Behold! the great Indian comic capers

Sailesh Gopalan of Brown Paper Bag Comics series talks to Parvathi Benu about how being laidback can pay off sometimes

Published: 08th August 2016 06:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 07th August 2016 12:16 PM   |  A+A-


In the month since its debut, Facebook-based Brown Paper Bag comics has really shot up the popularity charts. The web comics have garnered about 75,000 likes, because they have a witty take on problems that every twenty-something goes through in our country.  And that means just about everything – parents, relatives, superstitions, sexism... this could be the story of your life.

Capture.JPGThe most interesting part is that the creator of these comics is a 20-year-old himself. A final year animation design student in Bengaluru, Sailesh Gopalan says that he “started this on a whim and would have probably quit” if the comics hadn’t gone viral before he could give it up! Even though he started drawing a long time ago, he was never serious about it. “I used to draw just for myself. They would stay in my drawing books and I’d show it to my parents or close friends. It was all leisure,” he says.

Most of the comic strips feature a guy named Kabir and his trysts with life. In one of them, Kabir’s T-shirt gets ripped and his mother blames the computer for it, leaving him thoroughly puzzled. “Kabir represents the people of my age group, the frustrated teenagers who’ve just turned adults. I can personally relate to most of his characteristics and so I get the most number of ideas about him,” says Sailesh.

He proudly says that his parents recognised his skills at art and helped him work on it, which made his journey easier. “My parents have been absolutely wonderful since the beginning. They’ve always encouraged me to design, which isn’t very common,” he says.

At the same time, he is a little worried as lots of people ask his parents if the nosy Indian parents in the comics are inspired from them, “They have a bit of a problem explaining that it isn’t about them, but I’m happy they’re supporting me despite that,” he adds with a smile.

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