Mulmino Cover Its a little known fact that concepts such as scud-missiles, test-tube babies, and airplanes, all derive from ancient Indian culture. Yeah. I'm not baking your Korma, pal. If you don't believe me, why don't you check out this interview I did with my great new pal, Rajesh, whilst we were firing a scud-missile at an airplane full of test-tube babies.

1) What are your own origins, Rajesh? Plus what path did you take in life prior to getting to where you are today?   Now that is an interesting question. I was born and brought up in the south-west region of India, in a pragmatic society with a lot of conventional values and wisdom. Interestingly, even within their pragmatism, there are a lot of mythical beliefs and worships which are related with Hinduism.

You may know, the religion, Hinduism, consists of many epics. My grandparents taught me in my childhood that many a scientific innovation in the world is inspired by these epics. To illustrate this point, they gave many examples like Scud-missiles, test-tube babies, airplane, etc. They strongly believed that the scientific community has borrowed those concepts from two major epics of ancient India -- Mahabharata and Ramayana. They told me that present day missiles are the modern day version of the different variety of arrows used by Gods in their battlefields against enemies. Also, they told me that the character Dussala, based on Mahabharata, was born through the Vitro Fertilization (IVF) process. Airplanes, on the other hand, was the vehicle of Ravana (the antagonist in Ramayana).

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In my school days, I used to imagine about many weird characters, specifically when I go for open defecation in the rice fields, and in the bushy banks of narrow streams. When I learnt English a little bit, I started to see Hollywood movies. In our place then there was a common belief that all English movies are porn movies. During the 1980's and 1990's, our movie houses were interested only in showing English porn movies. Indeed, they would show the wall-poster of popular Hollywood movies to the public, but when we go into the theater, they would insert porn bits. This gave me a bad impression that all Hollywood movies are X rated. So I missed the great opportunity of seeing fantasy and comic movies, even if I had strong yearning for such genre. Also, I would say, our comic books are so dry in terms of imagination since they focus on realism, except in epics based one.

When I started to mingle with urbanized society in India, especially people from metropolitan cities like Bangalore, Madras, Bombay, I understood that Hollywood is a different world than what I assumed in my school days, and there is a vacuum for think ‘abnormally’. Then onwards, I started to observe comic characters like Superman, Spiderman, Batman, etc, and understood the scope of their economic values. I had then a strong urge to create a unique fictional character to catch the attention of the global community, and initiated an in-depth research on this matter since 2005.

But, unfortunately, as my profession is economic research and analytics, I never got any opportunity and motivation to develop it for a long time. It is because most of my friends then were ‘boring pragmatic economists’. In fact, I didn't have much friends to discuss about my imagination, except a few girls who lend their ears to listen to my nonsense without understanding anything on what I say.

In 2010, after completing my M.Phil in applied economics, till the end of 2011, I had some sufficient time to mature my thoughts on the character ‘Mulmino’, due to my no-job situation. I hired a local graphic designer to draw the visuals of ‘Mulmino’ as per my minute level descriptions.

Bollywood ActressDuring this period, I researched and analyzed the economic value of major comic characters around the world. Being a professional economist, it was an easy task for me! After a few months due to financial constraints, I stopped everything and went back to some consultancy work.

2) How did your graphic novel, ‘Mulmino’, come about?   I developed the character ‘Mulmino’ with the aim of creating a 3D Hollywood movie and a game. The idea came into my mind after hearing the updates of the new version of the movie `Avatar’ (in my country, there was a rumor that even Cameron got the inspiration of Avatar characters from Indian epics, particularly the skin color tone of the characters. They say it was the color of Lord Krishna, and Lord Siva). But the basic concept about the lead character, ‘Mulmino’, was in my mind for the past 10 years.

When I started to learn more about the financial aspects of implementing the project in India, I understood it would be an unimaginable task. So I determined to implement the project in three different phases. In the first phase, I decided to diffuse the character of Mulmino in entertainment markets around the world. In fact, my basic idea was to take the concept to Hollywood studios, and their agents. For this, I decided to experiment a multi-dimensional diffusing method which I have learnt from economics of innovation to receive the attention of bigheads like James Cameron, Spielberg, etc, plus their major studios. For this purpose, I personally think a graphic novel would help me since it would act as an illustrated script. In other words, I am considering this graphic novel as an entry ticket to break all barriers to attain the second and third phase of the project – the movie and the game.

To overcome the financial constraints of phase one, I have launched a international ‘crowdfunding’ campaign on the Indiegogo platform, but I am having a difficult time on getting funds since I am from India.

