Last night, a dozen men were brutally killed. The bodies bore marks made by sharp claws and teeth. Such mysterious crimes have been happening in the city. No one knows who is/are behind these atrocities. Some claim that they saw a nocturnal creature on the prowl but the description they provide is vague, and as such the entity is yet to be identified. Inspector CK Zaki, a special agent, is assigned to investigate the case. The case takes an unexpected turn when Zaki finds a small plastic pot near the creature's hideout.
What happens next?
To learn more, a reader needs to pick up the comic book titled “Denoyed”, published by Dhaka Comics at the Ekushey book fair. It is part of comic book series featuring CK Zaki as the protagonist.
Dhaka Comics -- founded in 2013 by cartoonist Mehedi Haque -- has a number of engrossing characters like CK Zaki who can draw in avid comic book lovers.
The series are written in Bangla, with authentic Bangladeshi setting and storylines.
“Comic books are a significant part of pop culture around the world. Readers belonging to all age groups love them. But when we create local characters, they become more readily relatable and readers feel more connected to them,” said Mehedi Haque.
The publication rates their comic books using the letters “T”, “M” and “E”. Books rated “T” are for teenage audience while “M” for matured and “E” for everyone.
Although readers of comic books are mainly teenagers, Dhaka Comics is planning to bring out more books for adult readers in the form of graphic novels. In 2018, the house published “Pancha Romancha”, a graphic novel by Qazi Anwar Hossain.
A total of 12 writers and artists work at the comic book house to produce characters. Their popular characters include Durjoy, Rishad, Rohan Rohan and CK Zaki.
Regarding challenges in the comic book industry of the country, Mehedi said there is no low-cost proper distribution channel for comic books, and paper used for the medium is very expensive.
“Our characters are ready but we need proper distribution channel and competitive pricing for paper in order to provide the readers with comic books at reasonable prices,” said the cartoonist.
Aside from the Dhaka Comics, there are stalls of Unmad and Panjeree Publications Ltd where local comic books are on display.
Panjeree is offering the popular series “Basic Ali” by Sharier Khan. The Unmad stall is featuring their magazines. A graphic novel series on Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, titled “Mujib”, from Centre for Research and Information Publication is also available at the fair.