Cartoonist P. C. Balasubramaniam releases his collection of cartoons, Pheroze L. Vincent reports

Amidst his excited relatives and students, 24-year-old cartoonist-film maker-poet-actor Balasubramaniam released his collection of cartoons on August 20. The book, Cartoonism, was released by Chitrakala Academy president V. Jeevananthan, in the presence of RJ Selvaraj of Suryan FM and Rotarian V. S. V. Senthil at Hotel Sree Annapoorna, R.S.Puram.

Formerly a teacher of film studies and photography and PSG CAS' Visual Communication department, Balasubramaniam decided to compile his doodles after reading one of cartoonist Sudhir Dar's books a couple of years back. Captioned in Tamil, the book has cartoons on films, politics and life.

Bala, as his friends call him, admits he's a funny guy and his sense of humour has “positive and negative effects” on him. “I get my sense of humour from my mother. There's always some comedy happening at home,” he adds. His mother M. Seetha presented Jeevananthan the first copy of the book.

“I have been inspired by the greats like R. K. Laxman, Madhan and The Hindu's Surendra. There is a distinctly South Indian style to my art,” says Bala who dropped out of engineering to do computers and media studies.

Cartoonism is his second book; the first one being a collection of his poems in Tamil. And he already has a small army of fans.

Says Umashanti, an electronic media student at PSG CAS, “Bala was our best teacher. He took media history for us and we would discuss everything about cinema.”

Most of the youth at the launch said they were hooked to Bala's facebook page, where his cartoons have sparked off lively debates on culture and society. “It's our favourite pastime after class hours,” said Senthil, another of his students.

The book takes on personalities like M. Karunanidhi, Barack Obama, L. K. Advani, Manmohan Singh, Rajinikanth, Amitabh Bachchan, Mohanlal and Morgan Freeman.

“So far I haven't faced any controversies. This time let's see,” chuckles Bala.

Bala's next project is a short-film on schizophrenia. The film, shot in Coimbatore, will be streamed free on www.youtube.com

“There are so many isms in India so I thought why not have my own ism. That's why I've named my book Cartoonism,” says Bala. You can indulge in his genre of humour at cartoonian-bala.blogspot.com

The book is available at Vijaya Book House, Raja Street. Call 0422 2394614 or 2382614 for copies.