About this blog

And here I am, adding yet another blog to the long list of blogs that I seem to be miraculously managing amidst all my daydreaming. This one, however, is for the mundane day to day happenings

Thursday, 23 December 2010

FAQ

Frequently Asked Question, ofcourse. In fact this question is one that I have been asked the most number of times. So I thought I might as well post a reply to it here :)


My name is <____> . I'm aspiring to be an illustrator.I read your comic strip every Saturday on Zeitgeist and I find your artwork highly intriguing and interesting. I would like to know more about illustrating and about the qualities needed to be a comic artist. How were u driven towards this line ?

You see I am a student of Bsc multimedia studying in Cochin

Waiting for your reply

Art admirer

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hi <_____>

Thank you! I am glad to know that you've been following Marcus and more

The first step towards getting better at any form of illustration is life-drawing. It is best to keep drawing inspirations from the world around us than from anywhere else. That way we remain true to ourselves as far as our art is concerned. Grab a sketchbook right away and start taking it wherever you go. Draw as much as you can, - from around you, from your memory, and from your imagination. Soon enough you will start incorporating one with another and realize what interests you the most. Also, your art will evolve into something unique, something that will eventually be recognized as your style. That moment of self-discovery is very important for each of us

As for me, I've grown up on comic books and I've always been drawn towards sequential art. More than anything else, I love stories -both telling them and listening to/reading them- and I found sequential art to be the best medium through which I could tell a story. But I hadn't taken it up as a full-time career until 2008. Drawing was always a fun-activity for me. I hadn't thought about making a living out of it until one fine day in late 2007 when I decided to throw away my engineering degree, resign my job, and say good-bye to the corporate world once and for all

Was it the brightest decision of my life? I am yet to find out. But the bridge has been burnt, and I can only walk forward now. All I can guarantee you is that the satisfaction that comes from getting paid and recognized, by doing what you love doing the most, is plain euphoric!

I hope that was helpful

Regards

Kishore

Saturday, 6 November 2010

The much awaited grey fedora arrives


...and i just cant help flaunting it :). This one comes as a gift from my friend Ashof

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

I'm back!

And I'm back from Bangalore. It had mostly been a fun trip, except that I was down with food poisoning during the last few days, and hence couldn't catch up with some of my friends I badly wanted to catch up with. It was extremely kind of Pratheek to let Merryn and me crash at his graphic-novel-heaven of a house! Maybe someday, a hundred years from now, it shall be known as the Pratheek memorial graphic novel museum :P. He has such an amazing bookshelf! Might write more about the Bangalore trip in another post

Now that I'm back, I'll start working on silent symphonies, our first graphic novel, which is more like an anthology of visually narrated stories. But before that, I have a few minor projects that I'll need to complete within a week or two. The ones that I have been pushing off to "after the Bangalore trip"

The Marcus strips continued in the Indian Express despite my absense, thanks to my farsightedness :P. Tsk tsk! Happened to have a couple of buffer-strips ready. You can read them here --> MARCUS

Here is a review that came in The Hindu about Tail Tales, the children's book that i had illustrated for --> REVIEW

And here is a picture of me with my folks that my sister Sharon clicked on my return. Love 'em both to pieces!

Thursday, 19 August 2010

An Interview

Here are scans of an article titled "The evolution of the Indian Graphic Novel" that came on The Sunday Guardian, Aug 15th


Below, is the complete unabridged version of my interview, just for you guys

There has been a sudden spurt in the field of graphic novels in India. When did it start and why do you think it is gaining momentum?

The so called sudden spurt in the field of graphic novels was triggered by the coming of European and American graphic novels. Our readers began to realize the potential of this medium and started becoming aware of the limitless possibilities in storytelling that it offered. It became all the more evident when block buster movies were made out of best selling western graphic novels like Sin City, 300, and V for Vendetta. All of a sudden Graphic novels were more than just comic books for children. They became an efficient medium of storytelling that was way less expensive to make than movies and with the possibility of being way more expressive than novels (if well made). With the sudden increase in readership, came the increasing demand in the market for newer, original, and more importantly Indian stuff. Now more and more artists, writers and publishers are entering the Indian graphic novel industry. What we are witnessing could be the advent of a whole new era of storytelling

How did the whole genre of graphic novels evolve in India? How has the evolution come about?

