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Comics Conclave 2.0 

Coordinators: Argha Manna, Sarnath Banerjee & Jaison Manjaly

Comics and graphic novels have emerged as a new medium despite being an old method of storytelling. For the last few decades, parallel to the Marvel and DC world of superheroes, comics have become a beloved method of expressing and narrating personal stories, family histories, gender issues, and more. Comics are now exploring themes that were traditionally under the umbrella of academic research. Thus, comics have emerged as a tool for critical thinking and learning, while being an entertaining medium, capturing a sense of the complex world we live in. To embrace this medium, IIT Gandhinagar is hosting the Comic Conclave for the second time.

In Comics Conclave 2.0, leading Comics Artists, Writers and Publishers across India will express their ideas on visual storytelling. The conclave aims to explore the language of our complex world through visual narrative. 


Comic Conclave

March 16-17


Open to All


Lecture series

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Comics Exhibition

Exhibition of Graphic Narratives

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Film Screening

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Speakers & Facilitators


Graphic novelist and Artist

George Mathen, also known as Appupen, is a noted graphic novelist and artist from Bangalore, India. Appupen's recent comics 'Dream Machine' Is A Graphic Odyssey Into The Depths Of AI—world's first comics book on AI. An artist and comics creator, Appupen has carved a niche for himself with his diverse interests, distinctive styles, and a penchant for socio-political commentary through the lens of mythological world-building.


Animator and Illustrator 

Ikroop Sandhu is an animator and illustrator based out of Dharamshala. She has written and drawn several short stories for graphic narrative anthologies published by Yoda Press and HarperCollins. She enjoys teaching and has taught life drawing and animation at NIFT (Kangra) and IIAD (Delhi). Inquilab Zindabad, a Graphic Biography of Bhagat SIngh from Simon and Schuster is her debut graphic novel.


Visiting Faculty, Visual Arts, Ashoka University

Vishwajyoti Ghosh is the author of the graphic novel ‘Delhi Calm’, a political graphic novel set in the 70′s and a visual book of postcards ‘Times New Roman & Countrymen’. Ghosh is also the creator of the cartoon column ‘Full Toss’ in Hindustan Times Edit Page, every Sunday, besides his earlier columns like Backlog in Little Magazine and Acid Test in Down to Earth. His comics are regularly published in various journals and anthologies, both in India and Abroad. Associated with ‘Inverted Commas’ a communications initiative, he is currently working on a mapping project in the workers' clusters of Gurgaon.

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Artist, Visual storyteller, and Activist

Anupam Roy is an artist, visual storyteller, and an activist.His core research engages with aesthetics and politics of image, collective art practices; issues concerning the relationship between land and labour; discourses of representational impossibility, the body as a witness, and the representation of violence in contemporary times. Currently, Anupam is working as an Assistant Professor, Department of Art, Media and Performance, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Shiv Nadar Institution of Eminence, Delhi-NCR. Before that he worked at Kiran Nadar Museum of Art”, Saket, New Delhi, India; as documentalist and archivist of their entire art collections.



Samhita Arni is an Indian writer who writes in English. She is best known for her adaptations of Indian epic poetry. She started writing and illustrating her first book The Mahabharatha - A Child’s View at the age of eight. The book then went on to be translated in seven languages and sold 50,000 copies worldwide. Her second book – Sita’s Ramayana – was on the New York Times Bestseller list for Graphic Novels for two weeks in 2011.


Writer & Editor

Rajani Thindiath was the Editor-in-Chief of one of India’s largest comics publications, Tinkle Comics for a decade and has been a writer/scriptwriter for over two decades. She has written and published two graphic novels (SuperWeirdos: Whoosh! and YogYodhas: Warriors of the Spirit) and has been nominated twice for the 'Best Writer' Award at Comic Con India. She is an AVGC (Animation Video Games Comics industry) 40 Under 40 Winner and a recipient of the Sahitya Ratna Sammaan award by the Writers and Journalists Association for her contribution to Children’s Literature. ​She is a TEDx speaker and was a juror at the British Fantasy Awards (2022) and the Publishing Next Awards (2021).


Book designer & Comics scholar

Pinaki De is a multiple award-winning graphic illustrator-designer who regularly works for renowned publishers like Penguin Random House, Harper Collins, Hachette, Routledge, Primus, Oxford University Press, Singapore University Press (NUS), Bloomsbury, Orient Blackswan, Worldview, Pan Picador, Simon and Schuster, Permanent Black, Alchemy, Sage, Roli, Sahitya Academy, Rupa and many others. He has designed almost 500 book covers till date. He is the winner of PublishingNext prize for the best book cover design in India twice in 2017 and 2019. His book cover for “Kalkatta” by Kunal Basu won the prestigious Oxford Bookstore prize for the best cover design in India at Jaipur Literary Fest 2017. His layout design on Satyajit Ray’s archival manuscripts has drawn accolades from all across the globe. A Charles Wallace Trust Fellow, his Ph.D. is on comics theory. Pinaki is one of the editors of the prestigious annual magazine “Longform” (Published from Harper Collins, 2018) which is generally regarded as the first global comics magazine from India.


