Printer Friendly

An art without a tradition: a survey of Indian comics.

Orhan Pamuk, the Turkish writer and Nobel laureate tells an amusing anecdote on art in one of his essays. A sultan, wanting to find new ways to amuse himself, called for a painting competition where artists from the East were to compete with artists from the West (with the Muslim world being in the centre of course). The Eastern artists were Chinese and the Western ones European. Each team was given a wall to paint on. The walls faced each other, with a curtain between them. When the competition started, the European artists promptly took out their colours and began to draw. The Chinese artists, deciding that the wall was dirty, started cleaning it. Work continued for months. When the curtain was finally drawn, the sultan saw that the Chinese had scrubbed their wall so well that it had turned into a mirror which reflected precisely the paintings created on the opposite wall. The sultan decided to give the prize to the Chinese. From this parable, Orhan Pamuk draws the idea that the mirror in which the Easterners saw the Western "other", "makes us feel as if we are somehow lacking, as if we are a bit inauthentic or uninteresting".

This story resonates with another one, relating to Indian art told by Sir Thomas Roe, who represented the Embassy of the East India Company (1615-18) in the court of the Mughal emperor Jahangir. Among the gifts he presented to Jahangir was a small oil painting of a woman, by Isaac Oliver. On viewing the painting the impressed emperor came up with a curious wager--that his painters could make such an exact copy of the original that one would not be able to distinguish between the two. After three weeks, the emperor summoned Sir Thomas Roe to his ghusalkhana and by candlelight showed him six identical paintings, five by his artists and the sixth the original one. The Englishman was astonished.

These are two Eastern responses to the visual regime unleashed by Western art during the Renaissance. As we shall see, in the narrow aesthetic bylane of Indian comics, artists, publishers, and writers continue to engage with Western forms and have created a small body of work that is worth evaluating.

V.S. Naipaul, another Nobel prize winning writer, wrote about India's current lack of a painting tradition in his book India: A Wounded Civilization (1977). He noted that while India had recovered its traditions of classical dance, music, and its weaving arts, the painting tradition had remained broken ever since Mughal art died out. The Western artistic vision was too dominant and too varied, which made Indian artists insecure and imitative. The irony is that art schools in India were established at the very moment when Indian painting traditions were wiped out.

In Indian comics, one can see an aesthetic struggle to adopt and adapt a Western form to tell Indian stories, while also competing with the overwhelming influence of other media like film and TV. The difficulty in "reading" the genre of Indian comics arises first of all from its problematic status as art. It has an obscure position at art schools in India. Since comics are considered low art anyway, they tend to easily escape any critical scrutiny, so there are no standards except those set up by whoever is in a position of power, which is most often the publisher/editor. There is no tradition to follow.

This article will stake out the territory of comics practice in India and some of its key players. The boundaries are porous, and some areas are not discussed here--comics in the Northeast for example, or the small vernacular comics companies many of which died out.

To start with, a distinction should be made between cartoons and comics, with cartoons denoting single-panel combinations of text and image, and comics being those that also represent "time" using multiple panels, thereby enabling narrative storytelling. Thus comic strips qualify as comics, while R.K. Laxman's "You Said It" is a cartoon. R.K. Laxman, though he is an important artist doesn't feature in this essay because he draws only single-panel cartoons. It is strange that he never tried his hand at the newspaper comic strip.

It is interesting that cartooning, especially political cartooning, has enjoyed respectability and has been able to build its own tradition in India, so much so that it has been institutionalized, possibly because of its close connection to journalism. In the 19th century, the British introduced Indian versions of their magazines like The Indian Punch which had political cartoons, and cartooning in India has continued in that tradition. Shankar's Weekly, an influential magazine started by the political cartoonist Shankar (and which closed down during the Emergency in 1975) gave a voice to a whole generation of cartoonists. Recently in Bangalore (Bengaluru), the Indian Institute of Cartoonists (a take-off from the Indian Institute of Science?) opened a large gallery space exclusively for cartoons. V.G. Narendra, a cartoonist and Managing Trustee of the Institute, mentioned that they also plan to build a cartoon library.

