Perfect Sundays Posted on September 24 2019
(or) WHY WE LOVE KOCHI SO MUCH #1
Last Sunday was perfect - lazy, laid back and a lot of reading. It was just perfect.
"There is something about Sundays. It's a different feel..." Pratheek said.
We were having breakfast. "It's in our heads, I think", I replied.
Post-lunch, we had planned to go to Cherai beach, which is about 20 kilometers away from our place. Going there on Sundays used to be our sacred tradition, until the rains claimed the beach.
It'd been a few months since our last visit to the sea and we had been waiting to go.
And both of us love the waters more than any other landscape - we're Pisceans, after all!! :)
We reached Chilli Out - a cafe that looks over the beach (run by the wonderful Eddy and his team of chechis) - around 4:30 pm and the first thought we had was: " Why didn't we come here all these months?"
The sea was calm, the sound of the waves was music to our ears and the horizon looked ethereal.
We go to the beach to enjoy these sights. We never step into the water, swim or bathe.
We just sit on the shore and enjoy the beauty of slowness and stillness.
Jackie, the cafe's resident dog came to us and we said "Hello" to each other.
A crow came and sat on the pole outside the cafe.
A hawk (kite?) swooped down to the sea from high in the sky and caught a small fish in it's claws.
How did it see that tiny fish from such a great height, we marvelled!
But we could only wonder - who, but nature knows the answers to these puzzles?
And then, more kites (hawks?) started coming in from all directions. They circled above us... high in the sky. Pratheek counted 38 of them, all flying together, circling and swerving, afloat on unseen air currents. We looked up at this splendid sight, stunned, speechless.
As the hawks slowly flew away and the sky became clear, the sun started to go down.
Jackie came and sat near us, at his favourite spot and together we watched the most beautiful sunset we have ever seen.
A perfect orange globe suspended between a layer of golden clouds and horizon, like a painting, yet real. It dipped slowly, slowly into the water.
We couldn't blink, we sat there enthralled, enchanted.
As we drove back home, we mused over the way we confine ourselves indoors and keep staring at our glowing screens (like I do now), while nature creates such magic every moment!
How stupid we humans can be!
That night, Pratheek didn't wish me 'Good night' before going to sleep.
Instead he said " Do remind us to go to Cherai every Sunday from now on".
I smiled. Those words were more beautiful than wishing me a good night, I thought to myself.
Those words wished us perfect Sundays from now on... and forever.
Thank you, dear Universe.
Thank you for this perfect Sunday.
Making TIGER BABY smile Posted on August 14 2019
Last year, we got to design the title credits for the Netflix anthology film, Lust Stories.
One of the films in LS was by Zoya Akhtar, and soon after the film came out, she wrote to us... telling us that that she loved the credit sequence we’d created (yay!!) and that she wanted us to animate the logo for her new production house, Tiger Baby.
Needless to say, we jumped the chance to collaborate with her.
Zoya already had the logo designed, so we were coming on board to animate this logo and bring it to life. The scope of work was much smaller than anything we’d done before… but as we would soon discover, making a tigress smile was not going to be an easy task!
After we heard Zoya's brief, the first thing we did was translate it into a concept script:
The screen is dark. A doorbell rings. A circular door opens in the dark screen, and we see Tiger Baby, looking at us. She smiles and says, “Say Cheese!” and raises the camera to her eye, looking at us through it. Click and the flash bursts in bright white. The white halo of the flash fades away to reveal… the logo art with the Tiger Baby title. The diamond brooch sparkles and cut to black.
We always create animatics for any animation project we take up, and it was no different here. Once the script was approved, we did a pretty basic animatic, just to get an idea of the timing and actions of the character.
In our first take of the logo animation, we stayed close to the script but put in a scratch male (!) voice.
It didn't work, of course. In Zoya's own words, "The voice intonation was awful" - which it was!
It was really strange to hear a man's voice come from her mouth, and we can't remember whose bright idea it was to use to a male voice (we should have just looked harder for an apt female voice.)
