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. The 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 toxic waste. The comic questions the current and future state(s) of the river Yamuna, as both natural resource and spiritual entity. 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?

2010 // critic Anthony Acciavatti
Rhode Island School of Design

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