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Graphic Novel Review


Author & Illustrator: Sharier Khan
Age rating: 16+

A handsome hero with a flying bike, a pesky-yet-strange sidekick, a heroine who doesn't have a clue in the world, a villain in a cape (and a wig), ugly aliens and lots of Bangla cinema plus Hollywood CGI style fighting - Panjeree Publications Ltd. brings us “Cube”, a pleasant treat from our very own Sharier Khan for this Boimela, 2011. The book is a graphic novel packed with colourful panels of sci-fi action, comedy, romance and perilous adventures of intergalactic proportions.

The story, as you can already guess, is about a cube. Well, quite a few of them actually. When in good hands, they can give a person some really cool superpowers. In wrong hands, however, they turn into a black hole and destroy the world. These cubes were created by aliens called Cuboids (No, they are not cube-shaped. Nothing even close to that) who want to take over our world. They create a Megacube somewhere in the wilderness of Chittagong Hill Tracts where they store all sorts of abducted organic life forms to run biological analyses on them. The story begins with one of their cubes getting stolen by Giththu, a mysterious young thief, who bumps into geologist Joy Ahmed who is - yes, you've guessed it - the hero of this story. Joy's body somehow absorbs this mystifying cube and he becomes super-strong. Meanwhile, Jamshed, an evil doctor and his deadly hoodlum group gets wind of this magic cube and captures Joy and Giththu. Joy wants to get rid of the cube, Jamshed wants to be master of all its power and Giththu wants to save his sister Ovo, a prisoner inside the Megacube. And all this time aliens are still trying to take over the world. You get the picture.

So this is it, the perilous tale of The Cube and all the mess it creates - will our hero stand a chance against the cube-aliens? What will happen to evil Jamshed and gang? And what secrets are Giththu and Ovo hiding? Find out about it all in the 112 page long graphic novel that is “Cube”.

Okay, I'll momentarily shut up with the 'graphic novel' stuff; it's a comic book, people! That too in Bangla. Which means loads of cool sound-effects like Dhirim, Thapash, Shai, Chhopash, Ttha ttha ttha ttha (gunshots, I kid you not) and the occasional 'Khaise' and 'Kaam sharse'. You can take this reviewer's word, it's really fun. And anyone familiar with Sharier's comic strips can easily imagine the level of hilarity involved. Heck, even stuff that are not supposed to be funny, are funny. The mighty aliens with their superpowers look like a bad case of 'octopus in goop'. Their sound effect in super-scary attack mode is Khaaaaaaaaaaaaaa. Their henchmen are the 'rubber snakes', the 'flying jellyfish' and the 'salamanders in jetpack'. The romantic relationship between Joy and Ovo borders on Bangla Cinema-corny, therefore funny (duh). And Dr. Jamshed and his two cronies- the three stooges- don't even get me started on them.

A little thing regarding the art, call it the habit of being too familiar with the author's works, but Joy looks a lot like Basic Ali… or Babu without the curls and the glasses. The story-telling style also probably needs a bit more care. It often gets difficult for the reader to grasp what's actually going on: Giththu keeps blabbing on about some intergalactic creatures and cubes and what not and Joy keeps scratching his head. So do the readers. The action-impact scenes are mostly very good to passable, but in places kind of childish and sketchy. The story is pretty brilliant, though it may sound a bit mixed-up and cliché. Some concepts are really cool, like the air-bikes and the hover-boards and the world inside the Megacube with alien life forms floating in weird liquid all around the place. But all in all, a little more polished art would have done the novel more justice.

The cover illustration and outward appearance of the book is pretty nice, though. It has a good print, it's shiny, it's colourful, it has aliens and people flying on the cover: It's what we like. Kudos to Panjeree Publications and the author for their hard work. Those of you who want to check it out, “Cube” can be found at Gyankosh and Panjeree bookstores at Tk120.

By Kokoro-chan

World Vision holds Nutrition Fair

Over the years numerous non-governmental organisations have played a significant role in instilling ideas regarding nutrition to the lesser privileged segment of the community.

Dhaka Shishu Area Development Program, World Vision Bangladesh arranged a Nutrition Fair on 24-25 February 2011 last at Begum Noorjahan Memorial Girls High School premises, a local school in Mohammadpur, Dhaka. Hundreds of members under nine cooperatives of World Vision Bangladesh participated in the Nutrition Fair.

The participating cooperatives decorated their stall with differently processed nutritious food, fruits and vegetables containing nutrition information. “We have put on display various vegetables, fruits and mixed food that are rich in nutritional values,” said Denis Rozario of Hazaribagh Mohila Bohumukhi Shomobae Shomitee Ltd. He went further adding, “People have a misconception that only expensive foods are nutritional. We must come out from that frame of mind and concentrate on foods that are easily available and high on nutritional content.”

Nahidul Islam of Probaho Bohumukhi Shamabae Shomitee Ltd. reiterated that even simple dishes like khichuri can be made into nutritional delights by simple changes to ingredients and style of cooking. “Just by changing the ingredients used, kichuri can be a great dish for all ages”.

Most of the kiosks that put edibles on display highlighted the need for understanding concepts of food value, nutrition and also cleanliness. Rahima Akter Rita, a nutrition specialist and media personnel of NTV was present in the closing and prize giving ceremony of the two days long program. She addressed to the audiences that there is a lack of awareness on nutrition of the community. She believes that this Nutrition Fair could create awareness among the community.

The program was presided over by Baby Akter, Chairperson of Ekota Mohila Bahumukhi Samaby Samity Ltd. The closing session was attended among others by Protul Kumar Saha, Joint Registrar, Dhaka Division, Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives, Mrigen Hagidok, Regional Associate Director, Dhaka Region, World Vision Bangladesh, Theotonius P Rozario, ADP Manager of Dhaka Shishu Area Development Program, Dr Farhana Rahaman, Project Manager, Health Project of Dhaka Shishu ADP.

Awards were distributed among winners of recitation, jaari gaan, extempore, essay writing and art competitions that were held on the theme of nutrition.

RS Desk



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