Alicia’s book draws on wedded bliss

Alicia’s book draws on wedded bliss

The Bengaluru-based illustrator’s book is now available on Amazon

Alicia Souza

Bengalureans are not unfamiliar with Alicia Souza and her cartoons. Apart from her merchandise brand, which is named after her, she is known for her realistic cartoons that feature characters inspired by her life.

The illustrator is kicking things up a notch and publishing a book called ‘Dearest George’. 

The book began as a website that Alicia created to announce her marriage in 2017 to husband George Seemon, architect at Stapati.

The website had illustrations of their love story as well as a cartoon version of their marriage certificate. Alicia updated the website on their wedding anniversary a year later with how things have changed (if at all it had) since the wedding. 

Last year, when Penguin India approached her to work on a project, Alicia pitched an idea she didn’t have at the time.

“They came to me for another project which I couldn’t take up at the time but said we could work on something else. I just thought I had so many drawings already done and one of my biggest themes is love, so why not?” Alicia tells Metrolife.

This meant that the “not cheesy person at all in real life” now has to make the “cheesiest and corniest book ever”. 

It took her about six months to make new cartoons which included her popular characters George, Charlie (dog) and Henry (guinea pig). 

She says, “The book is not just about me and George. These are stories I’ve seen and heard over the years that make for a cheesy love story. That’s why I think it’s corny.” 

As there are illustrations drawn from a couple of years ago, the only modification she had to make was to George’s beard which is grown long now. “I don’t redraw. I would rather just draw things from scratch if that’s the case. Here, I just had to change the French beard to a full-fledged beard, which George has now,” she says. 

So how did someone who isn’t overtly romantic in real life end up choosing love as the central theme? “I just love drawing them. I cringe every time I draw something lovey-dovey but it gives me so much joy,” she adds. 

And what about George? How did he react to the book? “I told him about the book on his birthday and he was horridly happy. He was embarrassed for us too,” she laughs. 

While Alicia is seen as the happy-go-lucky person and George as the “grumpy emotionless” person, the Bengaluru-based illustrator points out that he’s the more romantic one at home. 

“I think it’s time for the world to know the truth. While he is the kind who will look at my romantic cartoons, roll his eyes and show displeasure, he’s also the kind who will turn out to be secretly very happy,” says Alicia. 

‘Dearest George’ is available all across India in all leading bookstores and on Amazon and Flipkart.