Friday, March 17, 2006

What's in a name?


Maybe you've seen the latest 3 Knights in India at the homepage, or are looking forward to seeing it in next week's India Post, but I just had to pull it aside for discussion.

You see, I love moments like this. They shine in a Creator's career, mostly becuase of their unexpectedness. Reading the strip, it appears obvious where the name 3 Knights in India comes from, and I actually did consider calling it 3 days and 3 knights in Bangalore. The point is, I didn't plan this particular strip. I knew the story was ending, and I knew I was going to give each subset of characters their final moments, but this particular idea popped out of thin air just when I needed it, and I had no idea that it was coming. It's perfect, of course, in so many ways, and a fitting ending for the strip, and so obvious to me the subconscious mind at work.

I remember reading that Bill Watterson enjoyed creating Calvin & Hobbes storylines, because he would set the characters loose, and often be delightfully surprised by where they went. Perhaps we creative types have a certain schizophrenia, but it's true that a point comes where your characters have a life of their own. They conduct dialogs in your head, and you find yourself just listening in, and waiting for the good stuff that you can mine for the comic strip.

No, I don't think we're crazy... it's just the creative process at work. The subconscious mind working hard on all the stuff that the conscious mind feeds it. It is wonderful though, when we can surprise ourselves; the artistic equivalent to the "runner's high".

And by the way, the guy in the top panel to the left is indeed the "everyman"or "Common Man" character created by RK Laxman, India's premier Cartoonist. No cartoon book about India would be complete without him :0)

Cheers, JOHN :0)

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