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A dissertation presented in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree of MFA (Masters in Fine Art) in the Department of History of Art, Kala Bhavan, Shantiniketan

Clyde D’mello
Kala Bhavan, Visva-Bharati University, Santiniketan 2012

Supervised by Dr Sanjoy Kumar Mallik Department of History of Art, Kala Bhavan, Santiniketan

Submitted through The Head Department of History of Art, Kala Bhavan, Santiniketan


I would like to thank Chakravorty Parthapratim who gave me immense help through discussions, every night and day over tea, Indrapramit Roy, Vishwajoyti Ghosh and especially H.A Anil Kumar (without which I would have never got an interest in Art History). I would also like to thank my parents and friends especially Geetika Arora for their continuous support.

Clyde D’mello



1) Introduction


2) Conclusion



it seems to have a wider or let’s say a broader perspective due to the country’s systems (cast.). In India this medium is quite young and has elaborated on many themes among them.e. that very form of violence has a set of acts and these acts persist with the added inclusion of the media – I have explained this further in a chapter dedicate to this subject. creed. to find something quite serious than finding the address of an art gallery.e.S. started in the early 1900’s it catered to a certain crowd of people. and this involves discussions and conventions(lately COMIC CON. When one picks up a graphic novel what one sees is that it is just as plain as a comic book and nothing more. by educate I mean not only in art but on other aspects of society form wars. Part(1) looks at the history of the medium as well as its relation to India and its aesthetics . This dissertation is divided into two parts. though only few authors have work on this theme. which is what I would look at and argue on how has it been represented within the medium. 6 . while the other has. graphic novel creators and artist discuss on themes that dwell within India and how does the future of the medium work within the Indian youth culture) as well as blog posts and reviews through press and other means. to domestic violence. still it has helped the middle class youth to research on the topic pertaining to the narration and educate themselves to give their own response to the medium. the graphic novel seems to be the most clearly and easily defined medium to educate the youth because Art as such hasn’t reached the upper middle class youth. religion etc. And though there are many medias of representing this issue. political violence and tried to theorize this topic in relation to India within its set of graphic novels.a U. but eyes as such can be deceiving for a simple thing as his can educate as well as show a sort of reality. The medium has proved to educate the upper middle class youth who have been brought up in this culture . they consider themselves a part of a niche culture. and there seems to quite a difference between the both. as it pertains to the history of India. yet those who get a hold of it seem to consider that ‘it is art’. Part (2) is where I have taken one of the subject matter i.INTRODUCTION The graphic novel is a world phenomena. it is easy to step in to a book shop and look at the comic section. that run within the medium. that is located in the farthest corner of a city or town i.A based convention has hit the Indian market on comics and graphic novels where comic. and with this how violence is personified in a comic book/ graphic novel. where one tries to work on ‘samples’ which does not have a conclusive beginning or an end. Cultural studies questions this distinction and calls this medium also a part of art. Political violence is one of the few themes that are discussed. selecting a few to elaborate on my issue. political violence. No doubt that now it is considered a serious subject within the gamut of art and but it is still considered a part of ‘low art’ – art for the masses. they would spend more time reading a comic and enjoying the television than going to an art exhibition. is there a hidden meaning within the text of violence? Or is it just what the text is and nothing more? These are a few questions that I have raised within the subject pertaining to violence. Its subjectivity as such can be perceived as a very elastic term but has a general rule. The graphic novel emerged from the comic book..

a part of a child’s leisure time where imagination of the child could go wild. Will Eisner a graphic novelist and a pioneer comic book theoretician calls the medium of comics as sequential art.COMICS AND SEQUENTIAL ART. where one panel of narration is connected with another panel in a 1 sequence . The first ever comic to come out in history was that of Ally sloppers half holiday 1888. 7 . They were quite simple and were made out of wood cut prints. Some of the pioneers were William Hogarth: A Rakes Progress (1755). 1892 which was meant for reading during train journeys. (17. Later. 1889.D) due to the invention of the printing press.18th century A. it gave in basic humor as part of the traveler’s journey. the block prints done by artists became even more intricate. a savage satirical print on English aristocracy.COMIC BOOKS GRAPHIC NOVELS A SHORT STORY Comic books. 1 WILL EISNER. The medium of comic books began with medieval European illustrations of hangings of convicts even before the hangings ever took place. are now seen as a worldwide phenomena. Many other artists took the language of satire to represent colonial attitudes. as per say. as well as comments of the colonies (especially on how an Englishman would look at colonial races).

“funnies” were born which were placed in the leisure column with a plethora of crossword puzzles and horoscopes (some of the best ones still continue till this date – Garfield.C and MARVEL ( where the world wide phenomena of the comic takes its birth form). This was where the “true” comic came in to existence which involved the formal aesthetics of comics (frame. Peanuts. content).1938 8 . Gladstone visits America. and Blondie etc). William Hogarth.TOP. 1892. Marvel Comics. Peanuts. panels. BOTTOM. A Rakes Progress.Ally Slopper’s Half Holiday. Right.London serio-comic 1887 Mr. comics were taken to America and from the 19th century. Schulz.the First ever Superman.Captain America hits Hitler. Judy. Charles 1982 It was only during the early 20th century that the comic book format was used which was governed by two of the most famous publishing houses D. At the same time.1940 . This is where parents used to give these pages to their children as for them it were quite “useless”.

D. attacked most genera of comics and became a so called ‘Guardian of Public Decency”. By this time series of comics were introduced where the creator and the publisher took full freedom and advantage of the youth and during the early early 1900’s certain comics like Strange Tales . a trifling thing like a comic was never taken seriously. Tales of Horror. torture. sexuality and nudity. Anything that went against this code was either given to be rere done (completely) or was automatically banned.C comics1952t. It was also the time when parents took action on what their children were reading. which according to a certain Dr. One of the few comics before the seal of the authority could be added (crime.Suspense Stories E. From the left. The cover to the most influential academic study on comics. the narration along with the text was considered dered violent in nature and questioned whether a comic book was ‘good’ or ‘bad’ for a child (in a psychological perspective) and also gave rise to the Comic Code Authority bringing in criteria’s for illustration and narration. Extreme Right. Vault of Horror to mention a few. where the content was more towards gruesome depictions of horror.As mentioned above. in his book Seduction of the Innocent (1955). M. the Comic Code Authority Seal Left-DC DC Comics the legion of Superheroes (1958) and Right-Amazing Amazing Fantasy featuring Spiderman Note the seal on the right hand side of the comic’s 9 . Here. where each and every comic book book had to be stamped with this seal as to be safe for children. Fredric Wertham. the early ly comic books were meant for children but as such.

Cover to the high voltage title that jump started the underground comic. panels and overall design of the work. The graphic novel medium came as a counter cultural activity when publishers decided to work on more serious topics rather than what was already predominant in the comic format.C (Detective Comics USA Inc) and MARVEL corp. THE COMING OF THE GRAPHIC NOVEL2 Meanwhile. but were sold in hash shops (shops selling sex toys. a big venture was taken up by the major houses. Robert Crumb. two big comic houses started to work within the Authority codes D.S. and graphic novels. Right. second wave feminism took hold in the Americas and Britain. U. But the idea of the graphic novel did not stem from the 2 Books referred• • Comics.Douglas Wolk 10 . Heavy Metal an adult illustrated dark fantasy -1970 Apart from this. They went completely against the Comic Code Authority which also meant that these books were not sold in regular comic bookstores.A). Both these houses and their characters came under the ‘microscopic’ eye of Dr. many underground comics were on the move. Marijuana and adult related items). at the same time. where artists took a whole new freedom of depiction and narration. In the 1980’s.Roger Sabin Reading comics ‘how graphic novels work and what do they mean’ Part one Theory and history. but they did make some changes especially in their depiction. and brought forth a whole universe of characters entwined within locations of the present (for example Batman created by Bob Kane in the 1940’s gave its location of Gotham city similar to New York City. 1968. These comics broke away from the basic aesthetics of comic art in their depiction of frames. These graphic novels came with the tag “for mature readers only” (observed in most graphic novels).With this came a whole new set of comic books: a sort of underground comic book genre. Commix. Artists started using themes like these and started making a revolution in comic book history. these houses started to target their ideas to the adult market and came up with “The Graphic novel”. They used a marketing strategy and created a niche to sell their idea of a graphic novel as a new mainstream as a part of a sub-counter culture revolution (1990’s onwards) using more experimental art and topics pertain to a more contemporary ideology. Wertham and were criticized. by a “lengthy comics in book format with a thematic unity” (usually the first print is in hard cover) they are a medium of literature and art where messages are conveyed through pictures and are divided into chapters to convey the message.

