Tuesday, August 07, 2012


Randomly started drawing this, never finished this. Chacha Chaudhary meets Tintin (Update 2014: finished now:

The Animation Experiment

Sometime back for  a new video concept, I was looking for a unique Animation style. This idea to integrate real life footage and animation kept coming to the mind so created a test sample with an animator friend.

Here it is -

Experiments from Sumit Kumar on Vimeo.

The Original footage is from this film by Myles Thompson -

Lost in Delhi from Myles Thompson on Vimeo.

Original idea was to create a longer video. But then we stuck to the smaller one. But I had made the characters for the different parts of the film.

The Shehab Foundation - The Concept Note

Below is a set of documents which explain the Shehab Foundation - a comics, cartooning based co operative.

I was discussing it  with a few peers. and sadly, its still under discussion. Although here's the full document in case the idea dies on the drawing board.


Shehab was a Mumbai based Comic artist famous for his characters “Lambu-Chotu”, He also did various work for various different Comics and Magazines at that time.

This January I made a call at the Diamond Comics office to get his address so that I could invite him to Comic Con.
They told me that He’s dead, plus there’s no point sending an invite because he used to live in a chaal, was unmarried and had no direct relatives.

So, we would never know what really happened to him, if he died from a disease, poverty, anything else.


Since then this idea has been running through my mind.


I’ve discussed this with a lot of people and finally rounded off these three problems -

  1. Social Security for the professionals involved: There’s no social security of any sort for the professionals involved, by social security I mean the word in all broad possible meanings, basically a support structure. Old timers, newbies, everyone is just on their own.

An illustrator lives, dies, is going through a rough period, doesn’t matter to anyone, not even his industry peers.
Why would then anyone want to do enter this Comics/cartooning business?
Everyone is, in all senses, on their own.

  1. Limited Content/Limited Audience – Why should we even call this an industry, when the difference between two graphic novels is a gap of 2-3 years.
When there’s not material coming out, how can we expect to add new audience to the medium.
There are these fixed people, who know all the new Indian graphic novel/comic releases, but we’re not adding new audience to the medium.
We need to bring out new material more often.

  1. Training/Resources – There are little or no training resources for the young ones, no fixed way of going about it, no direct courses anywhere, nothing to help them.
And even if we say he/she cracks through, there’s no platform to improve your skills, discuss the craft, improve it.


The idea is to create one fund, a cash reserve fund.

This fund organizes activities across the year, in the areas which fall under these three major problems.

Fund raising can be an annual acitivity for the fund.

What is this idea about ?

The idea is as simple as Shehab’s story. (Attached)

The idea is to create a small fund, which we can mobilise towards the help of contributing members, or the old timers.

Who would this fund cover?

This fund will cover all members, i.e people who donate to the fund regularly.  Fund focuses on cartoonists, illustrators and artists. But it also covers animators, vfx artists, and motion graphic artists under the broadest end of the spectrum.

Old timers, who are not covered under the fund are a bigger priority and the main focus would be to rush this fund for their help.

What will we do in this kitty club?

We will mostly make sure that no old timer and no member gets to live on the street due to his choice of profession.
Side effects of this kitty club would be heavy networking between people of the profession, resulting in –

-       sharing of knowledge
-       discussion of the craft
-       discussion of the business aspects of the industry (dealing with clients etc.)
-       Flow of work between peers
-       A halo to show.

What would be the structure of this organization?

Co-operative, with an election ever year, sounds boring but that’s the best way out.

Every member gets to vote or contest.

The main body has a small number of members who then manage the organization. There is a constitution to this organization under the rules of which the organization works.
We can even get a PAN card for the fund, under which every donation is tax exempted.
(TASI or the The Animation Society of India works under a similar framework, we can even take their help in the process, otherwise I have been the President of the technical student NGO of my college, which had the same framework, I know the basics.)

Where do we get money for this ‘corpus fund’?

Money for the fund comes from

Donation from the members, a monthly donation, heavy in the beginning and lighter in the end.
This will be the backbone during the initial stages of creating the fund.

Fundraising (Discussed separately below)

Donations – Donations, voluntary from the people who employ us, members can bring this up as a genuine cause with their clients to get some money in, obviously this will come later, after the fund is more visible.

Types of Fundraising -

General Fundraising – An annual activity, which can be a dinner, workshop or seminar for voluntary fundraising. Invitees could include Ad Agencies, publishers, studios and famous artists.

Special Fundraising – specially organized for a specific artist, who needs the support urgently.

What does the money do all this time? This fund grows or it sits idle?

The money grows, the account we put it in can be a LIQUID FUND ACCOUNT, it gives the rate of an FD and works like a savings account. (Can get more info on this from my Banker dad)

How much time will this activity eat?

Not much, in the beginning setting up things will eats some, but later it’ll run smooth. The priority would be to keep it low key to avoid conflict with work.

