My interview is up at the See Brian Write Podcast site. I speak with Brian LeTendre about the craft of writing, comic books, my influences and how I got my start among other things. There are some unscheduled detours into analyzing social upheavals using Computational Fluid Dynamics 🙂 and other weird stuff.
About Mumbai Confidential
Mumbai Confidential is a creator owned crime-noir comic book series created by Saurav Mohapatra and Vivek Shinde. The “Digital First” edition is available on ComiXology and the print hardcover is available on Amazon and FlipKart, from Archaia. Please do follow us on Facebook and/or Twitter.
Reposted from my facebook wall. Read the original post here.
I think I was in seventh grade and there was a teacher who signed his middle initial in small letters (kinda like “A. b. Cdef“). Naturally curious, I asked him “Sir, why do you sign your name like that?”
The reply? He slapped me real hard in the full view of the class and said “How dare you question me on my personal things?”
I’m still befuddled as to why he reacted that way. I was shameless/incorrigible enough to continue asking questions, but it was such an “un-teacherly” thing to do. Teachers are supposed to satiate and encourage curiosity, this one very nearly killed mine. I have zero respect for that particular teacher. Over the years I’ve been lucky in getting mentors and teachers who took time to answer even the most idiotic/naivest of queries I put forth and I’m very very thankful to them.
Bottomline: Ask questions! Question everything! That’s how we learn best. The day you stop asking questions is the day you’ve surrendered forever to the status quo.
This is an old blog post from 2006 when I went to India on a sabbatical that somehow morphed into me co-founding dimdim and also writing for Virgin Comics. Reposting it here as I found this while going through my backups and it brought a few chuckles as I read through. Since both me and my wife were on H1B, we decided that I will go to India while she acted as my “way back” in case I decided to take more than a year off. 🙂 The goal was for me to take some time off and figure out if I wished to return to India semi-permanently.
I come from a family that used to be a huge joint family till one generation back. So naturally weddings etc. are pretty crowded occasions where you meet people who are twice or thrice removed cousins / uncles / aunts / some grandkids thrown in the mix too.
Inevitably such an occasion brings with it umpteen questions. I recently quit my job in the states to take a month long sabbatical doing nothing but thinking about life, universe and everything else. That is a hard concept to explain to someone like my father who supports my decision without really understanding what it means to take a break every now and then…
Now that job becomes quite a task when the same question comes from some distant uncle / aunt hell bent on knowing what i plan to do.
My answer is simple, i took a break to think about what to do next . This is unacceptable to some. To them you always need to be the man with the plan. The two mark answer does not cut with them.
The second question invariably is “where is your wife?” The two mark answer to that is simply “She is in USA as I have not made my decision as to where i want to spend my next five years.” This does not fly with the inquisition brigade. So i try the fifteen mark answer… I had to go out of US for a year so that i become eligible for an H1B again and my wife has her green card application in labor stage with her employer. Also we have two kittens and bringing them to India is well neigh impossible. So considering all these facts it makes sense for me to move to India temporarily, while she shuttles on half-yearly one month trips.
I have been married four years now… and the next question is something I always try to dodge. “When are you going to have kids? So and so was married years after you and already has five kids etc… (i put the miscalculation down to a little hyperbole in the spirit of persuasion). I try a zero mark answer for this one. “Hey look at that birdie” followed by an stealthy escape worthy of a ninja.
Some are more persistent than the others and do not fall for the birdie trick. They want to know why i do not have kids, surreptitious whispers are made about the well being of my loins and their fruitfulness. I smile painfully and try the two mark answer, “I am not yet thirty, I shall think about kids when i am thirty”. I graciously move away after this.
The most persistent of the lot, usually older females (most of whom have no idea of what the internet is and are more clueless about networking finer points than a Hindi “Ski-fi” movie/tv serial script writer suggest that i use the internet to have a kid… hmmm… looks like another set moment to try the “birdie” trick.
look up there …. etc etc
I think my point in writing this piece is that next time someone asks me these questions i can either point them here or give them a print out of this piece. Let it remain here till posterity or at least till my blog host keeps on paying their bandwidth dues… The Fifteen Mark Answer.
Had a ton of fun at Wondercon 2013, Anaheim over the easter weekend. Archaia, the publishers of Mumbai Confidential had arranged for signings of advance copies of the hardcover edition (a WC exclusive prior to the scheduled release on April 30th. Amazon Preorder : http://bit.ly/mcprint). It’s always fun to meet up with the Archaia team.
As soon as the show floor opened, I was pleasantly surprised to find that a couple of fans actually came seeking to buy Mumbai Confidential hardcover (as they had read the PREVIEWS magazine interview I had given). Joe (pictured here) set a record of sorts by becoming the first-ever person to purchase a hardcover copy of Mumbai Confidential vol 1 “Good Cop, Bad Cop”
On Saturday, I was on a panel about “Writing For Comics” with other Archaia writers (moderated by Archaia EiC Stephen Christy). It was a fun time shooting the breeze about being a writer in comics and responding to audience questions.
As usual, had a lot of fun catching up with friends and other creators, and generally geeking out watching the cosplayers.
Mumbai Confidential is a creator owned crime-noir comic book series created by Saurav Mohapatra and Vivek Shinde. The “Digital First” issues are available on ComiXology and the print hardcover is due out in April 2013 from Archaia. Please do follow us on Facebook and/or Twitter.
Continuing with the quick doodles, lately I’ve been sketching some of my favorite hindi films/chars/scenes. 🙂
Gangs of Wasseypur doodles with characters and iconic lines 😀 All done from trailer freeze frames as reference.
And here comes a new lot of doodles of Favorite Authors and some kickass quotes 🙂
Of Mice and Men and Grapes of Wrath were among the first few books I read in English and I’ve always admired how Steinbeck delivered a sermon without having to get on the pulpit. 🙂 One of the greatest chroniclers of the human condition.
Hunter S. Thompson
One word: Gonzo! I read Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and Rum Diary back to back, and fell in love with the reckless abandon in Thompson’s writing. To me it felt sort of was like watching Jackson Pollock paint with a firehose full of paint or a 50 calibre paintball gun. 😀
The Anthem is a severely underrated book. It was the second Ayn Rand book I read after reading We, The Living. Later on, I read Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead. But for me, the best work of Ayn Rand will always be The Night of Janurary 16th.