Thursday, August 5, 2010
Saturday, June 5, 2010
Parallel Lines: Comics anthology on development
Samanantar Rekhayein (Hindi)
Published by World Comics India
These comics start describing development from where the earlier ones left and take it a level further, not just in terms of description but visual aesthetics and storytelling techniques as well.
All stories have a different art as well as narration style owing to the different backgrounds of the artists. It is to be noted that most of them are not trained artists and have learnt the art over a period of time working with World Comics and their local organizations.
The stories this time are longer (14-16 pages). The comic took an year in the making and throughout that period the creators had extensive discussions and workshops on the art of making comics, visualization, frame composition, inking, texturing etc. They also had prolonged discussions on their stories where each had to defend their story from the critical view of the rest as well as accept suggestions.
It has a foreword by Polyp, a cartoonist based in Manchester.
The story of Amrith Basumatary, an artist from Bongaigaon, Assam, throws light on the ongoing Bodo movement in lower Assam. Amrith used to make illustrations for the local publishers in Assam before joining the Grassroots Comics Movement. He soon became a cartoonist in a local newspaper and has been conducting Comics workshops ever since.
Rajeswari is a research scholar in Delhi School of Social Work. A three month internship she did at World Comics India evoked in her a passion for comics. Her earlier comic, ‘Hey Tram’ was a satire on the famous ( or rather infamous)Tram transport system of Kolkata. In her latest story ‘Common-slaves Games’, she brings us face to face with the ugly truth behind the beautification of the national capital high in spirits with the Commonwealth Games.
Lakhindra Nayak documents the legal victory of farmers over BT cotton in Madhya Pradesh. Being a lawyer himself, he understands the importance of poor farmers winning over a gargantuan MNC in the Indian Judicial system. He reckons the victory as a feat, an achievement and wants this story to act as an inspiring example to all those suffering in the hands of powers mightier than themselves.
Siddharth etches out the dusel in a father-son relationship in the times of blinding commercialization. He cleverly weaves certain events of his own life in the work of fiction. Though he himself had relatively less tough time handling the situation, he discusses the story of a person not as fortunate.
Sunder Mohan Murmu writes a story on the bleak future of a student who falls prey to regional and racial discrimination. Based on an incident of his own life, he does not limit it to the local influence of such matters but instead connects it to the attacks on the Indian students in Austraia and so makes a strong statement on the politics of racism in contemporary times. His earlier comic was a story about the horrific effects of radiation on the people of Jaduguda, Jharakhand.
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Check sample pages
Price Rs. 125/-
Black & White
Paperback : 80 pages
Author/Editor : Sharad Sharma
Year of Publication : 2010
Publisher : World Comics India, New Delhi
Language : available both in English & Hindi
This is a self funded and voluntarily developed venture.
World Comics India
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Devcom ii is ready to publish now !
To get it published we are looking for 10 individuals donors who could pay Rs 10,000/- each.
(Around $ 225 ) .
Your contribution will be acknowledged inside book.
Contact us to know the payment process.
Development Comics Anthology. ii
A Student with Colour
Artist: Sunder Mohan Murmu
The story based on the real life incidents of the author chiefly concerns with racism. The protagonist of the story, located in a small town called Jadugoda in Jharkhand of Eastern India. The area has a history with Radiation effects from the Uranium mines. The story proceeds with the trying to take admissions for higher studies in the nearby district. However when he goes there he faces discrimination based on area and returns
without fulfilling his urge for education. In the meanwhile the story also draws parallels between racism abroad and in India.
Common Slaves Games-2010
Artists: Rajeswari Saha
The story shows the real picture of commonwealth Games-2010 in Delhi. The protagonist
of the story is Bhupen a daily wage labour migrated from Bihar to find a job at Commonwealth Games village site. He takes reader to the common man’s life and how it would remain unchanged even after the beautification of the capital city Delhi.
The Fight Within
Artist: Amrith Basumatary
The story: In short, the story tells about the “Bodo movement” for their cultural and religious identity. The Bodos are a tribe from the lower Assam in Northeastern India. The peoples movement includes the struggle for a separate land recognition of their language. With powerful illustration, the author depicts how the tussle leads to blood-shed between the Bodo tribe itself even after the Bodoland Accord due to internal political conspiracy.
Cotton 100 Per cent
Artist: Lakhindra Nayak
This is a real success story of farmer’s fight with a multinational company on BT Cotton issue. A story which end with a hope and farmers wins the case.
Daddy, I love you
Artist: Siddharth Sarathi
This is the story of dreamy youth fading away and making way for cynical adulthood.
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Whose Development? by Sharad Sharma and विकासकाले विपरीत बुद्धि are two comics anthologies on Development recently published by World Comics India.
The genre of Comic Book journalism is a new effort by World Comics, a Delhi based outfit who are actively working to promote the idea. Grassroots comics - drawn by the affected parties in most cases- are used by activists for communication purposes in their respective organisation and area.
The books are priced at Rs. 100 inside India and €8 outside India. In our General Books Section.
email to order book
Thursday, February 11, 2010
By Sharad Sharma
Whose Development (English) and Vikaskalhe Vipreet Buddhi (Hindi) are first comics anthologies on Development recently published by World Comics India.
This comics book is also an example comics journalism at very local level.
Last many years World Comics India is actively working to promote the idea. The Grassroots Comics are are different from the mainstream comics and drawn by the people themselves. The activists use these comics for communication purposes in their respective organisation and area. Over the period of time many of them have picked up the comics as their main profession.
There are stories from Jharkhand which tells how the adivasis are being affected of big development projects and also about the Uranium mines radiation.
