Saturday, September 25, 2010

"A ghost who draws..."

Below is an illustration for ASIFA India's International Animation Day (IAD) celebrations.. featuring the mascots we designed, in a special tribute to the legendary 'Phantom' comics we grew up with!!! One of my more fruitful preoccupations these last few months.. more to come soon!!
The Phantom rocks!!!

....and so does the jungle tom-tom insta-messaging service!!!!

For the proper context and its details (lovingly put in a comic cover format by the gang at ASIFA) :

While I have often felt like sharing a lot thru these last many months as work on Tripura gradually wound up, I found myself (uncharacteristically) at a loss for words..

This may have been due to several reasons: the befuddling amount of work itself... the nature of that enterprise which is still a continuing struggle to realise the project's full potential..( all brethren that strongly experience 'art vs commerce' conflicts will understand)... the madness of overcommitment of both self and studio towards an ideal.. the resultant financial catastrophes..
the consequent dance for survival... the rabid debates and moral conflicts.. loss of family (team) members.. grim determinations... solemn oaths.. and more work!!
I wonder if the above is a description of the past or the present..?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The First Animated Feature from Animagic!!!

Now it can be finally told!! (and thanks to my schedule, this is not the first place where you heard it..)
The fruit of the last year's labour .. the first animated feature from Animagic!!!

TRIPURA- The three cities of Maya.

A co-production with ACK Media, the company that owns the most popular comics from India, Amar Chitra Katha (yes, for entire generations of Indians, their source to their roots), the film is a direct to TV special to be broadcast on Cartoon Network later this year!!

The Amar Chitra Katha based on this legend of Shiva was one of my favourite comics.. illustrated by the great Ram Waeerkar, one of my earliest gurus. In a way this is my guru dakshina, not just to him but to the other greats who illustrated ACKs through three decades; by way of making something that has stemmed from them but goes further in all directions.. into the roots of the original myth, in the high drama of narrative, in the imagination and dynamics of animation!!

read the report on Animation Xpress & Dont miss the exclusive slide show of the visual development and color script!!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Hathman sketches & Layouts

Just sharing some sketches & roughs from the Super Hathman, launched last saturday by Karadi Tales..
These are almost a year old.. The retelling by Kaushik Vishwanath is quite fun and the reading by Jaaved Jaaferi entertaining.. tho we hadn't heard the audio till the book was ready, infact didn't even know who was doing the voice! Given that, I feel that there is quite a Jaaved'ness to the character, dont you think?
Hathman trying to meditate.. what do you think he is bothered by?

The story, an old tale about spiritual aspirants hankering after super-powers without having the necessary self-control and humility, is a cool one.. When asked to focus on a simple prayer with a warning not to think about monkeys, the aspirant finds that monkeys start to dominate his thoughts.. he is unable to get a single line of the prayer thru without thinking about monkeys...A hard lesson for a mind that wants to 'own' superpowers! It doesn't even own itself!! Try it yourself!!

Hathman surveys the monastry..
Below kids final sketch for the same layout..
Hathman harassed by the monkeys in his monkey mind

Super Hathman learns his lesson! We may or may not be able to calm our minds from the endless chattering we are so used to now.. We do however have a choice to be humble and thankful about the gifts we do possess.
Just as we may not be able to trace the roots of 'God-given' talent (it is obviously not just dna or nurturing...), we will do well to remember, that's exactly what it is.. a gift from the supreme creative energy.. it is grace and we are instruments of expression for that creative source.