Sometime ago I came to know about introduction of a fictional character from the stories I read in my childhood, Umru Ayyar, in comic book. The team behind Kachee Goliyan was gearing up to introduce this old-time shady/assassin/greedy/wily person as a hero in the comic world, and that came out as a surprise to me. True, Umru Ayyar as a character presents a lot of interpretations and its stories give so many angles to work on that it is possible re-introduce him in a whole different package. Still, more strong characters like Ameer Hamza (to whom Umru played a role of adviser as well as guardian assassin) could have been used for the comic book.
Nevertheless, something is better than nothing and therefor when I was invited for the soft launch of Umru Ayyar I tried my best to take out time and attend it at the new acquired office space by the KG team.
When I reached there, at least 50 minutes late as per the invite time, the conversation was underway and I joined in with the group sitting with team as if I lost no time (probably they started very late as well). Ramish, Nofal and their team told us about their plans regarding Umru Ayyar Comic, why they chose that character, what they planned regarding publication, language of the comic (both Urdu and English) and answered quite a few questions (and insistence to eat donuts). They had pinned the comic on a board at one side of the room for easy viewing. Conceptual designs on Umru’s looks were also visible in the room and with a final word about the main launch on sunday, we left for our homes.
Today I attended the main launch of the comic book at T2F (visited this place for the first time, seems to be well established and coffee was good too) and bought both Urdu and English comics (total package cost Rs.400). The English comic is noticeably better in quality in terms of paper as well as visual colors but the rest is the same. The dialogues are not lost in translation (although there are minor grammatical errors in the Urdu version) and for both novels you would need to read from left to right even in the Urdu version.
The story is simple; Umru is contemplating retiring from his demon-hunting and mankind-saving adventure to settle down to a quite life, only to encounter a being from magical realm who offers reward if he agrees to meet his queen in a matter of life and death. Intrigued, Umru meets the queen and hears her story. He eventually agrees to help her by accepting her mission and set-off to a new adventure, one that is quite different from what he has done all his life.
The difference in Umru of comic era from the older days is that he will be more protagonist than usual. Previously Umru was known to be wily and would do anything for money, including murder. That put him in a grey area, neither evil nor good, just plain old greedy with too much intelligence and hidden weapons to kill human as well as non-human beings. This Umru would be the “good guy” who does more for the betterment of the people rather than serve his own ego and greed.
KG team also discussed, at both launches, what they plan to do in future that also includes introduction of a character known as Altamash. Their plan sounds good, let’s hope they succeed in their endeavors.