Director's Note

>> Sunday, October 25, 2009

Thanks to my father’s job my childhood was spent shuttling from one small town to another in Central India. This meant lack of friends. To overcome boredom I read voraciously, devouring any and every book available around me. But the ones I fell in love with were comics. The colourful books  offered stories of many kinds mythological, comedy, action, superheroes…even horror. Those were the days when mediums of entertainment were limited, comics offered a wonderful swashbuckling escape from our otherwise dull and boring reality.

I started my professional life as a comic book artist with Gotham Studios, where I was suddenly exposed to some of the best comic art by the masters like Eisner, Alan Moore, Scott McCloud, Jeff Smith, Tezuka, Moebius etc.These creators, celebrities in their own right with massive fan following, were a huge influence on pop culture. I slowly began to understand comics in a new light. I revisited the stuff I’d read as a kid. And realized that we have something incredible unique and special in our own comics culture. This is when the idea of documenting the history and evolution of Indian comic book art germinated in my mind.

It took 5 years of intensive research, out of which last two years were spent in tracing the artists, publishers, traveling, meeting and convincing them for the documentary. The very first generation of Indian comic book creators were already in their mid 70s or 80s they had to be found and interviewed in detail so that we can know their stories, struggles and vision behind the creations which lived in hearts of millions of people. 

CHITRAKATHA is an ode to the unsung heroes of Indian Comic Books – The Creators! It records the advent, history and evolution and revival of comic book medium in India

-Alok Sharma

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