Homewards Bound

Created by Siddharth Sengupta and Arjun Jassal, Homewards, available for reading online, is a story of the (reluctant) homecoming of a young man to a place that should have, but never quite ended up feeling like home.

Based on true events in Sengupta’s life, Homewards allows the reader a sneak peek into some really funny incidents that define his life. Captured in monochrome, this is one Indian webcomic that thankfully shies away from relying on stick figures, jaded celebrity quotes, retro Bollywood and crude humour to ease itself into the readers thoughts.

 

 

Needless to say, we caught up with them and spoke about a number of things. Since we can’t tell you about everything, here are excerpts from our conversation with the creators from BlueAnt Digital Intelligence:

ST: How would you introduce Homewards to the uninitiated?

Siddharth Sengupta (SS): Homewards is the story of a homecoming or rather a reluctant homecoming. It is a guy’s journey to his hometown, a place that he had never considered home. Homewards is about the journey to a place that ‘should’ be your home, but never quite feels like it.

Arjun Jassal (AJ): For me, Homewards is about growing up. At some point, you leave your parents’ house. You end up moving to a place where all the significant incidents in your life; the friendships, adventures, adda-bazi happens. What is that place called? ‘Home’ is where your parents live, what do you call the place where you live now? The place where you grow up from being a teenager into a full adult? Homewards is about that, its about exploring the space that you inhabit after you leave your parents’ ‘home’.

 

ST: How did you come up with the idea for Homewards?

SS: The story of Homewards is very personal, in fact it revolves around me and is based on true incidents. I am from Guwahati and I had to go back home for a long time. I wasn’t really happy about the idea of leaving Delhi. It was like going back to where I had started. It was around this time I shared a few quirky stories of Guwahati with Arjun and the next day we had a story with us. We didn’t want to waste any time.

AJ: Siddharth’s stories always made us laugh: whether we were just sitting in the office, talking in party or just getting a few drinks at home. He would start talking about Guwahati and the entire party would drop everything and go listen to him. When he was asked to go home, I felt that it would it would great if you could keep sharing his experiences, but in comic form. Something that we could still read and re-read while he was away.

ST: According to you, what does it take to make a successful web comic?

SS: I believe that a successful web comic will relate to the readers at various levels.  People do get overwhelmed with the artwork, but it is not a substitute for a good relatable plot. With the decreasing attention span of the masses, a web comic also needs to strike a quick impression. One must also spend time in promoting the web comic. The crux is to keep the show going, the results always take time.

AJ: I completely agree with Siddharth on this. Its not just the comic, but also you have to make sure that people are reading it and hearing about it. A successful webcomic has to be a mixture of good content, supportive marketing and hopefully, some nice funding!

ST: Which web comics inspire you and why?

SS: There are quite a few. I have been a big fan of WUMO, It is a quick fun read, some of their strips make my day. I am also a big fan of web comic journals like Bouletcorp by Gilles Roussel.Gilles documents his daily life in one page comics and he never disappoints. Then there are others like Incidental comics, Our Bloodstained Roof by Ryan Andrews, Ratfist by Doug TeNapel and also The Beast Legion by our very own Jazyl Homawazir.

AJ: I still enjoy the ‘old’ webcomics like XKCD, Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal and of course Diesel Sweeties. Of all three, I think Diesel Sweeties is the best. I love the 8-bit inspire artwork, the short 3 panel stories that also link up to form long story arcs. And the red robot, well, he’s an awesome character!

ST: Words of wisdom from you to them.

SS: Keep calm and avoid sloth!

AJ: I’m not sure we’re good enough to give advice. But since you asked, keep going. Just put stuff up. Forget that it’s not clean enough, or not thought out enough. Just make it and share it. The magic will follow.

- by Solo
Writer, photo-taker, procrastinator. She is the quintessential cat lady who isn’t your regular breed of sane.