The Obliterary Journal(Part I) by Blaft is a welcome addition to the little less ordinary publishing house’ well, convention-obliterating repertoire. I have been a fan of Blaft books since I laid my hands on the then-revolutionary Tamil Pulp Fiction Anthology Part I.
Those were the days of Quick Gun Murugan, bad books and free-flowing alcohol, not in any necessary order, and Blaft was the new kid in town, the proverbial ray of hope that would transform the world as we know it. As fate would have it, alcohol started damaging kidneys(of no particular gender, religion or political belief), Quick Gun disappeared from theaters before you could say Mind It!, and Blaft, among other things, released a smaller version of Tamil Pulp Fiction hiding beneath rows of emo-blood-sucking-teen vampires and self-consciously-conscious-IT-type-urban-indian-fellows.
Alcohol sales dropped but the flame of revolution did keep burning, thanks to landmark books from Blaft that shook translated fiction and its abusive cousins to no end – Zero Degree, Where are you going, you monkeys!, Insects are like you and me except some of them have wings, Ibne Safi Series, Surender Mohan Pathak’s 65 Lakh Robbery and Day Light Robbery. I was away from Blaft books after I left the Ibne Safi series midway and never could pick up again somehow. You know, just like that.
Now, The Obliterary Journal brings back happier times, in lush color and youthful fountains. It fits in perfectly with these graphic-friendly times. Excerpts and one-shots, “art projects”, Rajini-friendly autodrivers, depressing old-age home residents, forgotten aliens all enthuse and abuse your sensory perception of the world in this oddly-graphic novel.
I flipped through some pages faster than others, and it had nothing to do with my racial prejudices or contempt of growing old. Loved the urban satire by Amruta Patil, an old Bengali detective pulp, and dystopian science fiction-weird mythology smatterings. Again, nothing to do with my apolitical leanings.
Pick up this book, you must, for sake of your kidneys. No, seriously, in pure unbiased recommendation, TOJ is made for your shelf, put it between a vintage Thomas Hardy and MAD.
Interview at NH7
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