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The freedom to be funny

The freedom to be funny
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First Published: Fri, Mar 20 2009. 10 24 PM IST

Updated: Fri, Mar 20 2009. 10 24 PM IST
Saad Akhtar’s latest webcomic has an enraged pot-bellied man ranting and raving about Slumdog Millionaire being poverty porn. It is not a new perspective. But Akhtar’s use of fonts, colours and treated photographs makes the comic jump out of the screen.
“There are no entry barriers at all to creating a webcomic. You don’t need training, expensive software or even the ability to draw!” says Akhtar, whose webcomic is called “Fly, You Fools!: An Indian webcomic about life, and its irritations.”
Akhtar’s work is slightly more complicated than the average webcomic; he is also a talented photographer and all the characters in his panels are portrayed using heavily modified photographs of friends and other people he runs into.
“I don’t draw, but I had a lot of photos and ideas. And being on the Web means you don’t need high-quality visuals to impress your publisher or editor. If your readers think it’s funny, you’re in business! You can use any tool you are comfortable with. Even Microsoft Paint or the good old pen and paper,” he explains.
Akhtar uses Photoshop for giving photos the “comic look” and to lay out the panels and dialogues, and Evernote, a note-taking application that runs on mobile phones, to jot down ideas.
Akhtar’s comics are posted on www.flyyoufools.com and the site is updated several times each week.
We asked Akhtar, who works as an interaction designer in New Delhi, to share with us his favourite online webcomics, tell us why he likes them, and draw an exclusive sample for our readers:
Also Read Fly You Fools!
AKHTAR’S FAVOURITES
XKCD
www.xkcd.com
“A webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math and language, as it calls itself. It’s the most popular nerd comic on the Internet today. Uses stick figures and uber-geekiness to entertain.”
Cyanide and happiness
www.explosm.net
“It’s badly drawn, and offensive as hell. Written/drawn by four authors, it updates nearly every day. Going strong since 2004.”
Monkey Fluids
www.monkeyfluids.com
“Takes old illustrations and puts in modern captions. Hilarity ensues.”
Brainstuck
www.brainstuck.com
“Another Indian webcomic. Updates nearly daily and comes up with the weirdest funny things.”
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First Published: Fri, Mar 20 2009. 10 24 PM IST