Archive for March, 2011

Lots of kar2n camps for the kids have been, and are being organised by people such as the blokes at the  Kerala Cartoon Academy, which is defenitely a commendable thing…

However in my opinion there is one important aspect of kar2ning that I feel they should stress to the new generation of kar2nists… The ability to get noticed by the world at large instead  only in their homeland…

In that context let me build up a scenario….

Firstly, we in Kerala generally tend to look   inwards for kar2n
ideas . The perennial source for it are politicians and their ilk and their antics…It is fodder enough to keep us engaged for the next few generations….
But Kerala politics is of interest mostly to the home crowds and some of the pravasis ( read: malayalees residing abroad)…Also, as  the scenarios change what is laugh-worthy today becomes stale or meaningless tomorrow…Kind of getting dated- the hallmark of political kar2ns…

After having made fun of Murali’s NCP farts in the past , today all that is not relevant because the guy has switched sides…And so also in the case of Sindhu Joy’s recent ‘street crossing’ to Congress.. . Maybe we will remember such kar2ns for a few more weeks after they are created, but afterwards what ?

Further , the way we tend to make those political kar2ns, it is quite clear that , out of our currently estimated national population of about 113 crores people, only about  3.18 crore or so of ‘state thethered’ and NRI Keralites’ alone will be able to comprehend , let alone appreciate , them. This results in   Kerala’s kar2nists, many brilliant ones among them , getting burried alive in this sacred land of “Mr. Pararasuraman& Co.”

Finally, these political  kar2ns are sometimes heavily loaded with text, albeit out of necessity , and that too in Malayalam. A 30 % drawing will be suffused with 70% wind…Again this restricts their appreciation among the non-malayali readers.

Here, veering a little, I would like to take time out to divide kar2ns into 3 categories: These of course are my own categorisation and if someone does not agree…well, you can chuck it out through the  window:-)

I categorise them as follows :-
– “Mu2ns” , the muted ones without text,
– “Bubble2ns” ones with the entire Ramayana and Mahabharatha squeezed into the bubble like a 7 foot body in a 4 foot coffin, which make them look somewhat  like a baloon vendor during temple festivals, and thirdly,
– “Mew2ns” , which are kar2ns that only mew like Auntie’s kitten, …with very little text..

I would take some examples to illustrate my point…..,

One depicting a Mu2n,  like the  one below…..

( click to enlarge)

And the other a Mew2n,  like the one below.

( click to enlarge )

As for Bubble2ns… well…hrrrmph… just replace the text of any Mew2n with the latest reprint of the The Kamba Ramayana…and you will be just about right:-) 

“Bubble2ns” , in my reckoning, have limited global appeal and understanding, especially if the bubble is packaged  in Malayalam or any regional language,  as mostly are…. “Mu2ns” on the other hand, are a different story… People of all nationality around the globe will chucke at a “Mu2n” , be they Indians, Europians, Africans or Russians or ‘timbuktuans’ or for that matter,  anyone anywhere in the world. If you look at the many kar2n contests in  Europe and elsewhere  you will notice that they even insist on a “No Text’ dictum!

The “Mew2ns” , on the other hand,   are the refined versions of “Bubble2ns. The  lay stress on ‘say what you will, but make it short! ‘

Having said that, “Mu2ns” are tougher nuts to crack,  compared to “Bubble2ns” or “Mew2ns” . That is because the latter two can draw ( pun intended!) upon the support of Text to varying degrees to convey the humour of a situation being depicted through the sketchy drawings.
So, in order to enable our would-be , teeny weeny  kar2nist aspirants  to be noticed  and appreciated the world over as well as anywhere in India , we also need to encourage them to master  “Mu2ning” or at least “Mew2ning”, apart from  Bubble2ning.”

Now that I have  got you sufficiently confused , you may ask: what the hell are you driving at?

Well, for one thing, these  young ones  can be given ‘Themes’  like, water shortage, waste disposal, global warming etc.( to cite a few examples ) , and asked to do the challenging job of making Mutoons on them!

Well… We can atleast try!

Though the kids may have other ideas about it…:-)

( click to enlarge)


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