but t in 1929 from a Belgian. the Far East. ICTURES. they are more or less like Novels –BUT WITH PICTURES. The comic houses later obtained and sometimes sometimes employed the writer and the storyline to then publish under their name. created ‘the adventures of TINTIN’ where a boy scout in plus fours would get in to scrapes in exotic locations. 1938 On a creative level. but it depicted nearly everything from political tensions to archeological surveys. the narratives were carefully researched. But graphic novels are more than just comics. the final work came to be known as a style called “clear line”(because of the lack of shadow). A trait of a graphic novel is that it gives credit to both the writer and the artist on the cover page (just like an artist signs his name on his 11 . came as a reaction of the French rejecting the whole history of o American comics as a sort of ‘cultural imperialism’ and a need to create more patriotic heroes arose and ‘ASTERIX’ became a French hero who went against the Romans as well as Americans. . usually by a team of creators who would often travel to the location to make ‘accurate sketches’. the first page of the Tintin and the black island.ASTERIX and OBELIX comics ‘ASTERIX and OBLEIX’.Africa. The graphic novel by itself was created not by these houses but by fans (as the term “fanatic”) and their basic idea was to bring in more ‘juice’ to represent a higher mainstream of art and literature. marketed by giant comic book houses or big publishers like Penguin or Harper Collins. This form that was taken by these publishing houses did not cater to children( like in France) at the time as compared to the “normal” comics (or even the French comics) released by the big houses like D. With his most “revolting” friend captain Haddock the fearless seafarer. The Complete Cast of Tintin by Hergé. and Snowy.Americas. The stories were meant for children and each of his adventures was bound in albums (where the form would eventually take to become the Graphic Novel as a sort of thematic unity for each place he [TINTIN] goes to).C( Detective Comics USA inc) and MARVEL (MARVEL CORP INC) group. his dog. . South America and even to the moon. Another pioneer was Albert Uderzo whose French Nationalism. Georges Remi where he used his pen name Hergé. a marketing strategy to make comics come on the big g news stand.

Jose Sacco’s Palestine) or the way the media is portrayed (Batman: The Dark Knight returns – written by Frank Miller with Klaus Janson and Lynn Varely) or even anarchism ( V for Vendetta by Alan Moore. The tag “for mature readers” also holds well for they are filled with insults.below). sometimes as a whole image itself being a part of a narration. UNDERGROUND COMIX. Works such as Art 12 . many other artists also came together to create a sort of underground graphic novel sector. they also broke away from the CCA as a vendetta for experimental art and narration in comic book format with the some of the issues mentioned above. The Anarchic V for Vendetta by Alan Moore These are shown with panels and narration. radical politics. With this.not in line with the big publishing houses. 1969 But it is also the content of the Comic book (graphic novel) which counts. sex and ‘X’treme violence.Crumb. Another note is the advent of comic studies in universities as a serious subject in relation to mass culture (some professors on comic studies include Scott Mc Cloud. giving it also the title ART COMICS. nudity.Right PenthouseComix -1994 Left.Zap comics’ art work by R. Douglas Wolk and many others). Under making a graphic novel worthy to be placed in the space of “ART”(which was absent in normal paperback comics). or just raw killing and bloodshed which are not appropriate for children. sometimes of political violence (like Art Speigalman’s Maus.

multimedia work). Thus later it strived to be a part of mainstream art culture.Vanahime.Speigelman’s Maus or Dave Sims Aardvark. But later more serious topics were take into consideration (for example 300. a historical graphic novel describing King Leonaidas of Sparta (‘s struggles?) against the Persians of Xerxes in the battle of Thermopylae) and a more artful art (like collages. by Lyn Varely and Frank Miller. where simple black and white illustrations conveyed the message. from the Jewish ghettos to a mammal fighting the evils of medieval England. This was also done with institutionalizing the medium and its productive output in universities. 13 . or Joe Sacco’s Palestine (and many of his other graphic novels).

the schema of culture. 300. culture as such. Iranian Marjane Satrapi’s ‘Persepolis’ where with stark black and white illustrations of sequence she has depicted a personal life story with helpings of the political situation of Iran during her growing years A TRIFLE THING AS A COMIC BOOK3 4 The medium is the message.the cultural industry. where sequential images are juxtaposed in a deliberate fashion The basic conception of this part is taken from Theodor Adorno. a graphic account of the battle of Thermopylae 1999 Will Eisner the man who made the Graphic novel medium popular. 4 3 UNDERSTANDING MEDIA – MARSHALL MCLUHAN 14 . Take for example. selected essays of Mass Culture – chapter2.Above Art Speigelman’s Frank Miller and Lyn Varely . The comic book as a medium is a part of the petit put forth by Marshall McLuhan .A contract With God. where many countries are experimenting with the format.C comics 1978 The Graphic novel now has become more of a world phenomenon.gave in a biographical account of the horrors of war 1973. This is by and large influenced by the economic conditions we live in. D. is stimulated by these mediums as an afterthought. as a branch of art in a commercial sector where ‘everyone’ can read’. it gave in so much as to comment on how the media has affected us in our daily lives.

One can draw a triangle of understanding in this structure. whereas graphically based novels in deliberate sequential format are targeted ‘for mature readers’ that is upper middle class onwards. 15 . The medium as such here is not the only message—its content. for the higher middle class (ART COMICS.e. thus the status of the graphic novel goes higher than just the menial comic book. A trifling thing as a comic book fills itself with aesthetically beautiful art work in narrated panels which run in a sequence to convey a message to the viewer. whereas a graphic novel would usually cost from 500 to 10. 5 SCOTT MCCLOUD. Comics as such are targeted to children of ‘middle class folk’. depiction and narrative all come together to deliver the message.5 intended to convey information and/ or to produce an aesthetic response to the viewer by manner of content. where right on top is the ‘ART’. and right below in the bottom of the pyramid is ‘popular mass culture’ (also called a 6 POP culture ). to present day comics. the miniatures of Mughal India (to include the Rajput and the Pahari school becomes obvious because of their narrative quality with text in Brajbasha . But the modern format of comics can be seen during the 1970’s.UNDERSTANDING COMICS 6 Note this structure is based purely on consumption from the few to the many to the surplus. MUSIC etc) that can transcend the higher structure but does not. from the murals of Ajanta. the reader which is what is to be targeted here. one can look at the history to even more as India has a long tradition of telling stories through pictures and words as seen in many forms. there are bifurcations. from Amar Chitra Katha (literally translated as "immortal picture stories"). MOVIES. 7 For more references please look at • • THE POPULAR CLASSIC AMAR CHITRA KATHA BY NANDINI CHANDRAN Wikipedia article on Indian comics and graphic novels. No doubt the medium. THE STORY OF INDIAN COMICS7Indian comics and graphic novels have a long history of publication. in the centre is art for the masses i. Even in the price range a comic book would usually cost a few rupees (the range is form 10 to 50). a version of present day Hindi) to the Kalighat paintings (patas) of 19th century Bengal. when taken by it is a part of a huge structure of classes but within this structure.000 or even more.

