cosmic comics

The comic book format utilized as a vehicle for documenting the fluctuating conditions within the urban and rural landscape of india’s yamuna-ganga doab. Photographs, sketches, observations & thoughts collected on-site as an explorer distill into a narrative of a comic employing evolving perspective and architecturally based plan & section drawings. As one follows the lines of the narrative along the river, the dynamic environment, natural and built, of the yamuna river’s edge reveals itself. 

This comic cuts a cross section of the Yamuna doab-scape through a fantastical tale about gods, goddesses, robo-elephants, humans, technology, urbanism, the environment and, to put it bluntly, fecal matter. The comic questions the current and future state(s) of the river Yamuna, as both natural resource and goddess. It can be read as a commentary on how human interaction - worship, negligence, recreation and over-use - impacts the life of the river and the drastic measures necessary for its survival. As a response to the complex environmental, techno-industrial and spiritual issues surrounding the transformation of the river and increasingly urbanized landscape, the comic offers a biological, technological, divine intervention: mobile sewage treatment plants housed in larger-than-life robotic demonic elephant forms. Shit happens. But does it all just fade away?

RISD 2010 // critic Anthony Acciavatti

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