I am a rich/poor, well/badly paid illustrator? Why should I be interested in samaj sewa?

This fund is on a simple idea – “Charity begins at home”

Its not a plain charity, because its not for slum dwellers or poor tea vendor kids.

Its for us.

So while I pay a small amount every month, I am sure that when a real life threatening emergency strikes, I have a support system at the back.

At the same time I get to meet new peers and share knowledge.

Whats the future of this fund?

Later as the fund grows we can provide help/loan, for situations of at the lower extreme, like scholarships etc.

Why Am I so interested?

Earlier the story of Shahab was only of romantic sad interest.

But that was before I quit my recent job, over an issue. It was completely unplanned and I had no savings, I had to take some money from my parents and keep my brain in one piece to work for two long months before work started coming in.

It gave me a taste of how would someone feel in an amplified, family supporting illustrator scenario.

I want this not to be a fanboy incestuous club, I am interested in this to be a crystal clear strong fund, which provides real help.

I am even ready to get Sarnath Banerjee to support us. I am “that” serious.

In the Beginning –

Lets talk this through?

The Hero Initiative

Hero Initiative is an american Comics support group. read more about them on their website. Their mission statement is best explained through some of these comics, which are part of their annuals.

Authors and artists are ex comics writers and artists comissioned by The Hero Initiave.

The Shehab Article

Shehab foundation is an idea I had some time back. Since then I've been trying to get people together to start it. Sharing a few documents and images in the following posts which are key to the whole concept.

First the article which was written during the promotion of the Itch book.

Nothing ‘comical’ about it!

By Sumit Kumar, Author, The Itch You Can’t Scratch
You might’ve heard about Cartoonist Pran (Chacha Chaudhary) orAnant Pai (Amar Chitra Katha), but I am sure that you wouldn’t have ever heard about Shehab.
Shehab was one of the many causalities of this interesting and joyful field of Comics and Graphic Art. He was an artist and a writer who created characters like Lamboo Chottu, as well as some great work with a variety of publishers.
He was witty; his style was bold and had a simplistic, yet modern feel to it, which at that time was unique. As most of his contemporaries were busy drawing “broad-chested” superheroes. If you just think back, you’ll realize that you have read something created by him for sure.
Earlier this year,  I approached, Diamond Comics to get in touch withShehab, so that we could invite him to the 1st Annual Indian Comics Convention. We were sending invites to all major illustrators as we wished to honor them at the convention.
However, I was told by Gulshan Rai, the owner of Diamond Comicsthat Shahab died a long time ago. He told me further that he used to live in a small chawl in Mumbai, and he had no family.
Nobody knows when he died, how he died, what his condition was. We have no information about any unfinished works, all the knowledge he learnt from experience is lost.
And that doesn’t mean Cartoonist Pran had an easy career either. He might have been immensely popular, but he had to go through his share of hardships in the beginning. And during most of his later years, actually till now he has been working completely alone, with no regular interaction with young artists. He doesn’t know what new artists are working on and no young artist can benefit from his experience of all these years.
Most of us enter comics for the joy of it. It’s the most important reason for entering this medium, but as soon as you start you face this terrible situation. As a young artist, you can only dream of meeting famous artists and learning from them, utilizing the years of knowledge they have gained from experience.
As a full time artist/writer, Comics is not a stable profession. You have to always keep working, especially if your food comes from it. That leaves one with no time to learn more, or be ill if you’re from a really modest background.
Comics and any of its future forms will see growth if new people enter it. Young students will only enter this medium if it is considered a stable profession, also if they find the opportunity to learn.
But I am really afraid, I commonly use the term ‘papa ka petrol pump’ to refer to individuals from affluent backgrounds, the kind who don’t have to earn their living from what they do. They can relish in the pursuit of art and perfection.
Mere papa ka petrol pump nahi hai and comics, my choice of profession, is not stable. There are strong chances that I might end up in a mess.
My best bet is to work hard for others, for the young guys out there who need resources and create a connect between the professionals working in the medium and sharing the work of the senior guys who have done great work, so that everyone works co-operatively, for profit.

Monday, August 06, 2012


Nothing has ever changed, nothing will ever change. That does not mean that change does not happen. It means Miracles don't.

Sunday, August 05, 2012


In this age of information bombing, we're so eager to give our opinions that we've grown a disdain for complexity. We've forgotten that the simplest of things we have today are the result of many people spending their lives lost in the minutest details to create come up with something simple for us.

- Anand

The India's Creator Owned

Story we've heard before, but with some new details and a wonderful sher at the end. 

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Tum Ghar Kab Aaoge?

Young Blood infuses energy in everything !

Hot baby in the crowd

Sadly she gets lost in the bigger scheme of things... :-(

My Life is my Suicide Note