Well, the workshop on graphic novel writing at Seagull was a huge success, even though we had only seven people. All of them came up with kickass stories that we would like to see developed further. The most interesting was one about a vampire/demigod and a novel in verse about war and its consequences. It struck me that verse, which publishers react to as if it were fresh nuclear waste, could work if done in an interesting visual form, somewhat like William Blake’s books of verse. Worth a try.
Everyone was so enthused that five days weren’t enough to discuss everything we wanted to talk about, so lots of people are coming over today and tomorrow to talk about stories and drawing. Other people who we didn’t know about have also put their hands up, and we should have some very interesting creative adda this weekend. Some of us will just kick ideas around, but I’m hoping others will start some serious work. We’re also hoping to match potential writers with artists where necessary and feasible.
Calcutta is full of stories, but no one has done anything to bring them into the light. I’m beginning to feel that I should help to do this. Since I have a little visibility in the writing world, I think I should start building a place for people from this city to meet and write/draw and showcase their work. It’s easier to get published in Bombay and Delhi because there are writers you can meet at launches and functions and there are publishers you can pester. Here there’s just me.
So if you write/draw (that means either one or both) drop me a comment here and if possible send me a sample and I’ll invite you over. I don’t know what will come of this eventually, but we’re thinking of creating a means to publish these works, once we work out a funding plan and a format. It’s high time we started irrigating the rather arid wasteland of Indian comics with some good storytelling. Watch this space.