A royal storyboard for society
Aarthi Parthasara-thy’s web comic series, Royal existenti-als deals with various social issues, such as negativity
What: Royal Existentials is a weekly web comic series written by Bengaluru-based filmmaker and writer Aarthi Parthasarathy. Through the series, she comments on various issues such as gender inequality, negativity and social inactivism. What adds a touch of quirk is her use of Indian vintage art. Aarthi runs a filmmaking and animation studio called Falana Dimka Films with Chaitanya Krishnan, an animator who also does the layout and additional art for the series. “In 2014, when we started our studio, we had decided that we would take time out for personal projects too. I had come across David Malki’s web series called Wondermark that uses Victorian era illustrations for bizarre humour. A friend suggested that an Indian version of the series was worth trying,” says Parthasarathy.
Aarthi also merges in current events such as the Charlie Hebdo killings and the Peshawar massacre
How: “I had been reading a lot about caste issues, gender inequality, and feminism, especially after the Delhi gang rape case. It’s how I started,” she adds. Through her comics, the 30-year-old also subtly comments on different social events such as the Peshawar massacre and the Charlie Hebdo massacre. One of the few things discussed in the series is negativity and reverse social activism in today’s times. When we asked if anyone had been offended by her use of traditional Indian art for commentary, she explains, “A lot of artworks we came across involved Radha Krishna, but we stay away from artwork with religious connotations. Also the language used is respectful of the images.” Aarthi also feels that the web comic industry in India has changed for good in the past few years for a great measure and people no longer think of comics as only for kids.
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Aarthi Parthasarathy. Pic Courtesy/ Niranjan Hosmane
Where: log on to www.royalexistentials.com