by Arjun Raj Gaind
Editor's Note: Under the reign of Queen Elizabeth, the Empress of Blood, the English Empire is stronger than ever. Thanks to the secret Aqua Vitae, a miracle potion the British Army has decimated Germany and Russia and all Europe is part of the Empire of Blood. But resistance brews stubbornly in one corner of the Empire where some Indians claim India belongs to the Indians. Thomas Lawrence is one the golden boys of the Empire, being raised to inherit its spoils. But he starts wondering about its moral foundations especially thanks to his feelings for Leela, an Indian girl in his house, the daughter of his housekeeper. This is an excerpt from Empire of Blood – a graphic novel by Arjun Raj Gaind (Westland/Graphic India). The art is by Enrique Alcatena who used to draw Batman and Hawkman for DC and Conan and Spiderman for Marvel and is an homage to comic books like Commando and Boy’s Own.
Note from Arjun Raj Gaind: The book began as a piece of revisionism based around a simple question - What if the sun had never set on the British Empire in India? Along the way, it turned into something much more, a sort of surreal satire of the class system in our country. In many ways, this brave new India we live in today is not unlike India at the heyday of the Raj - We have a parochial minority as the ruling elite and a disenfranchised majority as the underclass, in large part because of deeply entrenched social mores and fatalistic dogmas. I wanted to illustrate that dichotomy, and talk about how it would take not just a political revolution to change things palpably, but an intellectual one.
Updated Date: Jun 21, 2015 16:45:12 IST