by Jasjyot Singh Hans
It started when Dileep asked me if I’d be able to team up on a TSP with one of the guest pitches. It’s always fun to work with people you haven’t worked with, the only unnerving part being not knowing what to expect.
When I first read the script, it was really fun and I was immediately relieved. In the past when I’ve worked with Arjun Kolady (who is also great to work with), the script is so loaded (and even a tad intimidating), I spend a lot of time reading up on the context/ poking him about references to be able to find a clever representation, a balance between too cryptic and too obvious.
Moreover, this was a script I related to. It seemed to talk about people I felt I knew. Dileep asked me if I wanted to see Shezah’s draft, something she herself had done and sent in as a part of the pitch, but I thought it was best to not see it at that stage.
After thoroughly reading the script a couple of times, I chalked out an extremely rough panelling, as a way of simply distributing space on the given format, and breaking the script from words to panels. This step mainly requires figuring out how many panels you’ll need to be able to carry out a script sequence,which determines the number of rows, and how one would want the comic to progress. I find it easier to keep a previous TSP as a frame guide, just so I don’t mess up the size or go beyond the format space.
by Shezah Salam
“When things get tough, this is what you should do: Make good art. I’m serious. Husband runs off with a politician — make good art. Leg crushed and then eaten by a mutated boa constrictor — make good art. IRS on your trail — make good art. Cat exploded — make good art. Someone on the Internet thinks what you’re doing is stupid or evil or it’s all been done before — make good art.”
- (The ever-awesome) Neil Gaiman
So there I was, huddled in a dark corner of my room, wondering (as I’m told most 20-somethings are prone to do) what the hell I was doing with my life. The last I checked, I was this environment-conscious, socially aware teenager with dreams of saving the world, and within a blink of an eye I found myself one of a hundred marketing monkeys working for a multi-national tobacco conglomerate (Yes, those of cancerous fame). Not being able to resolve the grand debate between head and heart, I did what I always do in such situations and followed Neil’s advice – I made art about it. And that’s how the idea behind ‘Career Planning’ first came to me.
Not long after, on a chance trip down my twitter feed, I came across Manta Ray’s invitation for TSP guest pitches. So, I wrote a rough storyline and, with all the rudimentary photoshop skills I could muster, sketched out my comic.
A Van Gogh it was not, but the good people at Manta Ray liked the pitch and teamed me up with the artistically gifted Jasjyot who would breathe life into this with his mad illustration skills. I translated my comic into a detailed panel-by-panel script for his reference, allowing him to make his own artistic interpretations of what the comic should look like, guided by Dileep - who is the editor of The Small Picture - and without whom we’d be pretty lost. And then Jasjyot stepped in.
P.S. Just so you know, during the second development phase of the comic, I left my job at the big bad tobacco company. I guess it’s true that art imitates life, but once in awhile it can be the other way around =)
Tomorrow: Jasjyot takes a deep dive into the illustration and design process of Career Planning