There is almost a class divide between "cartoonists" and "comics artists". The difference is mainly because comics artists are mostly salaried employees in an industrial system, drawing whatever story is thrust upon them, while cartoonists are responsible for both text and image, so that each of them has a signature style. This difference doesn't exist in the world's largest comics industry, Japan, because there comics artists draw as well as write the story and so are regarded as authors. Till a couple of decades ago, comics artists in America and England worked by page and had almost no rights to their work, while even then cartoonists and newspaper comic strip artists like Charles Schulz of "Peanuts" or Bill Waterson of "Calvin and Hobbes" had author status and earned royalties.

The newspaper comic strip in Hindi caught on in the early 1960s. Pran Kumar Sharma, a graduate of the J.J. School of Art, Bombay (Mumbai), started with a comic strip, then in 1969 moved on to create Chacha Chaudhury, the wisecracking old man, and other characters who were very popular among the Hindi readership. Pran's characters were some of India's earliest "indigenous" comic characters. Chacha Chaudhury, specifically, is a representation of a Jat farmer. In popular culture, Jat farmers are satirized by other communities as muscular hard-working fellows but with little or no education. Pran created a Jat character that broke the popular stereotype. Chacha Chaudhury was a smart Jat, and the tagline in the comic was "Chacha Chaudhury's brain works faster than a computer". Pran is one of the few comic artists who kept copyright of their work (Toms, who is discussed later in this essay, is another) and distributed it themselves. He also formed one of the first syndication companies, Diamond Comics, which published and distributed most of his work. Diamond is one of the two big comics publishing companies from Delhi, the other being Raj Comics. In the pages of one of their comics magazines, Comic Pitara, one finds hysterical hybrids of hastily copied Disney characters fighting it out with "indigenous" characters. In recent years, the popularity of Pran's comics has reduced. Now Pran runs a media institute and is producing animated versions of his work.

Another popular Hindi comic strip was "Dabbuji" by Aabid Surti which appeared in Dharamyug. A Hindi novelist and artist, Aabid Surti created other comic characters in the '70s--Bahadur, Inspector Azad (figure 1), and Shuja, the desi version of Tarzan. Bahadur was his most popular character, with artwork by Govind Brahmania, and featured in Indrajal Comics. He was the lone Indian hero to have successfully competed with Western characters like Phantom and Mandrake who also featured in Indrajal. For Bahadur, Aabid informed me that he was inspired by a book written by Taroon Kumar Bhaduri, a journalist (and father of the actor and politician Jaya Bachchan), on the dacoits of Chambal, called Abhishipth Chambal. Bahadur is a hero who protects the town of Jaigarh against dacoits by forming a vigilante militia. In later issues, he becomes a somewhat James Bond-like character, solving international crime with girlfriend Bela in tow. Indrajal Comics was an initiative by The Times of India, launched in 1964, and closed in 1990. The comic has enjoyed a minor nostalgic revival in recent times, thanks to NRIs hunting for old issues over the internet.

[FIGURE 1 OMITTED]

In 1971 Aabid Surti started a comics syndicate called AFI Features owned by Advertising Films of India (AFI). Along with Rangarekha Features started by Anant Pai in 1970, AFI Features competed with King Features Syndicate, the powerful global agency that was responsible for Phantom, Mandrake, and Tarzan becoming household names in India. Bang Features is a part of the Hearst Corporation's global media empire. Its role in the development of newspaper comics cannot be underestimated. AFI Features tried, via imitation of its business model, to kickstart an Indian comics scene. Even though it was short-lived, AFI Features was a successful venture. In fact "Inspector Azad" and "Shuja" which appeared in The Illustrated Weekly of India managed to usurp the place of Tarzan and Phantom for a while. Pratap Mulick, the artist on "Azad", did a skilful black-and-white job on them that seems very influenced by Milton Caniffs famous action adventure strip "Terry and the Pirates" that was syndicated by King Features. "Azad" was an adventure story very much in the mould of the '70s Hindi films featuring policemen and dacoits. Azad was the dashing young cop who, girlfriend by his side, cracked down on goons. Perhaps that's what prompted Raj Kapoor, the famous filmmaker and actor, to ask Aabid to write a feature script based on the comic. However, the project kept getting postponed for various reasons, and when the film was to get started and the actors finally signed on, Raj Kapoor died after receiving the Dadasaheb Phalke Award. A lot of Aabid's papers were permanently damaged in the Mumbai flash floods of 2005. Drawings and press cuttings were drenched in Mumbai's polluted waters. Thankfully, some of his work had been digitized and was thus preserved.

