Have-A-Peg Pete reviews Subbu’s Code

It’s hard to find indie stuff that really captures you. The big publishing houses have the resources to hire seasoned writers, professional and dedicated artists and the infrastructure to churn out quality material week after week. But once in a while, a couple of friends working out of a dingy basement will put out an issue that makes you go, hmmm… this is worth my patronage.

 

Unfortunately, B. Subramaniam and A. Chowdhury’s “Subbu’s Code” is not one of those comics.

Even from a casual reading it becomes fairly evident that the author needs to work on his narrative. While the jacket cover showed some signs of wit and humour and there were times when the dialogue actually bordered on clever political commentary, the overall script was hard to follow, and even harder to get interested in. It reads almost like a Suppandi tale – a bumbling hero somehow managing to get through a ridiculously implausible situation that he shouldn’t have been in anyway, but for happenstance. I know that not every comic has to be edgy or sharp or, hell, even make sense, but the flow of the story was just confusing at times and with the exception of a few lines of dialogue, uninteresting. I’m not saying this author couldn’t have done better, I think he just needs to find a better way of expressing his voice. And while he described himself as a student of Woodhouse, his rhetoric reminded me more of Douglas AdamsHitchhiker’s Guide

As for the artwork, it is amateurish. And that doesn’t need to be an insult. Not everyone has the time or privilege to work constantly on their form and improve, and as a self-taught illustrator (as the artist describes himself) he has potential. Hell, he is still fathoms better than I would be if I had attempted such a project. But I think that he should have worked on his material a little more before churning out a comic. Especially since they chose to go black and white. If you choose not to go with colour, you have to up your game with shading and line work to make the illustration pop.

It’s nice to see more people from India getting into the comic game. Even if you don’t necessarily make it, and few will (thus is the nature of the beast), you are laying the ground work for a generation of authors and artists to come. Having said that, this duo needs to work on their respective skills. There is potential here. But I’m afraid it wasn’t realized in the pages I read.

Though, I will give them a bump just for having the stones to follow their passion and put their work out for the harsh world, myself included, to see.

Score: 4/10

– Honest review straight from the honest Buccaneer!