Comicon India is a Mecca for Comic lovers and publishers alike. Here are some of the greats the Sherp would like to see.
In lieu of Banaglore’d third tryst with its annual Comicon, we did a little digging to bring out some of the best ink-and-text graphic novels–of a purely Indian context of course–that we could find. And in doing that we ended up listing out 4 incredibly talented Indian Graphic Novelists we’d love to see at this year’s Comicon.
Without further ado, here are our comic heroes:
1). Rajesh Devraj & Meren Imchen
You may remember the former better as the satirical penner of ‘Quick Gun Murugun’ but armed with an illustrator like Imchen, the two have created dense, dark and detailed comic magic in their debut graphic novel from last year ‘Sudershan (Chimpanzee).’ Tracing the journey of its simian star, Sudershan the Chimpanzee, the anthropomorphic tale deals with the fickleness of fame and delusions of grandeur. The layers peel off to reveal an astonishing depth as it captures the increasingly seedy underbelly of the city and its most notorious industry – Bollywood.
Simply put, the duo have many plans for the future and together, they represent a new breed of creativity in the Indian subcontinent.
George Mathen, aka Appupen, created Halahala, a fantastical universe quite unlike any we’ve seen, comprising elaborate sketches reminiscent of an Indian Tim Burton. It is from this world that he draws his tales, where all the pockets of darkly disturbed madness are only lightly shaded over by their comical masks. Appupen’s talent lies in masterfully spinning tales visually rather than textually–an anomaly in the world of Indian storytelling. He recently released the sophomore leg of his story of Halahala which was met with a fabulous response and since the artists resides in Bangalore itself, we have no doubt he’ll be making an appearance either way.
3). Abhijit Kini
He’s a comicon regular and obviously so, considering Kini’s one of India’s premier illustrator/cartoonists having even created many a Tinkle sketch! His exemplary repertoire includes everything from those to Uud Bilaw Manus which introduced the world’s first ever Bhojpuri-speaking hero and last year at Mumbai’s comicon he unveiled Angry Mausi, a gun-wielding, system0hating Maharashtrian ‘Bai’ with a taste for revenge armed with the filthiest of Marathi expletives as weapons. Suffice to say, his politically motivated mind is incredibly creative and we can’t wait to see what he pulls out of his coffers next.
4). Orijit Sen
Not many people are aware of this but Sen was actually the creator of the first ever Indian Graphic Novel to emerge from this crowded subcontinent. Somewhere in the early ’90s he was inspired to conceptualise and execute the stunning River of Stories, which was loosely based in the politically charged Narmada River Valley Projects using the medium to tell a deeper, darker tale. He’s always been known to combine latent creative brilliance with an ‘acute social sensitivity’ which is what makes us think that our com icons could use him now more than ever.