A stunning & stark visual

This new graphic novel based on the city has just hit the stands.

A garden past rolls off into a dystopian future, and with the whiff of the Indian Coffee House, an ATM goes missing! All strung together as an illustrated anthology, Syenagiri’s physical copy of Bangalore: A Graphic Novel has finally hit the market. A collaborative work by city-based authors, this book lets one hold Bengaluru in their palms.

“The pivotal mindset behind the creation was that cities influence their inhabitants completely, right down to their thoughts and perceptions,” shares Syenagiri’s Jai Undurti. “Just as Mumbai or Delhi have their own signature aura, Bengaluru too has a distinctive signature.”

For Syenagiri, it started with Hyderabad: A Graphic Novel, which was a part of the “Every City is a Story” initiative. Bengalureans’ enthusiasm at Comic Con and their request for an illustrative work for their own city is what spurred Undurti to release the book.

Bangalore: A Graphic NovelBangalore: A Graphic Novel

The team of illustrators involves a mix of established artists as well as ones who are just entering into the field. “Every city is an act of the imagination,” believes illustrator Karn, who has contributed to the book. “The stories talk to each other and it is this thread that ties the volume together. The stories in the anthology are based around the themes which strings together the entire city with its essence and culture,” he says.

However, working from a city-exclusive perspective often tends to involve clichés. The vision to defy reducing cities into an icon or label is what drove artist Ramya Ramakrishnan to pen her quirky sci-fi section in the book. “It is difficult to separate the city from its icons while trying to uphold its true feeling. Probably why my story starts at the Indian Coffee House, to induce an essence of time travel, but that’s not all. Bengaluru is not just its pubs or IT hubs,” she opines, trying to sketch a sense of mystery with her own tale.

“We have Appupen with his trademark black humour looking at Bengaluru 20 years from now, a futuristic dystopia with an architecture that oppresses. At the other end, Prashant Miranda looks back at the city that was a meditation on memory,” explains Undurti.

At certain junctures, he and Rupesh Arvindakshan track a lonely man whose hobby is to go on late-night drives. Zac O’Yeah teams up with one of India’s leading comic-book artists, Harsho Mohan Chattoraj to solve the mystery when an ATM goes missing, while CG Salamander and Devaki Neogi delve into true crime, unearthing a dark secret buried in Richmond road. Solo, Ojo and Sloth follow a vigilante operating from the roofs of Bangalore while newcomer Sumit Moitra chases down a legend from the 1940s.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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