Sunday, 30 October 2011

An Interview with Hemant Kumar

We all love comics and miss our childhood because those kiddish stories don't interest us anymore. We cry over this but some people like Hemant Kumar find a way to bring comics back in our life by writing on topics of our interest and presenting them to us through his website called Lithosphere. Stoned. This comic artist is mastering his 'jackness' in all the trades like Philately, Law, Art and Entrepreneurship.

Here goes my conversation with him :-

1. Your story is somewhat uncommon. A student of Law and a Comic Artist. How did the journey go? 

=> I always found comic artists cool. Having my own comic was a childhood dream; law and comics might sound leagues apart, but I guess everyone has different personalities within them.

2. You have been an avid quizzer, you have interest in reading, philately and a lot more. What do you enjoy doing the most?

=> Haha. It’s like choosing between one’s children. The greatest love I have is for knowledge, it doesn't restrict to any two or three things. I’d do anything that I can lay my hands on. Just because I get to grow as I do it.

3. Where do you see yourself after the completion of your graduation in law?

=> Placed well as a lawyer. That’s of primary importance. I’d continue with the site and other things that I keep doing, things that I can find myself passionate about.

4. Taking law as a graduation subject needs some aim behind it. What is your dream with your subject?

=> Law was planned way back in school. It provides me with satisfaction on many fronts. I get to play a role in society-building. There’s enough money. What fascinates me is the power to build lives, decisions, society solely by my words, my ideas and logic. It’s a superpower greater than what superheroes have.

5. What would you rather be - a comic artist or a lawyer? 

=> Both. Also a writer, a restaurateur, a musician, a painter and much more.

6. A wide variety of interests you have! Well coming to your passion, Comic-making. How did you start it? What inspired you?

=> I used to follow cartoons as a child. Illustrated books, and comics published in newspapers used to fascinate me. I guess that was the seed for this plant, Lithosphere. 

7. How do you come up with ideas for comic stories as well as drawings? How difficult is it for you? Are the stories fictional or they are also based on what you experience in your daily life?

=> It works both ways. Things I see, observe, combined with my imagination and thought process helps me make a comic. See, every comic has a meaning, I don’t make comics to make people laugh, but also to convey a strong yet subtle message. Fits well with the crude drawings and poor humour. So there’s a lot of thought that goes in.

When I decided to start with the comic, drawings was a difficult phase. My Friend Shruti Katyal helped me with it. Abhishek Monga, a dear friend helped me make the site. The art work is inspired from the popular ‘Warli’ art of Maharashtra.

8. Tell us one interesting instance that occurred while making comics?

=> It happens very often. I work on my stand and my mom takes a lot of interest in my work. But it gets very difficult when I have to draw an adult comic. Have to do all the work hiding away from her. Sometimes it's fun! :-D

9. You told me you write a bit. Tell me what kind of a writer you are. And being a writer; what do you like reading the most?

=> I write for fun. Experiences, observations, at times evaluations of the physical world and beyond. I read almost everything, I do avoid the romantic genre, because there are so many more things that can make you sick in the gut, why to use a book for that?

10. How did you come up with your website What made you name it ‘Lithosphere. Stoned’?

=> ‘Litho’ means stone. And ‘Sphere’ connotes the material world around us. So through the comic I try to portray the material world, as I see, in stone tablets. That’s the comic’s layout!

11. As I read about you, it was mentioned that you are fond of studying various religions. Tell us what interests you in this genre.

=> Not that I particularly love to study religion, but well, yes there’s something about it that attracts me. So I thought that it’d be intelligent if I actually went ahead and understood this one thing that attracts people from all places since forever.

12. You have been to ‘BQC’ once. Tell us about your experience.

=> It can be summed up in two words : ‘We lost.’ But it was life changing, met a few pretty girls, understood how important it is to capitalize on opportunities and met more pretty girls. :D

13. How many comic-stories have you written in totality? Have you ever published them or thought of publishing them in print media?

=> The site has about twenty five comics as yet. It’s a new venture, just the beginning. And I’d be glad to have my matter published. Its every artist’s dream I think to have access to the greatest audience. Print media, for comics, is probably the best source to get them. But I’d like to retain the website as well, its helps retain the independence.

14. You have mentioned on your website that your comics are about Law, Religion, Women, Love and Science. Tell us about one subject on which you like working the most.

=> I encounter all these issues every moment as I conduct my life and feel amazed how dumb-ingly difficult can all of these things be. I make comics based on experiences and thoughts and these things take up most of my brain-space. That left is used in trying to figure out why does the Facebook layout change so frequently?

15. Where do you see your website by two years?

=> *Fingers crossed* I see attracting a huge audience, with better content and sharper comics. Some hate-mail to make me feel I am doing good and a ‘LithosphereComics parade’ or something similar taking place in Delhi. Just that, I am not very ambitious. ;)

16. You are also involved in Freelancing. Tell us about what you have done lately.

Lately I worked with an adverisement firm, as a content writer. I used to draft the content and tag lines for ads which gets published in several medias: posters, pamphlets, internet, content for websites, tag lines for brands etc. Also used to help design the layout of the ads, the art work and stuff.

17. Before we end up, I know about your interest in philately. Tell my readers about how you
developed interest in philately? How should one get initiated into this interesting hobby?

=> Stamps provide a huge creative content in such a small space. That amazes me. Been collecting them since I was in primary school, got a few gifted by my uncle. Now I have a rather huge collection.

Rapid fire round:

Q: Favorite Place?

=> Has to be Delhi.

Q: Favorite Comic Characters?

=> There’s a constant fight between Batman, Uglythieve, the
devil from my comic and Calvin.

Q: Most inspiring person for you?

=> Circumstances, not people.

Q: Any new hobby that you wish to inculcate?

=> Music.

Q: One thing you would like to tell us about your site :

=> It's usually wittier than my answers in this interview.

Visit his Facebook page Lithosphere Comics to know more about him.

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