Saturday, 11 May 2013

Graphic Novel Reads: Corridor by Sarnath Banerjee


Jehangir Rangoonwala sells second-hand books, plays chess with a customer/friend, hands out tea and unsolicited advice. Digital Dutta stands for all the people who live and accomplish great things...in their dreams.A collector of odd things is too anxious to make use of his priced possessions.Shintu is newly married, worried to death about his sex life, a fear fueled by a quack with "40 years experience." Old Delhi and Kolkata play as bustling random backgrounds to these bumbling characters. 

First published in 2004, Corridor stands out for its sketched black & white human caricatures, sporadic witticisms and creative whirl of its story-boarding - the flow is unpredictable. Banerjee starts with promise, introducing us to the characters with verve. The terse use of colour is deliberate and works well for the book.

What begins as jazz on paper meanders to abstractness and a hurried wind up. After setting up the complexities of urban life in its characters, Corridor needed scale and ambition, and preferably more pages to fulfill its torch of promise. Instead we are left with characters who we like, but do not get enough time to linger and comprehend. Also, the use of graffiti and photographs from popular culture work only in a couple of bits. Otherwise the effect comes across as crammed use of digital technology than the work of an artist. 

Yet, for the attempt, oh fans of the graphic novel, Corridor is certainly worth a read. Banerjee has the potential of sketching out a classic, what he needs is a fortress of a story to hold all his zaniness together.  


(Review by Snehith Kumbla)

 

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