Bengaluru: 18 artists and writers and three years in the making: Bangalore Graphic Novel hit bookstores on Friday evening at Goobe's on Church Street.
Spurred on by the success of Hyderabad: A Graphic Novel, Jai Undurti, who has always had a close connection with Bengaluru, decided to create one on this city, too.
The contributors are a mix, ranging from long time residents of Bengaluru to passing travellers and people who simply lost their hearts to the place. And it’s a city reconstructed through the associations and memories that define one’s experience of a place.
“If you don’t like Majestic, I suggest you don’t read my story,” said novelist Zac O’Yeah, a telltale twinkle in his eye. Majestic, which gave Zac, then an unwitting tourist an unlikely home in Bengaluru has been the centre of his Hari Majestic series. His story, The Mystery of the Missing ATM has been illustrated by Harsho Mohan Chattoraj. “I’ve written a number of film scripts before, all of them flopped. I thought this might go the same way, but it's here!”
“I met with Jai in 2014,” said graphic novelist George Appupen, whose art work has made it to the cover (aside from his contribution, Bangaloids). “He introduced himself to me as Jaideep and it was only at the end of our lunch that I realised he was the man behind the Hyderbad graphic novel. My story was done in 2014 and the launch was postponed repeatedly until now. Basically, I was a young boy when I wrote the story,” he remarked, to a round of laughter from the audience. Ramya Ramakrishnan’s No More Coffee is set in the iconic India Coffee House on Church Street.
“I heard about this through friends - there was an open call on Facebook. The deadline was midnight, my entry made it in at 11.58 pm. A couple of days later, they told me I had made it,” she smiled. Her story is part science fiction and part romance, but its nostalgia she hopes to evoke. “A place is memorable because of the experiences we associate with it.”
The other stories include 81, Richmond Road by CG Salamander, art work by Devaki Neogi and Letters by Aditya Bidikar. 11th Main, 9th Cross, by Solo, art work by Ojo and Mileage by Jai Undurti and art by Rupesh Arvindakshan, among others.