Category Archives: Blog

Hadippa for Harappa, or Why destruction carries the seed of creation

Synopsis – ‘The Harappa Files’ is Sarnath Banerjee’s third book, after ‘Corridor’ and ‘The Barn Owl’s Wondrous Capers’.  It is a collection of observations, or commentaries on Indian society, presented as the findings of the fictitious Greater Harappa Commission.

Sarnath Banerjee is not lenient with his readers. He doesn’t wait for someone to pick up the basics, choosing rather to be like the bird that pushes her children off the branch, or the borderline sadistic swimming coach who plunged me into the deep end and left me to gargle my way out of the watered chlorine.

But behind these acts of violence, eventually fearlessness emerges. One learns to pull through obstacles and unfamiliar states of matter. Horizons are broadened.

When I read The Harappa Files a few weeks ago (I am posting this late because I tragically forgot to take sample pictures of the text before departing on a sojourn) I was struck by how genre-blastingly deconstructive this is as a comic book. I don’t pretend to know the theoretical meaning of deconstruction, but here I refer to how our very basic understanding of comics is recast – like building a whole new house out of the bricks from an older one. The Harappa Files is not a graphic novel (Banerjee’s earlier works were), it is almost not a comic book, it is hardly a story, and yet when you try of formulating a new definition, you fall short. Banerjee will help with that too, worry not.

The premise of the book is that an organization called the Greater Harappa Commission has been carrying out studies on changes in Indian society (I am condensing the book’s own language here since I find the Banerjee’s words a tad too convoluted at times). The findings are to be released, and the most suitable medium the commission agrees on is that of comics (Hallelujah!). So a certain Sri Banerjee is called in to do the needful, and the rest of the book has the faceless Sri Banerjee’s illustration of the Commission’s findings. The chapters range though neighbourly relations suffering from road traffic, the unwritten rules of selling luxury, the failure of education and the success despite, the auctioning of peace-infusive tea and the role of soap as a social identifier.

Banerjee gives a very interesting name to this collection, “graphic commentaries”. They are not connected by any theme or standard. There is almost no connection between pages, between chapters or even within chapters. Pictures of Boroline cream rub shoulders with Che Guevara. So, by calling them commentaries Banerjee expresses that he is not offering a plot with a twist or a protagonist to identify with. Some of the chapters appear to be interviews rather than commentaries, since they involve individuals and their personal opinions. An exception to the rest of the book is the last chapter, “Single malt, single woman”, which is a short story, not a commentary at all, and definitely not a part of the Commission’s findings. Maybe it is my eagerness to come across a story after a long period of drifting, I liked this piece the most, it is short, passionate, and has a beautiful finale.

And here I return to what I was saying earlier about Banerjee jumping into the field like a frenzied creature, ripping the limbs of comics as we have gotten to know it. In a nation that is getting into the thick of comics just now, that is trying to elevate comics without really knowing much about them yet, Banerjee appears adamant to throw stones at these glass houses from the very start. I don’t know how he does it, but I am thankful that he does. A shake-up every few years seems important at this nascent stage for comics in India. I think we are making tremendous leaps in a very short period of time, and are not far from becoming a culture of excellence in comics, just like we had become in the written novel.

An image that jumps into my mind is from an old computer game where the player has to ski downhill, trying to avoid trees and rocks, but suddenly gets eaten alive by an abominable snowman who then proceeds to jump like a cricket. I never knew the snowman was really a celebrated comics creator.

JustcomiX Rating:

Story 3/5 No story, just commentaries. Sometimes the language gets in the way of the story
Illustrations 4/5 Subtle, never trying to be explosive, almost always soothing and well-matched with the subject
Production Quality 3/5 Expensive since it is a hardcover, yet the edges tend to bend and
Overall 4.5/5 Promises to re-draw the way comics are understood, and will probably give rise to many imitators

‘The Harappa Files’

Sarnath Banerjee (writer-artist)

Published by Harper Collins India with The India Today Group, 2011

Rs 499

A Ton of Tintin Tidbits

Sometimes the turn around the corner takes you completely by surprise. Usually it might be not so great, like if you step in something. But sometimes you see “The Tintin Shop”. Guess which one makes news here.

During one last souvenir-shopping trip with a friend, here in Singapore, I travelled to Chinatown. I expected some bargains and some nice red lanterns, but not a store dedicated to the intrepid Belgian reporter. But, by some happy twist I saw this store, which is only a few months old. And I was told it is only the 7th “The Tintin Shop” in the world.

