Should cartoonists have a slant when it comes to their satire? “I don’t feel that cartoonists have to take any side. I believe that a cartoonist is never a leftist or a rightist but can be a sadist,” said Rohan Chakravarthy, cartoonist and creator of Green Humour, a comic strip related to environment issues.
Rohan was speaking at the Dakshin Literary Festival 2020 which is being virtually conducted by The New Indian Express from December 21 to 24, 2020. He was in conversation with two other artists, Rachita Taneja, creator of Sanitary Panels on Instagram, and Ashvini Menon who is the founder and principal designer at Ashvini Menon Visual Design Studio along with the Chief Reporter of Edex, Daniel Thimmayya.
Speaking about the kind of cartoons she draws, Rachita added, “Different cartoons offer different things, satire is the backbone of my cartoon. My work is very heavily reliant on satire, on making fun of those in power.”
People being the common denominator. That and a healthy dose of humour.
Ashvini, whose latest strip World Piece is a witty take on life during the lockdown, added, “My focus is on people because government of a country is a major reflection of the kind of society we are ready to live in. With my cartoons, I focus on people’s behaviour and what happens around me.”
Social media has brought in a larger audience for all three but they have all had to face a fair share of trolling. For Rachita, who was one of the earliest proponents of webcomics in India, social media helped gain a massive following, “One of the drawbacks, however, is algorithm changes and thus the reach.”