The comics that Aabid Surti created were an attempt to provide an indigenous substitute for the Western crime/adventure genre of comics that were available in the Indian market at the time. Raj Comics, the most successful of the Hindi comics companies, in a similar vein, took on the superhero iconography and grafted it into the Indian psychic topography. They came up with a whole range of superhero characters with loose associations to Indian mythology that struck a chord with readers of Hindi pulp fiction. Like its "original" Western counterpart DC Comics, Raj Comics is inspired pop trash, organized around characters like Nagraj, Doga, Super Commando Dhruv, Parmanu, Bheriya, Bhokal, Fighter Toads (an imitation of Teenage Mutant Mnja Turtles), Inspector Steel (a version of Robocop). Many of these characters are strange mutated versions of American superheroes. Their superpowers are odd and awkward. Bheriya, the wolf man, can grow his tail as long as he wants and uses it as a weapon. Nagraj, "King of Snakes", literally throws snakes at his enemies. He even has an alter ego like Superman's--exactly the same nerdy character with glasses who works in the media. In one of the early Nagraj stories, "The Dictator", an exorcism experiment goes wrong and the spirit of Adolf Hitler enters a boy, who now wants to continue World War II and rule the planet (figure 2). But what's ingenious here is the way in which Hitler's fascism is represented. He mind-controls people in such a way that hundreds of humans merge to form a huge humanoid, with Hitler as the brain--an interesting visceral way of portraying the mob hysteria that dictatorships feed on. This image also reminds one of certain Indian miniature paintings where animal forms are created using a composite of human postures. Yet, in these comics, there seems to be a lack of faith in the image. The text is expository, often describing what is in the visuals, as if the image is somehow not adequate, as if the text has to authenticate it. The images don't have "equal rights" with the text (to borrow a phrase from the scholar W.J.T. Mitchell).

The Raj Comics brand of pulp violence is very different from Amar Chitra Katha's (ACK) investment in real-life heroic figures. Started by Anant Pai at the end of the '60s, ACK strikes me as a rather odd edifice in India's pop culture. The story told by Anant Pai about its origins is now legendary. He says that once he happened to attend a school quiz competition where he was upset that urban Indian students could remember the names of Greek gods and goddesses, while they did not know the name of the brother of Rama. He took it upon himself to educate Indian youth in its rich cultural heritage. His choice of the medium of comics now seems an obvious one, but back then, there were hardly any examples to follow. Pai visualized ACK as a replacement for the traditional role of the grandmother. Comics, he decided might be an entertaining way to transmit Indian heritage to urban kids from nuclear families, who didn't have their grandmothers to tell them these stories. In this aspect, Pai's ambition goes beyond the confines of the comic medium and into the cultural psyche of the country itself.

When I met him, Anant Pai came across as a quaint figure in his plush new office in Mumbai. (ACK has been bought over by NRI businessmen looking to reap a rich harvest from this venerable institution.) Comics didn't seem to gel with his wide knowledge of the classic Sanskrit texts, which he quoted in original Sanskrit. The classics were all there on a shelf behind him, one of his favourites being the Bhagavad Gita. The Gita, drawn by the late Pratap Mulick, is as far as I know the only ACK comic which is based on a philosophical/theological text and where visuals are used as metaphors. Yet, the images need the qualifying text to make them work. For example, one of the panels talks about desires being like the wind that rocks the boat of life. The image is of a boat on the high seas being tossed about by the waves and the wind. It is realistically drawn, but the image doesn't really work as a metaphor. What we see is merely a boat that is rocking on the waves. It is only the text that tells us to read the image metaphorically.

In ACK's mythological comics the gods and goddesses can be experienced as "real" people, with "personalities", as opposed to religious icons to be worshipped. It was a logical step forward from Raja Ravi Varma's realistic paintings of gods and goddesses, only now they spoke and made faces! Ramanand Sagar, the maker of the Ramayan, the mega hit TV serial, was apparently influenced by ACK. Anant Pai told me that Ramanand Sagar actually touched Pai's feet during a public meeting. From Ravi Varma's realistic gods to Dadasaheb Phalke's screen gods to Anant Pai's comic-strip gods to Ramanand Sagar's TV gods--ACK's mythological comics were an important component of popular culture. The depiction of gods and goddesses as "real" people on TV had an even more powerful effect than it had in comics. Some time ago, Arun Govil, the actor who played Rama in the TV serial, spoke on TV about how his career was effectively destroyed after that part. Nobody would give him roles because viewers would always associate him with Rama.

