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Greetings from Bangalore

Updated February, 2007

My comic strip 3 Knights in India (which ran weekly in India Post, and online at the link above) is now a graphic novel!
Below are just a handful of photos from my last trip to Bangalore, along with some matching illustrations; not nearly enough to capture the essence of this bustling city. I deliberately chose unique photos that show what a different world India can be. I will add more as time permits.

Please note: there are only a few photos here because most of my photos were taken from a moving car, and so composition was not considered. Many were also taken for my own reference, since although I did bring along my sketchbook, life in this big city moves fast! The scene before your eyes changes from minute to minute, so a slow artist like myself had no chance to capture a 'moment'. Ox-carts were extremely difficult to photograph, even while standing in the middle of the street; these large animals are upon you in seconds, with no sound to alert you of their presence, and they are gone before you raise the camera to your eyes.

An elaborate temple entrance on the outskirts of Bangalore.

A brickworker taking a break. I wish I was able to photograph the women working at a demolition site; they actually wore hardhats adapted with cups on the top. The cups held in place large metal bowls in which rubble was placed, and the women actually carted the rubble away like this. This is just one example of things human rights people may find offensive, but in a nation with so much poverty, this is actually a solution to the bigger problem. A machine could do this job faster, and safer, but instead the job goes to several poor folk, who can now earn an income instead of begging on the streets.

One of the few traffic cops that I saw in this city where driving should be a Fear Factor challenge. This traffic cop is apparently sponsored by the State Bank of Mysore.

Fourth Block Jayanagar has a wonderful indoor/outdoor market where you can buy just about anything, as you can read in the page from 3 Knights in India at right. The above photo shows a busy entrance; actually, this is nothing to compare with the crowds in the evening, when the streets get cooler.

The photo below shows some of the glorious color to be found in the marketplace. India is very difficult to portray in a black and white comic strip, but I think I did a pretty good job portraying the vegetable stall at right.

Why spelling really does count.

The top of the hill in the very beautiful garden park of Lalbagh.

A food vendor preparing snacks for the many visitors at Lalbagh. Note that the snacks are individually packaged in wrapped newspaper.

Yum! South Indian food served on the traditional banana leaf. Just don't drink the water! Recognize this girl? She was the model for my 2nd comic book cover.

The government building is lit up for one hour every Sunday night for your viewing pleasure.

Hajees Rice World! Just one example of the millions of very small but busy shops in Bangalore. The smallest shop I saw, though? See the little girl at the right eating watermelon? Her Daddy just bought that for her from a guy set up on the sidewalk; a man, a table, a watermelon, and a knife. You see a lot of entrepreneurs who start small like that and work their way up in Bangalore. He's probably paying rent to Hajee, to preserve that spot for him every day.

Some of those stealth oxen, taken through the window of the car. Note the painted horns with tassles on top. I just had to paint one of them, so the ox on the right made the cover of my 3rd comic book.

A painted temple, illuminated at night. Unfortunately, I never got close enough to any of these to get some better photos.

Mysore is a very interesting 3 hour drive from Bangalore, and worth the trip just to see the countryside, some villages, and especially Mysore Palace. Here is a montage of photos taken just within one of the main gates. My goal was to show just how large the palace and its grounds really are, but at this point I had no idea just how much more there is to it. These photos just do not so it justice, and since cameras aren't allowed inside the palace, you'll just have to go and see it for yourself :0)

Here is my tribute to Channapatna, a neat little stop-over on the road to Mysore. I have expanded this strip with another illustration and more text for my book, 3 Knights in India.

Here is a sneek peak from a future volume of 3 Knights in India. This artwork shows two scenes from the wonderous temple caverns of Elephanta, just a wee bit off shore from Bombay.

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