Though the term 'graphic novels' is recent, India has had a long tradition of comic readership. It had started as early as 1947, with Chandamama publishing its comic magazines. I think the adaptations of the epics Ramayana and Mahabharata in comic-book format in the 60s may have been our first attempt at what we call graphic novels now. After that came a comic-book era during which many western comics (like Phantom and Mandrake) were made available in India through publishers like Indrajaal comics. Soon afterwards more western comics like Archie, Tintin, Asterix, etc started gaining popularity in our country along with our very own Amar Chitra Katha. Though none of these could exactly be called graphic novels, they still helped our readers get acquainted to the medium of western sequential art. Graphic novels are nothing but an extension of this art form. It tells bigger, more serious stories to a bigger, more serious crowd. Not that children and adolescents don't enjoy them, but there are also graphic novels that target just the mature reader

Why do you think there has been a lack in this specific art form?

Frankly, I don't think there has been a lack per se in the art form. It is a multi-billion dollar industry around the globe, be it the western graphic novels or the Japanese Manga, churning out thousands of graphic novels every year. Its just that we have had so very few original Graphic novels being created in our country that our readers still rely majorly on the European, American and Japanese industries to keep them entertained. But there are new publishers coming up in India exclusively for graphic novels and there are plenty of original graphic novel scripts being written. Also we have a lot of talented artists in our country. So I believe that in the next five years the scene is going to change

Do you think that graphic novel is a highly underrated medium in our country and is more about superheroes and mythology?

It has been mostly about superheroes and mythology. Not that I am against these genres, and yes, I do enjoy them as long as the stories are well-crafted and told. But supehero and mythology comics are being done to death in our country through repetitions and shallow, clichéd plots. And most of these have been targeting the pre-teen and early teen readers. Its about time we moved a level up and looked beyond the niche market that these comics have created. By sticking to just this target age-group, we are forcing the more mature, intelligent reader to look up solely to the Western and far-Eastern markets for a satisfying read. There however has been many exceptions too that deserve to be acknowledged here, like Amruta Patil's dark and intense graphic novel Kari, and Tejas Modak's humorous take on the Noir genre with his graphic novel Agent Anonymous, to cite a few examples. Yes, the graphic novel is a highly underrated medium in our country and its full-potential is yet to be realized.


Also, many of the graphic novels existing in the market today portray stories that are gory in nature with a lot of bloodshed, rape. Why?

Well, there are two categories when it comes to this. There are the graphic novels that have blood and gore as part of the harsh realities of life. These probably require it for the story to be more convincing. Then there are the ones that have these just because they sell. I am not a big fan of the latter, but I am not denying the fact that sometimes the shock-value does help. Not only in sales, but also in delivering the impact. What I personally feel is that the impact is all the more stronger when it is kept subtle and toned down instead of going for blatant in-your-face acts of sex and violence.

Where would you place the Indian graphic novel scene on a global scale? Why

Even though a lot of comics and graphic novels are being sold in India the volume of original graphic novels being produced here is very low. The number of international releases that we have each year is almost as low as being non existent for us to be of any significance on a global scale right now. The graphic novel industry of our country is presently in the same state as Bollywood was in the global scene 50-55 years back (during the early years of what was known as the Golden age of Indian cinema), with a reasonable number of movies being made to be viewed only within the country. But though we seem to be starting off late, we have always had immense underutilized potential waiting to be unleashed. Story telling through art has been part of our heritage and it dates back to the 5th century AD mural paintings in the Ajanta caves and beyond. One way in which our contributions in the global graphic novel industry can stand out as unique is by introducing the aspects of our traditional art forms in sequential art. Of course, it goes without saying that it can happen only if the graphic novel communicates efficiently and has a gripping story to tell. We should also be able to tell stories that are unique to us, but still can be related to by readers from the other parts of the world. That way we will be able to provide the international reader with a whole new well-cherished reading experience, and in the long run make our mark in the international market

Is there a mature and understanding audience for graphic novels in India?

