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Volume 66 Number 2, December 2014

Volume 66 Number 2

Comics in India
Edited by: Aniruddha Sen Gupta

Introduction
Aniruddha Sen Gupta

Past and Present
Telling Stories and Building Community: Making Comics in India
Jeremy Stoll

Panels, Registers and Frames: Creative Engagements with Traditional Visual Narrative Forms
Vidyun Sabhaney

Art in Comics
Gokul Gopalakrishnan

Acts of Creation
Narmada Sketchbooks: Comics and the Making of River of Stories
Orijit Sen

City of the Ninth Art
Amruta Patil

Comics and Films: Parallels and Divergences
Aniruddha Sen Gupta in Conversation with Rajesh Devraj

Comics in Life
Growing Up (and Raising Kids) with Comic Books
Vivek Menezes

Grassroots Comics: An Indigenous Global Movement
Sharad Sharma

Issued in Public Interest
Amitabh Kumar

Shut Up About The Market and Show Me Your Internal Organs
Rakesh Khanna

Book Reviews
DOGS! An Anthology
edited by Vidyun Sabhaney and Jeremy Stoll
Rajiv D’Silva

Simian (Vol. 1), by Vikram Balagopal
Ajachi Chakrabarti

Reading List

Contributors

The thematic advertisement portfolio features a gallery of Indian comics art.

Thematic Ad-portfolio: A Gallery of Indian Comics Art
Sen Gupta, Aniruddha
Vol. 66 No. 2, December 2014, 3 unnumbered + pp. 1–9

Contemporary comics art in India covers a wide vista of visual, literary and storytelling styles. The images in this portfolio showcase the work of of established and upcoming graphic artists in the field, highlighting excerpts and illustrations from their longer narratives published elsewhere.

BUY PDF:   75 (INR) / $ 2 (USD)
Editorial Note
Ahmed, Monisha
Vol. 66 No. 2, December 2014, p. 10

This issue focuses on graphic novels at a point when comics in the country are evolving and maturing, and new talent is flourishing.

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Introduction
Sen Gupta, Aniruddha
Vol. 66 No. 2, December 2014, pp. 12-15

From trashy stories that young people were forbidden to read and yet consumed avidly, to sophisticated literary-artistic explorations of inner spaces and outer worlds, comics have traversed a lot of ground. India too has a significant and growing comics culture that has been moving beyond the frames of Bahadur and Amar Chitra Katha, reinventing traditional art forms and establishing new ones. This article is an overview of this special issue of Marg that serves as a marker of where the art and literature of comics stands in India at this time, and where we can expect it to go from here. It explores how the creators wield their craft, and why its aficionados have such a cultish addiction to the creations. Finally, it introduces new readers to a sampling of this cultural smorgasbord, and perhaps helps some of them develop a taste for it.

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Telling Stories and Building Community: Making Comics in India
Stoll, Jeremy
Vol. 66 No. 2, December 2014, pp. 16-25

This article situates India's comics history and culture in an international context to analyse what makes it unique. The medium has transformed from socially critical roots in cartooning through the rise of corporate comics, the graphic novel, and a recent turn to alternative comics. Yet, what drives comics in India is a combination of international influences, critically aware creators, and an orientation around community. Through the support of important works, scholarship, and creator's voices, drawing out this medium's history reveals that what defines comics in India is a culture of passionate storytellers committed to excellent storytelling.

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Panels, Registers and Frames: Creative Engagements with Traditional Visual Narrative Forms
Sabhaney, Vidyun
Vol. 66 No. 2, December 2014, pp. 26-39

Visual narrative traditions in India have increasingly begun – with encouragement from developmental NGOs, arts organizations and publishing houses – to look beyond their traditional form and content. A significant part of this experimentation has resulted in unique graphic novels which are a new frontier for both publishing and comic books. Other experiments have manifest in animation, hybrid puppet shows and documentation. These experiments, the subject of much debate, are a lens through which the writer seeks to understand the various techniques of two significant visual narrative traditions – Bengali Patachitra and Togalu Gombeyatta (leather puppetry of Karnataka). 

