We sat down with Sharad Devarajan and Gotham Chopra, the principal architects of the new Virgin Comics line, at the recent New York Comic-Con, to hear more about their upcoming releases and their plans for a global comics and animation brand (see 'Virgin Comics and Virgin Animation').  Deverajan, the CEO of Virgin Comics and Virgin Animation, is the founder of Gotham Comics, which packaged Spider-Man India and which licenses Marvel, DC, Dark Horse, and other titles for sale in India and Singapore.  Gotham Chopra will serve as Chief Creative Officer of both companies.


Four comic titles will be launched in the U.S. in July and August, three under the company's Shakti imprint, and one Director's Cut title.   All will be 32-page $2.99 comics with a 22-page main story and a 6-page back-up.  The stories will be written in five-issue arcs suitable for collection into trade paperbacks.


The Shakti (which means 'power') imprint will feature Indian content.  The first three Shakti titles will be Devi (created by filmmaker Shekhar Kapur), Ramayan Reborn, and The Sadhu.   


The Director's Cut imprint will be used by filmmakers to incubate new intellectual property.  The first Director's Cut title will be written by Zeb Wells with Kapur (Elizabeth, Four Feathers), and will feature a re-invented Snakewoman.


The previously announced John Woo Director's Cut title will be released in September.  In addition to these five titles, Virgin expects to announce one Maverick title and one additional Director's Cut title before the end of the year.  Maverick will feature creator-owned content by comic and non-comic creators. 


Distribution of the Virgin Comics titles in the States will be through Diamond to comic stores, in the Virgin Mega-stores, and on a limited basis to the two million-strong Indian expat community in the U.S.  


All of the four initial titles will be released in India simultaneously after their release in the States, first in English (there are 200 million English-speakers in India), and later in three additional languages.   With no significant indigenously produced comic properties at this time (and coming off a huge PR event with the Indian release of Spider-Man India), Virgin believes it can establish a significant presence for its Shakti titles in India.  Virgin also plans to deliver content promoting the company's brands to cell phone users in India to support its launch there. 


Virgin has also hired comic industry veteran Seymour Miles to help launch its comic line.  Miles will be working out of the company's newly established Manhattan offices.