For Mario Dcunha, it all started with an SMS.”I was a teenager and in college and I remember sending forwards with silly jokes was a big rage at the time,” he states. Forwards led to improvisation, which led to original forwards in multiple languages. “I studied in Mangalore, so I would text in English, Kannada and Tulu,” he recalls. And with a surge of friends sharing the jokes, Mario decided to create a private group online for speedier access to a good laugh. He called it – Mario’s PJ Time. And though it remained a hobby, with an engineering course in Computer Science being his primary focus, this digital humourist recalls, “I wanted to do something more than just type out sentences or text friends.” It was around this point that he chanced upon the idea of a comic strip.
“I’m not very good at drawing,” he admits. “So I stuck to stick figures using photoshop.” Three frames, minimal design and jokes that find the lighter vein from politics to Bollywood – the structure was challenging and had this engineering student-turned-amateur caricaturist spending most of his weekends on a date with his Ipad. “My mother would peep into my room and see me bent over a comic strip and wonder what all the fuss was about,” he remembers. And six years later, he’s still at it. The Bangalore-based IT professional is currently in the midst of re-structuring his web blog to launch more advanced drawing abilities. “I’m spending three months researching strips online, remodelling my stick figures, there’s so much you can do with facial expressions that are just two dots and a curve...it’s magic,” he shares, the enthusiasm evident in his voice over the phone.
Still with no income from this very time-consuming hobby, what keeps him going? The answer comes easily to the 24-year-old. “Every time I take a break, friends and even acquaintainces I barely know ask me: ‘Why have you stopped?’” He adds, “That’s gratifying.” Plus, the comic tag also makes him pretty popular at the workplace. Definitely a reason for a smiley at the end of that sentence.
(Log on to mpjtime.com)