In conversation with the master of sequential art, Orijit Sen

There are a few things that are incomparable, and understandably in a more obvious sense, all such things are usually non-human. But sometimes, some exceptional individuals surpass those limits, showing the rest of the world what can be achieved while being in the ‘ambits’ of being human and Dr. Sen is one such example.

The true father of the Indian Graphic Novel, Dr. Sen has a reputation to create only masterpieces, starting from India’s first graphic novel, River of Stories. Also, when it comes to issues of national importance or issues on which even the most powerful of people would think twice to speak in times when there is fascism all around, Dr. Sen wields his pen, much akin to a wizard to show art is but, magic.

However, like all treasures, Dr. Sen is also not easy to meet, given his busy schedule. So we decided to gatecrash an event, to ask him for an interview and what a treat it was!

Talking about everything from River of Stories, to his early influences and his fascination with TINTIN and Maus, Dr. Sen mesmerized us by showing how great he is conversations. Further, Dr. Sen invited the GraphicShelf team to Goa, where he said he takes workshops for young artists to teach them sequential art.

So till we finalize our Goa plans, we hope that you enjoy the videos below, as your in for a treat in terms of the content!

On early influences

On tips to young artists

On art and livelihood

On structuring a narrative


On Comics and graphic novels


On Digitalization

About Orijit Sen: 

Orijit Sen authored ‘River of stories’ published in 1994, which is credited as the first graphic novel of India. During his graduation from the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad in the 1980’s, he began exploring new avenues of drawing and making comics inspired by the likes of Maus by Art Spiegelman. He also co-founded initiatives like -‘People Tree’- a collaborative studio and store for artists and craftspeople;’The Pao Collective’ – a collective to support comics as a medium and culture in India etc. Later, he played an important role in creating a set of comics for the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT). Many of his diverse works have been exhibited in various countries like England, Russia, France, Japan, Canada etc.

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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