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Images of a queer universe

An LGBTQ collective will launch the first India anthology of queer graphic fiction

The GuideIt is artsy, it is crisp and it is queer — the first graphic anthology of queer narrative is here. The Gaysi Zine, a magazine meant primarily for the LGBTQ community, is ready with its fourth edition and this time, the makers decided to make it an anthology of graphic narratives, the first in India, they claim.

Also read: How crowdfunding saved queer mag, The Gaysi Zine

Studio Kokaachi by Sandhya Prabhat, a page form the The Gaysi Zine
Studio Kokaachi by Sandhya Prabhat, a page form the The Gaysi Zine

The stories range from reimagining mythology to the resistance of being alone in a world where reproduction is mechanical, and more.

Its editor, Priya Gangwani, is excited about the way the initiative has shaped up. “Gaysi is an initiative I have been working on since 2008. We started work on this edition in June and will be releasing it today in Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore. Graphic narratives are a really cool way of communicating and I hope that readers will agree,” she says.

Love in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction by Prabha Mallya, a page from The Gaysi Zine
Love in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction by Prabha Mallya, a page from The Gaysi Zine  

The brief, Gangwani tells us, was to invite stories that are queer in nature. Queer in the political sense too, not just with respect to gender or sexuality.

The Gaysi Zine cover
The Gaysi Zine cover

The edition contains contributions from the young, old, gay and straight alike. “We insisted on original ideas and style. If you flip through the pages, you will realise that no two pages look alike,” she says.

Sreejita Biswas
Sreejita Biswas

Sreejita Biswas, the art director of Gaysi, says that an anthology is important as it brings different flavours to a collection to make it richer.

Priya Gangwani
Priya Gangwani

“For me, words are not enough. Coupled with images, they have the power to evoke newer, more powerful thoughts, ideas and stories. And what better way to experience new stories and voices than in the form of an anthology. One about love, tenderness, heartbreaks, laughter; all under a wonderful, colourful, queer umbrella.”

Putting it all together was a tough task; several ideas were rejected in search of the perfect one.

“With all the hiccups we faced, I wasn’t sure how it would pan out to be honest. But when I finally saw the anthology come together, it felt incredible. Every single sleepless night and artistic breakdowns had been worth it,” shares Biswas.

Gangwani says that this issue of the magazine was funded by the queer community and its allies, and the team reached their target of '2 lakh in 45 days using crowdsourcing.

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