WonTolla brings to the readers the stories about ‘Sleep’. Yes! Possibly the most relatable and pleasurable emotion in any person’s life. At least one third of our life is spent sleeping, and Sleepsutra unravels the states of consciousness we drift in and out of from the day we were born, with our parents watching over us, to sleeping alongside spouses, lovers, companions and friends, to the times we have slept by ourselves, alone!
It also sees one through sufferings on hospital beds, getting run over on pavements, and nodding off in bathtubs. What exactly are the undercover adventures captured in Sleepsutra? Chaitanya Modak, an indie comic writer and publisher and co-founder of the Indie Comix Fest sheds light on the stories of sleep. With around nine books penned down by Modak, the last two included Be a Man – How to kill what you eat without using a knife (in less than 30 seconds) which looks at the aesthetics and politics of killing for food and Saturday Comix, stories by first-time comic creators from a municipal school in Dharavi.
This comic is different from other comic books in all aspects, including the way the words and pictures flow, interlocking each other and also the peculiar size it comes in. What made Modak create a comic dedicated to sleep? Says he, “Nothing can be more refreshing or life-giving than sleep. It’s like any other basic needs of any human being. In fact, one can survive without food for a while but it is impossible to survive without sleep.”
Sleep is a state which recharges us and keeps us ticking! Sleepsutra covers all the sleep you ever will sleep or all the sleep you ever have slept. Sleep is nature’s antidote to the craziness around humans, a switch to pull when there’s overload. This book highlights things that happen to humans every day in dreams, while being awake and when in a deep sleep state. These incidents have precision and regularity but that does not make them normal. “This sense of intrigue that readers are left with, is what they have found appealing. Also, the minimalist aesthetic of both, the content and the form of the book, has drawn a lot of appreciation,” added Modak.
Being an independent self-funded comics publisher, Modak intimately looks over the entire production process. The funds acquired from his previous project helps him to support the production of the next project. Released in September, Sleepsutra has been sold directly to the viewers at comic and zine fests around the country. And Modak happily states how the book has already sold about 50 copies in the first couple of months.
“Sleepsutra has resonated with a large number of people and I have been getting messages from readers who’ve told me that it’s helped them overcome sleep apnoea to people who have identified with sleep patterns and incidences in the book congratulating me over depicting it exactly as it happens,” concluded Modak.
After Sleepsutra, WonTolla is coming up with another comic, Disturbing, which is a series of concrete or shape poems on love, loss, longing, hate, hurting and healing. We will wait till Modak gives all the readers another quirky read and something more to resonate with.
Modak in his own way has made the basic human need, sleep, a hero. With an offbeat take on sleep, this is his ode to those adventures under the covers!