Souvenirs be damned, I jumped in here with utmost glee. And what a lovely shop it is. I am glad they kept the interiors bright, cheery and uncluttered, not like a dungeon (as merchandise shops are prone to be). They have all the titles, of course, and also a lot of groovy merchandise, like small models of the characters and the famous vehicles featured in various stories (a footlong shark submarine from “Red Rackham’s Treasure” with Tintin and Snowy inside). A brief collection of books on Tintin are also available, though unfortunately for me a lot of them were in French only. There’s also stationery, t-shirts and the other usuals. Staff is great, never stopped smiling.

But you have to go prepared with cash, the stuff isn’t cheap, not for people like me, anyway. Medium-sized models will be about S$ 20-30, going up to S$ 400-500. My guess is you should have S$ 100 in hand to leave happy (some small models, a book or two, and a few pieces of stationery).

Now having gushed about my exciting discovery, I will also share a despair I have. It is a feeling I have that Tintin is very, very dear to readers in India. I have seen the “7 to 77” age group (a tag used to describe Tintin readership) lap it up. My father borrowed my brother’s copies and shared Thomson-Thompson jokes with his friends. I’ve heard Satyajit Ray was a huge fan. One of my biggest achievements in my otherwise below-average list of accomplishments was having read all the Tintins by my early teens. So why not have something like this in India? I know there’re market forces that determine these things, but that’s also there. I’m sure we deserve this in India. Especially after the Maharaja of Gaipajama showed such hospitality!

Sure, India is not a very mature comics market compared to many others, but the loyalty shown here for Tintin cannot be short-changed. I hope someday there will be such a store here, and I will buy a small set of models after saving for months. After all, I’ve travelled a lot with him.

The Tintin Shop

56 Pagoda Street

Singapore 059215

(Chinatown MRT – Exit Pagoda Street)

Ph: +65 81832210

info.tintin@gmail.com

Cover Lover

Can one really judge a book by its cover? Maybe not, but I love covers anyway. One can judge covers by covers.

Yes, that’s right. I said cover 4 times in the last paragraph. Moving on.

I listened, with relish, to a talk on creating cover art given by Vivek Goel at Comic Con India. It was one of the best things I did there, since it was brand new insight for me. I love learning about the technique and philosophy of comics, and a for-beginners introduction to cover art was delicious.

Cover art is not easy (and here I am not just talking about comics). They have to encapsulate as much of the story contained inside as possible. But how in the world do you do that? It is tough enough writing summaries and précises in 200 words, how do you reduce 200 panels into 1 cover, while retaining the right flavor and consistency? Well, often enough it doesn’t work, hence the old maxim about a book and its cover.

Comics covers are tougher in many ways because it is a part of what it represents. A written novel can have a photograph on its cover, or one illustration. But a comic cover art not only tell you the content of the succeeding pages, but is very much a bite of the comic itself. That way it will also tell you about the quality of the art to be expected inside.

John Berger wrote a book once, which you started reading from the cover itself. It was meant to show how communication began from the moment you have the book within eyesight, how we started perceiving signals right from the start.

So with comics this process feels amplified. Sample an example by one of my favourite comics artists, Will Eisner,

I haven’t read this book but the cover tells me it’s about The Spirit, and he faces non-human enemies. He’ll probably be trapped in a maze-like sewage system, and trying to battle his way out, outnumbered by the gremlin-likes on their home turf. And even if I am all wrong, the cover is still a story I’ve read.

A neat categorization was offered by Goel – three primary types of covers, being Mid-action Cover, Idea Cover and a Pose Cover. He further helped me out by letting me put his own work as samples of this division. So here are Vivek Goel’s 3 types of cover art, with his own works.

A Mid-action Cover is the most direct communication about the contents of the book – it picks a moment that best represents the story about to unfold. It is picked right from the action, and amplified.

The next is the Idea Cover which doesn’t represent the action, but the crux of the story inside. It won’t be an actual event, but will be like a metaphor.

And lastly the Pose Cover is one which is like a portfolio shot of the main character(s). It doesn’t represent any action, and instead is meant to attract us to the character. This works for the best superheroes as well as the deepest graphic novels.

Like with other categorisations, these three are also open to inter-mixing resulting in combinations. Take for instance Pose+Idea covers, like the last one. And maybe, if we try we can also come up with more than three categories other than these three. I’m sure it will be merrier.

