Thursday, October 6, 2016

360 Degrees Virtual Reality Comic Poster - Girl with a Red Nose Ring


Ever since I came to know about new virtual reality consumer cameras popping up all over the world and Facebook opening up their doors to sharing 360 degrees photos/videos with ease, I have been craving to experiment with them.

Well... looks like that has to wait. Recently I noticed few artists make '360 degree paintings' and thought I'd try one out myself.

Here's my (first) attempt at creating a virtual reality poster for my Sivappu Kal Mookuthi / Girl with a Red Nose Ring graphic novel. I had to draw the entire forest background from scratch since existing background in the comic was not fitting the 360 space. But looking at the result now, I feel it's worth the effort.

And.... if you haven't read the graphic novel yet, please check out the free preview here.

Good Day!

- Nandhini. 

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Inspector Rishi - Detective Comics Series (Webcomics)

A handful of you may already know who I am and what Inspector Rishi is. For the rest of the world, here’s a short intro. I am a filmmaker from Chennai, India. I wrote and directed a Tamil romantic comedy movie titled ’Thiru Thiru Thuru Thuru’ way back in 2009. I am also the writer/creator of the bilingual horror graphic novel ’Sivappu Kal Mookuthi’ (aka Girl with a Red Nose Ring) which I published digitally in 2015.
My second movie was supposed to be a detective horror titled ‘Kolai Nokku Paarvai’ (a coined term in Tamil language meaning ‘Foresight for Murder’). The movie project began in 2013, but unfortunately got shelved after ten days of shoot due to lack of funds.
So I decided to convert Kolai Nokku Paarvai's screenplay into a webcomic series. For those who are unfamiliar with the term 'webcomics', it is Digital Comics that can be read online in a website. I plan to update one page every wednesday and you can read it (for free) at
Some people ask 'why only one page a week? Can't you publish a chapter or several pages a week?'. Well... when I created 'Sivappu Kal Mookuthi’ (aka Girl with a Red Nose Ring), I had a small team of artists. But I am creating Inspector Rishi all by myself. This includes storyboarding, sketching, colouring, translating, lettering, website publishing and social media management. One page a week is all I can manage.
FYI, I am self-learning illustrator experimenting with comics, so don’t expect the artworks to be perfect :) I am still a filmmaker at heart and I’m just glad to have found a means through which I can tell my story to the world.
I hope you enjoy reading my comics as much as I enjoy creating it. If you want to encourage and support my efforts, please do share the website link so that it reaches more people. 
Nandhini JS.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Have you ever considered suicide?

*Re-blogging the author notes I posted in the first page of Inspector Rishi Detective Webcomics at

Page 1 - Inspector Rishi Detective Webcomics

Have you ever considered suicide? I have…. several times in my life. When I was young and used to believe in god, I’d go all Bruce on the Almighty and say ‘I’ll give you one more chance to stop screwing with my life. If you continue making it more and more miserable, I’m just going to end it’. Then I slowly realized that no-one was listening and I am all on my own. When things went really really bad, my brain would fill with suicidal thoughts. Not knowing how to get over them, I used to slit my wrists and self-inflict burns on my arms and legs. The physical pain somehow overthrew the emotional pain. By doing just a little bit of self-mutilation, I was able to control the suicidal urges for a while. I knew it was a temporary thing and truly believed that someday I would definitely take my own life. 

When I was studying in the film institute, a classmate of mine took her life. She was also my teammate and was supposed to do the camerawork for our student short films. She was a talented, smart, enthusiastic girl with a lot of dreams to succeed as a cinematographer. Her death came as a shock to everyone. Her family thought that she was suffering with chronic stomach pains and couldn’t take it anymore. I thought there must have been some other reason. But no one really knew. I saw her bundled up autopsied body when they brought her out of the hospital. The nineteen year old girl looked like a swaddled baby in my eyes and I broke into tears. Amidst all the sadness and grief, one thought engulfed me. 'All that potential, all that talent is now a waste’. After that, life went on and classes continued as usual. I used to stare at the empty seat next to me and her handwritten scribbles of our names on the desk, wondering if anyone else would remember her after a few days. To me, being forgotten seemed sadder than death itself. 

