Project C is a new all-India English-language comics/graphic stories magazine, to be eventually published monthly, which will carry all original stories, both stand-alones and serials, comics trivia, non-fiction articles and interactive sections. We intend this to be a startup for the Indian comics industry, a place where content is generated and showcased and a springboard for creators in the genre. Facebook page is here.
Right now we’re running the R&D phase where we’re putting together a group of storytellers and artists, developing stories and trying out new treatments. We’re offering this group a lot of editorial support at this phase because very few of us have worked on full length comics projects yet. We want the magazine to be story-led, targeted at 15 to 30 year olds but certainly not for kids. Any theme or treatment is welcome.
We have some established names on board (both artists and writers) and a lot of enthusiastic amateurs. We want to break the idea that comics are just for kids, and we want to create a community of thinking people involved with the medium. The forum is here.
So far we’re only planning an English edition; we don’t yet have the resources to do the magazine in Indian languages, although eventually we’d like to. We’d like to involve people from all over India in this, and there seems to be a lot of interest. The plan is that at the end of the R&D phase we should have six issues absolutely ready to publish. At that point we will register as a journal, get sponsorship from the market and go into print. Subsequently we will publish every month. We hope eventually to be able to pay honoraria for submissions, although that will be post-sponsorship.
We have several storytellers working on their stuff right now. We’re helping people move from a prose story outline to a script, then visualisation and thumbnails and finally finished artwork. This is a learning experience for all of us.
The Indian comics scene has been on the brink of a major breakthrough for a while without actually getting there, and we hope to be the push that makes it happen.
How to Submit
Here’s how to send your stuff to us.
- Send us your story as a Word or text file. If you are not experienced in writing for comics, then send it to us as an ordinary prose story. We will help you script it.
- If you are confident that you can script it, send it to us in script form showing individual panels as well as page breakup.
Send to rimibchatterjee@gmail..com or avijit..chatterjee..ju@gmail..com. (remove the extra dots).
To give you an idea of what I mean by panel-wise scripting, here’s a sample page of the script of page 1 and 2 of Kalpa given here. You’ll notice that the characters and their mental states are described quite fully. These are minor characters in the story so I’ve embedded the descriptions here. For major characters I have a separate characters and locations file, where I describe the city of Alinagar and its various scenes as well as the main characters.I also do a sketch map of locations.
Make sure you don’t describe a change of state within a panel. (E.g. NOT ‘she walked across the room and took his hand’: you can either show her walking or taking his hand in a single panel). Mental states are important for the artist to get expression and posture. Also don’t forget time of day, direction of light and point of view. I find it easier to start with the background and move in towards the foreground; the artist also needs to know the spatial order of things.
PAGE 1 (recto)
Panel 1.1: Late evening, nearly night, in the central piazza of Gul Bahar Park, Alinagar (refer to map for layout of the park) with the sundial in the centre and the four bibighars (small six-pillared domed gazebos) on four sides. We’re looking towards the Paradise Enclave site so only one bibighar is visible. The dark hulks of the incomplete building site of Paradise Enclave rising behind the bibighar are studded with red warning lights on top, and a few white spotlights on the lower levels. The two trees on either side of the radial roads are dark hulks illuminated here and there with orange sodium vapour light. Saraswati Rahi is sitting on the bench in front of the bibighar. She’s fourteen years old, with a ponytail, not fat but a little chunky, in t-shirt and jeans, with a roundish, eager face. The bibighar has a light inside the dome of the cupola. It throws a pool of light on the sketchbook in her lap, which is black paper on which she’s drawing with chalk. The drawing is an impressionistic night scene of a lighted city scape, seen from high up, spreading to the horizon. Make it rough but vigorous and full of raw talent. We don’t see it too distinctly as yet.
