Sunday, November 24, 2013

Making the Brunch cover - November 2013

The issue was on apps and the Brunch team already had an idea - more or less making a visual  image of a city with apps as a part of life - My first intention was that whatever we do, the illustrations inside need to be an extension of the illustrations on the cover - and they agreed!

First i made a composition rough - I knew I'd add a couple at the top and make rest of the city part of the app-world. and I wanted to give a break in the middle ground to give more depth.

 in parallel I was working on the illustrations inside - it started with roughs on post - it notes -
Then more detailed roughs -

and then the final illustrations - 

and I had to make a cartoon of myself - we decided we'll make fun of the fact that I own a nokia and don't use any apps - appless banda. So this is what came out of that - 

And the final cover - 

And the most wonderful thing is - that they published it in the website - in a way that it came out like it was thought out- every bit in the cover relating to the app catagories inside shows up together - 

Making the Naxalbari comic

After finishing Kashmir Ki Kahani, there I wanted to start work on my North East comic, which has been pending for a lot of time. But then, me and Newslaundry finally agreed on visiting the maoist situation first, which meant as usual two three weeks of solid studying:

Research Material included: India after gandhi (the directory for any and all historical content after post 1948), Hello Bastar by Rahul Pandita, Lot of articles from the internet, specially by Aman Sethi. I wrote most of the script of the next episode : RED CORRIDOR bunched with Naxalbari so there was lot of research regarding that too - but more on that once I'm done with that comic.

Now, after I completed the research, I went about writing a very Kashmir Ki Kahani type condensed history story - and thats when my editor Abhinandnan Sekhri asked me to push myself and make some effort - and tell the story using more dialogues and visuals then text. Economy of words is what Anand - an  ex-columnist at NL used to call it.

So I redrafted my story. Abhinandan gave lot of nice inputs including adding Orwell at the beginning and help me polish the Animal Farm bit. In around two weeks the script was ready.

As soon as the script was ready - I thought about the logo, and I wanted it done in a style which looked like the slogans painted on the wall of Kolkata -

So I asked Shikhant Sablaina - Painter, visual artist - the guy who previously made the Aaapki Poojita logo for us and produced the design and look for out small animated short - Aaakhiri Raasta.
The rockstar he is - he just took some time to turn this around - beautiful titles - in english and bangla - 

He also did one more, which I didn't end up using - but was equally good.

So, I started work on the artwork - that meant creating first a mockup with rough artwork + script and dialogues -

And then the final :

In the middle of these two changes are also sandwiched all editorial changes. Since the deadline is so very tight, the process is more inclusive of various aspects.

Also important was how I wanted my tribals to look - after studying hard I realised the adiwasi population is strong around naxalbari and mostly hails from chotta nagpur, and adiwasi population around the country is almost similar - if I'm wrong please correct me.

So my reference for this was Orijit Sen's river of stories - basically how he drew the tribals

I did forget to give him credit - getting that page corrected. Since his material his more useful for my next comic - I would give him a more prominent credit there.

After finish Kashmir Ki Kahani, I was very clear on two things - I won't rush up my art, in terms of strokes and artwork - I will draw less but I'll draw better. If you look closely you can see lot of rushed artwork in the kashmir comic.

For example: where does the suit this guy is wearing button up? no clue.

So I sort of decided to loosen up the artwork, and use selective coloring - coloring only the characters that spoke -

I also used lot of real life elements in places where they were needed, I've always found it a task to draw all those straight lines - so if I could find a real life element in the perspective and of kind I needed, I used it. I made sure I used very regular trade portal kind of images.

I also removed panelint (those black lines framing the artwork) and unnescesary background color, the white of the page blended right in with the white of the website!

Kashmir with panels:

Naxalbari without panels :

Other thing I was very clear about was that from now I wanted to own complete rights to my work.  Till now I owned only tertiary rights to my work - that I will get royalty on anything more done with my comics.

This took some discussion with Newslaundry, but we finally arrived at an arrangement - The money I was paid would be decreased a bit, and I would own all rights, Newslaundry in return will have exclusive english language license of the comic - which will be valid as long as the comic is online - the day the comic goes offline this license will be reverted back to me.