I didn’t want my life to end that way too. I made a promise to myself that I will never succumb to my suicidal thoughts and will try my best to live a memorable life. I had never written a proper story before joining the film institute. So I started writing and focused all my energies into learning filmmaking. I channelized my feelings into the stories I wrote and the characters I created. Surprisingly, the self-mutilating tendencies stopped and I never physically hurt myself after that.  It has been almost sixteen years and I have come a long way since then. Life is still full of sh…. erm… ups and downs, the downs being more than ups lately. It’s not like I don’t have suicidal thoughts anymore. I still do… honestly. But every time I feel like killing myself, I force myself to create something instead…. like making comics or writing micro stories :) 

Anyway, this scene in Inspector Rishi just brought back some memories and I felt I should share them with you. Lately I’ve been seeing several news on my Facebook and Twitter timelines about TV actors and other media people taking their lives. Life is tough…. yes….. But I sincerely wish they had found something to hold on to. If you ever find yourself at a point of no return and feel the urge to end everything, please please…. don’t succumb to it. Don’t make all the years you have already lived meaningless. Use your life to become someone the world will miss.


P.S: Page 2 coming up on 8th June, 2016. 

Saturday, April 16, 2016

How do you eat your ice cream?

How do you eat your ice cream?
You know how some people gobble up their food within minutes? No, not those who are in a hurry because they are busy with work or have to rush off to do something important. I understand that. I mean those who generally have the tendency to eat very very fast. They clear up their plate as if it was a race and they won. The times when I'm at a family function or a friends get-together, and we all decide to have some ice-cream, I pity these fellows who are swiping the bottom of their cup for the remaining melted bits before the others even get to their second spoon.
Why are you denying yourself the experience of the fragrance, the multiple tastes, the visual beauty and many times the emotional nostalgia that is associated with it?
Someone has put their heart, soul and a lot of time to make the food. Take your time to enjoy it.
When I was in college, there was this inside joke that girls shared secretly. That is, how men eat their ice-creams is directly proportional to how they would, you know (children close your eyes!) 'handle' their women. Are they gentle? Are they cavemen? Are they taking their time or rushing through? Of course, there is no scientific proof to this theory. It only served us for LOL purposes ;)
Nowadays when some people say, 'Oh.. I finished the comic book in minutes. It got over so fast', I'm thinking.... 'Hmmm... You didn't enjoy it the way it was meant to be'.
Don't rush it. Don't just read through the dialogues and lightly skim or glance over the artworks. Look at the art! See it in a way you can imagine and visualize the scenes. Connect emotionally with the story like you would when watching a film in a movie theater. Someone has put their heart, soul and a lot of time to make it.
Savour it :)
Nandhini JS.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

How I created my first comic book. Also, a word of advice to new comics creators.

Copy of my interview given to Rachel Mathias at
Original Article Link -

girlwitharednosering (1)

You wrote the script of ‘Girl with a Red Nose Ring’ for your second film. How did you change your mind to share this story as a graphic novel?

Nandhini: I’ve always loved comic books and wanted to create them myself. The only thing that would come in my way was that I wasn’t a professional artist. I knew that hiring artists/illustrators would be a huge investment and thought I’d do it at a later stage in life.
My second film in Tamil was supposed to be a supernatural detective thriller titled ‘Kolai Nokku Paarvai’. But after just 10 days of shoot, the project was dropped due to lack of funds. At that time, I began thinking of other mediums that would give me the freedom to work on elaborate stories without compromising on the visual experience.

I came up with a fresh new story ‘Girl with a Red Nose Ring’ (titled Sivappu Kal Mookuthi in Tamil). Since this Romantic Horror story had the potential to be made into a feature film, I wrote it in the screenplay format. The structure was perfect for a graphic novel.

P.S: This is not ‘Kolai Nokku Paarvai’ by the way. I am currently turning KNP’s screenplay into my next upcoming comic book series ‘Inspector Rishi’, which I’m illustrating myself.

Inspector RishiImage Credits:
The novel received an incredible response. Did you expect it?

Nandhini: Expected? No. Aspired? Yes. I was confident about the story part as I have been writing stories since my school days and I’m a trained filmmaker. But I was worried about the artworks. There are lots of wonderfully illustrated comic books by brilliant artists out there. All through the production stage, I was really nervous of having the novel judged on its visuals. Fortunately, my team worked really hard and the illustrations turned out good. I’m grateful that whoever read GRNR enjoyed the experience and most of them took the effort to say nice things about it on social media.

From a romantic comedy film to a romantic horror graphic novel – how has the journey been? Also, tell us who has been your inspiration in the graphic novel scene?

Nandhini: I have to admit that it has been a struggle. Hailing from a middle class family with all its inherent problems, mothering a four year old kid and simultaneously striving to achieve something in cinema /comics industry hasn’t been easy. I do try my best to maintain an optimistic approach to life amidst failures. Creating stories and witnessing people enjoy those stories, gives me happiness. It makes all the struggles worth it.

My contemplations about making comic books turned into actions when I came to know that filmmaker/actor Shekhar Kapur created Devi and The Sadhu. I’ve always admired him for making commendable movies in completely different genres. I mean, if you didn’t know before, would you be able to guess that Masoom, Mr.India, Elizabeth and Bandit Queen were made by the same director? He was definitely an inspiration.

