Storytelling manifests itself in myriad ways
& for me it is reflected primarily in creating
small graphic narratives .
Here are a few pages from ongoing and past projects.
Anthalogy of Graphic Stories from India
Longform : An anthology of graphic narratives, published by Harper Collins was one of those unique passion project to come out from the comic book community in India. Sarbajit Sen, Debkumar Mitra, Pinaki De and Sekhar Mukherjee the editors of -- Longform Volume 1 brings the genre to the forefront and initiates the conversation about comics in India with a strong footing, besides bringing lesser-known artists into the limelight.
One of the pieces of this anthology was Journeys. A semi autobiographical tale of everyday commute told through the eyes of our protagonist Ranajit Bhattacharya. The story was a concoction from my early days of moving to the city of Delhi, and my experiences navigating this daunting & magical city & its interesting people.
Here I would like to share some excerpts from the script , pre production sketches and snippets from the final pages. The full graphic novel is hosted here
Secret Life of Bhotbhoti Maiti
This was one of my first comic books that I had worked on as a part of my curriculum in design school. We had always doodled & scribbled notes at the back of our sketchbooks creating characters and forming their journeys , but this was the first opportunity for me to formulate & actually create a detailed storyline.
The comic book tale in itself was inspired by the short story “ The Secret life of Walter Mitty “ by James Thurber . As the protagonist in the original , Bhotbhoti Maiti an auto rickshaw driver from the mean streets of calcutta was pronged to bouts of fantasy and daydream in his mundane auto rides . From visioning himself as the lieutenant of the bomb disposal squad to a Bengali film supestar, bhotbhoti traversed all.
There was immense fun making this comic and editing and re- editing the layout in the post production before it made to the final pages . As students of film , this was a foray into actually telling a self contained story without the trappings of what film making . The comic travelled and was displayed at many festivals , notably at the Pro Helvetia New Delhi & Zurich. I have been immensely proud of this work and sharing across here some pages from the projects
This project has been a work in progress . It has more been a reactionary tale of at times the volatile nature of democracy in the country and my attempt to make sense of some of this .
The news organisations currently operates from a place of creating binaries which fuels a sense of anger , resentment between people than to channel it towards the real powers .
And this sense of alienation coupled with fury is more pronged to manifest in folks without a support system which may keep a check on their moral code .
My attempt is to chronicle the journey of one such character , who is not particularly liked by his peers and who finds solace in the vitriolic television debates that validates his thoughts . But what if the thoughts manifests to physically emoby itself , then who do we become and who are the masters we serve.
Establishing shots of the city, and Gopal da's tea shop were we are introduced to our protagonist Nishikanto Sen. The quintessential neighbourhood hostile uncle, always ranting about the state of affair blithely oblivious about facts and reality.
The couples gathering on the park opposite Nepa da’s tea stall , the college students, the autowallahs would bear his usual scorn.
Nishibabu did not have a family in the family sense of the term. His wife had passed away 5 years back and it has been long since he had drifted away from the rest of his pack.
On one such eerily calm summer night, almost to beﬁt the cliche of an ensuing storm Nishikanto Sanyal sat in his drawing room for the usual 9:00 clock news.The television rattled with those talking heads raking up the same issues day by day.
"Our land is under threat." the anchor continued " But Supreme leader Eno has taken steps to protect us and while there are traitors hell bent on demolishing the plan. But he will succeed in building the ideal state."
“Down with the traitors” Nishibabu muttered.
“We will cover several topic today at tonight’s primetime. First being the rampant inﬂux of “the thin-chined people” on our eastern borders.”