The Indian comic culture has only just made a raving comeback from its fatal stint in the 90s and is already combatting frailties of the Indian social fabric. Parallel to that, the women brigade too is out deconstructing definitions of masculinity and finding their own voice! Some of these voices have manifested into the fantastic property of illustrated literature that we know as graphic novels or comic books. In sync with the Women’s Day theme, we hand pick a bunch of Indian books that feature head strong women characters…

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Priya’s Shakti

Ram Devineni and Vikas Menon’s words in synchrony with Dan Goldman’s art, together make Priya’s Shakti a compelling movement against patriarchy and the indifference against rape survivors. The plot is woven around Priya, a victim of rape and the social stigma and isolation resulting from it. An ardent devotee of Goddess Parvati, Priya teams up with her to fight against gender-based sexual violence in this augmented reality comic book.

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A gay graphic novel from India written by Amruta Patil, Kari is the the coming-of-age story of a bisexual girl. That’s way too many social norms broken all in one sentence, isn’t it? Oh well! An account of Kari’s life experiences through exploration of her mind and sexuality, the book with its illustrations gives Indian graphic scene a new direction.

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Shekhar Kapoor’s Devi in association with Virgin Comics is part of their debut Shakti line, which focuses on Indian settings. Devi a celestial warrior goddess, created by the gods to fight the renegade god Bala in the 2nd century is reborn in the body of a young woman named Tara Mehta. At present, Tara Mehta (who is yet unawakened) lives a posh lifestyle alongside her boyfriend (who owns ‘the Abyss’ night club). Torn between right and wrong, the rationale of the present and beliefs of the ancient past, Devi walks a thin and dangerous line.