1. Jigmet Angmo, Dungjonma And Her Innovative Ride
26-year-old Jigmet is Ladakh’s first graphic novelist. Her protagonist—Dungjonma—is based on a local folklore about a witch, but Jigmet turned it into a superhero story. The novel explores the life of a modern-day female superhero, who protects the town of Leh from crime. At night, she rides dungma (the main wooden beam of people’s houses) to keep an eye out for danger. Jigmet’s work is aimed to protect the culture of Leh.
Dungjonma And Her Innovative Ride
2. Abhijeet Kini, Angry Maushi, Fanboys, My Rhyme Fighters, and Ek Din Ka Hero
Each of Abhijeet’s self-published comics is different. “Angry Maushi is about an angry Mumbai-based woman who goes on a rampage against evil. Rhyme Fighters is about regular people who are unsung heroes. Ek Din Ka Hero is also about people who arrive in Mumbai with big Bollywood dreams,” Abhijeet says. “Satire is a fabulous way of reminding people of the reality.”
3. Nidhi Chanani, Pashmina and Jukebox
An illustrator, Nidhi always wanted to explore the art of storytelling. Her debut novel Pashmina focuses on the relationship between an Indian-American woman and her teenage daughter. Jukebox is about two Muslim cousins who go back in time courtesy of an old jukebox. “I aim to create themes that aren’t addressed often—brown girls, mixed-race couples, queer people. I hope my books
help start conversations around feminism, family
Pashmina and Jukebox
4. Vishwajyoti Ghosh, Delhi Calm and The Lost Ticket
Vishwajyoti’s stories are inspired by everyday life... pop culture and kitsch. Some of his comics work as educational tools, talking about gender, reproductive health, livelihood, and more. “It can be challenging to create graphic narratives for an audience whose reading literacy is low or negligible. The visual medium needs to be self-explanatory and the message needs to hit home,” he tells Cosmo.
Delhi Calm and The Lost Ticket
5. Amruta Patil, Author of Kari, Adi Parva, Sauptik: Blood and Flowers, and Aranyaka: Book of the Forest
India’s first female graphic novelist, Amruta’s stories are multi-layered, and explore themes of sexuality, intersectional feminism, and mythology. Her debut novel Kari was centred around a young lesbian living in Mumbai, and how she copes with her sexual identity; while Adi Parva and Sauptik were a revisionist take on the Mahabharata.
6. Sarnath Banerjee, Corridor, Kashmir Pending, All Quiet In Vikaspuri, The Harappa Files, and Doabdil
Sarnath isn’t just a graphic novelist, he’s also a filmmaker and Co-Founder of Phantomville, a publishing house for comic books. His works have explored Delhi’s “aphrodisiac market” and the city’s eccentricities (Corridor), “Harappa Files is a compendium of people, places and things that built a universe that preceded the new neo-liberal India; All Quiet In Vikaspuri is about the fictitious Water Wars of Delhi; and Doabdil is a book of dark Arcadias,” he says.