Another telling statistic is provided by Anant Pai himself. His first comic, the mythical story of Krishna sold more than 11 lakh copies, while the sales of Nehru (drawn by Yusuf Lien, the only Muslim artist in ACK), a biography of the first Indian Prime Minister, totalled about 50,000. If the gods are humanized, then real people have to be mythologized in order to be successful characters. Through this rationale, the most popular character of ACK comics is Anant Pai himself. As "Uncle Pai" he addresses thousands of children who write him letters every month. In order to mythologize himself, he has to be "invisible", in a reversal of the process of humanizing the gods by giving them a face. Uncle Pai's photograph or image never appeared in any of the comics, except once, at the end of the Nehru issue, where a two-page comic about "The Making of Amar Chitra Katha" portrays how well researched their comics are (figure 3). Recently, a school in Mumbai introduced ACK as part of the teaching material on history, and there was a public debate on whether it could be considered authentic. Interestingly, one of the keys to ACK's success was the support it received from the Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan during its early days.

[FIGURE 3 OMITTED]

Some of the best comics artists of the '70s worked for ACK, and a few of them spent their entire careers there. The ACK house style is due to artists like Ram Waeerkar, Dilip Kadam, Pratap Mulick, Pradeep Sathe, Souren Roy, Savio Mascarenhas, and Archana Amberkar (one of the few women artists), and writers like Margie Sastry, Kamala Chandrakant, and Subba Rao. Anant Pai spoke about the difficulty of finding suitable artists in the beginning. Even though some of them were trained in art schools like the J.J. School of Art, he says they had little idea about how to draw images from a script. There was also the problem of artists considering comic art as "commercial" or infantile. The early scripts of ACK comics were written by Anant Pai himself. He claims to have given his artists details of costume and other minutiae of the period that he gleaned from reading the originals in Sanskrit. Nandini Chandra's book The Classic Popular: Amar Chitra Katha--1967-2007 (2008), the first book-length study of comics to be published in India, argues that ACK was part of the re-creation of a Hindu past that was analogous to the emergence of Hindu nationalism as an ideology.

Anant Pai's comics were only a small part of his larger project to build "self-esteem" in our country's youth. He ran a hugely successful "personality development course" in many parts of the country, based on the teachings of the Gita. It is probably due to Anant Pai's intellectual investment in nation-building that none of the ACK comics ever indulged in satire. That genre was more successfully employed by "Toms", the pseudonym of a self-taught Malayali comic artist named V.T Thomas. For over 50 years he has been drawing black-and-white comics in Malayalam and is an institution in Kerala. He started off as a cartoonist in Malayala Manorama, and inspired by Laxman and foreign strips like "Dennis the Menace", created two ageless naughty kids named Boban and Molly. Soon his one-page comics and three-panel strips featured all kinds of small town eccentrics, including Toms himself as a henpecked husband (figure 4). The success of his comics, which combined political satire with children's gags, increased the sales of Manorama. When he decided to leave, they continued the comics with other artists. This enraged Toms, who filed a court case, that went up to the Supreme Court. Eventually the matter was settled and Manorama desisted from using his characters. When I met Toms he told me that the case is now studied in law colleges, and the book jacket of an English translation of some of his work proudly announces that this is the only instance where a cartoonist sued his publisher! Toms then began a self-publishing enterprise that is the most successful example in Indian comics publishing. Each comic is priced cheaply at Rs 10, printed in black-and-white (except for the cover) on cheap paper, and appears monthly in 34 pages. Most of the comics are written and drawn by Toms, while some are contributions. He directly distributes them to agents all over Kerala, with a circulation of around 1.5 lakh copies.

[FIGURE 4 OMITTED]

On a lazy, sultry afternoon at his house in Kottayam, the old man comes across not as an artist, but as a craftsman, or even an artisan. There is a sense of daily labour in his drawings, which are swiftly and sketchily drawn, as if he might lose sight of the idea if he doesn't hurry. He says that his comics are social criticism, and not to be taken as mere entertainment. I asked him if he liked superheroes, and he replied that he wanted comics to be moulded out of reality, and so he always avoided excessive flights of fancy. I have not seen an Indian comic that is closer to its audience than this. He plays with the form by creating entirely wordless pieces, repeating panels, and sometimes doing away with panel borders. He insists that comics should be in black-and-white, and not only because this is cheaper to print. He says the line in comic art is important and it would get obscured by colour. This is similar to Japanese manga, which are entirely in black-and-white, printed on cheap paper, a lot of them self-published, with most stories written and drawn by the same person, a not-so-common feature in Indian and Western comics.

