New Delhi: Is it a play? Is it a musical? Or is it a theatre of the absurd? Actually, it’s none of the above.
It's the launch of a comic book for grownups, and is curiously titled Barn Owl's Wondrous Capers, the second graphic novel from Author stroke artist stroke cartoonist Sarnath Banerjee.
“In Calcutta’s old theatre district, there are a lot of people who just record sound. For 50 odd years they have been just creating sound effects and because I am influnced by detective books, mysterious sort of genre of radio books, I just thought why not just have visualised radio play and dissect a radio play on stage,” says Banerjee
His new novel comes in picture two years after his first release Corridor. But some things never change, in this case its graphics and perversion.
“It’s a book of scandals, of 18th century full of sex, intrigue, blood, fueds and duels. It’s a dark mysterious story which lot of it is me. It’s reality slipped into magic and magic slipping into reality with ease. Despite all the movement in space and time, the narrative is much more linear and much more rounded off. Like my face, the story rounds off. It follows a traditional way of telling a story,” opines Banerjee.
So this is an art form which is too little words to be a novel, too many words to be an object of art in its own right, and too wry and too intelligent to be a first level comic. So what exactly are we looking at?
"I am always at the fringe. I am the frimge of literature. I am at the fringe of art its a very comforting space. People are not expecting any big shit from you. So it’s a very nice way to put in a lot of experiment without this art establishment glare at you and what I feel is we, whoever is doing comics, are bunch of people who are trying to create a new language. It all sounds very pretentious and extremely overbearing, but we all extrapolating the grammar. It’s like early cinema. Before Corridor came out, I was doubtful and my voice wavered when I said that this is the future of story telling. But now I am very convinced that this is how stories will be told in the next 20 years,” says Banerjee.
It’s very post-modern, very odd ball and priced at Rs 395 it’s also a tad demanding.
But still remains a cool way to unwind the coming weekend.