8 Abid Surti-http://www.An ancient comic? Mewari Painting. Ramayan The earlier phase of Indian comics can be seen with short stories with pictures of ‘Chandamama’ (1947).aabidsurti. and later with syndicate features like Phantom-(1963) (a sort of postcolonial masked vigilante who fights crime across the seven seas). Flash Gordon as a space age crime fighter and detective (published in India through Diamond Comics) and Bhadur by Abid Surti (who is known to create other characters like Inspector Azaad and Shuja) from Indrajal comics (which is one of the first Indian hero comics).) This had a wide readership and is still carried 16 .Gita Govinda (series one) Right to left: Chandamama. where his costume according to the creator represents Indian nationalism (A kurta in saffron is symbols of Indianness. And jeans were a Western import 8 and indicated progress . Mandrake the magician (again a crime fighter who uses magic and spells to cast away evil by villains). Amar Chitra Katha’s.

17 . as well as religious myths. Raja Hodja. (1971. Tinkle a double digest following the trend of Archie’s Later. a small comic book with various stories that catered mostly to children (like its other counterpart) with characters such as ‘suppandi. Among other characters was the quite famous Chacha Chaudhary. ‘Tinkle’. Anant Pai started Amar Chitra Katha(1967) where he used traditional Indian epics. folk tales and general knowledge to educate children about Indian mythology (and even considered to put them in libraries in schools).ongoing) The creator Pram Kumar Sharma created this character as a frail yet wise middle 9 class man who solves his problems with common sense 9 A brain sharper than a needle and faster than a super-computer is usually the tagline followed for this character. Anant Pai introduced another chapter of Indian comics gamut. Tantri the Mantri etc. which were translated in many Indian languages as to work within the framework of unity in diversity and to a more nationalistic appeal.From left to Right: Inspector Azad. to cope up with the upcoming trends.

‘Super Commando Dhruva’.Chacha Chaudhary Along with this. Batul the great 18 . a western influx was also seen like the ‘Adventures of TINTIN’ and ‘Archie’ which were targeted mostly to children and teens respectively. ‘Parmanu’ and various others. home of characters such as ‘Nagraj’.Brain versus Brawn. Superheroes: Super Commando Dhruva and Doga. ‘Doga’. Another notable Indian comic publishing house is Raj Comics.

In the modern era. There are also a whole set of new graphic novelists like Amruta Patil (KARI -2008) and Delhi Calm by Vishwajyoti Gosh (2010). another graphic novelist Sarnath Bannerjee published graphic novels like Corridor (claimed to be the first graphic novel in India). Devi (Virgin Comics) In addition to this.C and Marvel in to India.2009) with Gotham comics. Kashmir Pending (by Naseer Ahmed. comics in India have a lot of western influence – Gotham comics by Gotham Chopra. social and political issues surrounding the construction of the controversial Narmada Dam). and published by Phantomville) to Hotel At The End Of The world (2009 by Parismita Singh who in their books deal with issues that range from political violence to relationships. Virgins C.O Richard Branson made his comic book industry called Virgin comics (2006. or Ramayana 2030 AD which gave the same story of the traditional epic in to a new form of interpretation: by using western influences in its narration to character design with influences of Japanese manga genera. Sharad Devarajan and Suresh Seetharamn which all brought in a whole gamut of western comics of the huge publishing houses of D. many graphic novels narrating Indian stories/ histories came to be published in India which started by Orijit sen in 1994 called River stories (This short work tells the story of the environmental.Regional comics also prevailed like in Calcutta: Pratulchandra Lahiri worked on strips in local news papers. Narayan Debnath was one of the first comic creators in India to create the first Indian super hero – Batul the great (a superman like character).E. and other works. 19 . More Superheroes: The Sadhu. and worked on to create a whole mythology of Indian supers like Sadhu (an English officer of the British Raj leaves the army due to the murder of his wife and presumably his child and takes revenge against the British officer who commits the crime and joins a force of mystics who train him to become a sadhu with mystical powers as to defeat the British). Now presumably defunct.

With this 20 . Indian graphic novelists have used the already known publishing houses in India like Penguin and Harper Collins which are governing the Indian graphic novel publishing market. ignored by her husband. The government of India banned the website as pornography is banned in India.Kari As mentioned in my previous section. they are taken in to consideration creating a sort of niche of Savita Bhabhi –True Indian representing the Indian society. Amruta Patil. Here in India there are no big publishing houses like that of the USA. these Graphic novels were basically targeted to a certain crowd and because of the hype generated with the influx of western graphic novels. a promiscuous housewife who.The Indian Graphic Novel: Corridor. Indian comics as such did not receive any sort of censoring by the government except for a certain online pornographic comic called Savita Bhabi. engages in sexual adventures. Vishwajoyti Ghosh Delhi Calm.

many net savvy and graphic novelist persona questioned the ban and compared it to censorship policies 10 prevalent in China. spread of education with respect to mythology. classic literature etc. India has now joined the elite club of China. The comic book in itself is an art form of a different kind. 1981 10 "Wow. it portrays exactly what the writer meant the reader to see." Graphic novelist Sarnath Banerjee on the ban of Savita Bhabhi Save our Savita Bhabi. It also allows the visual imagination of the narrative be perceived by the author on what does he want to depict. folk tales. Iran. Andy Warhol’s SUPERMAN.topic. among them comics. while not robbing the reader completely of their imagination. North Korea and suchlike in the area of Internet censorship. Korea and Iran A Comic book is not only a medium of entertainment but also encourages and contributes to social Venkatesh Venbu (DNA-news June /3 /2009) 21 . socio-political awareness. The comic book has also influenced ART especially ‘pop’ art where artists like Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein took elements of ‘pop’ culture.

22 . many comic theoreticians have tried to define the aesthetics of comics but as for this dissertation. but we also see ourselves in the world around us i. we assign identities and emotions where none exists and we make the world in our own image. in comics words pictures and other icons are the vocabulary of the language of comics. When we look at ourselves in the mirror or a invisible art by Scott McCloud Reading comics. right on the top are basic simple shapes.from shapes to abstract to realism to descriptive language 11 For further reference- Understanding comics. they slowly become abstract in the middle (as also in abstract art) as we go towards the bottom form left to right realism takes over to simplicity to words as back to abstraction this becomes the basis of how we relate to the world around us The Iconic shift.chapter 5 Pictures. we try and place ourselves within the framework of the object we are trying to perceive.e. The comic theoretician Scott McCloud presents to us a triangle. We thus codify this to be iconic because it resembles us. we see ourselves we know this only because we have seen ourselves in the mirror. Comic books have aesthetics unique to its own.How Graphic Novels work and what do they mean. words and spaces between them. we try to picture ourselves in whatever we perceive. I am taking the common denominator to give an idea of this medium11. The vocabulary of comics We humans are a self centered race. We thus go from realistic to complete abstraction form complex to simple language becomes a form of complete abstraction as to define who you are. This can range from simple line drawing to a complex photograph or the mirror itself.WORDSPICTURESWORDSPICTURESWORDSPICTURES THE AESTHETICS OF COMICS As defined in my previous chapter comics is a form of sequential art and art as per se has its own aesthetics.

the space that divides the frames form each other is what comics creators call as THE GUTTER which acts to the very heart to comics it is here where imagination takes place. This anticipation makes us work out on how we plan our day to what are we going to do tomorrow. 23 . This has been portrayed in many mediums and film as such is one of the easiest when the anticipation of the scene is gripped by the audience from scene to scene ( 24 frames per second) that gives us a continuous story. this anticipation is called closure. In the medium of comics closure is brought in from frame to frame. Comic panels fracture both time and space. closure allows us to connect these moments and mentally construct a continuous. We in a way believe in this anticipation that there is something going to happen.From Abstract to reality to meaning The gutter The anticipation of what is coming next makes us have faith to what or why we exist on earth. offering a jagged staccato rhythm of unconnected moments. unified reality.