And if you want to know more about Vivek’s work, he’s available here. He’s one of the most talented artists I’ve seen (and art is exploding in India, so that’s a great achievement for anyone), and what’s more, he a terrific person.

Cross connected?

I had dismissed this when I first read it, as something where my mind was making connections where none were. Looking at both these articles recently made me think twice. Is there any connection? Please have a look at the review of a comic book on my blog and then read another review that came out a month later in a magazine and post your responses. I am trying to not lead your opinion by what I say, hence I am being vague. Based on your responses I can think of what next to do.

Fan Clans

It’s nice to have categories. It feels safe because it appears as if there is nothing unknown beyond. It is naïve to actually believe this, but comfort is always running the risk of naivety. So we sometimes call ourselves ‘Post-modern’, sometimes ‘Socialists’, ‘Pacifists’ and ‘Occidentals’, ‘Dusky’ and ‘Introverts’. Sometimes ‘all of these’, and sometimes ‘none of these’.

Recently, a categorization of kinds of comics followers I came across helped me understand how different people might approach comics, and where a person might place himself/herself. It helps one prioritise and objectivise, and in turn hunt for elusive aspects of the medium. Here are the four broad generalisations, in the artist’s own hand.

Can you guess whose this is? It’s the person whose name is probably first on anyone’s mind when you think Comics Theory – Scott McCloud. He discusses comics culture in his 2006 book ‘Making Comics’ and he places this as a graphic essay at the end of the book.

The 4 approaches can be defined as follows:

  • Classicist – People who uphold the craft and its principles above all else
  • Animist – People who uphold the content and its connect above all else
  • Formalist – People who look to possibilities and breaking boundaries in the form
  • Iconoclast – People who look for honesty and subversion through the art

Some examples of these approaches are the following,

It goes without saying that none of these are water-tight, and overlapping of categories is natural and desirable. A multi-disciplinary, multi-influential approach to anything is good. A rapturous animist can be heavily classical, a bare-knuckles iconoclast can be a whirling formalist, and so on. What’s more, McCloud says that it is probably natural for one person to move along many of these classifications in their lifetime. For instance he takes the example of Osamu Tezuka, the revered manga creator, who dabbled in as many different styles as the number of stories he wrote, which is a helluva lot. Take this sampling,

So, really, the richest of comics work comes from the most varied approach that one can take. Even the formally straightforward, uncomplicated results (like ‘Maus’) can come out of a looong journey of making dozens and dozens of almost anything (see Spiegelman’s older work).

I find myself, at this point in time, to be a formalist. That’s probably a mix of scholarliness and wide-eyed-amazement. Maybe someday I can aspire to be an Animist, and even later an Iconoclast. I doubt, though, that I can be a Classicist, because I just don’t have the discipline. (And, please, this is not an order of difficulty, just the order of my difficulties.)

Categories, as long as we don’t swear by them, are really the building blocks of culture.

agnaM revo gnippilF

I learnt to read all over again this past week. It wasn’t easy. I cannot say that I have scored more than 80%. The first lessons were a lot more simple to get used to, but the finer points I still haven’t mastered.

I don’t want to irritate you further so I will get to the point – I read Manga in almost its original form (it was an English translation, so almost). I have decided to use my Singapore jaunt to look for Manga books that might be tougher to get in India. So I picked up a horror title called ‘Uzumaki’ and read it at a stretch.

It couldn’t have been a more apt title to apply myself to, since it translates as ‘spiral’. I had to turn my world by 180° to follow the narration. This is because Japanese (the source culture of Manga) uses a script that reads (from top to bottom, and then) right to left, and hence is backwards for people used to left-right scripts like English. It also follows the reverse order of page-flipping, that is to say the back cover for an English books is the front cover for a Japanese book. Urdu speakers/readers will also identify with this.

To illustrate here is an image from Scott McCloud’s ‘Making Comics’ where he shows the reading order of the left-right type mentioned (his * clarifies that it’s right-left in some cultures), and another from the publishers of ‘Uzumaki’ offering a warning for readers.

Here the image on the left is the way English language readers follow the narrative on the page, and the image on the right is how a Japanese language reader will follow theirs. You can view the images in whichever order you want.

Now a page from the comic itself to help you see it for yourself. It’s almost like a game of hand-eye-coordination.

