Posts tagged ‘lettering’

August 1, 2016

SPRING Magazin#13.

SPRING Magazin is a comics anthology now in its 13th volume. In spring this year, this volume was conceptualized, discussed, argued over, doodled, drawn and quartered by 16 German and Indian comic artists at Nrityagram, Bangalore (supported by Goethe Instutut, New Delhi). The theme of this volume is The Elephant in the Room (published by Mairisch Verlag, 2016). Each graphic story speaks on womens’ issues in different, individual ways – exploring different facets of that elephant who inhabits many rooms.  Here’s my elephant on the cover (with assorted supporting characters).


Having spent two months previously in the company of several unforgettable canines, as well as drawing at Nrityagram with the two resident dogs close at hand – it was almost inevitable that my graphic story for SPRING turned out to be about bitches – the ones that raise society’s eyebrows by conforming to no known expectations and going forth true to themselves. Here are the pups without whom the story would never have happened.


And here are some drawings that helped define the characters I was going to draw at the residency, with the help of Dash, Bolt and Socks (and their humans, Pratheek and Tina Thomas of Studio Kokaachi).


Some further explorations of style and personality in my sketchbook at Nrityagram, using our daily drawing exercises and Guru and Swami as willing, easygoing, biscuit-guzzling models.

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And here is an extract from the finished comic.


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December 29, 2014

Things We Found During The Autopsy.

Kuzhali Manickavel‘s new collection of short stories, Things We Found During The Autopsy (published by Blaft) is out in the world finally! It’s accompanied by this video featuring glorious alien kolams, buffalo backs, razor blades and EYE Cola.

Here is the cover I made for the book; with story titles lettered by Reagan Chandramohan on the back.

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October 11, 2014

Found Lepard.


I have been thinking on leopards for a long time now.

They weave in and out at the fringes of our cities, pass quietly through our villages. A leopard may well be your neighbour next door, him of the night-shifts, whom you never see except for the chance encounter when you see a (his?!) paw pull in the milk packets left on his doorstep. You might possibly never ever see the modern urban leopard, oh, but he sees you.

As the forests dwindle into spotty fragments, leopards and other beings of the forest are brought into awkward and sometimes unfortunate encounters with humans. Some leopards end up being spotted by some especially social humans who muster a crowd of more humans within bewildering seconds. It’s well-known that leopards are no good at parties and social situations, and would much rather get out of it and do what they’re good at instead – stalking real prey they can eat and climbing trees Like A Boss.

Still, we seem bent on forcing leopards to join us in the great City Life. These cats of secrets and shadows now already live amongst us, seeing from high places the Truth and the future. They hear the word of the street, the calls from the dark places where people and animals live – where so many prefer not to look in case they find them.

Found Lepard began as a series of notices and flyers mobilising all the cats in the vicinity at short notice, to make a stand against the Powers That Be which refuse to explain themselves.

Here is a Found Lepard in Kulture Shop‘s newest themed collection, Urban Jungle.


He’s on art tees and art prints – currently in the Kulture Shop showroom in Bandra; soon to be found online.


Here are some of the other leopards in the series.



January 20, 2014

Obliterary Journal Vol 2 (Non-Veg).

The Obliterary Journal Vol 2. (Non-Veg)  is a meaty new anthology of short comics and artwork by Blaft Publications. It’s themed over the idea of people eating animal flesh, and contains “talking chicken legs, giant man-eating serpents, plenty of aliens, a few mind-blowing statistics, and some excellent kebabs” (says the Blaft blogpost with a loud wink); dreamed up by a brilliantly wacky bunch of writersandartists.

Here is my design for the anthology’s covers featuring a chain-smoking bubble-blowing lollehpop-eating maami we’re calling Meatface Aunty. The cover’s been printed in three different versions like so.




The back cover carries a hand-lettered list of the contributing folks, individually crafted, just like old times. The nutritional facts info on brown paper was subtly doctored in the Blaft word-processor to feature brilliant kicks in the head like krait venom and baby phat and vitamin X. And the flaps of the book are full of nomworthy halal-meat labels pasted on at Blaft. Here is some detail of the back cover and flap.


The book was launched with much fanfare, elaneer and coupons for fish at the Nochikuppam fish market in Chennai.