But there us more. making the invisible world visible and vice versa brought in by the craft of the artist and the imagination of the reader. closure is its grammar and as defined in the previous chapter comics are sequential making them come to an arrangement of elements. at times the 24 . Frames The frame acts as a portion of time within the comic book. Comics are in a way closure. The Gutter But closure is activated by the reader who understands the time lags and gaps of the presented text in front of them where imagination between frames are needed to convey the text to the reader. each frame when put together forms the basic lingo of the complete comic book. panels wok like a connection with time to be as a rope to link each and every panel.Thus if visual iconography is the vocabulary of comics. this rope is connected with dialogues that link form one panel to another. There are 5 types of closure • Moment to moment • Action to action • Subject to subject • Scene to scene • Aspect to aspect • Non sequitur And each varies artist to artist and comic to comic.

Take for example the expressionist Edvard Munch’s Scream the expressionist take a great deal of expressing inner turmoil within the artist which is personified on the canvas. Panels as such are all based on the creator/ author of the text. Thus. The line personified places a silent panel as to depict a single moment frozen in time (comics as such are ). what has happened here is that a true feeling (expression) is made visible by the contours of the line. Sound plays an important role to show the intensity of the panel form a boxing glove. Sound as such is personified in word balloons or captions to give in a definition to the time space continuum. Frames thus act as a general indicator that time and space is divided “The duration of that time and the dimensions of that space are defined more by the contents of the panel than by the panel itself”12 Edward Muybridge photographs. in Scream Munch has tried to personify an honest expression of shock and horror by his dark and wavy lines. word balloons work as how a sentence works in our natural life. Kandinsky took great interest in the power of lines and tried to provoke the five senses a ‘synaesthetics’ that personified feelings through line and color. here is where the sense comes to play. but within a single panel the artist can define a span of time through sound. to a soft feather. the caption gives in a sort of the setting of the frame presented to us. These sensations are produced by the artist through lines. we have to go to art.taken form Scott McCloud’s understand comics If noticed in comic books shapes vary in each and every panel. the frame presents as a piece of the puzzle personified in space with sound or no sound. motion with sound is shown with action lines which shows the blurring of an object shown keenly in photographs example when a car is moving at a high speed it can either be shown as a blurred object with an open contour or a focused object with a definite contour. 12 Will Eisner – framing time – comics and sequential art 25 . Motion as such works within the panel this as such can be credited to photography where Eadward Muybridge displayed its potentials (nude descending the staircase). he has the right to stretch it or even squeeze it (the shapes of the frame work on this concept). this is to emphasize a reading experience. are presented in a comic book to give in the gripping ‘sensation’ that is happening within the gamut of the comic. but before we look at the lines perused by comics.

So far this is just the tip of the iceberg. pain.Edvard Munch’s Expressive – The Scream Example of art works with different lines to express feelings personified by the author Comics as such defines this through action lines that symbolize the personification of the object. The word balloon acts as a medium to convey a message. complex and most versatile synaesthetic icons is the ever popular and expressive word balloon. and the word balloon gives life to the character. which is linked form emotions by the use of symbols to dialogue (sometimes even as a combination). but one can divide them into categories 13 The system of comics. Erasure takes place when the word balloon is added over the subject. Each sentence in a word balloon is a small segment of the whole narrative where a discourse persists.Thierry Groensteen – an additional space the word balloon 26 . Words and pictures within their frames have the power to tell stories. torture. a feeling and a narration posed by the author. happiness etc. these lines have been used over and over again to manifest different object for example the wavy lines on top of a beggar can symbolize stench whereas the same lines on the tip of a cigarette can symbolize the signification of smoke and comics use a wide array of symbols to signify anger. The word balloon is placed within the frame as to go with the image depicted within it. a zone of the image persists with the panel. the image depicted has a vital link to the word balloon. The word balloon13 300 By Frank Miller And Lyn Varely Dark Horse Comics By far the most widely used. they seem to be unified as to fit in as one.

27 .where a combination of words and pictures seem to follow very different courses—without intersecting. between artist and writer as to convey meaning to the reader. crops and pencils his own ideas through his script (even though this does not seem to be a major rule).where words are used to specify sound.panels where both words and images give out the same message. Duo. Color Color adds vibrancy. and takes full freedom to work with the above mentioned denominators i.• • • • • • • Word specific – is a combination of words and pictures.e. to a dedicate sequence. It is thus left up to two people to create a perfect balance between text and image. Montage. at times both the writer and the creator are one and the same person. at times black and white comics work well enough to convey meaning and to narrate the whole text here imagination takes over the reader. The addition of color is in a way secondary. Parallel.words are treated as integral parts of the picture. where pictures illustrate but don’t significantly add to the largely complete text.specific. it adds mood and depth to the subject to express dominant moods. Interdependent. they work hand in hand to create a text which is left up to the reader. In graphic novles this poses a shift. he becomes an auteur a director of sorts who cuts. Additive.where words amplify or elaborate on an image or vice versa. Picture specific. he/ she breaks away from the set of rules that are mentioned above as to provide his idea in the aesthetics of representation. to decode the subject within the text.which is the most common type where words and images go hand in hand that neither could be conveyed alone.

PART2 28 .

One needs to study violence not only through semantics but also through the emotional trauma caused by these acts of violence.R propagated their ideas of communism through posters and art works that supported 29 . which again can lead to agitation to bring more clashes between the two (depending who is supporting which party). This can be carried on as long as the media or the parties want—this is the second stage. Thus the violence is an act by itself. power is brought in through consensus or failing that. force. it is perpetrated by individuals.VIOLENCE/ACTS OF VIOLENCE One needs to know that there is no VIOLENCE as per say but ACTS OF VIOLENCE and the REPRESENTATION OF THAT VIOLENCE in a MEDIA. to even a more global perspective. and to that matter. deciphering it will make it clear. however small or big. The media glorifies ‘this’ art in different manners to represent these clashes in a multitude of forms and mediums from painting to children’s books (artful). novels fiction and nonfiction etc) thus there is a clear demarcation set and formulated to understand the needs of a society. which is art and other media of representation take over. the inflicted party revolts back in two manners—diplomacy or through a raising of arms (this can be verily applied from domestic to political).S. a military status is approached that leads to tyranny (take the example of the Nazi party before Hitler. In the act of violence the setting is based on two or three parties (or even more). or to take another example. Antonio Gramsci points out that in a state.S. but the media also has the power to create agitation where it can lead to clashes between the two parties and when done it reports back to the public which is either taken in or thrown out (a choice of their own). documentaries. from the oppressor as a part of the campaign. if either of the two does not work. and we are made to understand it through our the books we read (moralistic and normative). or by groups. just as children do. In this process. This is possible by considering the media as a text and de-constructing through narratives. To that we ask: what is violence? Violence. for art as such has the fashion to tell lies as well as truth. posters. how the public responds to that media (that is the aftermath). by a singular person or by a group it may come to be that the aftermath of the violent actions (the reaction) may be ill-informed depending on the which side of the story is shown/told or represented by the media and art (which also acts as a media). there are the screams of the trauma that are heard and is visible through media and representation. to bring a sort of synthesis between a thesis and an antithesis. to the oppressed. by the example of our elders (homes and educational institutions) and the media (T. when they rose to power. making it collective. that’s to say a representation or misrepresentation of violence—we can use the term “misrepresentation” because sometimes the agitators want to propagate what has happened to their benefit and they do this through artful methods advertisements. This clash between the two is the ACT OF VIOLENCE. and openly condemning the oppressed through the media (as what had happened in world war two where Hitler condemned the Jews through posters and other forms of artful media even though the Jews were innocent by their own stand. It takes the air of horror and puts it back on the populous faces from direct to indirect manners. the third stage. But there is more that adhering to the structure of violence.V. and this takes over the public in which they react to it. tensions between them lead to deciding who is the oppressed and the oppressor. during the great depression.. This is the first stage. one party (the oppressor) overpowers the other (the oppressed) and inflicts pain and suffering. Russian stamps and posters where the U. Note that no act of violence is ignorant: it is done with full understanding of a situation by the necessary faction. according to me. is the final stage where the violence is carried on by the perpetrators that never ends. or by the state Art has the power to represent this violence in all stages. All their work of acquiring votes was shown through a mixture of consensus and force and when he rose to power tyranny took hold in the “German Empire”). to hold discussions. etc. and how it affects the public. Thus a whole structure of violence is formed (that can either go on or be stopped). comics. newspaper cartoons. But I question this representation. is the ‘act of violence’ which we can be defined by knowing what is right and wrong in a society. the media interferes to show the happenings.

