The real draw to a comic book is a compelling character, one the readers can relate to, or look up to, or at the very least, root for. The key to creating an iconic character lies not just in drawing features and expressions, but in the facts, behaviors and backgrounds that create the story of the person and breathe life into the subject.
Cartoon People rounded off a successful year of character building challenges with their most interesting Deshi Cartoon Design Challenge (DCDC) yet. The fifth and final DCDC of 2017 took on a revolutionary theme with their Muktijoddha Challenge. As the name suggests, participants were asked to take inspiration for the nine-month long war that gave birth to a free Bangladesh.
The response was overwhelming. DCDC 5 began in December 2017, and received more than 70 entries, all tackling the Muktijoddha challenge with an incredible blend of true stories, fantastic reimagining, and endless creativity.
The decision to pick a winner was a difficult one, and Wahid Ibne Reza was brought in as special judge. For those unfamiliar with him, Reza is a Bangladeshi VFX Coordinator, based in Hollywood, currently working at Sony Pictures as Associate Production Manager. He was formerly the Associate Editor of Unmad.
The Special Judge accorded the first place to Angona Ahsana. “Her work is emotional and artistic, in line with our deshi style” he said of the winner. Ahsana rendered her character in watercolour. Oishik Jawad secured second place with a simulation of a 1971 poster feel in his character design.
The Cartoon People group and public votes had Anisul Islam and Ramisa tied for third place. Anisul’s controversial entry depicted a butcher turned freedom fighter in a graphic act of beheading a Pakistani soldier.
“It was imaginary and as we know that people from all occupations have participated in the Liberation War movement, it’s an expression of that reality” Anisul said, in defense of his work.
Ramisa’s third place entry equipped his freedom fighter with a shield. It was a beautiful fiction. The other entries were all filled with imagination, and this was definitely a close race.
Amongst the 70-plus multidimensional entries that ranged from artists to students, all fighting for our freedom, this was a very successful challenge indeed. What was heartening to note was that there was an almost equal number of entries featuring women freedom fighters as their male counterparts, showing that our young artists do recognize the contribution made by women in the Liberation War.
Characters in stories and art can become real-life idols, inspire people, attain proverbial status. The best characters get life when people start talking about it, and may even outlive and outshine their creators!
With 2017 in the bag and a brand new year filled with exciting editions of DCDC, stay tuned to the Cartoon People Facebook group and Youtube channel for more updates, news and challenges.