For about a year now, I’ve been working on Ari Jayaprakash’s epic graphic novel, The Kuru Chronicles. With him in Bangalore and me writing in the States, I’ve been blissfully unaware of the monster that Ari has managed to create. And what a monster the Kuru Circus is. As my uncle said, “Circus is the right word”.
The event is best described as a Kuru Experience. There were musicians, dancers and live art set to this music I can’t even begin to describe. THe Kuru Circus performed at CounterCulture Cafe, Bangalore on July 22, 2012. There was a showcase of all the artwork and original Kuru manuscripts, Kuru concept art by Delhi-based artist, Sid Barik as well as art by Aakash Anand. Aakash is the creator of India’s first ever abstract comic. Check him out here.
I will post some better video when I get my hands on some but for now, here’s what I managed to capture with my little iPod Touch. While sound quality is decent, the stage was pretty dark and iPods don’t do well in minimal light. There’s no way to add light to it- that I know of; I mean, I’m no video star, so if anyone has any ideas, email me or something. 🙂
It was really amazing to be around such a creative group of people. I was really blown away though by the fact that they’ve all come together to create their own interpretations of our little book because they like it: the story, the concept, the idea. They’ve been inspired enough by Ari’s art to want to create something for it. In particular, I love how something static like a book, and still photographs and artwork has inspired performance art. For me, as a writer, it was interesting to witness their creative process during rehearsals; interesting to see their interpretations of our work. It’s certainly added a whole new layer for me and I’m seeing the book differently now. It’s definitely going to be richer from their work and for that, I can’t say thank you enough!So thank you everyone who came to the show; all the musicians, the dancers from The Storm Factory and all the artists who put on an incredible live art show! I may not be there for the next Kuru Circus show but I’ll be there in spirit. ❤
My friend and comics author, illustrator and researcher Gokul Gopalakrishnan dissects the Indian graphic novels and comics scene in an article for Fountain Ink Magazine. Gokul also draws and illustrates Small Talk and As the City Is for New Indian Express and DNA.
Written for Fountain Ink, Gokul’s article forces us to take off our rose-tinted glasses and look at the industry as it truly is and where it’s headed. It’s refreshingly honest and at a time when everyone else is gushing about the quantity of publications, Gokul’s focus remains on quality.
When he first began writing this article, we had a couple of conversations about it; about the direction the industry is headed and what we, as creatives, are doing to help shape it. Click here to read his article and below is an excerpt:
“To put it bluntly, Bhimayana and Tara Books’ I See the Promised Land, a biography of Martin Luther King illustrated by Patua artists of Bengal, are perfect examples of how marrying traditional Indian art style to a post-industrial art form like comics doesn’t necessarily deliver quality graphic narratives.
If at one end of the graphic novel spectrum in India are the mainstream publishers who are more or less content with a set of established names, and superficial thematic and stylistic “innovations” the other end is populated by a group of independent smaller comics publishers who have gleefully dropped anchor at the superhero-mythology genre bay.”
I’m quoted in it, by the way. It’s just one tiny little line but Gokul and I talked about the article for a few days and I’m glad that that one line is the one he chose to use.