No Weekend Adventures

March 30, 2009

This weekend, I was at work. Phooey.

..but I did manage to finish this:

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As per usual, and apologies for the uneven scan quality…I bought a new notebook for the comic, whose binding makes scanning a little difficult.

Clickies for full size.

Mostly an experiment to draw in more background details. I had a bit of trouble maintaining dimensions, so this one ended up like those old Chacha Chaudhary issues with a wildly variable Sabu.

Mostly an experiment to draw in more background details. I had a bit of trouble maintaining dimensions, so this one ended up like those old Chacha Chaudhary issues with a wildly variable Sabu.

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Sigh. Unfortunately all true. And yes, I do use the cellphone with my left hand.

Fun to draw. Funner to colour. Text placement could use a bit of work, though.

Fun to draw. Funner to colour. Text placement could use a bit of work, though.

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[Necessary rant about the Battlestar Galactica Season 4 Finale. Mostly Spoiler-Free]

There are so many mediocre ways to end a good series. At one level, I can even understand the difficulty of tying loose ends that have festered in the narrative for years, and the task of satisfactorily bringing character development arcs to a close is indeed a daunting one.

But what you generally, as a rule, try to avoid, is the following:

– HUGE deus ex machina that decides the fate of the main characters
– A conclusion so improvised it’s insulting.
– Declaring unsolved plot threads as ‘red herrings’ that the writers guessed ‘no one would notice’
– Inciting the collective fury of the Internet.

Battlestar Galactica, meet sweet online geek rage.

The word ‘clusterfrak’ is doing the rounds as the adjective of choice, and its not far off the mark: after 4 seasons of intelligent storytelling, excellent characters and situations, and a reasoned if sometimes obscurantist meditation on the relationship between man and technology, yesterday’s finale was nothing short of a betrayal: a conclusion so heavy handed, convenient and lazy that, for me, its almost unraveled the excellence of the series so far.

Its unfortunately difficult to write the conclusion off as an aberration, and pretend the rest of the series can stand on its own: too much hung in the balance for this one, and the humongous plot reveals throw whatever shred of intrigue you had left for the characters out the nearest airlock.

Failed.

Embarrassments

March 19, 2009

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I get this strange feeling of uneasiness whenever I see my boss working. It starts somewhere around my neck, which automatically tightens, before moving down into my left arm, which begins to scratch aforementioned neck. Another strand moves upwards to my eyebrows, arcing them upwards, which triggers a complex series of facial muscle reflexes that stretches my mouth into the vague contours of a grin. 

All of which results in a wonderful display of buffoonery that my boss is undoubtedly hard-pressed to explain. His response to my semi-permanent state of grinning embarrassment is usually denial, or the imposition of more errands to perform. Preferably away from the office. 

The reason for this uneasiness, I think, is the remarkable amount of self-assuredness he seems to have in everything he does. It scares me.

It’s like he’s permanently in the Zone: shifting between explaining the behaviour of Buffaloes in heat and the vagaries of the Directorate of Foreign Trade with inexplicable ease (I kid you not). Every word he reads seems to be imbued with a sense of purpose and meaning, like somehow everything everything around you fits into place perfectly, and even the most random puzzle pieces you pick up go exactly where you want them to. 

I, on the other hand, am content with the rare display of articulation, or the summoning of (rarer) creativity from increasingly dry reserves. It seems to take very little to get me out of my standard-state malaise, but very little to plunge me back into it too.  I seem to be able to think clearly only in twitter-length messages, with larger pictures either completely incomprehensible or scarily ominous.

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There’s somehow the comfort of the often bizarre memories I’ve retained from the last few months:

like roaming around Delhi with a bunch of Gond artists, helping them buy T-shirts.
Or discussing the ‘Republic of ManUcia’ and its inevitable demise.
Or singing Himesh Reshammiya in karaoke, and getting an A rating on the effort.
Or wondering if your designation at work is ‘All-purpose Errand Boy’ or ‘Apprentice Pedant.’

Or finding out that one of the subjects of the documentary you’re helping shoot runs an international child adoption racket.
Or listening to a song called ‘If We Can Land a Man on the Moon, Surely I Can Win Your Heart.’ And liking it. 
Or finding yourself in a financial quandary so dire you had to choose between Toothpaste and lunch.

