Graphic Novels and Traditional Art Forms: The Indian Context




The visual language of graphic novels is increasingly becoming a powerful tool of expression. Originally known as the comic books, the contemporary graphic novels are being acknowledged as a potential medium for handling serious issues. Recently, a great changeover in the thematic concerns and the art style of Indian Graphic Novels has been witnessed. This hybrid medium of text and image is addressing to the sensitive issues and questions of the contemporary modern society and also establishing a cultural identity through its artistic (visual) expression. The conventional style of comic sketching and caricaturing on paper is being replaced by the traditional art forms from different cultures and regions of India. This shift has brought about a change in the perspectives or the ways of ‘seeing’ both the Indian Graphic Novels and the Indian visual art forms. The paper purports to establish a connection between these two with a proposition that the graphic novels are a potential mode of preserving the traditional art forms of India and helping them gain recognition globally so that the Indian Graphic Novel can also create a distinguished identity in verbal-visual literature like that of Japanese Manga. The paper is an endeavour to examine how the traditional art forms are being contextualized in the contemporary times and how they are effectively registering the resistance against the stereotype and the negligence especially of women and Dalits in the Indian society itself.


Indian Graphic Novels, Traditional art, cultural identity, visual arts


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Kavad from Rajasthan.

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Author Biography


Bhanupriya Rohila is working in the Department of English, Mohanlal Sukhadia University, Udaipur (Rajasthan). Her area of specialization is Indian Diaspora Literature and her areas of interest include Culture Studies, Popular Literature, Anthropology, Indian Graphic Novels, and Folk Literature of India. She has been actively involved in teaching and research for the last four plus years and has created E-content related to English literature for Swayam Prabha.




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