Did you do a good job of following the story? If you did you would have noticed that it is not just a flipping over of the panels, intended to be read from right to left, but also within the panel the speech balloons are in a right-left orientation, adding a further step of complication to our act of reading.

It is remarkable how we have become used to a certain way of reading. This is the creator-reader contract that McCloud and others have spoken about, where we understand that a comic is meant to be read in a certain fashion and we become trained to follow this. I am reminded of the closing credits of the movie ‘Se7en’ (even the title here starts a little Uzumaki in my brain). There instead of rolling the names from the bottom of the screen to the top, it reversed it. There itself it brought a huge sense of jarring to the viewer. How fragile the sense of order is.

Of course, here that isn’t intended at all. Here the norm is followed by the writer which the reader is new to. But it wonderfully unsettles the act of reading. Without trying it teaches us how even the most basic fixedness can be done differently. What I am saying will be obvious to all of those who have been reading Manga for  much longer than I have, but for me it brings a child-like joy whenever I mess up and slip into left-right. It’s like somebody sneaking up from the right when I’m looking left.

Giggle.

I say "Comic Jump", you say "How High?"

I must have come across as a hick when it came to public light that I wasn’t aware of Level 10 Comics. They are all the Rabhas it seems (Rabhas = Rage in Sanskrit, the relevance of the choice of word will only be evident to readers of their magazine).

Level 10 Comics, of Bangalore, have started a comics magazine called “Comic Jump” a few months ago. It is a monthly and has 7 issues so far. They carry 3 serialised stories, all with their own team of creatives and fan followings.

But, “Comic Jump”? What does that even mean? It seems to be a shout back at Weekly Shōnen Jump, which is one of Japan’s favourite comics magazine. But it seems an odd choice of name given that they don’t follow manga sensibilities except on their cover/poster art and some rare pages. It does give them an energetic vibe and a chance for the name to become iconic because of its sheer pseudo-jargon sound.

But it does indeed jump, because it is Indian comics like I have rarely seen. It is a world-class production. The art is like one will see in the newest DC-Marvel titles, and the script is refreshingly capable of sounding Gen-X/Y/Z, whatever it is now.

I was lucky to get introduced to the magazine when I did because I swooped in and bought the collected first 5 issues as a box set, which meant I didn’t have to wait in agony for a new issue every month. The first story arcs of “Shaurya”, “The Rabhas Incident” and “Northern Song” were completed over 2 days, and I am safely hooked to it all (though more to some than the others). I must give credit where it is due to the duo of Shreyas Srinivas – Suhas Sundar who bring out this magazine every month and also write some of the features. Starting and sustaining something so new is never easy.

I do get some vibes, though, that some of the fans of this comics magazine feel that Comic Jump is the only good Indian comics magazine around. Maybe this is because the stories are like the popular ones in the West (zombies, teen superheroes), or because the artwork  is in the mould of the DC-Marvel schools, or because it is in good English (though editing errors abound). One fan wrote in saying that “An Indian comic is pretty good news in itself”, which made me grimace a little. It would seem that comics are not recognized in unfamiliar forms. I agree that it is one of the best I have seen, but it often lacks in originality. And as long as that is there, it will always aspire to stand apart. I cannot offer a solution, originality is something I have been seeking in my own life and every time I feel I have come close it darts out of my reach. So when I haven’t found it in over two decades, I cannot blame someone for not finding it once every month.

The true Jump will come. And it will come after a long run-up. Indian comics readers needed a splatteringly good zombie story, a good-looking bunch of superheroes in Mumbai, and a good medieval hero story. This is the need that has been fulfilled here.

Some glimpses below (photographs, so please excuse the quality)- Shaurya (note the NY-ish Mumbai skyline), Northern Song and The Rabhas Incident

Re'CON'naissance

Comic Con came after a long wait, buzzed non-stop for two days, and went. It left me with half a dozen new comics, two aching legs, and a bunch of comrades in this comics guerilla movement.

Honestly I had never felt attracted to the idea of a Comic Con, you don’t get attracted to things you don’t understand. But the two days when it unfolded before me were like a blurry rewind of the main events in the comics story in India so far, which ended in my going “Aaaaah” and “Ahhhhh” (the difference is slight but important – one is a moment of realization, one is a moment of joy).

I am among the newest members of this league, not as a comics-lover, but as a comics soldier in the mission to give comics their due. People have been making, publishing and writing about comics for a while now. Some for 2 years, some for 5, some for 15 ! The sound of it is almost intimidating, but in hindsight I could rest easy, for the people I met these two days did not believe in a hierarchy.

