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City’s tryst with comic capers

Calcutta will host a first-of-its-kind comic workshop the coming week with some top comic artists from India, Germany and France joining hands with professional and amateur comic artists in the city to create new material.

The Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany and the Consulate General of the Republic of France are jointly organising the First International Kolkata Comic Workshop from November 26 to 28 at the German consulate.

“I wanted to start a cultural tradition in Calcutta to show our gratitude to the city that would continue even after I leave. Also, having been a fan of comics for ever, I wanted to do a comic workshop,” said Rainer Schmiedchen, the consul-general of Germany.

The workshop, which begins at 9am on Tuesday, will see graphic art students from the city as well as journalists pitch in with well-known artists like graphic novelist Sarnath Banerjee and illustrator and cartoonist Charbak Dipta from India, graphic artist and illustrator Olivier Tallec from France and the art director of Mosaik magazine Joerg Reuter from Germany.

The workshop is also an artistic celebration of the 2013 Franco-German year that marks the 50th anniversary of the Elysee Treaty.

The content of the workshop is of great importance since it will be used not just for entertainment but also aim at delivering a very important message to children. “We want to emphasise that you don’t need to be a management graduate to be successful and even blue collar jobs are very important,” said Schmiedchen.

The comic book will revolve around a man from Calcutta who goes to Germany, makes a very close French friend, discovers many connections between Berlin and India, learns a blue-collar job, like roof-making, and comes back to Calcutta where he starts his own operation, eventually going on to do something significant, like repairing the roof of Victoria Memorial.

The content produced at the workshop will be printed as a book for children.