Ram V caught my attention with his storytelling in BRIGANDS from Action Lab: Danger Zone. Upon following him on social media, I came across a crowdfunding campaign from the writer unlike the Kickstarters I’m used to seeing. GRAFITY’S WALL is a 150-page graphic novel featuring a team of fantastic creators out of India’s comic book scene. From early previews alone, three things struck me immediately. First, I sensed that this crowdfunding platform seems to provide a unique approach to not only publishing, but in how the creators and backers interact with one another. I really liked how backers can follow along with the in-progress project. Second thing that really hit me was how the story in GRAFITY’S WALL can really open one’s eyes to the current culture in Mumbai, one rarely seen or broadcast in the United States, save for Hollywood (but how accurate is that?). And the final thing that I noticed immediately was how GRAFITY’S WALL, the entire project as a whole, is a brilliant way of showcasing comic book creators from countries which may not get as much exposure. As for the Ram’s story, it looks like it will deliver more content than the 150 pages will hold.
GRAFITY’S WALL is a coming-of-age Graphic Novel about expression, rebellion, ambition and acceptance painted against the backdrop of Mumbai’s ever changing and evolving street-culture. It tells the story of four teenagers in Mumbai who start hanging out at a solitary wall left standing after the razing of a slum. One of them, an aspiring street artist who calls himself Grafity, begins to paint on the wall a mural that will become the picture of their lives. Stories of love, crime, ambition, life and death told through vignettes of these teens on Mumbai streets where life is cheap and all dreams come at a price. Set in the context of Mumbai’s nouveau street-culture – hinglish hip-hop, designer drugs, casual violence and street-art.
Written by: Ram V
Illustrated by: Anand RK
Colours by: Irma Kniivila
Letters by: Aditya Bidikar
When an aspiring street artist by the name of ‘Grafity’ watches the tenements outside his home being razed, he finds an unlikely canvas at the one wall still left standing in the debris. Over the next weeks, he begins creating a mural on the wall, one that chronicles the lives of his friends: A local low-level fixer named Jay who harbors dreams of being a rapper. A brilliant and awkward boy named Chasma who writes love letters in his breaks between waiting tables at a local ‘Chinese’ restaurant. And Saira, an aspiring actress with ambitions so fierce that they threaten to consume her and all those around her. As the mural progresses, the story gives us glimpses into these incandescent lives, their hopes and dreams both inspired and impeded by their circumstances, and the impossible city that they live in.
For more on each of the creators and for publisher Unbound,
visit them online and social media.
Writer – Ram V
Illustrations – Anand Radhakrishnan
Colours – Irma Kniivila
Letters – Aditya Bidikar
We’re a team of writers, designers, publishers and producers working together in a converted warehouse in central London. Half of us spend our time finding, commissioning and making our books. The other half builds Unbound and looks after our community. Together, we have over 300 years of expertise in publishing and connecting people around creative projects.
Publishing that works. For everybody.
We started Unbound with a simple mission: make publishing work. For everybody. We believe that everyone should be given the chance to seize their own success, and that great ideas shouldn’t fall between the cracks because they don’t fit the mould. And that’s what we’ve built – a better way of doing things. A community, platform and a publishing model that shift the balance of power to you, people and communities that champion underserved ideas and voices.
Unbound is a global community built around creativity and ideas. Over 110,530 people from every corner of the globe have supported an Unbound project and helped make that idea a reality. To date, we’ve published 215 books that only exist thanks to the Unbound community. Many of these have been bestsellers and received critical acclaim, and all have come from passionate people with a story to share.
*** info courtesy of Unbound.com and Ram V