In City, superhero creator is comic relief

In City, superhero creator is comic relief

Novelist Tony Lee interacts with children in Bangalore  on Sunday. KPN

Comic-fan tastes are as varied as the books they buy – from colourful superhero titles like Spiderman, X-Men, Doctor Who and Starship Troopers. So even if you have no idea what Spiderman is about, besides a man dressed in a tight costume and a mask fighting off bad guys, Tony Lee, graphic novelist and comic writer, would tell you the rest.

“Be a writer only if you feel the need to write. Not for money or to be famous,” Lee’s message for a bunch of impressionable young kids here. Urging the children to write the moment they are struck with a story idea, Lee said the plot should be put on paper and not left to be written later.

Lee, who is in the City as part of a cultural relations programme of the British Council ‘Lit Sutra’, adjudicated a drawing competition organised for children above the age of 11 by the British Council in association with Reliance Time Out here on Sunday.

While interacting with the children, some slightly older, after the drawing competition, Tony patiently fielded a volley of questions ranging from “who is your  favourite comic book hero?” to “why are all superheroes based in New York?”.

Lee encouraged the kids to actively daydream, which evoked a few sheepish glances between the parents.

“Daydreaming is good. That is where ideas come from and there is no bad idea,” he exhorted.

When it came to announcing the winner of the competition, Lee picked a particularly ingenuous cartoon by Ankith, a Standard VI student from the Parachute Regiment School.
Ankith, who drew a caricature of a bird with a hood and called it ‘Robin Hood’, earned Lee’s praise for thinking “out of the box”. Tony Lee is the first in a series of literature personalities from the UK, who will be touring India till March as part of the Lit Sutra programme. Lee has already visited Kolkata and Pune as part of the trip and interacted with Indian writers and members of the comic book industry.

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