Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Sayan Mukherjee on Graphic novels

Graphic illustrator and artist, Sayan Mukherjee has illustrated the graphic novel adaptation of the Bengali classic, Chandar Pahar, Moon mountain by Bibhutibhushan Bandhopadhyay, which has won several awards.
A graduate of the Indian Art College, Kolkata, Sayan Mukherjee is a young advertising professional, passionate about illustration. Hey! That's an A! is his first picture book. He has also illustrated Little i and The Talking Bird.

We are pleased to have him in our midst as we wrap up our annual book blog festival CROCUS, as he shares his views on the medium of graphic novels and his delightful drawings. Thank you, Sayan!


I think graphic novel as a medium is nothing new. Since the days of paleolithic age, people used to create pictures to tell stories. The hieroglyphics of the ancient Egyptians is one of the great examples of the existence of graphic storytelling. Over the years, this medium being very strong and powerful visual medium became very much interactive and much more fun to read.

Today there are a lot of artists who are doing amazing work with interesting stories and different mediums. I would love to talk about two graphic novelists' work, Thomas Ott and Art Speigelman amongst many other favourites. Both of their most known works are in black and white but they are way different from each other. Thomas Ott is more into surreal and horror space and uses the traditional form of storytelling, which is storytelling without words. He uses the space in such an interesting way where it says a lot more than words. Whereas, Art's work is more of a documentary with small busy frames and lots of texts.The diversity makes graphic novel more interesting and is a lot of fun to read.

There is no way one can ignore graphic novel as a genre.I think graphic artists create that extra dimension and layer to a particular story which is a lot more than just a story and take it to another level where you start interacting with the frames and become a part of it.

I think workshops should be conducted for kids to make their own comics. Kids love pictures and they have a lot of stories to tell. Comics is a medium where they can express their thoughts through pictures. So, I think comics is not only a medium which is fun to read but also a medium where kids can express their creativity and their stories.

When I was a kid I used to read a bengali novel called Chaander Pahaar ( Moon mountain) very often. It used to blow my mind every time I read it. Everything was so graphic and picturesque about the story that it was demanding to be adapted as a graphic novel. After growing up, I thought it would be a nice idea to start work on it. After a lot of hard work, finally the graphic novel came out from Puffin in 2014. It was a 'dream come true' moment for me. The book was very close to my heart since my childhood days and it was a dream which came true, eventually.

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