Name - Dheeraj Verma
Position - Indian Comic Book Artist/Creator
DOB - 22nd October
Place - Delhi
I was born in New Delhi and since it’s the heart of India, my dreams were big. I always wanted to be an artist and work in the book trade, but post my graduation from Delhi University my vision was more clear and I jumped into Comics with everything. My schooling and college time was quite fun. I lived in the centre of Delhi, i.e. Connaught Place. Connaught Place is a very colourful and lively place, so I got attached to colours. I also learnt Tae Kwon Do back in the days and achieved black belt. My life was full of fun, just focus and anything will be in your hands. Right now, I believe that I live in the hearts of my fans all over the world. My abode: I keep switching between New Delhi and New York. I love both places a lot.
I am a graduate from Delhi University, and I also learnt a couple of languages, I mean computer languages.
I think my path was very clear since my schooling, my craze for the comic books, pulled me into it.
I joined in 1991 a Government job, but in a month's time I left the job and started doing comic books with a newly established publisher. My passion to create took me to other publishers and in the year 1993 I reached the top most publisher of India. I worked there till 2000 and then joined India’s leading gaming co. as a Sr. Game Visualizer. After that I travelled to the US in 2004 and did so many comic pages for free, until I was noticed by Avatar Press for their work.
I always moved forward in life, to be a better version of myself.
I always moved forward in life, to be a better version of myself.
First Phantom and then Batman brought me into comics.
My father and my maternal grandfather inspired me the most to choose my path. My father was an artisan himself. He carved miniature wood houses, to the smallest of detail. He was the one to bless me with this gift. My Nanaji (Grandpa) was a wrestler and at that time was also Mr. Delhi, so he inspired me to grab your goals with both your hands.
I started my career as a comic book artist in 1991, just after my graduation. I had soon realized that the artist inside me wanted to come out and I started looking for an artist job, and by god grace got that one Guy who was looking for a comic book artist.
Honestly, no formal training but just a lot of dedication and perseverance. I am a self-taught artist. I learnt pencil, inking, colouring, digital colouring and painting myself. Even I got to introduce digital colouring in India in 1996.
I was so inspired with Sylvester Stallone that I sketched him for my very first sketch for myself only. Later I also sketched a lot of Batman as well.
I am inspired by the work of Frank Frazetta, Jim Lee, Dan Jurgens, Travis Charest and Marc Silvestri so I brought out a style of my own with their help.
I usually take a day or two to complete my page, but sometimes more work is required depending on the frames.
Anything happening in life inspires me and I interpret with my pencil, whether it is a real life event or my comic book script.
I do comics for a living because I think only in that way I can do justice with my work. I do write as well but my priority is comic book pencilling.
First of all the idea is most important and then follows the style.
When I was a child I think I read 3000 comics which eventually led me to drawing them, but now I am more passionate about drawing comic books.
I prefer the traditional way to draw comics, i.e. I use my lead pencil to create my work though I have been a tech savvy guy since 1996.
Though there are so many but my creation Bheriya (wolfman) in 1993, I love it the most. Bheriya is someone that has a lot of traits inspired from my idols and values, plus it was my brain child so I’ll always have it closer to my heart than the others. Another one that I had the most fun working on was Transformers.
I prefer realistic comic book illustrations. Speaking about skills, I have a vast set of variety in the field. Depending on the need, I can switch between styles and modes of work with ease. Also, I feel great pleasure when I see my style of work being celebrated by my readers and fans. That definitely would be an added advantage.
I am currently working with Spell Casters, an indie comic book publisher. In the past, I have worked with IDW, Dark Horse, Dynamite Entertainment, Coffin Comics, Avatar Press and many more.
This is my life’s best experience because I have been reading Batman and Superman since my childhood, so I always dreamed of drawing Batman. So, I have been sending them submissions since 1993. I first sent my submissions to DC Comics and then to Marvel. It was just like a dream how I entered the US comic industry and have been a part ever since.
The US comic industry broadened my vision towards art and gave me so much more to work with. While working in India I always used to focus on per day output and have delivered 7 pages a day to the publishers. But when I moved to US Industry, I understood how quality of work is prime in the industry, so I started illustrating to perfection.
Maybe I have some Indian touch but it’s more a fusion of American style on my own.
Focus on your content and when you are confident then finalize your style and start drawing.
I don’t think I faced any roadblocks in my life, touchwood and thanks to God. I became a star in just a year’s time in my own country. But it took me quite a lot of hard work (adapting styles and modes of working) to become popular in the US and I am still hungry. All I want to say to this generation is once you have decided on it, just keep yourself consistent and focused.
If you have patience and dedication, then you can follow this path. Observe life, develop aesthetic sense by observing nature and visualization skills. You will be successful after that.
Be passionate buddy, without that you can’t break-in.
When you touch the trophy of your life, I am still waiting to touch that. But I will do that for sure.
My family support, haha.
I left my govt job, not even that, I left pursuing my Civil Services preparations in the middle.
I will be more than happy to see that somebody is following my footsteps. But I have realized this so many times, that you may plan a lot in your life, but God up there is the key player of your life. So do hard work dude, then nothing is impossible. I just want to draw Batman in my way and I am sure the world is going to love that, because I understand Batman more than I do. I have written something for Batman, waiting for the right time. Maybe that’s why my son’s name is Bruce Wayne Verma. Haha.