International best selling graphic novels have always had a substantial readership in India. So I would like to believe that we do have a mature and understanding audience for graphic novels. But frankly, that is one of those things that is yet to be found out. I do get a lot of positive feedback from the readers of my comic strip (Marcus and more) in the New Indian Express and that gives me hope that my graphic novels too would be loved as much

In what ways are graphic novels different from comics?

The sheer volume of content is what separates graphic novels from comic-books. Graphic novels are what can be called the movie-equivalent of sequential art. Of course the challenges are many since unlike a movie, a graphic novel does not have anything that is not visual. But a picture speaks a thousand words. efficient paneling can control the pace of the narration, proper lettering and onomatopoeia makes it audible, and efficient use of colors brings out the right mood

Who is your favourite graphic novelist(s)?

Neil Gaiman has always been a favourite graphic novel-writer. Will Eisner has been a huge inspiration. If it hadnt been for him, the medium wouldnt have been born in the first place. I totally admire the works of Juan Díaz Canales (writer) and Juanjo Guarnido (artist) in their noir series Blacksad. Anthropomorphized characters have never been more expressive. Among the more recent graphic novelists, I'm addicted to the works of the twins Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá

What are your current projects and from where do you draw inspiration while working on these?

Besides an ongoing fortnightly comic strip, I am also working with my team mates Roshan and Sinu on the first graphic novel from the Libera Artisti. It is called Silent symphonies and it is an anthology of four stories, two of which are by me. What makes this graphic novel unique is that the stories are purely visually narrated without a single word being used. This is a huge challenge as far as the medium is concerned, since usually a major part of the storytelling in graphic novels happens through dialogues and narrations. Since neither of these will be used in this book we will need to explore all the graphical aspects of the medium to the maximum extend possible for efficient storytelling.
Inspirations are usually drawn from life itself and the things that happen in and around it. As storytellers we are constantly on the look out for new stories and sometimes its actually the trivialities of life that triggers a whole chain of thoughts. It might be a person we know in real life or certain traits of his/hers that give birth to a character

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Sunshine, rainbows, and lollypops

This time around, I'm signing into this blog to be nice :). Today morning, I woke up, brushed my teeth, and hit a considerably large creative block. No amount of early morning caffeine was helping me get around it. So I thought I'd take a break and go through all my umpteen different blogs. Today happens to be the first day on which I went through this blog under a thoroughly objective, dispassionate light. I am disappointed! The first thought that came to my mind was "Boy! This blog must belong to a grumpy old underdog of a spiteful billy-goat!". The kind that snaps and charges at you at the slightest sign of provocation. But dear friends, that is the farthest from the truth. Though not highly people-trained, I'm generally well-behaved. The people who maintain close proximity with me would totally vouch for it. Writing spiteful blog-posts is as evil as I can possibly get ;)

In my defense, I've been hitting this blog only when in a bad mood. Taking into consideration the infrequency of blog-posts here, you can with no further doubt, arrive at the conclusion that I'm mostly a happy person. :D Without further ado, let me move on to letting you guys know about the good things that have been happening around me.

