STORY – 7.5/10
2 millennia ago, the sage Vishnu Sharma created the Panchatantra, a 5 part series of fables to guide the princes of Mahilaropya through the convoluted paths of political strategy. The fables of the Panchatantra have traveled all over the world and have been retold under various guises. They’re still popular children’s stories in India today, and probably the most easily recognizable of all Indian fables.
Cut to the present, where the characters from the stories of Panchatantra face an extinction level threat from Talecorps run by the main villain of the story, Professor Shadow, or so it seems apparently. Now the fate of the fables lie on the shoulder of a descendant of Vishnusharma, will he be able to save the tales of Panchatantra from the silverfishes of Talecorps? Or is it too late? Can he fill in the boots of his grandfather (who was also a protector of the Panchatantra) and make him proud or will he run away from his responsibilities? Whatever happens, one thing is for sure, nobody can be trusted!
The pacing of the story is very unstable. The start was perfect, the plot progression and development after the beginning felt a bit slow paced and the last couple of pages just concluded this story arc abruptly. Although the story is far from finished, still, the sudden peak in pace of the story towards the end will disappoint the readers a bit.
The story is captivating. The way the world of Panchatantra is explored and juggled with is very creative. The writer has opened up endless possibilities with his retelling and reimagination of the fable. The side characters Leo, Nandi, Bandra & Jack are extremely intriguing too. This is one interesting and gripping tale you can’t miss. A solid desi Zumanji vibe is also radiated from the story in the beginning that you’ll definitely love. The mid-act got a bit boring but the pace picked up pretty fast towards the end. The frequent plot twists and revelations will keep you engaged.
Don’t judge the book by its title only. I too thought it to be the same old stories of panchatantra in a sequential art format but I must say, I was pleasantly surprised. The Vishnu Sharma mentioned in the title (who’s the protagonist of the plot), and the Vishu Sharma (the sage who wrote Panchatantra), are definitely not the same. I was literally filled with awe after reading the first chapter. The concept felt so amazing. If anyone fails to grasp the prospect of the plot in the beginning, then there’s no need to worry, because there’s a detailed sequence in the middle of the book, where Professor Shadow explains a lot of stuffs to Vishnu and also answers many questions of the readers as well. And what’s more commendable is the fact that the readers receive a new perspective of the fables/fairytales/folktales around the world and how they impact us and shape our thought process. Although the plot initially seemed very promising, and will even spike up your expectations in the middle as well, but the end of the books suggests that, all the reading we have been doing so far, all the guesses, how things will turn out, are in vain, because so far, this whole book was just a build up for what’s about to come in the next volume. And that my friends, did leave a negative impact and ruined almost all the fun I was having while reading it. Ending matters a lot and nailing it is not an easy job.
DIALOGUES – 8.5/10
The dialogues for the most part was pretty decent. In the middle, there was a bit too much explanation and narration going on. But overall, it was lucid and fun. The banter between the side characters were thoroughly enjoyable.
ARTWORK & COLORING – 9/10
This is something to be appreciated a lot. The art style was a bit cartoony and that went excellently with the plot. The character designs were perfect. The coloring could not have been any better. The artwork was a complete package of sheer goodness.
- Sequential Artwork – 10
- Colors – 10
- Cover Art – 7
LETTERS & GRAPHIC DESIGN – 10/10
The panel layouts, page theme, speech bubble placements, narration box themes, fonts, and everything else fits brilliantly with the art and mood of the story. The level of professionalism and expertise in this aspect of the book was brilliant.
Script – Samit Basu
Art & Cover – Ashish Padlekar
Colors – Vishwanath Manokaran, Sesha Sainan Devarajan, Sundara Kannan, I. Jeyabalan
Letters – Nilesh S. Mahadik, Rakesh B. Mahadik, Nilesh P. Kuda ledu
Color Consultant – Laura Martin
Project Manager – Reuben Thomas
Assistant Editor – Sana Amanat
Editor – Mackenzie Cadenhead
- Publisher – Graphic India
- Language – English
- Cover – Paperback
- Page type – Glossy
- Pages – 128
- Dimensions – 20 x 14 x 4 cm
The Tall Tales of Vishnu Sharma - Panchatantra Review
Summary - The Tall Tales of Vishnu Sharma - Panchatantra
Some old stories never lose their bite… Something’s invading the stories of our childhood, leaving death and oblivion in its wake. Now, a motley crew of animal heroes from ancient Indian fables must unite to survive. But first, they must find the boy destined to save them, the chosen guardian of the Panchatantra. Thing is… Vishnu Sharma, who would be a boy-hero, is too busy playing in online tournaments to care about fighting storybook wars. But when a none-too-fictional talking lion, monkey, and bull arrive at his doorstep, Vishnu must choose between protecting the tales of the Panchatantra, or silently standing by as they disappear into the storybook history. With naughty boy wizards, cuddly anime-sociopaths, and a not-so-frightful King of the Jungle.