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Manjula Padmanabhan (b. 1953), is an author, playwright, artist, and cartoonist. She grew up in Europe and South Asia, returning to India as a teenager. Her plays include Lights Out and the Mating Game Show GAME. Her play Harvest won the first-ever Onassis Award for Theatre, in 1997, in Greece. She writes a weekly column and draws a weekly comic strip in Chennai's 'Business Line'.  Her books include Unprincess, Getting There, and The Island of Lost Girls. She lives in the US, with a home in New Delhi.


Manjula Padmanabhan

Author and cartoonist


Aabid Surti (b. 1935) is a painter, author, cartoonist, journalist, environmentalist, playwright and screenwriter from India. He was given a National Award by the Government of India in 1993 for writing a series of short stories called the "Teesri Aankh". As a cartoonist, he later created the lovable simpleton  Dhabbuji. The original and popular cartoon strip has been one of the longest-running comic strips in India, running without a break for over 30 years. It was the weekly comic strip that first appeared in Hindi magazine Dharmyug. He also created another comic book character, Bahadur, which achieved a large fan following, when the comics started to be published in Indrajal Comics

from 1978. He also created other comic book characters like Inspector Azad, Inspector Vikram and a lady character named Shuja. The cartoonDhabbuji 

and comics of Bahadur, Inspector Azad, Inspector Vikram and Shuja were all also published in English. Further, his famous comic strips Doctor Chinchoo Ke Chamatkar, which was published in the Hindi magazine Parag from 1963 to 1965 is being serialised by the National Book Trust as Doctor Chinchoo Ke Kaarnamein.

See his works at

Abid Surti

Author and comic book artist


Sekhar Mukherjee

Director, NID Andhra Pradesh

An alumnus of NID, Prof. Sekhar Mukherjee- was a senior faculty of communication design with NID Ahmedabad from 2002 to 2018. After graduating in commerce, he decided to follow his passion as his profession, and started his career as a newspaper cartoonist, illustrator & info-graphics artist at Economic Times, Kolkata, before he joined NID to study Animation Film Design in 1992. In 2000, he trained the first 2D animation studio in Dhaka, Bangladesh, one of his cherished projects. In 2002, he joined his alma mater as a design educator. For the next 12 years, he headed the Animation Department. Under his mentorship, his students won much national & international recognition. He is also the NID Film Club Chairman and the Artistic Founder Director of the iconic Chitrakatha-A biennial International Student Animation Festival since 2007. Along with his student mentorship he also regularly contributes & practices cartoons, comics, illustrations, mural, graphic experiments, etc. He is often invited as a delegate, jury member, and expert to other design schools &  various animation & comics festivals across the globe. In 2009 he received the Best Animation Teacher Award from CNBC-TV18 for “outstanding contribution to the cause of animation education in India”. He celebrates design as a problem solving and opportunity creation tool in his 25 plus years of the professional journey. In 2018 end he took charge as Director of NID Andhra Pradesh, a baby design school of the same breed.


Check The Story of Indian Animation - D’source documentary on his journey and work.

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E. Dawson Varughese is the author of Visuality and Identity in Post-millennial Indian Graphic Narratives (Palgrave). Her work specializes in post-millennial Indian visual and literary cultures and is particularly interested in auspicious and dystopian ideas of Indianness. She divides her time between the UK and India. She is a Senior Fellow at Manipal Centre for Humanities (MCH), Manipal, and has been a visiting fellow at the University of Delhi (Dept of English in 2017 and Department of Sociology in 2018).


See her work at

E. Dawson Varughese

Senior Fellow, Manipal University

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Pinaki De

Designer, Comics scholar

Pinaki De is a multiple award-winning graphic illustrator-designer who regularly works for renowned publishers like Penguin Random House, Harper Collins, Hachette, Routledge, Primus, Oxford University Press, Singapore University Press (NUS), Bloomsbury, Orient Blackswan, Worldview, Pan Picador, Simon and Schuster, Permanent Black, Alchemy, Sage, Roli, Sahitya Academy, Rupa, and many others. He has designed almost 500 book covers to date. He is the winner of the PublishingNext prize for the best book cover design in India twice in 2017 and 2019. His book cover for "Kalkatta" by Kunal Basu won the prestigious Oxford Bookstore prize for the best cover design in India at Jaipur Literary Fest 2017. His layout design on Satyajit Ray's archival manuscripts has drawn accolades from all across the globe. A Charles Wallace Trust Fellow, his Ph.D. is on comics theory. Pinaki is one of the editors of the prestigious annual magazine "Longform" (Published from Harper Collins, 2018) which is generally regarded as the first global comics magazine from India. He is the Indian comics advisor of Malaysia, the biggest ever exhibition on Asian Comics curated by Paul Gravett for the Barbican, London. His book-length comics on Partition is due next year. Pinaki juggles his creative work with academics as he has a day job as an Associate Professor at Raja Peary Mohan College, Uttarpara.   

See his works here


Tahseen Salman Choudhury

Comics scholar

Tahseen Salman Choudhury is a comic enthusiast, researcher, reviewer, and the former host of the radio and YouTube-based weekly pop-culture show “Comicbaj”. He has presented his research work in several national and international conferences and also published in an international journal. He is also the first in Bangladesh to conduct university-level workshops on Teaching Business Ethics using Comics, Learning Nutrition with Comics, and Learning Social Etiquette with Comics hosted by the University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (ULAB). A marketing major, he has previously worked in a bank and an NGO. Currently, he is working as the Senior Research and Publication Officer at the Bangladesh Employers’ Federation. 

See his youtube page here

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