Friday, August 19, 2011


I got a mail about the workshop on comics & mythology to be conducted by Vimanika Comics at the behest of Comic Con Express Mumbai. Interested in both subjects and writing stories, I sensed an opportunity and decided to go to Mocha Mojo for the same on August 17, 2011.

I reached half an hour before the mentioned time in my over-enthusiasm and sat inside the AC section helping myself to a cup of hot Choco Latte and a bowl (it was huge) of delicious potato wedges with onion-cream sauce, to wait for my friend Nilima to come and the workshop to start. Both happened within five minutes of each other at about 7 pm.

Karan Vir Arora
There were about 40 people in the audience as Karan Vir Arora, the owner of Vimanika Comics, began the workshop. It was very interesting to listen to his ideas on creating a comic and how the company went about it.

Then it was Deepam Chatterjee’s turn to talk about mythology. There was some interaction at this point with Mr. Chatterjee throwing some questions at the audience. The youngsters were encouraged to answer as mythology is considered a forgotten thing amongst the lot. He took us through the process of creating a script for a comic strip. Once that is done, the artist does a rough sketch for the same. When it is approved by the boss (Karan Vir Arora), they go on to make the final sketch in pencil. Later, it is coloured. The background comes later and the two merged. Finally, the speech bubbles appear.

Deepam Chatterjee
A normal speech bubble is white with black writing in it. A red bubble suggests that the speaker is anger while a black bubble suggests that the speaker is negative. Quite interesting!

At this point, I asked Mr. Chatterjee, not once but twice, how one went about presenting a story for a comic. Both times, he came up with answers that had nothing to do with the question. Pretty persistent, I decided to ask this of Mr. Karan Vir Arora after the workshop got over.

Mr. Arora came back to the dais again and took us through the process of creating comic strips. The sketches and drawings were simply amazing on the screen. I was pretty fascinated. I also enjoyed the way these guys were using stories from mythology to suit present day situations and weave the two together and coming up with concepts that should hold the interest of gennext. Seems promising!

I spoke to Karan Vir Arora to find out whether there were any writing opportunities. I believe the whole thing is a kind of closed circuit and no outsiders were given a chance. Fair enough!

Tempted to buy the comics, Nilima and I went to the counter after the workshop was over. The comics were glossy and looked rich and were absolutely worth the pricing. Alas, when I opened them one by one, I was disappointed to see the gorgeous artwork and colour that I had seen on the screen, appeared pretty dull and lifeless on the pages. We refused Karan Vir Arora’s invitation to buy some and left the premises.


  1. :) Nice review. I liked the way they narrated the stories & mixed it up with a current time situation to make it appealing & worth believing.

    I have been telling a lot of people, you should have been there you would have loved it.

    Next time, any more interesting stuff to do, Im in Sundari ;)

  2. Dear Sundariji,
    Thank you for your insightful review of the evening at Mocha. The process of presenting a story for a comic book was explained by me in detail.
    A story needs to be interesting and contemporary, all the while remaining faithful to the authentic sources and scriptures. It has to have action - if you remember, I had mentioned conflict, and a person walking through a room, and being tripped makes a story, not a simple walk through a room. A story needs to be visually appealing and the characters need to be well etched out. Also, one has to be very careful with stories from Mythology, since these are public knowledge and cannot be played around with. I spoke about panels as opposed to shots in film, frozen moments in time- that need to be chosen with care so as to provide a visual feast to the reader. I also spoke about an Aesop Fable about a rabbit and a lion, and suggested to budding writers to write out the tale in 20 panels, or frozen moments in time.
    If my memory serves me correctly, your questions were more about the selection of the stories for comic books in general, but I was answering questions strictly about the process of comic making at Vimanika Comics, which, as I recall, was what the short workshop was all about.
    I could do a detailed workshop on comic making in general sometime, if the Comic Con organisers so desire. If you do believe it would be worth your while, why don't you suggest the same to them? I will be only too happy to oblige.
    Since you are a writer yourself, and wish to expand the horizons of your expressions into 'writing pictures' as I had mentioned at the onset of my talk, you are most welcome to contact me for further details on Comic Making directly.

  3. Thank you very much Mr. Chatterjee - firstly, for checking out my blog, secondly for posting a comment. It's really nice of you to give this explanation and I sincerely hope something can be done about it. Will get in touch with comic con and see if something can be worked out. The main thing here is that I right short stories, novels and blogs. I have never written a script. That's why I was keen to know how one should be written for a comic, or rather, how a story should be presented. What I understood is that one presents the visuals for the comic strips. But what about the story? how is that presented? Looking back and reading your comment, I understand that that particular workshop was not meant to be about what I had asked. I am sorry that I went on asking again and again. Will be glad to be in touch and talk to you about writing for comics.

  4. Thank you for a interesting review of the special session/crash workshop Ms.Venkatraman, as you will learn about the world of Comics & comic script writing ,you will also learn that all comics are formatted digitally and look more vibrant Digitally because their color format is RGB,but as they are printed they do not become dull must check you there but the color format changes to CMYK since all printings need a different color format to print,we also specially get our Comics/Graphic novels brightened a little more a practice which many don't follow & if you remember the lighting in Mochas was not the appropriate lighting that would suit any reading of a book/Comic or Graphic Novel henceforth you finding them dull.Hope this helped in clearing the fog for you & bringing you closer to eventually buying them & not missing out on reading Vimanika Comics :)

  5. i think the graphics of Vimanika comics is just awesome.. finally someone thought about glamorizing our comics to once again appeal to the young crowd. I spent my childhood reading amarchitra katha and thats how i developed a huge part of my knowledge on our culture and history. I think Vimanika comics just take indian comics to a new level.