Hello friends, this is mainly for our people interested in graphic design, and illustrating. But I guess copywriters can also benefit from having a peep, after all this is about telling stories and as we all know that the great ads that we all remember are slices of everyday life (remember the Dhara audio visual, where a little boy decides to leave home in a sulk and how he is enticed back home with the promise of hot jalebis?).
But let us get on with our subject: graphic novels. What are they exactly? They are essentially comics with a slight difference. Their subject matter is not restricted to the exploits of superheroes or mythical characters; rather they embrace the ordinary life and are either fictional or non-fictional in strain. In other words, they are just like a story or a novel or even a report, only they use the comic book format of panels and blurbs.
Popular throughout the world, the interest quotient for graphic novels is on the upswing in India, as is the demand for comics. In India, it was in 1944 that Orijit Sen came out with ‘River of Stories,’ a compelling comic about a young activist confronting the tragedy of the Narmada Dam Project. It is often credited with introducing the graphic novel form in India. The genre became the talk-of-the town with the best selling Corridor by Sarnath Banerjee in 2004. He followed it with another in 2007 called The Barn Owl’s Wondrous Capers.A page from Corridor
Right now for people interested in graphic design, graphic novel is a very exciting medium as far as India is concerned and later this year; Bhimayana, a stylish graphic novel on the life of Dr B R Ambedkar drawn in the Gond art style (the current favorite of world art) is expected to hit the stands.
However, the term ‘graphic novel’ is supposed to have originated as a cover up. In 1978, artist Will Eisner had drawn a comic with a difference. While talking to a big shot publisher over the phone, he came up with this term, in order to meet him, as, if he had said ‘comic book’, the publisher would have refused.
This is how it started
However, one must not forget to mention Art Spiegelman’s MAUS in this context. An account of surviving the holocaust, this graphic novel in two parts won a Pulitzer Prize Special Award in 1992 and added gravitas to the art form. Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis, came out in 2003 to great critical acclaim and is about a girl coming-of-age in war-torn Iran. In fact it became so popular that in 2007, an animated film adaptation of the graphic novel was created, with author Satrapi co-directing with French comic artist Vincent Paronnaud.And last but definitely not least, the latest exciting book on the block is Logicomix: An Epic
Search for Truth about the foundational quest in mathematics. Published in 2009, this graphic novel has garnered a lot of buzz by successfully turning out a graphic novel on the history of mathematics.
Comic fans: I’d like to begin reading Will Eisner. What’s the best one to start off with?
I’d like to start getting into Will Eisner’s work, seeing that he’s one of the masters of the medium. I’ve picked up random books here and there to thumb through, and I’ve been fascinated with both his style and storytelling techniques… but I’d like to begin with his best work.
So for any comic fans out there, which ones do you recommend as a Will Eisner primer? Which books are going to get me hooked on his work, and which ones are best tackled after you’ve had the chance to become acquainted with his style?
“The Tenement” is a good one. “The Spirit Archives” from DC Comics is another one that’s a good jumping on point. I think that you will love ALL of his works. It’s nice to see someone on here interested in something other than Anime for a change.
Comic Con ’08-Eisner Awards-Major Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson
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