Tuesday, May 07, 2013

My Khushwant Story

In the summer of 2011 Itch You Can't Scratch was not yet finished and I was getting worried over what will be my future in cartooning.
Around that time I read Khushwant Singh's new book - Absolute Khushwant and I found it perfect for graphic adaptation.

It was divided into chapters like  - On being an old man, on being a writer etc. etc.

I also realised that a comic on him was bound to make lot of money when Khsuwhant Singh dies, and given his age I expected that'd happen soon.

I started working on it.

By sitting extra hours after office, after finishing Itch you can't scratch pages, till 3-4 am everyday, I kept doing these -

At that time I was so much into him, that my girlfriend thought I really loved him and she gifted me this awesome Khushwant Singh painting for my birthday :

By the time I was done with the inked artwork for a single chapter I got an epileptic attack. and I dislocated my right shoulder. So I could not draw any more.
I got the artwork colored with the help of Neeraj Menon.

The finished page looked like this :

I send this pitch with this proposal letter to Penguin Books -

Too gaandchatu, I think thats why it got rejected.
 and they shredded it.
I meet some people at Penguin later and they remembered seeing my pitch and were impressed with the idea but didn't like the way I finished the final product, i.e 5 printed pages cut with a rusted cutter, so the prints had improper edges.

They said that if I could manage a better, bigger pitch it might have a better chance. and it could be pitched again.

So, i could not get the time to finish this better pitch, it kept getting delayed until finally this year I sat down and finished it, with the help of Shikhant, my talented engineer turned artist cousin, who was working with me at that time and Rajkanwal Suri, a great illustrator who has been helping me from some time now.

We made two interesting covers -

And an interesting forecomic where Khushwant Singh dies, and then has to defeat God in a game of tennis to live on (I lifted this from a comic Afrodisiac), Khushwant Singh goes on to win, but in vain -

I adapted three chapters from the book :

On being an old man : 

On Nehru : 

Post script : 

The conclusion to the Forecomic : 

Which I don't like as such,I hammered my brain to think of a better ending but nothing came to my mind.

And there was the miniature Khushwant Singh ad which Shikhant designed and Adhiraj wrote :

a credit page :

a better cover letter : 

and the back cover :

I sent this to Pneguin books again, and also gave it to the people I knew - no response.

I went to the Khsuhwant Singh Litfest at Kasauli 

and gave my pitch-comicbook to Khsuhwant Singh's Son Rahul Singh there, he seemed happy with it. 
No response.

I finally found a contact in this new publishing company Aleph and gave it to them there. They seem interested in it- no response.

I am happy that I atleast finished it, nicely, I tried out a new style, more coloring in my work. 

& it got me the biggest assignment of my life : 


Ravi Gupta said...

It's brilliant, loved going through the pages.

312B said...

Thank you so much Ravi !

Post a Comment