(All of this is true)

 I’ve also been a bit of a social embarrassment recently. I may have tried a tad too hard to make something work, which didn’t, and its a little difficult having to realize (and admit) that its sort-of hit you square in the heart of a rather troubling flaw in your character – the stupid tendency to assign alarming portions of your emotional normalcy to trivialities. 

Anyways.

Wins have also happened. I think I’m close to finally reaching some level of comfort with my finances, and I’m surrounded by plenty of great books to read in the coming month. The Nintendo DS is seeing its best release period yet, I get to dig up some awesome old manuscripts as part of work, and the Battlestar Galactica finale is tomorrow!

So, yeah. A social, grinning, and partly-successful embarrassment. 

I think I can live with that.

More Comics

March 13, 2009

Buried in work, so here’s three new comics to buy more time for the next post (where I’ll be exploring the rather tragic impact of financial poverty on my life generally and my lunch specifically)

First one was drawn on Holi – its mostly experimental, and therefore poorly drawn, but I wanted to try and draw me (and others) in a pose other than standing, and locations other than abstract squiggly lines and exposition.

It turned out a little more verbose than I’d anticipated, but I’m still reasonably happy with it. (By the way, those are water pistols in Panel 1. Both models actually exist.)

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It was only a matter of time before Kitty and Witty (of Livemedia infamy – those infernal televisions now in every restaurant and/or bar) made an appearance here, something even the bloody company accepts is a ‘a clever rendition of poor jokes through animation.’ Wow.

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And, sigh, start-of-week gaming tragedy:

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Weekend Adventures 4.5

March 9, 2009

This week, I found:

A Half Life reference in a speech delivered by the venerable Dr Ambedkar in 1945:

Full sentence reads: The distribution of seats should be so made that a combination of the major minorities should not give the combine such a majority as to make them impervious to the interests of the minorities

Full sentence reads: 'The distribution of seats should be so made that a combination of the major minorities should not give the combine such a majority as to make them impervious to the interests of the minorities'

Evidence of time dilation in the Delhi Metro (see, KK? Witness how a minute becomes two, how the time dilation field bends seconds into denser units of time, throwing even electronic equipment out of whack):

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Oh, and MTNL Fail:

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Weekend Adventures 4

March 9, 2009

This weekend, me and my room-mate defrosted the fridge.

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Direction marker: provides advance warning.

At Ground Zero: Superhero on the job.

At Ground Zero: Superhero on the job.

Signpost, also a...

Signpost, also a...

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Three more Comics

March 5, 2009

Why yes, I have been rather productive this last week.

The middle panel in this one didn’t turn out as well as I wanted it to, but I do play the Zelda Item Fanfare in my head whenever I get a plate of momos. It’s true.

And the last panel is also true. The auto was completely empty. No driver, no ethereal aura, nothing. Not even a tractor beam. It just…moved.

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Drawing this next one made me happy: I obsessed over the colouring for a while, and its possibly the most complex one I’ve attempted so far.  The game depicted here is the utterly daft and brilliant Elite Beat Agents, in which, and I’m going to let the official site describe this for you:

The main characters of Elite Beat Agents are members of a fictional government agency responsible for helping those in need. The agents encourage the person through their dancing and the people they assist are instilled with motivation that helps them overcome various obstacles.

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And then there’s this. I quite like this one. It’s also completely true.

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Bazooka Fail

March 5, 2009

Ladies and gentlemen, I wish to introduce a new variant of a popular internet meme you may or may not have had the good fortune to be introduced to.

I present, Bazooka Fail:
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Thank you.

Poet of the Underworld

March 1, 2009

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Namdeo Dhasal writes poetry like a street-side argument.

It’s the poem of the pedestrian  forced to jump out of the way of a wayward car, horns blaring; the poem of the railway porter elbowed by an oncoming crowd, the poem of the person on the scooter who narrowly misses a bright red arc of spit from a bus window at a traffic light, the poem of the commuter who runs after an errant bus, escaping from a bus stop, and missing it.

It’s a triumphant stream of guttural swear words twisted into verses, punctuated with a hacking cough, a wheeze, or a drag from a beedi. And they’re not just mundane images from, say, a community park or a street food joint, and they’re not just profane: between the lines, they’re poems about discrimination, and inequality and injustice.