Bengal is another state that has produced an indigenous comics culture. Narayan Debnath and Mayukh Choudhury were the two towering figures in the Bengali comics scene in the '60s and '70s. Both were artists of considerable skill, and both were published by Deb Sahitya Kutir, a publisher from Kolkata's book hub, College Street. I went to College Street looking for some of these old comics. Deb Sahitya Kutir, the company that published Bengali comics, was near India Coffee House, the old, decaying hang-out of intellectuals in the city. There, in the shop smelling of damp moss, I found fresh reprints of "Batul the Great", a prankster boy with superhuman powers, by Narayan Debnath, and some comics by Mayukh Choudhury. Mayukh drew realistic stories in the historical action-adventure vein (figure 5). Mayukh is no more, but Narayan Debnath continues to draw titles like "Nonte Phonte", "Handa Bhonda", "Bahadur Beral", in magazines like Shuktara and Kishore Bharati. His work is very influenced by British "funnies" of the '50s like Beano and Rodger the Dodger. While many Bengalis are nostalgic about these comics, there is little in Bengali comics today that bears any connection to them. Once again the tradition is not passed on, so there's little to improve upon. In recent times, Ananda Bazaar Patrika, the largest publishing house in Bengal, has entered, the field by publishing Tin tin-style "albums", mainly comic versions of Satyajit Ray's Professor Shonku stories.

[FIGURE 5 OMITTED]

Outsourcing (yes, this industry is no exception) has enabled some artists to draw for American and European comics. Dheeraj Verma is one of the top Indian comics artists right now who's drawing horror stories for the American Avatar Comics. He and his wife, also an artist, run Edge Entertainment on the top floor of a shopping complex in Delhi's Janakpuri area. It is almost invisible among various offices and shops. Only one tiny detail gives it away. In the shopping area on the ground floor, among sellers of bhelpuris and kolhapuris, an artist has set up shop, selling instantly drawn portraits of people. He advertises himself as a student of the creator of "Bheriya", Dheeraj Verma. Before striking it out on his own, Dheeraj was the star artist of Raj Comics, and trained many younger artists there. At his office, he employs a team of artists who do the finishing work for his pencilling. "Indian comics are dead," he told me, while I looked at zombies drawn by him. "They need to be revived." He spoke of reinventing Indian mythology, presenting it in new ways, the mantra of most of the new comics companies. He talked about how our culture was being lost amidst all the westernization. The irony was all there to see while we spoke: right behind us, one of the artists, sitting in this shopping complex in Janakpuri, was laying blond touches on a big-breasted American girl.

Among the new publishers trying to infuse fresh blood into the field, Virgin Comics took the lead. It was established in 2006, with Deepak Chopra, the spiritual guru, Shekhar Kapur, the filmmaker, and Richard Branson, the business tycoon, being its "chief visionaries". They came up with what they thought was a highly original idea of repackaging Indian mythology for the West. At a nondescript building in a residential area in Bengaluru, India's IT capital, new tales were being spun out of the old myths, with titles like "Ramayan 3392 A.D.", "Devi" (figure 6), "The Sadhu", and "Snake Woman". When we went there, Jeevan Kang, the artist who made his name doing "Indian Spiderman" was running the studio. Their attempt to create a DC Comics-style assembly-line of comics with copyrighted characters has met with mixed success. The overall strategy behind the stories is of "secularizing" Indian mythological characters, that is, presenting them as "characters" with "psychology". In the century-old transformation of the gods kickstarted by Ravi Varma, this seems merely like another step. But here is a conflict. How do you give "psychology" and inner life to mythological characters and still retain their archetypal qualities? What it ends up as eventually is an imitation of the Western fantasy genre. Thus Rama in "Ramayan 3392 A.D." is a deadly Kshatriya warlord fighting hordes of "Asuras" (demons) led by Ravana from "Nark" ("hell" in Hindi). The imagery is borrowed from Gothic fantasy. It even has a Lord of the Rings-style map showing exactly where "Nark" is situated. Its bizarre mash up of old Hindu icons with Western science fiction and fantasy imagery is both artistically daring and a spectacular failure at the same time. By sexualizing the Hindu gods and goddesses, and making them "superhuman", they have given them an existential identity crisis that is difficult to resolve. In "Devi" when the spirit of "the fierce female warrior" takes possession of the heroine, she appears dressed in sado-masochistic fetish gear. After the gods became TV soap opera characters, this is where they have ended up. Since my visit to their studio, the company itself has shut down. However, a new company called Liquid Comics has emerged from the ashes, but without the "chief visionaries".