We are united with the idea that we are Indian. Media in a way meanders into the reportage of violence to the public whether it is manufactured as truth. a part of the system and codes that are intermingled within our society of signs and signification which gives us clues of the corrupt and the powerful to the oppressed and the innocent. race. gender. Along with this. the media just pulls the tensions of the society and is thrown on to the viewer (where depending on that the viewer responds on to the conditions prevailing at hand). anything that was not up to their mark was simply removed or disbanded. Art also has the power to represent the social evils of the society. India is a traditional society with its own rules and regulations that demands a certain permeability of boundaries. The acts of violence are thus portrayed by the media and among them is the graphic novel where it is the artist/ writers who take on the politics of certain country (here India) and represent them through a medium.the state. We believe in the idea of unity in diversity or as so told to us during our schooling days but as such. creed religion and sex as is divided in India. or to report what is actually there. we are all taught of what we call as “Indian” as in our years of schooling. and even though being a part of these boundaries one has to be aware of its ideas of caste. vis-à-vis we portray the same in our art. yet we are divided on what we call the idea of “India”.1977 30 . They glorified their ideas 14 by these mediums but the truth was quite the opposite) . where political tensions are shown in a more humorous or metaphorical way (in the west as in MAUS where political tensions of the Germans and the Jews are shown by anthro-zoomorphical characters of Jews as mice and Germans as cats and the whole cat and mouse game is shown by the narration of sequential images of tensions and torture of cats and mice). a sort of melting pot of “cultural contradictions”. it shows political tensions of political parties which is intertwined with religious tensions and corruption of the state and the law (an overall dislodged truth that is never there as what is being taught by education preaching a glossy ‘India’) and the political violence resulting from the tensions created by politicians on these issues (Class. these are just false truths. this is where the tensions of have been occurred in our history. The acts of violence is seen very clearly with the role of the media (form new channels to news papers and magazines) as to report what is been shown from both sides of the oppressed and the oppressor. religion and to some extant domestic affairs ). 14 I have taken this with accord to Roland Barthes – for more read the photographic Image – IMAGE MUSIC TEXT by Roland Barthes .

and fiction comprises their narratives of personal experience as created by the author when each character is confronted with a particular event the text reflects his own reaction. its arrangement of panels and dialogues with visuals.where the author is also the character of the story. the gutter (the spaces between the panels) act as a time of pause for the reader (no matter what is depicted) this allows looking within weather the reader has understood the panel or not. Our cognition perceives what is being represented. The story has discourses/sentences (parole) which is its overall structure which has dialogues (which can be termed as language (langue) which runs through the image and text). The tension created by the author is what we give terms like ‘Suspense’. In every form of literary text on the ideation of violence there is always a protagonist and an antagonist or in some cases a biographical account of the author itself personified as another character. ‘Seduction’. long or short it is connected within the thread of the narration. the reader of the text through sequential imagery on what their discourse is about and how they ‘sort it out’ in its finality. middle. At times visuals speak more loudly than the words (as they would usually do). Narration can be taking to accord in relation to what is happening within the text this needs a structural evaluation as to understand what is being narrated.e. which lead us. in the gamut of ‘ART’ visuals play a major role of representing violence. and an end which is read throughout the text. climax. it uses text and image to represent what is its topic of discourse and this discourse uses the basic form of the comic book or experimental art to convey what is being represented. by reading it as a text—in its literal sense. Characters are nothing but "paper beings". i. The characters of the narration play an immense role in conveying the overall message as well as the hidden text within the text.NARRATION OF VIOLENCE IN GRAPHIC NOVELS As mentioned in the chapter before where we have discussed what violence is. it is limited for every literary text that has a start and an ending (in its general characters) but within the length of the text how does the author personifies his idea of his/her discourse between the ‘hero’ and ‘anti-hero’ is totally left up to him/her which is done through the structure of the text. A narrative is made of nothing but functions of different degrees which is revealed through the text however loose or tight. This is done as a matter of a fact by the text as a whole or by a single frame that gives a summary of the whole text by itself. There are usually 3 types of narration: First person narrative. these are also distortions which grip the reader through the panels. ‘Violence’. In the acknowledged space of the graphic novel. where the artist tires to envision the writers text into visuals). And as a graphic novel pertaining to its medium. A structural way of understanding what is being narrated takes form from image to text (especially to graphic novels) Every graphic novel has a narrator who is telling the story who is entwined within the story15. we become aware of the story by witnessing his view point. ‘Satire’ which is the narrative situation which is consumed by the author in graphic novels this is shown by panels where each a set of panels together give in the situation presented. the visuals add more to the tensions on the discourse brought in by the author (usually what a graphic novel is that it is produced by the artist and the writer who is both the same or a collection of artist with a single writer. we have come to know that tensions between two parties of the oppressed and the oppressor lead to the act of violence. This has been overtly put through in many forms of cultural products of art and otherwise. a perfect narrative has a beginning. where he reveals the plot by using ‘I’ or ‘WE’ which allows the protagonist inner thoughts to be conveyed to the reader. we basically read the image in our own perspective in cognition with our upbringing. 15 ROLAND BARTHES – IMAGE TEXT MUSIC – INTRODUCTION TO STRUCTURAL ANALYSIS OF NARRATIVES 31 . We read the text of violence as how it is narrated to us by words or visuals.

in a third person narrative each and every character is referred to by the narrator as ‘he’ ‘she’ ‘it’ ‘they’.is a narrative mode in which the narrator (protagonist) or another main character is referred by the use of second person pronouns (for example – YOU) here the book (author addresses the reader) example the world war poster of Uncle Sam where he addresses us as ‘I want YOU for the U. knowing everything that is happening within the story. which is not only the authors narration but also a quiet look at how is he telling his world to the reader.S ARMY’ Third person narrative. are at present the only known graphic novels to me that pertain to my subject. Third person Omniscient narrative.where the story is presented by the narrator with an over arching point of view. but is not the character of the story which is being narrated. there may be more to come and this gives the added advantage for more to write about. the story is narrated by She/he perspective. They can criticize or applaud depending on what the reader thinks about my text as well can add more. the narrator is an unspecified entity or an uninvolved person that conveys the the most commonly used form of narrative. A small Disclaimer The essays that follow. where ideas of violence has be shown in ’Technicolor’ by the narrator ( in relation to Indian Graphic Novels). If the narrator of the story is not present or is present but not a protagonist and a story told by someone else and not his own. whoever finds this medium as well as the subject interesting. (An example is Douglas Adams’s. 32 . in generations to come.Second person Narrative. One can cite many examples but for a persistent choice I have selected only four.‘Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy’ (where the author knows everything and tells us ‘everything’ This is envisioned by the authors stream of consciousness.