January 3, 2014

Tales of Fosterganj.


Ruskin Bond’s Tales of Fosterganj, published by Aleph Book Company, just arrived in the mail! Here’s the cover I did, seething with some of the quirky characters from the book set in a whimsical old forgotten town. Below, are a couple of my illustrations from the inner flaps of the cover – the bewildered leopard’s an Especial Favourite Chosen Love. Here’s an extract from the book.

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December 18, 2013

The Hundred Names of Darkness.

“Somewhere, in some corner of the universe,
a town is inhabited solely by the spirits of cats.
Surely, it does exist.”

– Hagiwara Sakutaro, The Town of Cats

Nilanjana Roy‘s The Hundred Names of Darkness revisits the Nizamuddin catclan during a cold winter, when food is scarce and safety even more so. The story is a lot about journeys. Mara of the monsoon green eyes, growing up, going further using her whiskers than ever before, and letting her paws take her outside, finally. The unusual, uncomfortable process – decision – of an entire clan of cats to leave what they have known, the familiar trails and scents of home, to a far place, an unknown one. Of moving from the darkness of uncertainty and fear to a future that the Sender has found for them on her own.


This book is a sequel to Nilanjana’s first, The Wildings (the 2013 winner of the Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize!!!), and is published by Aleph Book Company. Here’s an excerpt. Here are a few of the inside illustrations I did.

Plays with Death

This must be the place.

This can't be happening.

Presorted First Class

Dreams of fresh fish.


Orientation events.


Spiral out of control.

June 26, 2013


Here’s the cover to Manta Ray‘s first volume of the series TWELVE, carrying my interpretations of Jasjyot Singh Hans’ sultry pop-drinker and Pia Alize Hazarika/Archana Sreenivasan’s earphone boy. Of course there’s Blankets boy down in the corner giving one of his sidelong glances. The series author, Pratheek Thomas, thinksbreatheseatssleeps comics.


Twelve: Preludes (12.0) carries three stories, of which I’ve illustrated the one called Blankets Girl. It doesn’t exactly lead you (insidiously or not) or to an overwhelming question of life, death and the universe as the series intro might have you believe. But, in the space of 13 pages shared by the characters one does wonder about anecdotal truth or just the vivid imagination of the everyman, peppered with a generous dose of love for Craig Thompson’s Blankets. Here is a preview of the story.

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Finally, the other cover on my mind is the one I drew for 12.1, Twelve: How it Ends, a 32-page hurricane of some delightfully visceral artwork by Aindri Chakraborty over Pratheek’s factfiction (that does lead you to said overwhelming question). Both Preludes and How it Ends can be bought in glorious tactile print over here.


Here is a sample of some panels from the book, with some of the lettering I did over Aindri’s illustrations.


And a goodie poster for the book, all in crimson.


April 25, 2013

Beastly Tales from Here and There.

Published back in 1991, Vikram Seth‘s grinning collection of animal fable-poems, Beastly Tales from Here and There, was first illustrated by Ravi Shankar (whose pompous Hindustani fatfrog and sleek celebrity hare are most unforgettable). Now it has been reprinted by Puffin as a special big colourful book for kids, which I got to illustrate.


Vikram Seth’s cleverly crafted poems retell the old fables with a charming, slightly dark and very revealing perspective on things that happen to most of us. A lot of love and detail and numerous eraser rubbings were poured  into the book’s illustrations, over a large part of last year. The book was released on a pretty purple and white evening at Penguin’s Spring Festival this March, with an enthralling series of readings by the author.


So, after a long refreshing cup of tea, the tragopan and the elephant pulled out some of the illustrations that I think, define this edition of the book best of all. First – of course, the tea scene – tea for decision-making, for procrastination, for calming down ruffled feathers, for just being.


And then, the first illustration done for the book – where the hare and her psychedelic mushroom minefield decided what the other animals and people in the book were going to do. The hare is the most important one, after all.


Then there was Grandpa Monkay, him of the levitating mangoes – who the tragopan and the elephant would have gone to for help if only they could bear to disturb him, really. The elephant sighed, drank some more tea and tried to talk sense in the showdown at Bingle Valley.


There were the shy black bears who crept out of the mists – slightly costumed, silent guardians who made sure everything would be alright in the end.