Friday, June 28, 2019

TV series writing for Sheikh Chilli and Friends

Post my academic stint I joined iRealities Technologies Pvt. Ltd as a creative director. My first task was tackling the writing and direction of the hit animated TV show Sheikh Chilli and Friendz. My background as a story artist came as a great advantage.
My story plots and final scripts were visual in nature which helped speed up the Storyboarding process with lesser revisions. I was also aware of the production limitations, so balancing it with entertainment and new-ness is something I did my best at.
Currently this season is airing on Discovery Kidz India.

Puppet Show

I have always had a fascination with toys and the way a child will use them to do storytelling and keep himself entertained. I am a product of the same.
Somewhere in 2009 I saw Dadi Pudumjee perform at NCPA and BOOM!! went my mind. I wanted to study it, but since I was busy with animation this dream kind of got left out. When I went into academics I nurtured my dream back to life (I was the Head of the Department at Symbiosis Institute of Design, Pune). But then how to go about it?? I contacted renowned puppeteer and theater personality Meena Naik to come take a workshop at the institute where I taught and learnt a bit of the process of putting together a puppet play.
The next year I floated an elective on Puppetry and here are some of the results.

This a prayer to Lord Ganesha that we choreographed with the help of our theatre teacher Aditi, it is a complex 3 person operated puppet. It was a great joy to see my effort come to life.

We also created some short skits.

Finally I was able to turn the short skits into two good student projects.

Now that I am back in the industry I did put a pitch together to make the project into commercially sustainable production which retains the culture. Hope it goes into production soon.

Indian Institute of Cartoonists

I am an annual contributor to the IIC annual Maya Kamath Memorial Awards competition, and this year again my work is part of the display.

Graphic Storytelling

When Bharath Murthy told me he was reviving Comix India and wanted contributors for the first issue of VÉRITÉ I jumped at the opportunity and come up with a story which was in spirit of the TRUTH it sought. I was looking at the ugly side of academics in those days and made the story "Research Ramblings" which was then published in the inaugural issue. The story of a professor caught in the web of greedy management, crazy policies and love for art stuck several raw emotions with academicians who are caught in the same trap.

For more details please visit Comix India website.

The roughs in development, as I script a visual narrative

Samples of Final artworks

The story received several rave reviews, especially with one
The Comics Alternative Podcast 

Books for the Indian American identity

I had the fortune of collaborating with Niyati Desai Kadakia on two books which were then released online on Amazon. What I loved about this project is that the stories were not just a work of fiction, they were based on real life experiences of children of immigrants settling into the American Dream. What is it that they retain of their culture without being embarrassed about it forms the core of their identity. The books reflect to keep the individual cultural identity while assimilating into the new American culture.
Illustrated and Designed by me, these two books are now a part of several school libraries in the US and continue to spread the good word.

There is Roti in my Lunchbox

Where am I From??

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Award Winner

For all those who don't know the Maya Kamath Memorial Awards are the only awards for political cartoonists in India. I have been participating for quite some time and on this occasion I won a Special Jury Mention. So yes, this is a pretty big deal for me.

About the cartoon:
It was a very chilly day and PMC safai kamgar were finding sacks of notes thrown in the garbage post demonetization. I linked the two and lo behold a cartoon was born.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Blue Jackal

A few days back Blue Jackal comics had invited entries for their "Situation Comics", 
The comic was to be based on a a sound piece composed by Sun Ra - 'I Seek a New World’. The lyrics were so strange and made no sense to me.. but reading them in reverse did provide visual stimulus to make the comic.

Here is a note from Blue Jackal regarding the "Situation"
Sun Ra (1) was an Afro-American jazz composer, bandleader, poet and philosopher known for his experimental music and "cosmic" philosophy. Born as Herman Blount, he disowned the "slave name" he had been given at birth, becoming instead Le Sony'r Ra. Defying the Second World War draft, he became one of the first black conscientious objectors and served time in prison. He is considered one of the pioneers of Afrofuturism (2) . Mark A. Rockeymoore writes "Afrofuturism ... is not a mechanical, technology driven vision of the future because an afro ain't never been about anything constricting or orderly, in the hierarchical sense. Rather, an afro is free-flowing, loving the wind. Changing, shifting and drifting on the breeze, bending this way, puffing out or just plain swaying gently from side to side, following the whimsical inclinations of the melanated person upon who's head it is perched."(3)

Each of the entries we received this time, has imagined and invented a different, a new world. This world sometimes manifests as a memory and sometimes looms in a moment yet to come. It sometimes counters existing reality and at others simply takes off beyond its given coordinates. The imaginative remains at the centre of many of these expressions of resistance, widening the scope and understanding of political action itself.

BlueJackal would like to thank all the contributors for their entries to Situation Comics 2. The contributors include Anarya Dodes, Sonam Chaturvedi, Raih, Shaunak Samvatsar, Vasvi Oza, Gagan Singh, Chakupa Banda, Karthik KG, Treibor Mawlong, Vivek Moktan, Pallavi Arora, Lokesh Khodke, Anupam Roy, Blaise Joseph, Jithinlal and Akshay Sethi.

 My work at Blue Jackal