MOON. 33 . where Vishwajoyti Ghosh plays with this text propelled in his narrative. The story is about the emergency (1975-1977) caused in India by Indira Gandhi. THE PROPHET and THE PRINCE.Delhi. with water coloured sepia finish to bring out an archival nature of the text. Memories are black and white obituaries of irrelevance’. The band acts as a mode of communication to spread news of atrocities done by the centre. a dark phase in Indian democracy.Vivek Kumar.Vishwajoyti Ghosh ‘Conflicts are signposts of the living. Ghosh plays with the third person narrative giving names to signify religions cast and creed as well as political states of the country.Vibhuti Parasd – Delhi Calm Vishwajoyti Ghosh. through their band ‘Naya Savera’ which goes from village to village and to the capital. articles are presented as sections in the graphic novel as a brief history of the leaders. to go against corruption and spreading the message of change by singing songs about the ‘Prophet’(Jayprakash Naryan a Gahdhain and a socialist) headed by their mentor ‘Masterji’. who become the underlying political characters of the graphic novel (for example the story of Sanjay Gandhi is narrated by ‘New India News’ where Ghosh writes that ‘all information is based on our sources which may be not official’ to make a graphic fiction a nonfiction. where among this political tensions are shown in a sort of realism. Both friends who are for a single cause. Jayprakash Naryan and Sanjay Gandhi respectively. he induces characters which metaphorically represent the middle class society of ‘that' India and the political changes of this ‘dark phase’ and how it influences them.Delhi Calm. Vishwajoyti Ghosh’s narrative is set with simple line drawings. The narration as such is about two characters Vibhuti Prasad and Parvez Alam. The whole text is more like a documentary with the papers in between presented to show the politics of the time. The cititation needed here is Ramchandra Guha’s India after Gandhi a textual narrative of facts giving us the history of the largest Democracy of the world in a nutshell (also mentioned at the end as an acknowledgment of the graphic novel). The narrative is presented in a way that it mirrors the Indian condition and its newspapers. and becomes a break from the narrative being given to the reader. one can interpret these characters to signify the leaders of India as Indira Gandhi.

16 Jayprakash demanded a total revolution as to transform the Indian society none violently by organizing Satyagraha’s – ‘The Naya Savera Band’ here. where they run the ‘NAYA SAVERA BAND’ in the weekends.The Prophet in one of his rallies And how do they overcome that? By the ‘Prophet’16. who is tired of failing in his exams where he would like to go for higher studies. initially in the story we are introduced to Vibhuti Prasad as a journalist who loses his job due to the declaration of emergency. 34 . but is rejected with pain he goes to become a black ticket seller at the nearest theatre nearby and realizes that this is not what he studied hard for. there are junction points in the narration (in the initial few pages) which explain the cause and effects of how these three characters intermingle with each other. they represent the idea of ‘one voice’ against the corrupt government. the economics teacher for the first time. he gets back to his roots of education his teacher who has opened his tuition centre (shine tuitions) and starts to teach English it is here where he meets Vibhuti Prasad. Parvez Alam Accidently meets him in New Delhi as well as an unknown figure later to be revealed as Masterji himself. acts in these terms. With this arises differences between the three main characters. With this the story of Parvez takes place shown to be as a poor Muslim and a History Graduate in the city of Jamalpur Bihar. with a whole set of other teachers as to spread ‘TOTAL REVOLUTION’ as dictated by the prophet by using non-violent methods and methods of inclusion.

17 This part of the story can be set when Jayprakash Naryan starts his ‘total revolution’ which had been agitating in Bihar for a change in provincial government. peasants. and labour organisations in a 'Total Revolution' to nonviolently transform Indian society 35 . Vibhuti Prasad doesn’t support the method of inclusion and that only like minded people are worthy to join the revolution. that inclusion can also be done by force. and increasingly sought to direct popular action against the Central Government through satyagraha’s. Vibhuti eventually quits and joins as a journalist here is where a junction point takes place of the bus with the unknown character staring at Vibhuti. Vibhuti wants to quit where as Parvez becomes a hypocrite. Narayan and his supporters sought to unify students.The Smiling saviours’ As time passes by both protagonists generate different points of view. against the corruption happening in the centre (at present the emergency is still not declared)17.

Emergency is declared – Delhi Clam At the next stage Vibhuti accidentally meets Parvez in New Delhi and says he has joined the Smiling faces (the moral law passers that control the public)and is working as an ‘undercover agent’ [by now the emergency is declared and Vibhuti is out of a job]. it may turn out to be good if those who are called to work it happen to be good”) This can be done through amendments (if amendments done by a bad lot can create an emergency – the same can be done by the good lot to cure the corruption). right after this Vibhuti is introduced to masterji and they start discussing about the situation of the state of the country.Plant a tree. masterji implies this to Parvez as he is working with the government19 for the ‘smiling saviours’ that through his efforts one can change the government from within. they again carry out their idea of total revolution with masterji as their guide .where Vibhuti doubts on who is staring at him. abolish dowry. that one can fight corruption from within the system than being outside the system of governance (in one 3 panels a silhouette statue of Dr. mean while masterji is under surveillance because he attended one of ‘prophets’ rallies. by this time in a few days the emergency is called off. Parvez will work for the government and Vibhuti Prasad will be working as the ‘ad man’ . no cast system and control birth rate 36 .R Ambedkar 18 quotes “However good a constitution maybe it is sure to turn out to be bad. masterji still believes in the inclusion theory but now in another way. people try to convince the police (who have come to look for him) as a good and an honest man. 18 Chairman in drafting the constitution of India 19 By this time Sanjay Gandhi has started to generate popular vote through campaigning and by introducing reforms like the 5 point program . the scene transfers that that the master is looking for Vibhuti and gives Parvez the job to find him where again the junction point of the narration takes place – in the bus. However bad a constitution maybe. B. where Vishwajoyti gosh illustrates the Politian holding a placard signifying the points. because those who are called to write happen to be a bad lot. it is revealed that in this stage again that Parvez is a part of the smiling faces. teach a person.

the reforms brought out by the government which are heard through modes of propaganda which among them are VIVIDH BHARATI (ALL INDIA RADIO. New Delhi.a few months before the emergency is called off The narrator here played by Parvez Alam and Vibhuti Prasad and their mentor who give a whole gist of the changes and views of democracy that are prevailing at the time. 1991. 21 37 . independent judiciary and free press. namely a strong opposition. Among this political confrontations/tensions/conflicts are to be seen. These reforms were corrupt form the start for example the eradication of slums ‘to provide better housing facilities’(which is the so called Delhi cleansing project of slums in the Turkmen Gate and Jama masjid to make a ‘Paris’ Delhi) or even ‘family planning’ (hum do hamare do) where men and women were forced to sterilize ‘at your own will’ as a form of population control with the promise of better family maintenance and food as well as the censorship of the press where banned by ‘prince’. take for example ‘the smiling saviours’(of which Parvez is a part of) who go on telling the public what are the ‘new reforms’ that are taking place during the emergence. "The question before us is not whether Indira Gandhi should continue to be prime minister or not. 2012 Gurmit Singh. an unfinished experiment seldom which has black & white answers. violence is seen here as a diversion that hides the true face of the country (in turmoil)20. Atlantic Publishers and Distributors. Emergency has destroyed all these essentials. the issue lies here is what has been said is followed sometimes through force rather than consent.The match between India and the West Indies. which took a huge toll of the ideas of freedom in India (in the graphic novel masterji hands out to Vibhuti and Parvez ‘uncensored news’ to many people as to work within the corrupt government to spread the message of the ‘prophet’ ) within the gamut of the novel the questions of a true democracy are in dialects."21 20 In conversation with Vishwajoyti Ghosh April 20.a national radio station) and DOORDARSHAN (a national television channel) where most of the announcements are done. The point is whether democracy in this country is to survive or not. A History of Sikh Struggles. The democratic structure stands on three pillars.

the modifications of the constitution (amendment) according the whims of politicians and within the length. the silence that is running within the country during the emergency.Forced family planning Destruction of the Turkman gate Censoring the press Overtly the graphic novel has shown that the nation is in danger at many modes of the narrative. where one has a utopian idea of the country by removing ills and pointing the same. a Ban on the rights of the people. the violence here acts as a diversion away from the main structure of the text which is about the corruption of the government that is been shown around the Graphic Novel.S. this is where the act of violence is formed. the other is on a tyrannical lead (which is brought on by the associative happenings that are running in the country. where tensions between two parties the All India Socialist Party versus the Indian National Congress.the war with Pakistan.S. are how do the populous lives are caught between the two to show conflicts and tensions between the two parties which is the main structure of the graphic novel. U.S.R (now Russia) and the U. 38 .A etc. language issues {the south of India did not except the one language Nation theory [Hindi] }.). the creation of Bangladesh. the corruption of the government. international politics between India. economic crises.