3) In your own words how would you describe this story?   Firstly, I will explain about the Mulmino species. I think it would have much relevance in the phase-1 of the project. Furthermore, I would summarize the story of the first edition of the graphic novel in a few sentences.

Mulmino is a biologically fine engineered creature with a single head and many physiques. As we are aware, there are some mythical characters having single body and many heads (for example, Ravana, the antagonist in the Indian epic Ramayana). However, we cannot find any creatures with many bodies and a single head like Mulmino, anywhere in the mythology or in fiction. The first generation of Mulmino species, hypothetically, was born in 4376 AD. Mulmino will be the last creation of the God or the last species in the evolution cycle! Mulmino will be the most intelligent, rational, and powerful being on earth you have ever seen. It can live in land, water and sky. There are different kinds of Mulminos in terms of number of bodies. The number of bodies for a Mulmino may vary from ‘two’ to ‘n’.

In 6000 A.D, two alien races would attack the earth jointly. They kill millions of humans and other creatures using the advanced anti-gravitational engine Zero-G equipped exotic weapons. As per an agreement titled Huzaty-I, aliens ends their war in the earth. Then onwards the earth would be owned by a new race called Tyzahuman. How does Tyzhuman endanger Mulmino (Mulmino life effect), and what would be the consequences of it in the earth, that would be the story of the first edition of the proposed graphic novel.

4) What theme tune taken from popular culture would you assign to this book?   Of course, as I mentioned earlier, the basic inspiration of the theme came from epics of Hinduism. My childhood understanding about various creatures, which have illustrated in the epics like Mahabharata and Ramayana, helped me a lot to envisage about the character, ‘Mulmino’. The Chinese culture also stimulated me to epitomize the character as per my imagination. However, I understood the commercial possibilities of fantasy characters from Hollywood. If I have not come across American entertainment market, perhaps Mulmino would not have born.

The fantasy market culture of Hollywood is still strange to me, and I would like to explore it in-depth. Once I release the graphic novel globally, I hope I will get geographical and cultural pattern of my inspiration through analyzing certain market driven parameters. 

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5) If you could get a celebrity – either living or dead – to peddle your wares, whom would you choose, and why would you want to choose this particular person?   I have never thought of such a hypothetical matter. So it’s a difficult question to answer. However, I am very fond of James Cameron and Steven Spielberg and their creative style. I have great respect for their creativity and technical skill. If I get a chance to work with them to execute the project of ‘Mulmino’, I would be a blessed person.

6) What have you learnt about yourself through this endeavor?   I have learnt a lot from this endeavor from its conceptualization to it present. I understood about many do's and don'ts in exploring creative markets. I spent many months to research brand new names for my characters. I imposed two conditions on my mind regarding finding names for my characters. First, I determined to extract an easy remembering and novel name for my character. And secondly, I decided for all names I use in the graphic novel should have its own available internet domain name.

Fortunately, I succeeded in this matter. But it has taken a lot of energy from me.

The region where I currently live is an odd place to initiate these kinds of creative projects. It is because most of the people in my place belong to middle class economic stratum, and they are so realistic. And they have not much interest in comics, and related fantasy entertainments. But fortunately, things are looking up since the process of globalization, and the growth of information technology job based culture. 

People now have enhanced mobility you see, and moving around the world to execute their offshore works. So they get a global exposure to comic industry and science fictional entertainments. As an outcome of this exposure, they have started to show a little interest in comic and fantasy entertainments.

7) What were the main obstacles you had to contend with?   Funding is the major problem for me. I have started a ‘crowdfunding’ campaign on Indiegogo in January the 11th, 2014. Even though my campaign receives relatively good visits, still there is not a single penny of funding.

It seems that projects, which are listed from USA, get more attention than projects from other countries. In places like India, people are less interested in participating in ‘crowdfunding’, especially due to several technical and personal issues.

Technically, payment gateway is the problem. Only a few people in my region have credit cards to make their payments. Moreover, most of the crowd around me is financially incapable and unwilling to invest their money in this kind of initiatives. Another major obstacle is getting the support of skilled people in graphic design, and related areas.

8) If ‘Mulmino’ had a motto, what do you think it would be?   Apart from a comic character, Mulmino is a hypothetical future species. Therefore, the name and relevance of Mulmino should live until the end of the world. The specific motto of Mulmino is “THE GOD IS ECCENTRIC SO HE CREATES MULMINO AS THE LAST SPECIES”.

So there you have it, folks. My mate Rajesh and his great new project. Please feel free to check it out by visiting his main website, indiegogo campaign, and facebook page. Trust me, you'll be pretty damn impressed with what you'll see.