I went in with little expectation, as I said. With luck I made a chain of acquaintances, all of whom summarily received my business card. Some even knew me, thanks to the Bloggers for Comic Con page. Likewise I had heard of my fellows the same way. A moment of surreal camaraderie descended when we had a group of new faces all identifying each other, not by their names, but by their URL’s. “Oh, you’re Comicology”, for instance.

We were all united by our curiosity of two things here, one was to see in person the people whom we only knew by their work (I met Abhijeet Kini for instance, who is a lot larger than I thought), the other was by our curiosity to see how big the comics scene in India was, and try and predict for our sakes how big it could become. On the second matter we safely concluded that the next edition, in Delhi or Mumbai or Bangalore, would be epic. Many times bigger and with much more participaton since this one proved the viability of it all. Organisers broke even, fans arrived in droves, sales were brisk. All good, my friend.

Rain played spoilsport on the last day, and at least two people I knew saw nothing except the indoor venue. But as a fellow blogger wrote, rains on the Con was also a sign of heavenly benevolence. That is the way I would like to see it too (though that’s from someone who had already made 32 trips of every stall there).

And, let me not forget all the costumed freaks. I didn’t expect more than one or two hapless souls to come in fancy dress, but lo and behold, many did. Freaks that didn’t let nervous pansies like me get in the way of the ultimate act of devotion to their comics. Kudos all you all.

I would like to mention names here, of people I met, with whom I talked comics, and who made these two days really bright and optimistic for me. Akshay Dhar, Vijayendra Mohanty, Saad Akhtar, Himanshu Singhal, Vivek Goel and Mayank Khurana. Credits to Rafiq Raja, (“Oh, you’re Comicology”) who gave me a lot of his time, and from whom I hope to learn what goes into a successful comics website.

Just one grouse. Can we please do away with the term “Fanboy”?

Following Conventions

A Comic Con is about to happen in India. You may ask “Yeh Comic Con Kaun?” though I don’t think you will. I will tell you either way.

A gathering of writers, illustrators, publishers and readers of comics, at a large venue, with a sufficiently informal atmosphere (that’s important) – say like the Jaipur Literature Festival is to books.

I had heard of this event, funnily enough in some comics themselves. It became such an uncanny experience, that of seeing fictional comics characters interacting with real comics creators and being told how they made these comics. Talk of existential crisis! Move over Pirandello. Readers of Tinkle in India might remember a similar story where a busload of familiar characters visit the Tinkle office in Mumbai.

What became clear even then was that this is where the audience gets to meet the creators, and this is where the audience comes as their favourite characters.

The chance to meet so many practitioners of this medium is really the carrot. Meet the parents of your dear fictional friends, all. See the people who are celebrities to avid readers. Really, why would a comics-lover want to pass that up? And it works both ways, since it allows each side (the producers and the consumers) to reach out to the other. And since it isn’t dedicated to any one person, the atmosphere remains art-centric.

According to me, comics exude a closeness between the creator and the reader like no other. The creators work largely alone, without many magazines wanting to interview them, without a team that assists you. The reader doesn’t go to a large theatre, they don’t discuss them in reading groups.

And that’s good, in a way.

But it is important to get out of home once in a while, and what’s better than a sunny February weekend? Everything that is not benefit-driven requires a culture that values it, and it is the same for comics. It is probably no surprise that the sharp rise in comics production and studies came together with the rise of Comic Conventions in the USA, Japan and Europe in the 1970’s.

It is the same here, since comics are seeing a re-birth in India. It works perfectly for me, being at the right place at the right time, to get to know more about the talent and plans of the practitioners in India.

And yes, I look forward to the costumes, to the book signings, the workshops, talks, releases, awards, and everything else that is a part of this culture, because I am a part of it too.

Indian Comic Con

19th-20th February 2011

Dilli Haat

New Delhi

Swadesi Movement

Sometimes things take you by surprise. Like when an unshaven man has been trudging through rough forests trying to find a likely place to clear and settle in, and he suddenly comes upon a village with all the benefits of animal husbandry and agricultural land. Surprise!

