Got my copy of Comix India recently, and loved the user-friendly format. The cover was appealing, and the size of the book immediately appeals to you. The book has a quirky short in the beginning, called The Tree of Life, which philosophizes on life without being boring, and there is a fun Austin Powers reference to boot.
Worth It by Tarun Padmakumar
A nicely drawn piece about a daydreaming romantic, waiting on a bus stand. His imagination flashes his whole life with a random girl until she asks him the time again..
The Contract by Shirish Deshpande
I liked this surrealistic piece of a college guy and his interactions with a Death Note like demon who promises to solve all his worries if he gives him few drops of his blood on a contract. The lines between dreams and realities and nightmares blur and characters names Steve, Martin(is this a coincidence?!) and Maya crowd the panels with sometimes grim sometimes wild sequences. The writing gets a little inconsistent and confusing at times, but it is still quite a good effort.
Birth is the Cause of Death by Bharath Murthy
An excerpt from (what I am guessing) Murthy’s upcoming graphic novel project, unique and distinct in its autobiographical style of narration and attention to detail. There is a journalistic vibe but also wit in places, that lend the piece a lighter, friendly tone.
Yaksh by Shounak Datta
This one was a crime story, bordering on the supernatural theme of Yaksha or demons who guard divine treasures. The associated story of a group of robbers killing a rich old man for a huge sum of money, takes a darker turn when the Yaksha unleashes his wrath…
Junk N Memories & Mall Bots by Kailash Iyer
I loved the first story, for the nostalgia it evokes. Has a very handcrafted look, and drawn in detail with coherent frames and pleasing artwork, this is a 4 page comic about finding old stuff in a room. Anyone growing up in the nineties can relate to. These are experiences one considers unique only to be surprised much later on in life. Yes, I played with disfigured G.I.Joe action figures too!
The second story, Mall-Bots, is what the name suggests, is a take on bots cribbing about their lives, the existential crisis reflecting any office cafeteria talk. I found the font a little too small to read clearly, but the writing is precise and brings out the Kafkaesque-drone-human talk quite nicely, with a brutal finale.
Everyday Love by Tina Mary John
A light, romantic ‘chick flick’ story drawn in the style of Shojo Manga, about flirtations, dating and a dance contest. I had to struggle through this as I am anti-chickflick and the story didn’t hold my interest either.
Fragments of the Past by Sudeep Menon
Sudeep Menon must have a disturbed mind! The way he brings darkness in his stories feels so real. I loved that this story does the masterful tightrope between a personal narrative yet a cool take on a ghetto-city-by-night. The story is told from the p.o.v. of a serial killer, the nameless shadow parading the city silhouettes, and also chronicles the rise of crime just as a character of the city, like the foul air and vagabond pigeons.