Author-film director Shiv Panikker’s success mantras with his comic book ‘Gone Case’.

By Aryeman

About The Author - Shiv Panikker is a producer, director & screenwriter. Having graduated from the New York Film Academy, he moved to Mumbai to start off his career as an assistant director. Fortunately, he quickly started directing commercials and promos which eventually took him to Bangkok. While he was working there, he got the bug to write a realistic Indian comic book movie titled, Gone Case.

How long did it take to get your first novel / book published?

16 months ago, 'Gone Case' was developed as a feature film script for OTT platforms. Right after our first pitch we were told that the script is great but the film needed a few songs and a love story arc between the characters of 'Gone Case'.

As soon as we left the meeting, we knew that as outsiders in the industry, no matter how good the script, our story was never going to be told through our vision. That's when the artist (Karan Danda) and myself decided that we would still tell our story, but our way. Comic Books - that's how the idea of Gone Case as a graphic novel was born.

Do talk a brief about your achievements on the success of the comic book.

Gone Case was basically just an idea turned into a script. From a script, it was turned into a comic book. What we didn't expect was our trailer (which I edited using a few pages of the comic book and a wildly composed soundtrack) to go viral on Instagram. After the trailer hit 400K views, we debuted on the #1 hottest new releases list on Amazon. It's been a wild ride so far, but we're just two weeks into the release. 

The travails of finding the right publisher, some solutions. Click HERE to read.

What mistakes did you make with the publishing of your first book which you try not to repeat?
Well, I definitely learned a lot. Firstly we learned that tying up with a comic publication in India would mean not just sharing half the IP rights but also letting go of a lot of creative freedom on the story.

Secondly, I've learned that when sub-publishing a book, as the writer and creator of a comic, you need to be skilled and aware of every single technicality in the making of a comic. Right from the dimensions of the page, to what the DPI we need to colour and print the book, to the marketing and the international release, we've learned a lot.

Is there a modus operandi you follow and formulate before you actually start writing your next book?

Yes, I follow a filmmaking story-tellers style. With a beginning, a middle and an end. Sometimes I throw in a twist for good measure. I guess my writing style has been adapted from scripts and movies. 

Can you focus on working on two books or stories at the same time?

As a writer, whenever I get ideas for another project while working on one, I usually write them down in my notes. By the end of the first project, I invariably have ideas jotted down for the next one. Personally, I would prefer to fully work on one project at a time. 

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Will the Gone Case series continue?

I will definitely make sure that when Gone Case 2 comes out. We have one single launch date for the release for both national and international distribution. Right now we're still in the process of getting the paperback of Gone Case available internationally. Additionally with the printing and dimensions, it was a tad bit stressful as the printers and publishers weren’t sure about the specifications and technicalities as it was their first self-published comic book from India. 

Amazon Paperback (available only in India):
Amazon Kindle (worldwide):
Google Reads (worldwide):