Learn to create comics beyond superheroes, that deal with real issues


Chaudhary’s graphic stories show how urban-dwellers navigate their surroundings 

For long, comics have been associated with superheroes in tights and scantily-clad Amazonian women. Hoping to change this stereotype is Mumbai-based architect-urban designer Nikhil Chaudhary, who promises to hold a comic-making workshop with a difference this weekend.

Organised by Open Bracket, it will be held at Dr Bhau Daji Lad Mumbai City Museum. "This is the first time we're organising a workshop on comics. It's an interesting medium that can be used effectively to discuss several issues. And now, they're not just meant for teenagers; even adults can enjoy them," says Parnavi Thakur, founder of Open Bracket.

Chaudhary, who took to creating comics on urban issues in 2011, admits that the medium has a niche following in India. "People know about superhero comics because of all the Hollywood films made around them. The other type of comic that's popular, especially on social media, is the one-panel gag variety," Chaudhary says.

The aim of this workshop, he says, is to introduce more people to this form of storytelling, and show them ways in which they can use of it, including when tackling urban malaise.

Nikhil Chaudhary

Chaudhary's works have been published in professional journals and newspapers, and can also be found on his Facebook page, Linear Expression. 

"Through my comics, I talk to people about cities — not as the backdrop, but in a starring role. I try and highlight issues of public access, roads, and urban planning."

At the workshop, the self-taught graphic artist will begin by walking participants through the evolution of graphic novels, from Alan Moore classics like V for Vendetta to Joe Sacco's technique of graphic journalism as seen in works like Palestine. He will then show participants how they can go about laying panels, and making the narrative flow from one to the next, among other key points. "I'll explain the story mechanics, after which they will make their own comic. Then, towards the end of the session, we will have a discussion on what we've created."

He adds that the workshop is open to everyone aged 15 and above, regardless of whether or not they have a background in art. "I believe anyone can make a comic. At the end of the day, it's not about the skill, it's about the idea. Even stick figures can convey a lot if their story is interesting."

ON: April 22, 10.30 am to 1.30 pmAT: Dr Bhau Daji Lad Mumbai City Museum, Byculla (E).LOG ON TO: insider.inCOST: Rs 500

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