Whilst it was just another routine evening for the hoi polloi in the city, the dusk of 11 October 2017 marked a significant occasion for comic artist Abhijeet Kini.
As from the writer who has long amused the comic aficionados with quirky tales of Fanboys, Super Weirdos, Dental Diaries and Angry Maushi, comes a new range of short stories in Rhyme Fighters with (as the name suggests) a rhythmic touch.
Kini’s latest creation is an “ode to unsung heroes” of our daily lives, a (comical) toast to the likes of traffic cops, Mumbai dabbawalas, the auto drivers and many more. He began the launch on a thankful note to SodaBottleOpenerWala and showcasing a sketch of the cafe that is the back cover of his book.
The official launch of Rhyme Fighters was also graced by the veteran artist and ACK art director (children’s publishing) Savio Mascarenhas, the illustrator of Shikari Shambu since the last two decades, called upon as the chief guest.
Kini said, “Tinkle and Savio Mascarenhas are inseparable terms. I’ve grown up following the comics he’s drawn and I must say it’s such a fanboy moment for me today. I used to read his comics since my seventh or eighth grade and it’s a great thing for me to have him with us here.”
“He’s been a very popular figure at Tinkle and beyond it. But Shikari Shambhu is one of those characters which Tinkle readers are so fond of even today. And now, he’s the one who draws it,” he further added.
The conversation with Savio also witnessed the artist taking a trip down the memory lane and recalling how it all began at Tinkle. “I used to scribble a lot during my school days though my teachers never really looked up to me. And after graduating from advertising, I came across characters like Bagheera, Mowgli which I started to draw. One day I saw a job advertisement at Tinkle on the paper and showed them my work.”
Both Kini and Savio also provoked wonderment from the audience sketching deft silhouettes in an impromptu live sketch session.
The tete-a-tete ended with Kini officially launching the book and also handing the autographed copies of the same to the winners of the Rhyme Fighters sketch contest.