Panel 1.2: The same, except Rohan is now standing over her and scowling, and she’s looking up and smiling. Rohan Manindra is twenty one, final year engineering student, always wears a reversed baseball cap and has a bad attitude. He’s a friend of Shashwat Rahi, Saraswati’s elder brother, but relations between them have recently soured, because Saraswati is infatuated with Rohan. He finds this deeply embarrassing and has been trying to brush her off; Shashwat doesn’t know the whole story but knows Rohan has been making his sister unhappy. Saraswati is a bad judge of people and lives in her own romantic illusions.
Saraswati: Rohan, you came! I thought I’d have to go up on my own.
Rohan: This plan of yours is crazy, Saraswati. I’m only here to make sure you don’t get into trouble.
Panel 1.3: Close up of Saraswati smiling ecstatically.
Saraswati: But you have to see what it’s like up there; the whole city lit up like paradise! You can make out all of Firdaus, with the Sultan’s palace and everything!
Panel 1.4: Long shot of the two of them walking through the park towards the building site.
Panel 1.5:Saraswati and Rohan are at the gap in the ramshackle corrugated-iron-and-planks
Panel 2.1: Shashwat on his skateboard is blazing down the road past Rohan’s three-storey house. He’s in t-shirt and jeans and looks very grim. His hair flies in the wind of his speed. It’s a shabby neighbourhood, full of lower middle class squalor. Raw bricks show through scabby plaster, water stains on the walls, garbage blowing about, a few torn newspapers and plastic bags. The Rahi bungalow might be visible behind him. A beat-up milk truck with Alinagar Dairy/ The Milk of Paradise on it. Sleepy milkman leaning on it and smoking a tiny hand-held hookah.
Panel 2.2: Shashwat with his board under his arm, is pushing open the chained gate of Gul Bahar Park and wriggling through the gap. We see unruly foliage and an overgrown gravel path through the bars. The gate has a board with ‘CLOSED by order of Alinagar Corporation’ on it. Someone has spraypainted ‘playground of the G.O.D.Z.’ on this board. The pillars also have bizarre designs sprayed over the crumbling bricks.
Panel 2.3: Shashwat is speeding along on his board inside the park. The path is rough so he’s in the air; he’s going so fast he bounces over the bumps. Behind him we see a concrete winged apsara sculpture by the path, slightly battered.
Panel 2.4: He’s at the bench, kneeling and holding the sketchbook. We see the chalk drawing of the night scene clearly. It’s the night-time view of the city panorama from the terrace of the seventeenth floor of Block 5 of Paradise Enclave. Half falling out of the sketchbook is a torn exercise book page with a stick figure in chalk of a boy on a skateboard, labeled ‘Shashwat’. It’s done in a child’s style but the lines of the limbs are dynamic and cleverer than they seem on first sight.
Panel 2.5: A border of haze around this panel. The same panoramic scene in reality, ie the view from the terrace of the unmade seventeenth floor with the city spread out below, blazing with lights. Remember that this floor has mostly incomplete walls open to the sky, with a partially cast roof. In the foreground Saraswati and Rohan, both facing the view, are seen from behind silhouetted against the sky. Rohan is standing stiffly straight with his arms crossed; Saraswati has tucked her hands into the crook of his arm and is leaning towards him as if she’s whispering to him even as they look at the city.
There are two options for artists. Either you write and draw your story, or you work with a writer, either someone you know or someone we assign to you. If you wish to do the latter, then please send us samples of your artwork, any format, but preferably medium-low resolution jpegs or gifs (tifs are acceptable for line art). We’ll match you up with a writer and story that suits your style.
If you are going to draw your own story, you can send us thumbnails or completed artwork. Thumbnails are a good idea because we can then troubleshoot the story and you can incorporate the changes in the final version. But if you feel confident of the story and the design go ahead and send us your final stuff. You can send either whole pages or individual panels. If you wish we can compose the pages for you.
For evaluation purposes, initially just send low res JPEG scans or output of 150 dpi resolution. If approved, we will ask for printable high res scans or editable Photoshop or CorelDraw files, probably on DVD which you’ll have to post to us, but don’t do this till we’ve seen it and said yes.