That was akin to what this naïve explorer of all things comics keeps on feeling every time he comes upon lesser-known practitioners of comics in India. Who’d-a thunk that there was so much talent out there already? If you are anything like me, under the false assumption that comics in India primarily revolves around the triumvirate of Political Cartoons (viz Laxman) – Uncle Pai’s empire (Tinkle, ACK) – Hindi Comics of the 80’s/90’s, and that new graphic novels are the next-in-line-for-promotion, then welcome to the corner of the classroom. Here we will all read Comix.India

I was told about this magazine by a friend a few months ago, but somehow categorized it as a graphic design journal, not willing to believe that these were comics (very unfamiliar looking). But a recent acquaintance with a certain Bharath Murthy (aka, Actionist) cleared cobwebs. Murthy is the man with the plan to create a space for comics creators in India. He started this magazine, four volumes old now, which takes contributions from all and sundry, and selects the best ones for printing. Seeing how experimental comics by amateurs aren’t exactly hot potatoes for publishers-distributors it is printed and shipped on an order-by-order basis.

The content offers up some pleasant surprises, and some less so. Since it is a collection of 7 comics stories (not including the editorial comic) I cannot offer any blanket judgement, I cannot offer any review. Some of the stories here are reportage, not fiction, some have excellent artwork, one is by a non-Indian (Slovenian). Homogeneity goes out the window.

What this magazine throws at you is a lot of anticipation, of the creators, the reader, and the magazine itself. Everybody becomes a part of this nouveau movement, independent Indian comics, wanting to see where it goes.

As a reader, and supporter of the art(s), I couldn’t be happier and I will give you 2 reasons why:

  1. There are a lot of amateurs who want to make comics
  2. Their craft is already very mature

I am all praises for this book, though it shouldn’t be inferred that the content is flawless. I guess it is something like the armed forces, where you respect them deeply because you know what they are doing is allowing you a good night’s sleep, though you aren’t unaware of their shortcomings either. Totally inappropriate analogy, I’m sure, but I think it gets the idea across.

Comix.India is then a representation of comics creators, full-time and part-time, for whom this line of work is a burning desire. Many of them have other career choices behind them, but all of them seem to have this childhood bond with comics. For them this is a great platform to try and gauge people’s reaction to their work.

This is why it is important to support an independent magazine like this – to try and foster the all-important culture that has to build around any art form. The talent is there for people to see for themselves, so why not spare some time for it?

Since you won’t find this book at any shops (purchase from comixindia.com) you may never get to see the contributors’ effort, or even hear of them. To do my bit I will end by giving you the contents list here, with some thoughts on what each of these stories meant to me.

  1. From the Editor by Somesh Kumar is an edgy piece to start with. He has spent the past few months putting this together and gives us a surreal piece on crafting editorials. He, along with Upasana Mehndiratta have crafted the front and back covers (respectively) as well
  2. Things Big and Small by Akshay Dhar, Ankur Amre, Arjan Vir Singh, Vivek Goel is the most young story of this collection. It voices concerns that the creators seem to associate with on a personal level – identity, peers, loneliness, though all without being depressing
  3. The Vanished Path by Bharath Murthy is non-fiction reportage of the author’s (plus the missus’) trip to Sarnath. It is demi-Manga style, interspersed with photographs and archaeological history
  4. Ramalama Cuu Cuu by Domen Finzgar is the only story here with a soundtrack. The artwork is very good, though its shapelessness and the overall layout make it a very tough read
  5. Prisoner on Block W by Lavanya Karthik starts not-so-promisingly as the umpteenth writer’s angst story I’ve read, but redeems itself with a beautifully executed ending
  6. Bahdeinkhlam by Nandita Basu is a comics diary entry (I don’t mean that condescendingly) of the author’s experience of a local Meghalaya festival, made enjoyable by its detailing of local customs and eccentricities
  7. Heat of the Hell in Chernobyl by Prabhat Williams has a sense of purpose, that of telling the story of industrial disaster and human folly. I must say that both the art and the text could be improved several notches, but I would also request the creator to write more such, because such stories, spread through this medium, are very necessary as an educational tool
  8. Passing By by Varun Dhanda is the most whimsical tale here with the malleable protagonist taking a train journey. The creator is probably the youngest of the lot here, but his story and his artwork grabbed my attention like nothing of late. The style of drawing is especially noteworthy, being a mix of technical drawing (like on a graph paper), hardcore pencil sketching, and the nicest use of varying perspectives

‘Comix.India  Volume 4 = The Real Stuff’

Bharath Murthy

Somesh Kumar (Editor)

2011