With respect to ‘story content’, the non-superhero comics series like ‘Y: The Last Man’ by Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra, Jim Butcher’s ‘The Dresden Files’, ‘Locke and Key’ by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodríguez, and many more indie comics are my inspirations.

Tell us about the challenges you faced from the inception of this idea – finding illustrators, publishing on various mediums…

Nandhini: Well, firstly I didn’t have the money to invest in the project. I had to borrow partly from a bank and partly from family and well-wishers. It was a risk considering my situation. But I couldn’t forgo the idea.

Next challenge was finding illustrators. Experienced comics artists weren’t affordable in my budget. I didn’t want to outsource it to freelancers or part time artists who are neck deep in their other busy commitments. After a while, I got two young digital artists Magesh and Sainath on board. They were good illustrators but were unfamiliar with the American style comic art which is what I wanted for Sivappu Kal Mookuthi. The first 15 pages or so took 3 months to make and I still wasn’t satisfied with the results. The sample images I posted online got harsh criticisms and demeaning remarks.

I couldn’t let that continue. I just rolled up my sleeves, sat with the artists and showed them works of great comic artists from India and abroad. They started working harder. I also started learning to draw in the meantime. Three more months went by. I needed to be mentally strong and patient, especially as the artists were employed by me on full time basis for 6 months. Then slowly the artworks began to look the way I wanted and I got back the confidence. The project which was planned for 8 months took 16 months to complete.
The final challenge was the publishing part. I had run out of money by then, so the option of printing paperbacks of this 135 page colour graphic novel and distributing it myself was completely out of the picture. I couldn’t afford to wait for traditional publishers to pick it up. And there was no guarantee that they would. So I decided to release digitally. This option had its own challenges too. Readers in India are still warming up to the ‘ebook’ culture. Most of them still prefer paperbacks and are very dismissive of reading books on mobile devices or computers. Added to that, the number of people in India who make ‘online’ purchases is very small. The number of people who use credit/debit cards or netbanking to purchase products is fractional. This makes sale of ‘digital’ products like ebooks very difficult. I realized my audience is going to be limited but I had no other option. But I’m positive that things will improve in the coming years.

I have released the PDF versions on my site using Instamojo portal for Indian customers and Gumroad for International customers. I have also released Kindle versions through Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing. The English edition is also available in iBooks for iTunes and Comixology, the largest digital comics platform in the world.

Recently, I’ve also put up the first 40 pages for FREE. It can be read like Webcomics online.


Do share a word of advice for upcoming novelists.

Nandhini: Utilize your social media. It is a boon to creators. It is a wonderful platform to spread the news about your work at zero or minimal cost compared to other traditional marketing and promotional efforts. I use FacebookTwitterYoutubeInstagram, Pinterest, Deviantart, my personal blogs at Blogger, Tumblr, WordPress etc to showcase and convey news/updates about my work.

As a promotional tactic, during the launch of GRNR, I made a comic book trailer also. The images from the comic book were animated to a catchy horror theme track composed by music director Ashwath and his team. People never expected to see a ‘video trailer’ for a Tamil comic book. It really helped create a buzz and get their attention.

There are two kinds of indie comics/graphic novel creators. 
a. Artists who team up with like-minded writer friends and co-produce; 
b. Writers who hire artists. 
Writers who can get like-minded artists who would be willing to co-produce is a highly unlikely scenario as far as I have seen, especially in Tamil industry.

So, to upcoming graphic novelists who are artists, I’d say ‘Make sure you have a solid story. Work hard on that too. However the art turns out to be, ultimately people will appreciate engaging stories that resonate in their mind for a long time.

And, to upcoming graphic novelists who are writers, I’d like to say ‘Learn To Draw’.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

One of a kind Romantic Horror Graphic Novel from South India – Read online for FREE

Hi Everyone!
Read the first 40 pages of my ‘Sivappu Kal Mookuthi’ (a,k.a 'Girl with a Red Nose Ring’ Graphic Novel for FREE here -
A young man struggles against a deadly supernatural entity which possesses his loving wife when she wears a mysterious red nose-ring.
Both the Tamil and English editions are available and you can easily switch over to whichever language preferred with a click of a button.
Please do share the comics on your social networking sites. When more people come to know about this comic book, it increases the chances of our team getting better support, so that we can continue making comics like this. Trust me, it's not easy! :)
If you enjoy reading this preview and would like to support/encourage me and my team, you can do so by buying the whole 135 page comic book PDF from here -( 
Questions? Wanna discuss projects? Email me at
And of course, don't forget to LIKE our page on Facebook.
That's about it. Enjoy!