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Meet the Indian Batman - Anurag Halder

The other day I got to talking with a hobby artist, Anurag Halder who had turned up a very interesting Indian adaptation of DC characters. We talked about Marvel, DC, and the comics scene in India and this is what came up:

Q1. Do you have any artwork that's been published into a comic book?

Not really. But I was fortunate enough to work with Bakarmax on one of their comics Kalam

But that's about it. Here’s the link: Kalam

Bakarmax comic kalam by Anurag
Anurag's published comic

Q2. That's really cool! Can I know which character you drew in that?

Oh, it was the whole strip. The story and script was by Sumit Kumar

Q3. Oh, nice! did you get paid for this?

Nope, just a collaboration thing

Q4. What do you think of the current Indian Comics scene? My personal favorites were Amar Chitra Katha, Chacha Choudary, and so on.

Oh man, a lot of great work going on to be honest. Webcomics are on the rise. You can see amazing artists and storytellers in that format. In print, new publishers are emerging. Some of them have already made a name for themselves like Holy Cow productions.

Amazing artists are also getting in the scene who grew up on the same diet of Chacha Chaudhary and raj comics with a healthy exposure to western comic books as well.

So the current scene is definitely promising. Now's the greatest time to be a comic book fan.

The Indian Batman by Anurag Halder
The Indian Batman by Anurag Halder

Q5. I wonder how much of that is due to Marvel

My brother and I were talking about that a few days back. We both saw Avengers Endgame in theaters and we were saying how ecstatic the crowd was during the climax fight. Seeing that for a Hollywood film is a feat in itself. The MCU has been around for 10 years now and it has certainly helped in popularising superhero culture.

I mean, to have a foreign audience become so invested in your stories is a huge feat and the Marvel movies have made history in that regard. But to be really honest, I do think that a lot of Marvel movies have started to look and feel the same

The Indian Two face by Anurag Halder
The Indian Two face by Anurag Halder

Marvel heroes are mostly humans trying to be gods while DC heroes are generally gods trying to be human.

Q6. Is there money in Comics in India? What's your advice for aspiring graphic storytellers?

From what I've gathered it is surely a tough business. But there are people who are doing it with great passion and the general audience is also becoming more and more accepting of graphical storytelling as a medium.

The Indian Catwoman by Anurag Halder
The Indian Catwoman by Anurag Halder

Q7. So next question, what's your 9 to 5

Oh, I'm a UX designer at a small IT firm😊

Q8. Oh nice.... where are you based? Are you working from has it changed your work? Pros and cons of wfh for you?

Currently in Hyderabad. Been working from home since the lockdown started. Can't complain. It takes a bit of getting used to but overall it's okay.

Q9. What are you watching right now, and what services do you subscribe to?

Started watching Fargo's latest season. Subscriptions are the usual, Netflix, Amazon, and Hotstar.

Q10. Main reasons for getting those services? Why not Voot or Disney plus and others

Never thought they have better exclusive content😊

Thanos painting by Anurag
Thanos by Anurag

Q11. You mean the three you have the best content?

Exclusive content.

Q12. Also, top 5 streaming series ever, released exclusively on OTT according to you?

That's kind of tough. I liked House of cards initially, the marvel shows on Netflix were also great. Indian shows recently have been picking up some pace, Sacred games, patal lok and Harshad Mehta to name a few.

The Indian Poison Ivy by Anurag Halder
The Indian Poison Ivy by Anurag Halder

Q13. Do you think that made for TV content is dead?

The audience is still there, so it'll be some time before it's gonna be dead.

Q14. Top 5 OTT movies?

I always felt that OTT movies are much poorer than their series counterparts. I can't even think of a good OTT movie from Netflix. Most of them are pretty cookie-cutter. Even with good production values and a stellar cast like triple threat OTT movies feel pretty boring to me. The only good movie I can think of from Netflix right now is The Ritual. Same with Amazon.

Now that the pandemic is here and studios are forced to release their movies online, the case is slightly changing in my opinion. I'm looking forward to seeing WW84.

A cool Rick and Morty by Anurag
A cool Rick and Morty by Anurag

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Q15. How much of your art is inspired by Marvel. I know you're good at DC

I always liked DC and their stories. Even as a comic book fan I think Marvel is always bogged down by years of baggage and continuity. Which btw MCU is trying to emulate in the movies, to have a continuity in the stories. But after a certain time, it just gets exhausting. I find DC titles much easier to pick up. That isn't to say they do not have long-running continuity, but their stand-alone stories are much much more interesting.

Also, I've heard in a podcast somewhere that Marvel heroes are mostly humans trying to be gods while DC heroes are generally gods trying to be human. And on a personal note, I find the latter much more interesting.

Norrin Radd v Galactus
Norrin Radd v Galactus - My Fav

Q16. Which is the best artwork you've done to date/ which you're most proud of?

I like the poster of Tumbbad I did a few months back. Really liked how it turned out.

Anurag Halder's  Tum Badd poster
Anurag Halder's magnum opus

Q17. Do you listen to any podcasts regularly?

Don't get the time anymore. Used to listen to Bill Burr and Bobby Lee earlier.

You can get in touch with Anurag on Reddit or on Instagram.

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