I am not an unpublished artist/writer anymore! Yaaayyy!! I now have an ongoing comic strip in Indian Express, which is one of the leading national dailies in India. Its called Marcus and More and the stories revolve around the lovable chihuahua Marcus, Jinx - a witch disguised as a black cat, space aliens, and of course, a few not so significant humans. The first strip came out on April 24th and it has been going well since, finally gaining me some exposure. For those of you who have missed the previous strips, here is a link where you can read them --> Marcus and More

Also, on the 24th of this month, Amma's Tales brought their second book called Tail Tales out in the market. The book is written by Dr. Hema Vaidyanathan and of course, illustrated by yours truly ;). Rosh is the colorist and Merryn the graphic designer . You can read more about that and also take a sneak peek inside it here --> Tail Tales

Right now, alongside the Marcus strips, I'm also working on the first graphic novel from the Libera Artisti. Its an anthology of four 24-page stories, two(stories, of course, silly! Not pages) of which are going to be by me. The other two stories are by our beloved artists, Rosh and Sinu. It should ideally be out by the end of this year. I will keep you guys updated on that either through my blogs or through the Libera Artisti page on Facebook.

As for the highlights of my 'non-professional' life, I got to re-bond with one of my best friends. What is funny is that we hadn't noticed that we had drifted apart over the years until all of a sudden the walls(that we didn't even know had formed between us) disappeared and we found us closer to each other than ever before

Hopefully, in two weeks, I will be traveling to Bangalore to meet Merryn and a few other important people. In all probability, my next blog-post will be on that. So until then, its adieu from your friendly neighborhood graphic novelist. Peace out! :)

Monday, 26 July 2010

CRANK

There are those days when you know that you've woken up on the destructive side of your bed. It starts off with waking up, looking straight up at the ceiling and waiting for the first words of the day to materialize inside your head. "OH FUCK!". Whatever you touch on this day, is doomed! You leave a trail of destruction.... broken hearts, shattered dreams, pain, and tears. Oops!!!..Almost forgot to mention smashed phones and cracked mirrors

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Dignified $#!T

Warning: Profane content. Not for the easily offended

I haven't been around for very long, but one of the valuable things that life has taught me is to never take failure into the heart or let success get into the head. The reason why I'm forced to say this right now is because of a recent conversation I had with a friend of mine a few days back. There is this certain person working in a certain studio, who is equally famous for his brilliant art as he is infamous for making the lives of his teammates hell. I am an admirer of his art, and I've never met him in person. So it wouldn't be fair on my part if I judge him (which I don't intend to) based on what iv heard of him from others. But what really annoys me is when someone says "Its OK if he throws tantrums because he is so damn talented". Now does that mean that if a talented person throws his s**t at you, you'll take it happily? My dear friends, ... get inspired by good art...promote talented artists... but please do not take hero-worship to a whole new level. Believe me when i say this - There is no such thing as dignified s**t! S**t is s**t irrespective of who s**ts. Please do not let anyone walk all over you. None of you deserves to take s**t from anyone else, talented or otherwise. SO please...DON'T! With that said, I hope that this certain talented person in this certain studio continues to hone his skills and keeps producing amazing art. I hope that along the way, he gets a wee bit wiser, if he really is the kind of person iv heard he is (Word of advise: If people respect you, be happy about it. Bask in the glory, but do not forget to return the favor. They aren't respecting you because they're too eager to take your crap). I also hope that the so called down-trodden team-mates of his grow a spine each sometime soon. Good luck to all of you out there

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Sneak peek!!


Thought I'd let ya guys sneak a peek into a work in progress. Here is a random screenshot of my desktop. And that's yours truly, tripping on Frank Sinatra and doodling away to glory!

Saturday, 23 January 2010

Random quick post-ling

This isn't a real post. You may think it is. But you're wrong. This is just a quick post-ling to put an end to the inactivity around here. I have been terribly busy juggling too many balls, and surprisingly, I haven't dropped any of them yet. I will be giving you an insight about the things I am up to soon enough
A friend recently asked me if I'm an atheist, probably because my religious views have always been obscure. Hell no, I'm no Atheist. Atheism is no fun. I am more like an observer of the things that people do in the name of religion. Sometimes they make sense. Most of the times they don't. But if there were no God, atheists would have been a jobless lot with nothing to disprove

P.S: Speaking about the things people do in the name of religion, you might wanna read this article I found online - LINK

P.P.S: Do check out my other blogs! There are post-lings there too!!! :D