“I was playing on a swing in the playground opposite my house. I used to live on the last floor of three floored building. I used to play with my friends for two-three hours in playground across the road everyday. It was a warm evening. Everything around me looked yellow. The park had few trees.We were taking turns on the swing because there were only two swings. I think I was 3-4 years old. It was my turn to swing and I suddenly had this very different feeling. I had thought of a beautiful poetry. At least I thought it was the greatest richest, most beautiful poem in the world. I was very proud of myself and I wanted to tell my mother about how I thought of such a great poem and read it to her as soon as possible. I started running towards my house. There were many people asking me different questions and saying hi to me. I tried ignoring all of them so that I don’t let my attention shift from the greatest poetry. I wanted to say it to my mother exactly the way I had imagined it. I reached the door of my house and rang the bell. Mom opened the door. I was panting. And just when I was going to explain all to her, I totally forgot the story. I still don’t remember it. But I remember the feeling. The feeling that the poem was the best thing in the world. “
The story above is in fact one of the incidents that I clearly remember from my early childhood. It was special to me because I distinctively remember how exactly it felt at that point. I thought “why can’t I take it forward and present it in a graphical format?”
This idea came to me during a discussion with a friend on certain incidents from childhood and how they pop up in our minds time to time. In both of our opinions, it was very fascinating that we can remember so much from our past, early childhood so graphically! This idea caught my interest and I thought of a need to record these graphical memories.
It was when I was thinking of what story do I want to tell; I came across the idea of illustrating my memories. It was then that I recalled a discussion that I had long time back with one of my colleague who’s also a friend about how we remember certain incidents from our childhood so clearly with graphical details.
I always remember certain incidents from my childhood where I could exactly feel the way I felt back then. The fact that I actually remember the feeling of going through those incidents interested me and made me think about the importance of memories. I feel memories are very precious and I felt the need to record them in some form.
Please click on the link bellow to look at the work I had done on the P.L. Deshpande’s stories from one of his books,
I think, when dealing with storytelling through pictures, one has to be very careful about if the story in understood by readers or not. Narration in graphic novels has to be very direct in order to convey the idea to readers. Too much of abstraction might confuse readers. For example, the illustration bellow has a story going on in it, but it’s very hard to tell where the story starts from and where it ends. The illustration misses hierarchy and links between scenes.
The word “stereotype” is often considered and used in a negative way. Stereotype is inaccurately generalising a certain idea without looking at it in an individualistic approach. This word was originally used in letterpress printing where a particular method was used in which duplicate plates were moulded.
Though stereotype as a word is considered negative, it has great importance in comic books/graphic novels. Comics are representation of certain person’s thoughts (person who narrates the story). Drawings in comic books/graphic novels are narrator’s reflection on his thoughts. The success of a narrative depends on the reader’s visualisation that he/she gets from experiences he/she has gone through.
Making drawings simple, hence stereotypical helps readers visualise quickly. In comics, stereotypes are taken from generally accepted/understood physical characteristics of individuals. These become symbols and are used as a graphic language while telling a story.
Book Reference : Eisner, W. (2008). Graphic Storytelling And Visual Narrative . NewYork, USA: W.W. Norton and Company.