Interview Nicolas Wild, author of ‘Kabul Disco,' shows us that the right balance of wit and seriousness makes a good novel

Laughter is not the best medicine. It is the only medicine. Nicolas Wild would readily agree. As a young, graphic-novelist from France who uses humour to entertain readers, why shouldn't he?

Travelling around the world and turning his observations into brilliant comic art, Nicolas is most well-known for ‘Kabul Disco,' a graphic novel set in Afghanistan. The theme is war and what it does to a country, but Nicolas is quick to clarify: “It is not a serious book… it is meant to entertain readers.”

Nicolas believes humour is a marvellous tool to criticise society. Without it, his work will be “dark and depressive and less people would read it,” he argues. As drawings bring freshness and de-dramatise hopeless situations, they appeal to more people.

Since one of his missions is to reach a large audience, especially people who never had any interest in geopolitics, Nicolas spends a lot of time travelling. “Indeed, the world is small and even more so today than ever before. I have been travelling to different countries for the last 10 years,” says Nicolas. In fact, only 50 per cent of ‘Kabul Disco' was written in Afghanistan. He wrote the rest of it in Iran, a country he is writing about in a few forthcoming comics.

Readers in India will soon be able to enjoy his work as the English translation is being published in a few months. Nicolas is excited: “I am very happy to have an English version of my book and to have it published in India is amazing.” And he adds quickly, “The path to international fame is open,” with a laugh.

ANUPAMA RAJU

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