Story from Assam shows fisherman's harsh life conditions while the Goa story is about big companies encroachment into tourism. Kolkata story is about slow moving tram and Rajasthan story is about plight of a Dalit man.
Price Rs. 100
Paperback : +68 inside
Author/Editor : Sharad Sharma
Year of Publication : 2009
Publisher : World Comics India, New Delhi
Language : English & Hindi
Table of Contents :
Lakhindra Nayak story on displacement of tribals- Page 5
Tania Andrabi story on disappearance in Kashmir. Page 11
Champalal Kushvaha story on Farmers living under debt. Page 14
Tawna story on development in far Northeastern state Mizoram Page 19
Suresh story on plight of dalit boy in Rajasthan Page 22
Thomas Sundi story on corruption in development projects Page 28
Nandeshu story of a dalit family living in Orissa Page 32
Rahul story on big dam and displacement Page 35
Chanchal story on Naxalism in Chattisgarh Page 40
Debajyoti Bora story on fisherman’s dream in Assam. Page 43
Manish Singh story on development and human relationship Page 48
Saptrishi Ray on Nandigram & Nano Page 52
Danis D’souza story on dark side of tourism in Goa Page 56
Rajeswari Saha story on Kolkata famous Tram Page 59
Sunder Mohan story on Uranium mining and radiation in Jharkhand Page 63
Meenakshi Kumar |The Times Of India
In Jharkhand’s Jaduguda village, home to India’s uranium mines, a change has taken place. Harmful uranium dust from the mines is no longer dumped into the fields. Till 2002, the villagers were not even aware how radiation from this dust was harming their lives. But thanks to Surendra Mohan Murmu who started an aggressive awareness campaign through wall poster comics, they were able to put an end to this dangerous practice.
Murmu is one of the many ‘comic activists’ in the country who uses this powerful medium to spread awareness among the poor and semi-literate. Through these ‘grassroots’ or ‘development’ comics, activists talk about local issues and how to tackle them. Most are trained in the art of comic making. Ofcourse, these comics are nothing like conventional Archie or Tintin comics.
World Comics India (WCI), a non-profit organization founded by political cartoonist Sharad Sharma nearly a decade ago, has conducted close to 400 comic workshops across India.
Today, WCI is represented by a motley group of people from urban as well as remote corners of the country, who are part of a movement to bring about change at the grassroots. All of them focus on issues that concern their daily lives. Says Sharma, “We have mainly worked with small and medium NGOs in remote and conflict areas of the country. We believe this tool can help people living there raise their voices and open a debate in society.”
So, someone like Tawna, a young activist from Mizoram, talks about deforestation and how it’s killing the fauna and flora of the area, thereby affecting their lives. Or, he tells them about the importance of voting. “I drew wall comics on this issue, highlighting that it was our right to vote and everybody should come forward for it. The result was amazing as many more people, particularly the youth, voted in the last election,” he recalls proudly. Murmu too is very active and his most recent campaign has been against the Bt Brinjal crop in Orissa.
For the activists, cartoons are a great medium to voice their concerns without resorting to protests and dharnas. Rajeshwari Saha, a trainer with WCI, would always shy away from protest movements. But at the same time, she wanted to be heard. What better way was there to do it than through comics? A native of Kolkata, Saha expressed her concern about the phasing out of trams in her comics. Another time, she questioned whether all the development centered around the Commonwealth Games would benefit anybody. “These are stories that hit us but we voice our concerns in a subtle manner through these comics.”
It doesn’t take much to make these innovative comics. As Sharma says, it’s not necessary to know drawing, just a willingness to do so and ability to tell stories.
Drawn on photostat paper and in black and white, it’s the message that ultimately matters. Many NGOs take the help of comic activists to spread awareness about AIDS, infanticide, pollution, etc. Some of the strips have been syndicated and used in local and regional newspapers. “One single strip produced by a sarpanch in Rajasthan on water scarcity appeared in 50 newspapers in three states,” says Sharma who would now like to make this service available in other states too.
Also, he wants the comics to go mainstream. A comics anthology – ‘Whose Development?’ – is the first in a series that he is launching soon. It is a collection of work by 15 activists from across the country, each talking about an issue close to his heart. Sharma, who prefers to call himself a comic journalist, says, “Comics anthologies are very popular in Europe and the US but we don’t have a parallel here. I hope this anthology will engage those who are interested in telling stories through drawings.”
Meanwhile, Murmu has many more stories to share. Comic activism will help him do that.
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Thursday, November 19, 2009
The word development is often used synonymously with evolution, growth or advancement. Whatever else it may connote, development is a magic word for the politicians but a rather tricky one for the common man.
Over the last many years we have trained a multitude of people as trainers and professional comics’ artists. Four years ago, I decided to collect stories of how the common people of India perceive development; what it actually means to them, or if at all it has any significance for them. Initially I had thought that within a couple of months I would be able to collect all the stories, but it took me four years to do this. The biggest challenge I faced was of converting these stories into the visual form.
These stories collected from Jharkhand, Assam, Kashmir, Rajasthan and many other parts of the country present a reflection of the ‘accomplishments’ of development there. Be it the story of the fisherman from Assam or the helpless woman from Kashmir; the deleterious effects of tourism in Goa or the consequences of Uranium mining in Jaduguda; the tale of the Kolkata tram or the tribals of Jharkhand, we have endeavored to portray the picture as
realistically as possible.
World Comics gave a voice to the common people who in turn beautifully presented their understanding of development through humour, wit and satire in these comics. This is a unique anthology in the sense that these comics are not drawn by professional artists but social activists and students from the fields of mass communication and social work.
They are Comics Journalists!
Founder, World Comics India