Reminiscent of the emergency 39 .

‘Lie Is a Graphic Novel drawn miniaturist from Rajasthan. the story reaches out to encompass a wide range of stereotypes. cricket to family life…lie is a tale of tainted idealism afloat in a despotic nightmare of ordinary life: a story of armless beggars. it is an attempt to satirize the current state of affairs within the country. people and ideas that project the popularly held view of India. religion.LIE ‘A TRADITIONAL TALE OF MODERN INDIA’. personalities. using a traditional form of expression (the overall resemblance can be close to the Rajput miniatures especially the red borders and flat colours). illustrated by Shankar Lal Bhoba. Birju Lal Bhopa & Gautam Bhatia. 40 . Lie looks at issues. Of meetings and seminars that stirs no one. dowry deaths. from politics to film. grandiose intentions that serve no purpose. Thieving forest officials. newly-wed housewives crashed trains. adulterated foods. demented politicians and crooked businessmen. callous ministers. conspiring bureaucrats.

a sex worker from the home of ‘Baron Babu Dasa’ and interestingly she wins and is also the one to bring in ‘women’s reforms – where on the other hand within the gamut of the leaders of the graphic novel ‘Bhola Mishra’s’ wife ‘Reena’ keeps getting pregnant and gives birth to ‘a lot of baby girls’ wherever possible(during a wedding. Yet the short histories of India’s politicians are just a mere overlook of the text. fertilizers. in India) – this may be a little hush. and the other is the racket of the Fodder Scam that happened in the year 2000 where he siphoned money off the animal husbandry department25. with ‘progressive measures for the development of the country’26 and plunges the land to darkness. which eventually leads to her death at the end where the graphic poses that she was shot three times to die quite similar the way Indira Ghandi was shot to death by her own provide free education.Lalu taken into custody. their figures unwittingly poke fun at the way the poor see us—the middle-class24’ Yet the overall structure runs on to ‘netas’ where two are very peculiar in nature the prostitute ‘Rekha’ to be posed as Indira Gandhi. It is said that to be a politician one needs to have a criminal record (esp. 22 LIE. Adapting their traditional skills to modern times. then on the farmers death toll (that still seems to be a problem whenever there is price rise on seeds. but seems that most politicians have a criminal record. Article on the graphic novel -www. class. in a bank etc. nothing is thus unified we just believe a ‘so called unity’ that exists within the framework of our mind that we believe in by default because of our education. other utilities 24 25 26 One can cite here the ’20 point programme or the 5 point programme’ that were amended by the constitution as to improve the overall condition of India (though not followed) some of the points her mother-in-law seems to be in the nick of time to dispose of the child/ren.INTRODUCTION 23 I have deliberately brought a post structuralism view for even though the country is in the idea of unity in diversity one knows that in the present condition there cannot be unity in a language even though it has different dialects. one can call it a post structuralism view of the country23. middle class mentality of “chalta hai”.co. In an earlier era they might have produced mythological figures for the Rajasthani story-teller’s box or stylized royal figures for a ‘babuji ka pad’. social evils. The structure of the story is as broken as the country itself. ‘The artwork of the two Bhopas—Shankar Lal and Birju Lal—and Ghansham (real people) is fascinating. and striking airline pilots are all mixed and matched in the unstructured way it is possible only in India’22 In short ‘LIE’ is a tale what India is made up of. over exaggerated weddings to surveying a drought ridden area of the land in a top classed car/ plane/copter etc.The same goes with Indira Gandhi (Rekha the prostitute) especially in the end of ‘LIE’ where she declares an emergency under article 325 under the Indian constitution (the actual article number of the emergency). ‘LIE’ talks about the ‘Indian way of life’ where the idea of ‘it’s okay’ sort of attitude works in the mentality of the Indian mind.A TRADITIONAL TALE OF MODERN INDIA . religious turmoil and superstitious beliefs. may 24th 2010 by Raj Menon. in the graphic novel this is shown symbols and the politician alongside it with some description take for example ‘greased palm congress’ (here greased palm could refer to the money laundering business) where ‘Rekha’ as the leader is an ISI agent. BBC News. 41 . There seems to be an obvious connection to Lalu Prasad Yadav (Bhola Mishra) first most of the setting seems to happen in Bihar.communal riots. in a movie theatre.stm. the structure of the Graphic novel has a very un-unified pattern yet is united by the very words that make us Indian.tradition. abolition of social evils – like dowry etc. It talks about a land filled with traditions where even though being ‘globally inclined’ it is stuck! Form female infanticide. improve the living conditions of the poor (by the Garibi hatao policy-1971 also was the slogan for Indira Gandhi to get major seats in the parliament).caste conflicts.outlookindia. and ‘Bhola Mishra’ posed as Lalu Prasad Yadav which are to be taken as loosely based characters.

Every politician is a criminal 42 .

Bottom: The house of Alibaba. yet when he reaches the centre he is questioned whether he has committed any crime when he answers ‘no I haven’t done anything’ the centre replies ‘I’m sorry I can’t help you’.violent methods – a satyagrah 43 . Reena gets pregnant again and her mother in law disposes her girl child.Binaries. starts a strike and generates a crowd of followers and they take a walk – From Bihar to New Delhi and try to tackle the situation through non-violent methods 27. 27 A similar notion was carried out by the Gahdhain – Jayprakash Narayan during the emergency – ‘a total revolution’ to transform the Indian nation by the use of non. which leads to the death toll of farmers in the story.Discussion on feminism in the parliament. ‘Alibaba’ is a farmer who is tired of tilling a land in drought because the government does not care about this/these issue/s. which seems that all he did was for a waste of time and energy. the house of Bhola Mishra There is also a depiction of the lost voice. of people who go against the state and the form left to right.

the affected are the poor and the down trodden.Rekha does not help Alibaba because he is not corrupt enough The overall struggle are between these two leaders . a story of Indian democracy The perfect ending? .The Death of ‘REKHA’ by Bhola Mishra ‘Happy family 44 . even though they have in some way or the other within the story of the Indian Democracy. and in between are the poor who get affected by their nonsensical decisions and corruption of the state that lead to conflicts. which is escalated that lie in the space of satire represented all over the gamut of the graphic novel over and over again. The pretty picture of what we call democracy is crushed in the end of the graphic novel when we see that the antagonist is now the survivor of the story. Violence as such is brought out by their decisions and how they handle them. a story that has been in India all over a sort of ‘lie’ that has been perpetrated by the oppressed over the oppressor in a ‘hush’ that these things have never happened.

KASHMIR PENDING. in the lake he sees. three stones. stones turn to boats with soldiers on them. as the frame zooms in. the child picks up a stone and flings it over to the lake as if to hit the boat and runs away. his eyes pierce through the horizon. SAURABH Singh published by Phantomville The morning light has shown. 45 . an soldier responds “kids goanna get in trouble someday”.Naseer Ahmed. a child stands on the banks of the river Jhelum.

