Graphicshelf in conversation with Sarnath Banerjee


It was on a cold January morning that we finally got to meet, Sarnath Banerjee- the father of the modern Indian Graphic Novel. While not exactly terrible, Delhi winters are still difficult to brave, and we had traveled around 50kms for the interview. Tired and hungry, we managed to make it to Mr. Banerjee’s house at Chitranjan Park around half an hour before the scheduled time for the interview.

And right from the moment, Mr. Banerjee opened the door until the time we finished the interview, we had one of the most satisfying conversations we have ever had with an artist. Not only was our intellectual hunger satiated, but upon knowing that we had traveled around 50kms for the interview, Mr. Banerjee treated us to freshly brewed Darjeeling tea and fish fry.To put in proper chronology, we were first treated with the tea and fish, followed by an informal chat, followed by a formal interview.

The Interview! 

Definitely, it is difficult to hold oneself back from jumping into Mr. Banerjee’s super-inviting bookshelves, and it took us quite a while to control. There are anthologies, classics, and what not, and Mr. Banerjee was happy to allow us to explore that treasure house! This was when while he was brewing Darjeeling tea for the GraphicShelf team, and later on tea, we all exploded into an informal chat about his books Corridor, The Barn Owl, and All Quite in Vikaspuri. 

Five minutes into the conversation, and we realized the kind of knowledge powerhouse Mr. Banerjee is. He told us about his college days, his undergraduate studies in physics and how he writes his graphic novels. Later, we all snacked on some fish-fry after which we started the interview.

Heavily informative, the interview is a must-watch for every Sarnath Banerjee fan and graphic-novel enthusiast alike!

About Sarnath Banerjee: 

Sarnath Banerjee was born in Kolkata and is popularly known as the father of the modern Indian graphic novel, a title that came to be associated with him after his first graphic novel Corridor (2004). A MacArthur fellow, Mr. Banerjee studied Image and communication at Goldsmiths College, University of London and has published four graphic novels – Corridor, The Barn Owl’s Wondrous Capers, The Harappa Files, and All Quiet in Vikaspuri. 

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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