Kolkata Kaleidoscope by Harsho Mohan Chattoraj
Kolkata Kaleidoscope

Harsho Mohan Chattoraj is a graphic novelist and illustrator based in Kolkata, India. He has worked in the comics medium since the turn of the century, and has done artwork for publishers and commercial clients in India, the UK and the USA. He has made historically and culturally oriented graphic novels based on Indian cities ('Hyderabad: A Graphic Novel', 'Kolkata Kaleidoscope'), heroes (hockey player Dhyan Chand and nationalist leader Netaji), literature ('Chakrapurer Chakkare') and pop culture ('When Padman Meets Suppandi').

Background and career
Chattoraj was born in 1980 in Calcutta (nowadays Kolkata), the capital of the Indian state of West Bengal. As a young boy, his interest in comics was cultivated through reading René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo's 'Astérix' stories. In his professional life, Chattoraj has worked has not only as a comics artist, but also as a journalist, visualizer, storyboard artist, voice-over artist and promo producer. Even though much of his work has ties with Indian and West-Bengali culture, his career has always been internationally oriented. Chattoraj's artwork has appeared in English-language Indian newspapers like The Statesman, Asian Age and The Times of India, as well as the Bengali daily Ekdin and the Australia-based newspaper The Indian. Other periodicals with his art were the Indian technology magazines Digit, Channel World and CIO, the humor magazine Random, the Bengali children's magazine Sandesh and the Times Journal of Photography. Chattoraj furthermore contributed to the comics section 'The Small Picture' in the financial paper Mint.

Chakrapurer Chakkare by Harsho Chattoraj
Chakrapurer Chakkare

Indian comics
Much of Chattoraj's comics projects for the Indian market were firmly rooted in local culture and history. He contributed folklore-based short stories to the children's magazine Tinkle by ACK Media (2008-2009), and provided artwork to issues of Vivek Goel's 'Aghori' (2014) and Anirudh Singh's 'Shaitan' (2018), two comic books by Holy Cow Comics with a mix of hardboiled action and Indian culture. In 2013 he illustrated the comic book about the life of the famous Indian hockey player Dhyan Chand (1905-1979) by Amar Chitra Katha. He then cooperated with scriptwriter Jai Undurti and colorist Neeraj Menon on 'Hyderabad: A Graphic Novel' (Syenagiri, 2014), about the mythical and legendary history of the city Hyderabad. He gave his own graphical vision of the interesting places, people and customs of his homebase Kolkata in his solo book 'Kolkata Kaleidoscope' (Speech Bubble, 2014). Around the same time he also published 'Chakrapurer Chakkare' (Starmark, 2014), a comics adaptation of the children's novel by famous Bengali author Shirshendu Mukhopadhyay.


Chobite Netajir Jiboni

In 2016 followed Chattoraj's 'Ghosts of Kingdoms Past' (Penguin India, 2016), a supernatural thriller set in colonial Calcutta. Two years later he did the artwork, coloring and lettering of 'Chobite Netajir Jiboni' (Shishu Kishor, 2018), a graphic novel about the life of nationalist leader Subhas Chandra Bose (1897-945), better known as Netaji. He worked with Amar Chitra Katha again on 'When Padman Meets Suppandi' (2018), a comic book related to the Bollywood superhero movie 'Padman' (2018), directed by R. Balki. His comic story 'Living Well' (2019) was made in commission of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).


Dark Destiny

International comics
In addition to his local work, Chattoraj's comics stories have been featured in anthologies and magazines from around the world. In 2007 he illustrated Ira Singerman's short story 'The Twelve' for the 10th issue of the 'Negative Burn' anthology by Image Comics in the USA. His stories 'Operation Military' and 'Charlz of Marz' both saw US publications as well in 2009. 'Around the Swiss World in 20 Days' was his contribution to Roy Anindya's Indo-Swiss anthology 'When Kulbhushan Met Stockli' (2009), a project funded and supported by the Swiss arts council Pro Helvetia. In later years, Chattoraj has returned to the pages of Swiss publications: he had his short stories 'Dark Destiny' (2016) and 'Fischgeschichten' (2018) published in Strapazin, while he produced 'Die Giester von Kolkata' ('The Ghosts of Kolkata') with Christoph Schuler for Reportagen.


The Missing ATM

Other comics work
Chattoraj has also contributed to Indian anthologies, such as the 'Bangalore Graphic Novel' ('The Missing ATM' with Zac O'Yeah, 2016) and 'The Phantom Chronicles' ('100 Knots' with Sonali Upadhyaya, 2018). In 2018 he began working on a monthly webcomic series about the lives of successful entrepeneurs for the Moneycontrol website. in cooperation with the writers Avinash Mudaliar, Siddhartha Banerjee and Xema Pathak. The 14 December 2018 episode dealt with the Marvel Comics legend Stan Lee. The webcomic got the Bronze Award at the March 2019 Afaqs Media Innovation Awards. Around the same time, Harsho Mohan Chattoraj also received the Silver Award in the category "Best Artist" at the Comic Con India Awards 2019 for his work on 'Shaitan' volume 5.


The life and times of Marvel founder Stan "The Man" Lee

harshomohan.wordpress.com

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