In Indian history text books Kashmir is considered as the jewelled crown of India. 46 . which has lead to violent actions (many social activists have tried to out speak for India but were eventually kicked or beaten up). The story takes place in a dark prison cell where the narrator. the Kashmir Valley. Ali asking Mushtaq of his earlier days in the Kashmir valley Before we begin to analyze the graphic novel we have to know a short history of the Kashmir valley28. it gives a sort of detailed account of the insurgence in Kashmir. there is a strong sense of rage that is brought in with it. where one man of the locale becomes form an insurgent and changes his way. the north-western half called Azaad Kashmir (belonging to Pakistan) the middle portion belonging to India (IJK. Mushtaq is asked by another inmate Ali on how was Kashmir during his days.CHAPTER 12 – SECURING KASHMIR. To call Kashmir as a part of India doesn’t end the story.Jammu.Kashmir pending is a graphic novel written by Nasser Ahmed and Saurabh Singh. but as truth be told it is divided between 3 factions. 28 The following history (summary) is taken from RAMCHANDRA GUHA’S – INDIA AFTER GANDHI. Ladakh) and the third part Aksai Chin belonging to China each claim a portion of this state and countless wars are fought to control this area.

C). They formed two parties the Hizb. The most interesting affect has taken place in the last two decades.Pak war (1970-71) a time when east Pakistan became Bangladesh with India’s help (Indira Gandhi) . Kashmir or as we now call it is divided among three factions of religion.Pakistani bias. Subsequent wars slightly altered the borders and eventually in 1972 a ceasefire was brought in. When borders were defined (1947) India took the princely state of Kashmir as its own without considering the populous say. Pakistan or as an independent state (total autonomy). the political party (Muthid. Ladakh by Tibetans and Jammu by Hindus. Retaliation was swiftly follows by the keepers of ‘democracy’ (India). in 1987. since the around 8. This fracture alone has made the Kashmir valley the natural home ground of two linked affections autonomy and pro.O. thereafter India and Pakistan had many wars and ownership of the state and were eventually divided into three. government officials pitched in to make this possible. The government of India made Kashmir a police state. whether Kashmir and its people want to be a part of India. born in the year 1971 marks the conclusion of the Indo. Mosques here are not only places of prayer and thanksgiving but also a place of fiery speeches of the two sides of Kashmir’s premise. the results of which are seen on the streets by protesters against the Indian army.000 Kashmiris have died in the hands of the police as well as violations of human rights. 47 .generally speaking Kashmir valley.autonomy party. The United Nations prescribed a referendum (plebiscite). The graphic novel Kashmir pending is based on these ‘truths’ as Mushtaq narrates his story. making Kashmir among the most military occupied states of the world. the initial part of his story depicts his happy childhood .Ul. Within the gamut of this tug of war between countries.In an earlier date before the borders of Indian and Pakistan were carved Kashmir was a place of conflict between Sikhs and a united Kashmir. a native of Srinagar .I – Mahaaz) that actually lost the government elections was declared winners. recently in 2001 1million Indian and Pakistani troops were deployed on this border called the Line of Control (L. internal conflicts are to be seen.Mujahedeen (HM) a pro Pakistani group and the other formed The Jammu& Kashmir Liberation Front (Amanullha Khan and Maqbool Bhat) a pro. is dominated by Muslims.

disillusioned. Border Security force 48 . of which Mushtaq was a part of which leads him to a prison cell.Protests are held on two biases autonomy or pro. the police (BSF.Border Security Force) are usually there and a sort of rebellious attitude is carried by the people. the result is a rampage. its form here that he starts to change as well as making a close friend Aziz. On the process of training he finds out that the organization he has joined is as corrupt as his own oppressor. On release he is declared a hero. Mushtaq himself takes for Afghanistan where he is extremist party) rebel leader and is given the choice to join his force to fight for an independent Kashmir. later in his story he is introduced to a pro. if by chance a cop fires and that stray bullet hits someone amongst the crowd.independence(the Huriat.

Infighting. K force treachery. and the killing of his close friend Aziz collectively resolve Mushtaq to give up the rebellion.A dialogue with the Huriat leader Mushtaq returns to Srinagar and is redrafted as a part of the Kashmiri force (KFORCE). 49 . he surrenders and is jailed. At nearly the end of the graphic novel Mushtaq is reassigned to kill a few police officers and makes a choice.

to the bloodshed displayed in some panels.” The graphic novel as such is more like a war documentary which is usually put forth to represent reality in a fiction /non. The prison cells for example are shown as dark dingy places with lines across to confer to the idea of the prison.fiction. 50 . Mushtaq owns a tea shop where he tells clients about his rebellious youth and the outcome of it. with Mushtaq or Ali standing out. a hand taking the holding a gun. Thus. a row of guns.The death of Mushtaq’s friend Aziz The epilogue is post prison. A similar thought can be addressed in the wars between Palestine and Israel where the actual conflict is between political parties and in the foreground innocent lives take the toll. the stark blood reds and blacks as to emphasize on the depth of the violence. the application of colours are flat and tacky. the realization of corruption can take a toll on the person who can later understand the situation otherwise he is led to believe in their ideology which becomes his/hers. innocent lives to perish for a ‘cause’ and within that cause. But though conflicts is shown in every panel there is an inert story of brainwashed youth to join a cause because of conflicts between oppressed and oppressor (the political parties). violence here is a subversion which hides the actual idea of the narration. where innocent lives get affected within the gamut of the graphic novel. Violence is shown here not only in the story but also in images as symbols to signify rebellion and struggle. he remembers his conversations with Ali in the prison who now represents the brainwashed youth of Kashmir and declares “I do not want any more innocent lives to be lost in the cross fires of my war. their wars influence the youth. here he meets Ali (his prison mate) again who’s readying himself as a suicide bomber.

Comics and graphic novels are one of the many texts that have this underlying meaning from super heroes to awkward looking drawings.reading old texts to generate newer meanings. recently Vishwajoyti Ghosh is working on a new project on telling border stories that run across the rim of India and I know that there will be more to come concerning this subject. The reader must make the will to reach these texts as a mode of understanding the multitude of underlying meanings of culture and though this is a limited subject one can trace other meaning which is read through these texts. Yet even though I write a conclusion I cannot conclude this subject. With this dissertation I have tried to present this underlying meaning to a selected few pertaining to India. as what i have done by selecting this subject.Conclusion Popular culture has shown us that within a given text there are a plethora of meanings that can be generated. Meanings are as such generated by the reader not the author. everything has this underlying meaning. this has been proved by the methodology that is being followed within the premise of the dissertation. nothing remains true. and though a few the medium can depict a lot more. FIN? 51 . graphic novels are and will be created by many authors and readers will keep on generating meanings of new texts as well as re. there is always an underlying meaning of the text and this can be only done by reading and understanding what is being presented to us.

1991 McCloud.Lie A traditional Tale of Modern India.2007. Nandini. Vishwajoyti. Routledge. Yoda press.Understanding Media. Les .Comics and sequential art. UNIVERSITY PRESS OF MISSISSIPPI.1967. Harper Collins. Da Capo Press. Icon Books. Delhi Calm. 1994 McLuhan Marshall. First Indian print . Bulfinch Press. & Graphic Novels A History Of Comic Art. 2007 INDIAN GRAPHIC NOVELS ON VIOLENCE o o o Ahmed Naseer. Comix.Understanding Comics The Invisible Art. Roland Image Music Text –Introduction to structural analysis of narratives. Thierry. Tranquebar Press. 2010 52 .Comics. Picador publishers (INDIA). JACKSON. Atlantic Publishers and Distributors. Will. 1995 Eisner. Sixty Years of the World’s Favorite Comic Book Heroes.2008 Daniels. Scott.Kashmir Pending Phantomville Bhatia. How Graphic Novels Work And What They Mean. Gautam.Reading Comics. 2010 Ghosh.2000 imprint Groensteen. Van Borin – Introducing Cultural Studies A Graphic Guide. Harper Collins. 2010 Wolk Douglas.BIBLIOGRAPHY o o o o o o o o o o o o Barthes. Roger. Poorhouse press. D.C Comics. Singh Saurabh.India After Gandhi. Phaidon Press.Fontana press -1977 Chandana. A History of Sikh Struggles.The System of Comics. Ramchandra.2008 Gurmit Singh. 2007 Guha.The classic Popular Amar Chitra Katha. 2012 Sabin. 2010 Sardar Zaiuddin and Loon.