[FIGURE 6 OMITTED]

While this is one end of the contemporary comics scene, at the other end we have comics that wear their newly acquired self-respect on their sleeve in the form of the "graphic novel". Though marketers have advertised it as such, Sarnath Banerjee's Corridor (2004), published by Penguin, is not the first graphic novel in India. A little known publication called River of Stories by Orijit Sen can claim that title (figure 7). Yet another precursor was G. Aravindan's "Cheriya Manushyaram, Valiya Lokavum" (Small Men and the Big World) that first appeared as a strip in the Malayalam magazine Mathrubhoomi Alzhapathipu, from 1961 to 1973. It was later collected in book form in 1978. This strip is unique in that it forms a continuous narrative and the characters age as the story progresses.

[FIGURE 7 OMITTED]

The "graphic novel" is an awkward term that has entered popular discourse. One can actually club all full-length comics under this rubric. But the accepted distinction seems to be that graphic novels should be one long comic story dealing with "serious" issues and "complex" characters. This distinction between comics and graphic novels doesn't exist in Japanese manga. The recent interest in graphic novels is largely due to the availability of Western comics that have greatly enlarged the potential of the form. Works by Art Spiegelman, Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, Frank Miller, and others are now available in Indian bookshops. The internet has also helped spread awareness of the medium, since one can illegally download scans of expensive graphic novels at no cost.

River of Stories was published by an NGO, Kalpavriksh, in 1994, and is a polemical tract on the resistance to the Narmada Dam project. It was ironically, partially funded by the Ministry of Environment and Forests. Orijit Sen showed me his other work in his tiny studio in a posh suburb of Delhi, which reflected his wide knowledge of various comic art styles and techniques. For River of Stories, he said, he wanted to bring authenticity to his characters and the landscape. So he went to the actual locations and made sketches. This is a rare instance in Indian comics art. For him, this need for authenticity came from his early experience of reading Tintin, which was and still is a favourite among urban English-speaking Indians. In his teenage years, he had tried to redraw a Tintin comic with Indian characters. In fact, there was a comic series in the '80s called Adventures of Timpa, by Jahangir Kerawala and Sarbajit Sen, which was a take-off on Tintin but set in Kolkata.

Such efforts speak of a need to imagine a contemporary Indian comics landscape, with its own particular iconography, which is missing in Amar Chitra Katha with its preoccupation with history and myth, or even in Raj or Diamond comics, but half-glimpsed in the work of Toms. The English children's magazine Target addressed this issue for a short while during the '80s. Started by Rosalind Wilson, an expatriate British educationist, Target's major draw was the scattered pages of comics that appeared between puzzles and knowledge-based articles. "Detective Moochhwala" by Ajit Ninan (figure 8) and "Gardhab Das", the singing donkey, by Neelabh and Jayanto were among the more popular ones. These comics showed signs of a fresh visual approach that could have been explored further. Target also featured illustrations by one of the few women cartoonists, Manjula Padmanabhan. Her comic strip "Suki" (figure 9) featured in newspapers in the '80s and early '90s. In its self-reflexive approach, playfulness with form, and in simply having a female protagonist, it is different from the predominantly male-centric world of Indian comics. The urban adolescent male is the implicitly assumed generic reader of an Indian comic and there are hardly any comics in India which express female points of view. For Indian comics to evolve and nurture new expressions, they have to reach out to new readers, and addressing a female readership would be part of the process. Of late there have been comics by women like Amruta Patil and Parismita Singh, and I see this as a healthy trend.
COPYRIGHT 2009 The Marg Foundation
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2009 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:Perspectives
Author:Murthy, Bharath
Publication:Marg, A Magazine of the Arts
Article Type:Critical essay
Geographic Code:9INDI
Date:Dec 1, 2009
Words:5091
Previous Article:Three hunting pictures from 19th-century Nepal.
Next Article:Modernity at the crossroads: Ravi Varma's "Shakuntala Looks Back in Love".
Topics:

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2022 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters |