Dhoti Man

Posted by sepoy on June 21, 2004 · 1 min read

Marvel announced that they will be "transcreating" Spider Man into a a local Indian variety, Pavitr Prabhakar, so that Indian kids can enjoy it more.
The original post here was all about the "local" v "global". It got accidently deleted this morning as I was rubbing sleep from my eyes.
What did I have to say? uh...something about how appalled I was that Indian kids couldn't associate with a white boy from Queens and that if everyone needed a cultural imagination to suit their own then, heck, we are all doomed because what happened to the shared human imagination?
I think I asked Moacir if I was wrong to insist that Marvel should have either promoted Spider Man as a brand as-is in India or gone out and hired talented artists to create a new comic book. My suggestion was Ashoka set in India of the future (c. 3000).
I think I had a good sentence about what is the locality of the local that made me all go homi-bhabha inside. I am glad that sentence was lost. I also commented on the "timeless" nature of Indian past in the press release and the misbegotten idea that Indian teenagers in the c.21st will find a "dhoti" attractive.


drapeto | June 21, 2004

>Was my imagination stunted? Yes. Well, possibly. Asoka already made into a kickass comic book, though I prefer Humayun qua comic. And surely an Indian child (ahem!) would be just as much stretching into the universality of human experience by reading about Pavithr (!) Prabhakar or Dawud Chaudhury? I rather like the idea of Spiderman in a veshti.

Morcy | June 21, 2004

Um, is this only possible because it took India's becoming a nuclear power so they could irradiate spiders so as to bite our new protagonist? As to the actual question posed, well, I dunno. I can tell you that ZÈ Carioca is my favorite of the Three Caballeros because he's from Rio. Has it ever bothered me that he was created by a studio in Buena Vista? No. I'm still all wound up by the funny idea that Bloomsday was invented as a holiday by Joyce himself--that he was the one backforming a tradition. There never was a "first" Bloomsday--so celebrating the 100th is kind of silly, but I did it anyway. More later, I guess.

sepoy | June 21, 2004

drapeto: my grandfather never wore anything besides a dhoti his whole life and my father slipped into one at most convenient times. As wardrobe garments, they are uniquely unsuitable for a superhero. I mean, if Pavtir swings over your head in that thing, you better not look up. Can you tell more about the Ashoka comic? is it a graphic novel?

anon | June 22, 2004

hey the spiderman may wear dhoti but shouldnt he honour superhero tradition and wear his langot on the outside. think about that marvel comics

drapeto | June 22, 2004

drapeto: As wardrobe garments, they are uniquely unsuitable for a superhero. I mean, if Pavtir swings over your head in that thing, you better not look up. oh, i think i'd better look. as long as it not solely to titillate, i think. anyway, having seen about a million action movies in which lungi-clad antisocial elements face off, i can assure you that you tuck the middle up before you rumble. preferably with one elegant flick of the foot, though i can't say i have managed it. re: asoka, graphic novel?!?! do the words "amar chitra katha" mean nothing to you?

Aamir | June 23, 2004

spiderman in a dhoti is a great idea.but dhoti should be the one sepoy's grand father used to wear (punjabi dhoti).we have hundreds of action heros in dhotis in punjabi movies ,especially "Maula Jut".and even now in punjab you wear a certain kind of dhoti kurta and and people would be scared of you. But ofcourse spiderman in the picture looks more of a village grocery wala with that wrap arround kinda dhoti than a hero of any kind.