“We try to get through to people using art and humor” in conversation with Appupen (George Mathen)

Serpentine kafkaesque panels; minimal or almost no use of text; worlds where venomous consumerism has consumed the lives of everyone; and palpable social commentary which snakes through the reader’s mind- Appupen’s (George Mathen) works have carved a niche in the Indian graphic novel market and are pretty much responsible for gravitating more readers to the Indian graphic narratives. Also, starting from 2009, Appupen was able to achieve a rare feat, all his graphic novels take place in the same universe of Halahala and coherently woven in terms of themes.

Intrigued and mesmerized by his style, we decided to attend the Delhi Comic Art Festival (DCAF ’17) to bump into him for a ‘fanboy’ moment, and boy, we were in a treat! Not only did we manage to talk to the witty graphic novelist, we also managed to record a quick interview! And no, sadly he wasn’t sipping Supa kola ( A popular soft drink in the Halahala universe)

You can find the interview below:


On journey of getting his first graphic novel published


On his style of narration

On the Indian comic book industry


About Appupen: 

Popularly known as Appupen, George Mathen is a comic-books creator, artist, and musician based in Bangalore. Author of four graphic novels- Moonward, Legends of Halahala, Aspyrus , and The Snake and the Lotus, Appupen is known for his unique style of amalgamating satire and dystopia. 

About “Conversations” series 

We live in an age where visual-storytelling is not only breathtakingly beautiful to see but also has commercial success associated with it. From animation, comics, graphic novels, to advertisement, branding, and education, design has become an indispensable part of an effective act of communication.

But how does one reach there? Before the glittery heavy paycheques and awe-inspiring products, one must go through years of intense training but even then, where to start? It is always helpful if one gets to speak with some of the best in the industry to know how one can design their own trajectory to learn design. Given the fact most of them are sipping their respective oceans of coffee while piling up paper-mountains of sketches and drafts in some cluttered studio somewhere in a big city, it is hard to catch hold of them.

That is why designed an informative series with the best designers and illustrators from India, to make this act of “reaching out for advice” more accessible.



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