It was a cosy gathering by the Telugu political cartoonist and artist fraternity that brought the otherwise sombre environs of the Press Club in Somajiguda alive with laughter, camaraderie and friendly jibes on Sunday.
The main event was the release of the book ‘Colours of India' by cartoonist Shekar K. from Telugu news daily Andhra Jyothi, but it was done in a jiffy once the chief guest, cartoonist Subhani arrived. The work was a compilation of political cartoons by Mr. Shekar duly captioned and tagged in English.
After the book release followed a virtual tour into places of importance for cartooning in the United States of America recently visited by Mr. Shekar. Through an extensive slide show, he shared with fellow cartoonists, his experience of the tour sponsored by American Consulate through its International Visitor Leadership Programme.
With main focus on the 55th Annual Convention of the AAEC (Association of American Editorial Cartoonists) held in Florida, the group of seven cartoonists from South Asia-- three from India-- were taken on a tour of Washington, New York, Los Angeles, Florida and Ohio.
Visits were paid to the museum of cartoons in the Poynter Institute, American Congress Library exhibiting the comic character ‘Yellow Kid', Geppi's Museum, MoCCA (Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art), and the Cartoon Library and Museum in Ohio.
Reminisced with much reverence were his trysts and interactions with eminent cartoonists Daryl Cagle, Michael Ramirez and Ann Telnaes, comic book artist Jerry Robinson, mural artist Judy Baca, and street painter Tracy Lee Stum among others. Also recalled with much delight was the ‘Golden Spike' exhibition of rejected cartoons!
Mr. Shekar took the occasion to make a plea to all fellow cartoonists and journalists to send mails to Malaysian government for the release of Zunar, the cartoonist arrested under the ‘Sedition Act'.
The tour was of immense professional importance at a time when the Indian cartooning is leaving the trail left by the British model to experiment with the American, he said.
Cartoonists across the spectrum were present at the event.