Needless to say, he’s quite brilliant.

Translated into English, of course, its sounds a bit…sterilized and awkward, and some of the experience of reading the original, like the following cover of his first collection of poems, which features a hand drawn illustration over an entry form for a Bombay Municipal Corporation Venereal Diseases Clinic:

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…is sort of lost.

But still, the man’s style is quite excellent, and there’s plenty to take offence at: here for example is the first Namdeo poem I was introduced to, which, in defiance of all notions of copyright and public decency, shall be posted in its entirety here.

Enjoy, and please read through right to the end:

Man, You Should Explode

Man, you should explode
Yourself to bits to start with
Jive to a savage drum beat
Smoke hash, smoke ganja
Chew opium, bite Lalpari
Guzzle country booze—if too broke,
Down a pint of the cheapest Dalda
Stay tipsy day and night, stay tight round the clock
Cuss at one and all; swear by his Mom’s twat, his sister’s cunt
Abuse him, slap him in the cheek, and pummel him…
Man, you should keep handy a Rampuri knife
A dagger, an axe, a sword, an iron rod, a hockey stick, a bamboo
You should carry acid bulbs and such things on you
You should be ready to carve out anybody’s innards without batting an eyelid
Commit murders and kill the sleeping ones
Turn humans into slaves; whip their arses with a lash
Cook your beans on their bleeding backsides
Rob your next-door neighbours, bust banks
Fuck the mothers of moneylenders and the stinking rich
Cut the throat of your own kith and kin by conning them, poison them, jinx them
You should hump anyone’s mother or sister anywhere you can
Engage your dick with every missy you can find, call nobody too old to be screwed
Call nobody too young, nobody too green to shag, lay them one and all
Perform gang rapes on stage in the public
Make whorehouses grow: live on a pimp’s cut: cut the women’s noses, tits
Make them ride naked on a donkey through the streets to shame them
Man, one should dig up roads, yank off bridges
One should topple down streetlights
Smash up police stations and railway stations
One should hurl grenades; one should drop hydrogen bombs to raze
Literary societies, schools, colleges, hospitals, airports
One should open the manholes of sewers and throw into them
Plato, Einstein, Archimedes, Socrates,
Marx, Ashoka, Hitler, Camus, Sartre, Kafka,
Baudelaire, Rimbaud, Ezra Pound, Hopkins, Goethe,
Dostoevsky, Mayakovsky, Maxim Gorky,
Edison, Madison, Kalidasa, Tukaram, Vyasa, Shakespeare, Jnaneshvar,
And keep them rotting there with all their words
One should hang to death the descendents of Jesus, the Paighamber, the Buddha, and Vishnu
One should crumble up temples, churches, mosques, sculptures, museums
One should blow with cannonballs all priests
And inscribe epigraphs with cloth soaked in their blood
Man, one should tear off all the pages of all the sacred books in the world
And give them to people for wiping shit off their arses when done
Remove sticks from anybody’s fence and go in there to shit and piss, and muck it up
Menstruate there, cough out phlegm, sneeze out goo
Choose what offends one’s sense of odour to wind up the show
Raise hell all over the place from up to down and in between
Man, you should drink human blood, eat spit roast human flesh, melt human fat and drink it
Smash the bones of your critics’ shanks on hard stone blocks to get their marrow
Wage class wars, caste wars, communal wars, party wars, crusades, world wars
One should become totally savage, ferocious, and primitive
One should become devil-may-care and create anarchy
Launch a campaign for not growing food, kill people all and sundry by starving them to death
Kill oneself too, let disease thrive, make all trees leafless
Take care that no bird ever sings, man, one should plan to die groaning and screaming in pain
Let all this grow into a tumour to fill the universe, balloon up
And burst at a nameless time to shrink
After this all those who survive should stop robbing anyone or making others their slaves
After this they should stop calling one another names white or black, Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya, or Shudra; stop creating political parties, stop building property, stop committing
The crime of not recognizing one’s kin, not recognizing one’s mother or sister
One should regard the sky as one’s grandpa, the earth as one’s grandma
And coddled by them everybody should bask in mutual love
Man, one should act so bright as to make the Sun and the Moon seem pale
One should share each morsel of food with everyone else, one should compose a hymn
To humanity itself, man, man should sing only the song of man.