So, this time I proudly mentioned it at the end of the comic - this bit of text might seem tiny to you, but for me it changes everything!
Read the comic here:

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

24 hour comic marathon and Krajy Adult Comics. (NSFW)

some months back Adhiraj suggested everyone that a 24 hour comics marathon be organised by Delhi Comics Kala Samagam. so everyone came together and did this thing. Although it did rain that very day but we still went ahead with it. 
The challenge?  making a 24 page comic from cover to cover in 24 hours. the page limit was relaxed though.


Pritika (didn't draw)
(not tagging the ladies, they have enough pending friend requests by Love Kumar and Romance Singh)

So I thought a lot about what to make and settled down on this brilliant idea I had - I decided to start my own imprint that very day too - 

 So after sturggling with the story, the thumbnails ....

I started drawing

And finally managed to finish the comic!

Krajy Loda Comics

story of two generation of LODA as they move ahead in life. 

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Drinking the car is injurious to health

Friday, October 18, 2013

Sab Kuch Bita Hai

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Portfolio: Sumit Kumar

Friday, October 11, 2013

The Contract Killer : For Cartoonists and Illustrators

From a long time I had been planning to draft a contract for one off comissions - work which is not monthly and is paid for in a lump sum.

I had thought about writing one myself, consulted a lawyer, but nothing came out of it.

Finally I saw this beautiful contract Andy Clarke had written up for his web design projects. He breaks it up into points and explains it completely on his blog.

I also took some clauses from this talk at Creative Mornings - called F*CK YOU, PAY ME  - A brilliant session on how creative professionals will spend hours talking about the different shades of magenta but won't sign a contract when taking a comission.

Funny thing is, its such an unusual contract that it gets you all kind of interesting responses. But it is a very solid contract.
Some of the clauses in the contract -

1. No race between two horses - If I am hired for a particular project, no one else will be hired for the same work.

2. You should have the authority to comission this work on behalf of your company, and If you lose your job, my payments are secure.

3. You can't just end the project whenever you wish. You will pay for whichever phase the project was in. Including a kill fees.

4. If someone goes apeshit over something I make for you. They can't drag me to court. Its between you and the monkeyman.

5. You will provide inputs, source material and payments on time. You delay. I delay.

6. You pay me an advance, and pay me for any samples I try out (something to do before the contract, many people just ask you to try out samples for free and then use them and never commission the project, charging for samples is sort of a check)

Here's my version, feel free to use all or any part of it. You can copy the text from here or download it from Scribd.

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Chakka - The Game

The game concept that never took off...But you can give me marks for trying.

The concept note also featured 8 bit artwork -

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Orijit Sen's Comics in NCERT Textbooks: How cool is that?

I was researching for some of my work when I discovered an NCERT textbook with comics and the style was something I had seen before...I thought for two minutes and then downloaded the PDF of the book from internet.

It was Orijit Sen's artwork.

That same evening I went to my local bookstore after some 7-8 years and bought NCERT SOCIAL AND POLITICAL LIFE - 2.

I was planning to put the comics up for others to read, but the PDF i found had this huge watermark over it :

I opened the files in Adobe illustrator and the first page of the PDF was like the file available to the guy who made this ! I could edit every component. 

(And everytime I find new techincal gimmickary like this my respect for graphic "artists" dies but a small bit. Graphic artists definition : I don't draw but I use my mouse to create beautiful things - I used to know someone like this and the non drawing "artists" are a solid pain! This guy would literally draw over other people's artwork!)

so I could remove the irritating watermark. but new problem - multipage PDF opens as single page in Adobe Illustrator.

With that freedom  I took the liberty to make nice wallpaper of orijit sen's artwork on the book -

Here are the stories:







in the middle of the book you learn that Salim-Javed also collaborated with NCERT :

One story they didn't get the time to finish 

Cover pages:

And it helped me add a new word to my cartooning dictionary: 


Orijit Sen on his NCERT project: "Two things that give me great satisfaction about this project: 1- i was able to make comics become a part of the very same ncert textbooks we used to hide our comics behind, during 'study classes' (we usually suffered slaps if caught) 2- self righteous teachers using these textbooks will never realise how much rum, charas and cigarettes went into their creation"