Radical filmmaker Q releases the first path-breaking Bengali adult graphic novel
The screaming need for original Bengali texts in the graphic format has been felt by many. Which is why, the recent outing by filmmaker Q and company, can end a long lull in the Bengali literary-scape. Gandur Mundu — a creative takeoff from the path breaking 2010 film Gandu by Q — is out and it just happens to be the first adult graphic novel in the language. The 152-page novel has been illustrated by Sambaran Das, narrated by Surojit Sen and the calligraphy and frame settings have been done by Q.
The idea for the novel was conceptualised back in 2012, when Q was planning to tour Europe, with his rap outfit Gandu Circus. “Right before Q was leaving for Europe, one night we were talking about what else we can do with Gandu, and I suggested a graphic novel — which could be a take on our film, and Q agreed,” says Sen, who also reveals that it was Q who introduced him to Japanese Manga comics, which have had an influence on the novel.
The 2010 film of course, was the renegade tale of a teenage rapper, and was in many ways, a protest film. But Gandur Mundu, incidentally only deals with the politics of counterculture, Sen reveals. The novel follows a non-linear narrative and focuses on the origins of Gandu. It’s devised like a walk through the images of the dark, underbelly of Kolkata.
“In a dream, Gandu reads the book Noshto Atmar Television, by the ‘70s anti-establishment poet Falguni Roy. Actually I should say, Falguni Roy was the ‘Gandu’ of his time, what with his angst and poetic talent,” Sen adds.
Sen, who is the narrator of the text, met Das at an art event in the city. “One day at his studio, we discussed the narrative. Two weeks later, he showed me 4 frames, and I was just astounded! I think he is the most talented artist in contemporary scene. I introduced Sambaran to Q, and the novel started growing. We are currently thinking about two non-fiction outings by Book Fair 2020. We also have plans for another graphic novel,” adds Sen.
Gandur Mundu is priced at Rs 400