If there is a type of book that any kid would have read the most, I guess it would be comics. Amar Chitra Katha, Tinkle, Batman, Archies and Peanuts are some that come immediately to mind. When a friend has an idea for a comic and it finds wings and becomes published, it’s a wonderful thing. To read it was wonderful too.
The comic is about a superstitious man by the name of Subbu, and one day, one very eventful day in his life. He is on his way to meet a publisher, and unwittingly gets into a school bus which has been hijacked by terrorists. How does that eventful day pan out? Read the book to find out.
I don’t quite know how to review a comic. It’s not the same as reviewing a novel. Did the story keep me interested? Yes, for the most part. I could know what was going to happen, and predictability does hamper the flow of any story. Was it humorous? Yes, for the most part. Perhaps knowing the author’s style and his fondness for Wodehouse helped in that too. There are memorable characters, the best of the lot being Mrs. Subbu. I liked that Subbu and his wife are complete opposites in character, and that she stood by Subbu when others were turning against him. The book also put in light vein, the tendency of society to act on an initial impression taking it to be true, without waiting to see if what was said was absolutely true. The illustrations are done nicely, and the cover as well. To take a common man into a comic, when superheroes and fantasy creations rule the roost in that genre was a novel idea. The main flipside of the book is that it is a bit predictable, and the sequence of the panels sometimes confuses. Maybe it is because the comic happens in two places/timelines that leads to this confusion.
Is it worth reading? Yes. It’s a one-time read that is good for a short journey. It’ll keep you interested.
Title: Subbu’s Code
Author: Balasubramaniam Meghanathan
Illustrator: Avisek Chowdhury
Price: Rs. 99
(30th October 2014)