What Banerjee did with Corridor was to forefront the graphic novel tag, which helped to disassociate the book from negative connotations of comics as infantile literature, and thereby bypass editorial and reader prejudices.
However, right now, nothing seems to be beeping on the regional language radar. One could blame it on the lack of a comics reading culture or non-existence of publishing outlets outside urban India, but the graphic novel in India displays a great reluctance to move beyond the familiar to tread uncharted territories.
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This does not mean that the field is devoid of thematic and stylistic diversity. While the creators of these books deserve credit for choosing such different and engaging themes, the works themselves hardly push the boundaries of graphic narrative in India.
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Vimanika, Level 10, Holy Cow Entertainment and Liquid comics seem to locate their core audience in an expanding fanboy base, whereas Campfire—in spite of their graphic novel tag—routinely churn out comic book versions of classics and mythological fables for the young adult, except for a few recent original titles. The only exception amongst the indie publishers appears to be the Bangalore based Manta Ray, who with their hard hitting, silent, page mini-comic explored the dark areas of child abuse.
We wanted to show that comics can tell good stories.
The Noose Is Waiting: And Other Stories
It was similar ideals that prompted Coimbatore-based Bharath Murthy to start the alternative, self-published Comix India anthologies. Published on demand through Pothi, Comix India is four volumes old, with the fifth in the final stages of production. While the first anthology, Random Selections, as the name suggests, was devoid of any thematic unity, the next three anthologies had stories woven around a central theme.
The contributors, most of whom were publishing a comic for the first time, were drawn from across the country through an open call for submissions on the Comix India website.
The marginal profits generated were divided equally amongst the contributors. Murthy, who is currently working on a comic travelogue titled The Vanishing Path , [excerpted on pages ] believes that Comix India democratised the area of comics publishing in India by demonstrating that artists and authors existed outside the urban centres. Unfortunately, the financial model on which the Comix India experiment is based appears to be unsustainable in the medium term. For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.
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The Noose Is Waiting And Other Stories
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