We met comic book artist Appupen and made him take us through his writing process.
George Mathen was the drummer of Bangalore post-rock band Lounge Piranha. Mathen has also been a graphic artist for a very long time. “I started off copying album covers. I used to own a lot of cassettes and I’d sit around replicating their covers. The same font and the same colours using sketch-pens. I think that’s how I got interested in art” he told us when we met him in Bangalore. Mathen is also the alter-ego of comic book artist Appupen. Appupen might be known to Indian indie comic book fans for writing Moonward, a graphic novel that was published by Blaft Publications in 2007 and basically narrates the story of imaginary land Hala-Hala and how it evolves, building a mythology around the land and thereby creating an effective satire about our society.
Mathen met us one afternoon to discuss how his art has evolved, how his views towards art and story-telling have changed and what led him to get into comics in the first place. What it turned out to be was quite a revelatory interview. While we discussed comics with one of the most interesting artists working in the Indian comics space currently, Mathen also talked about his meeting with legendary French artist Moebius, and shared his experiences about how working in advertising and Bollywood made him turn to a more DIY approach that allowed him to experiment more in terms of narratives and ideas.
This video compiles some great moments from the almost hour-and-a-half long interview and reveals what drives Appupen and Mathen to do what he does, and also reveals what he’s planning to do in the near future. Watch it below.