Tiger Baby's voice is feminine and sexy... and Zoya had an artist in mind for this, but her dates never lined up for the recording. Finally, it was decided to drop the “Say Cheese!” completely from the animation.
(We have since wondered if Tiger Baby is the kind of tigress who quips, “Say Cheese!” Probably not.)
With the dialogue gone, the focus shifted to Tiger Baby’s smile.
The question was, how do you make a tigress smile and yet retain her regal demeanor?
We tried out a few different smiles, here’s one of the more smiley ones.
While Tiger Baby was trying out various smiles, we were fashioning arms & hands for her.
Would her arm have stripes, like a tigress? Or would it be a human arm?
What kind of hand would it be? What were her fingers like?
During our initial explorations, her arm carried the stripes.
But eventually it became a woman’s hand, without the black bands.
And then, we dropped the smiley face as well, and everything just... fell into place.
Looking back now, it’s quite wonderful to see how the character evolved from the initial brief: from a perky, cheerful tigress, she evolved into a graceful, stately empress.
TIGER BABY was finally ready to meet the world.
x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x
5 years of Kokaachi Posted on July 29 2019
One night, while we were having dinner, Pratheek suggested the name KOKAACHI for the storytelling house we were planning to launch. Kokaachi is the name of the character from the first story we ever heard as kids, the imaginary monster who would come and catch naughty kids who refused to eat their food.
We loved the name and shared it with our friends and family and all of them loved Kokaachi. Some of them said that this name was apt as it came from our roots. Some noticed the 'Kochi' in Kokaachi. And a few even said that Kokaachi has a Japanese ring to it (Oh! We love Japan for Miyazaki and Murakami and Muji! :))
But our biggest surprise was when we searched for Kokaachi online. Mother goddess Google who knows everything above and below the sun didn't know what a Kokaachi was! Whoa! That just opened immense possibilities for us to imagine, interpret and visualise this spooky character from our childhood.
And so, we launched Kokaachi with a campaign called "30 days of Kokaachi". We collaborated with 30+ amazing artists and illustrators whom we loved, asking them to draw the Kokaachi of their imagination.
But that was 5 years back. Back then, this name, the stories we wanted to tell and the journey we wanted to make was just an idea, a BIG dream in our small hearts.
This year, as we complete 5 years of Kokaachi, we have once again collaborated with 30+ new artists to make a whole bunch of new kokaachis.
We are humbled by the love and affection you've shown us all these years. There have been moments of struggles, heart-breaks, self-doubt... we have even come to the verge of giving up this path of stories... but turned back each time.
We have come this far only because of ALL OF YOU.
A day at Vara! Posted on February 06 2016Jemma Jose was one of the 31 people who attended Vara! 02. She went on to create a comic about her experience at the event.
24HCDKochi - Photo Gallery Posted on October 07 2015Photos from the 24 Hour Comics Day 2015
24 Hour Comics Day at Studio Kokaachi Posted on October 06 2015
We did something scary and are proud of it. While it was fun to invite a diverse bunch of artist-storytellers over to our new studio to spend straight 24 hours making comics, we weren't sure how it will all turn out in the end. But we swallowed our self-doubt; having a bunch of interesting people to hang out with was great itself.
The event was splendid and a LOT of comics were made. Here our good friend and comics creator Roshan tells all about #24HCDkochi. Thanks, Rosh!
24 Hour Comics Day 2015 Posted on September 18 201524 Hour Comics Day falls on October 3 this year, and we're hosting the Kochi edition of this international event!
Though 24 Hour Comics Day has been celebrated for the past 10 years, this is probably the first time that Kochi is joining other cities across the world. And we're bringing together creators from different parts of the country - Kochi, Chennai, Bangalore, Ahmedabad - for this very first edition!
No Coincidences Posted on July 05 2015
After a long break, we're back to our first love, comics... and we wanted to glance back one last time, before we surge ahead into the unknown.
A few days ago, Tina and I were at our friend Esther's wedding reception and that got me thinking about our journey in comics from 2009 to where we are now. In many ways, it was Esther who sent us down a path that has brought us to where we are today, and looking back, it feels strange to see how the dots connect.
The short version: There are no coincidences.