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Art in Comics
Gopalakrishnan, Gokul
Vol. 66 No. 2, December 2014, pp. 40-49

The essay attempts to trace the problematic relationship existing between the art world and comics. Citing examples from comics panels and pages, it explicates how comics creators seem to have obliterated the hegemonic relationship that once favoured the conventional notions of art, while discussing in detail issues and challenges that entail when comics seek to engage with the conservative art gallery scene

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Narmada Sketchbooks: Comics and the Making of River of Stories
Sen, Orijit
Vol. 66 No. 2, December 2014, pp. 50-59

For this section on the practice of making comics, Orijit Sen dug out notebooks he took with him when he travelled in the Narmada Valley in the 1990s with the Narmada Bachao Andolan. He designed his own article for this issue.

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City of the Ninth Art
Patil, Amruta
Vol. 66 No. 2, December 2014, pp. 60-63

A pictorial account by Amruta Patil of her relationship with Angouleme, the international city of comics in southwestern France; and the influence it had on her work.

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Comics and Films: Parallels and Divergences: Aniruddha Sen Gupta in Conversation with Rajesh Devraj
Sen Gupta, Aniruddha
Vol. 66 No. 2, December 2014, pp. 64-71

Rajesh Devraj's kooky view of the world first came to light when he started doing promotional videos for Channel [V]. It has shown up in many forms since, as he loves to delve into new creative areas. Among these are scripts for and a book on Bollywood, The Art of Bollywood (2010), replete with high-quality images of movie posters, historical and contemporary, as well as other Hindi movie art, but it stands apart for its insightful and informed writing on the nitty-gritties of the business. He has also created a comic on the ups and downs of a B-movie star, Sudershan (Chimpanzee) that is illustrated by Meren Imchen. In conversation with Aniruddha Sen Gupta, Devraj talks about writing for movies and comics, and other experiments that he has undertaken. 

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Growing Up (and Raising Kids) with Comic Books
Menezes, Vivek
Vol. 66 No. 2, December 2014, pp. 72-77

From a guilty pleasure for Indian children of the 1970s, comic books have achieved art world status and come centrestage in the 21st century. Vivek Menezes recounts a lifelong obsession with comics and graphic books, from Mario Miranda drawings in school readers to Amar Chitra Katha, and on to manga and bande dessinee. Today this genre plays a crucial role in his own children's education, and features some of the most exciting writing and artwork anywhere.

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Grassroots Comics: An Indigenous Global Movement
Sharma, Sharad
Vol. 66 No. 2, December 2014, pp. 78-89

Over the past 20 years, through his organization World Comics, Sharad Sharma has been holding comics workshops, using them as a tool for bringing about social change in various states of India and South Asia. This essay chronicles the grassroots impact of comics journalism and highlights the socio-political bent that is a feature of Indian comics.

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Issued in the Public Interest
Kumar, Amitabh
Vol. 66 No. 2, December 2014, pp. 90-95

Undermining the traditionally upright has been an important role of comics. This essay makes a case for why the role of comics is all the more critical at this stage in our nation’s political development.

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Shut Up About The Market and Show Me Your Internal Organs
Khanna, Rakesh
Vol. 66 No. 2, December 2014, pp. 96-101

Americans and Canadians are producing autobiographical graphic novels of deep personal insight; Japanese mangakas are creating epic works of fantasy hundreds of volumes long. But in India the autobiographical comic is virtually non-existent.

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Book Reviews
Vol. 66 No. 2, December 2014, pp. 102-104

DOGS! An Anthology: A collection of comics on our canine companions by writers and artists from India & the USA edited by Vidyun Sabhaney and Jeremy Stoll, reviewed by Rajiv D'Silva; Simian (Vol. 1) by Vikram Balagopal, reviewed by Ajachi Chakrabarti.

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A Gardener in the Wasteland
Vol. 66 No. 2, December 2014, p. 105

A page from A Gardener in the Wasteland, text by Srividya Natarajan, art by Aparajita Ninan.

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Reading List
Vol. 66 No. 2, December 2014, pp. 106-107

For people new to the genre, the guest editor provides a reading list of Indian and international comics.

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