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How an ex banker and a filmmaker are using vintage art to make contemporary comic strips

How an ex banker and a filmmaker are using vintage art to make contemporary comic strips

The World Wide Web is at present cluttered with information. Everyone has an opinion on anything that is trending or is news. While most of us are arm chair thinkers, there are a few individuals who are making social commentary albeit in a humorous way.

Chennai based ex-banker Rajesh Rajamani started his web comic page on Facebook called Inedible India just a month back. But the page has already got more than 12000 followers and its still growing. “I have always shared my opinion on social issues on my personal page on Facebook. Most people advised me to do stand up because of my status messages but honestly I can’t do comedy sketches. I came across this page on Facebook called Royal Existentials and loved the worked they do. Contacted the brain behind it, Aarthi Parthasaraty- seeked her permission before starting and then decided to make a page.”

Bangalore based artist and filmmaker Aarthi Parthasarathy states her idea came from the popular web comic page by David Malki who runs the web comic series Wondermark . Along with artist Chaitanya Krishnan, I started the website a year back. I was always keen on doing a comic series, I've always been a fan of it and I do deliver talks on woman and gender. Royal Existentials is primarily a social commentary. We focus on gender issues mostly on the strip which is a weekly affair”

So how are the two different? Royal existentials uses Mughal paintings and Inedible India uses Raja Ravi Varma paintings. “Besides our commentary are different. Our opinions differ quite a bit,” points out Rajamani.

What, though, is common between the two is that through their comic strips they make you question your conscience. The messages are wrapped in sly humor which strongly drives home the point.

Rajamani explains, “Poking fun at Rahul Gandhi and Narendra Modi is something we Indians do often. But my strips try to question ourselves and our attitude.”

Royal Existensials has earned a lot of followers in the past year. Does the page get any hate mails for its sly social commentary? "I haven't received anything like that till now. I guess people who follow the web series understand the humour. So, have received only positive feedback from people," explains Parthasarathy.

first published:September 04, 2015, 12:37 IST