superheroes like Spiderman, Superman, Batman, Dracula, X-Men and more recently, the animation movie, "Tintin and the Secrets of the Unicorn" by Steven Spielberg.