Comics editor and Educator

Debkumar Mitra studied mathematics and is a Gordon M. Fisher Fellow from the University of Toronto. But he loves to call himself a comics curator, editor, reviewer and fan. Mitra is also a sci-tech columnist and does workshops on the narrative structures of graphic tales. Debkumar is a math major who regularly dabbles in recreation mathematics and edits the children’s magazine Next Step. His first work ‘Mindstretch’, a book on mathematical puzzles and miscellany, was published by Penguin India in 1994. Debkumar Mitra is one of the editors of LONGFORM: An Anthology of Graphic Narrative from Penguin India.


Publisher and Senior Vice President, Penguin India

Milee Ashwarya is the Publisher of the Adult Publishing Group at Penguin Random House India and leads the frontlist and backlist publishing programmes for the group under imprints like Allen Lane, Vintage, Hamish Hamilton, Viking, Ebury Press, Penguin Business, Penguin Classics, Penguin Ananda, Penguin Veer and so on. She heads one of the largest editorial teams in publishing in Asia with about 30 editors publishing under diverse lists. During her career, she has published a range of bestsellers across genres. An award-winning publisher, her focus has been on championing diverse voices, discovering talented debut writers, and building on the inclusive programme at Penguin Random House India.


Artist and Scholar

Labani Jangi is an artist and scholar. She is 2020 People Archive of Rural India (PARI) Fellow, and a self-taught painter based in West Bengal's Nadia district. Her visual narratives with the reportage of PARI created a unique voice in illustrated journalism. She is working towards a PhD on labour migrations at the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Kolkata.


Artist, Founder of Conflictorium

Avni Sethi is an interdisciplinary practitioner with her primary concern lying between culture, memory, space and the body. She studied Interdisciplinary Design from the Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology, Bangalore and pursued a master’s in performance studies at Ambedkar University, Delhi. She conceptualized and designed the Conflictorium in 2013 and has operated as its Artistic Director from 2013-2023. Trained in multiple dance idioms, her performances are largely inspired by syncretic faith traditions as well as sites of contested narratives. She is interested in exploring the relationship between intimate audiences and the performing body.



Professor, Computer Science & Engineering


Associate Professor, Humanities and Social Sciences


Associate Professor, Humanities and Social Sciences


Assistant Professor, Humanities and Social Sciences


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Artist in Residence, IIT Gandhinagar

Argha Manna, a cancer researcher turned comics artist, combines his artistic and research skills to explore historical perspectives of scientific development and social issues. He bridges the gap between academic research and visual storytelling. Notable projects include 'Famine Tales from India and Britain' and a comic book on Ant Network Theory. Argha collaborates with institutions like the University of Exeter, the British Library, and MIT to translate complex scientific concepts into comics, particularly focusing on infectious disease research. His storytelling philosophy emphasizes a blend of text, images, and comics, featured in Nature India.


Artist in Residence, IIT Gandhinagar

Sarnath Banerjee is a graphic novelist, artist, and filmmaker. He is an adjunct professor of design at IIT Jodhpur and a visiting faculty at IIT Gandhinagar. Currently, he is commissioned by the Berlin Bienalle, 2025, to produce and stage twelve theatrical comics for the exhibition. He has written five graphic novels (published by Penguin and Harper Collins) and finishing his sixth, which is supported by a stipend from the Berlin Senate. Banerjee has been a CAST fellow at MIT, a Belknap fellow at Princeton, a fellow of the Akademie Schloss Solitude, the Indian Foundation for the Arts, and the MacArthur Foundation (Asia). He has written columns for national newspapers and founded an independent publishing house called Phantomville. He studied at the University of Delhi and Goldsmiths College, London.

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Professor, IIT Gandhinagar

Jaison Manjaly is Jasubhai Memorial Chair Professor of Philosophy and Cognitive Science at IIT Gandhinagar. His research interests include curiosity, education, and exclusion. He is the Principal Investigator of the Curiosity Lab and Founder of Art@IITGN.

Comic Conclave 2023

The Comic Conclave on January 21-22, 2023 had a series of exciting talks and interactive sessions with celebrated graphic novelists, artists, filmmakers, and academic scholars.

Orijit Sen, Graphic novelist, artist, and designer, talked about the ‘Story behind River of Stories’ and his current projects; Amruta Patil, Graphic novelist and artist, delivered a talk on ‘Graphic Movement’; Sarnath Banerjee, Graphic novelist, artist, and filmmaker, engaged in a dialogue on ‘Water Wars in Delhi’; Pinaki De, Comics scholar, educator, and designer, discussed ‘The Sketchbook of Satyajit Ray and a Missed Encounter with Comics’; Nikhil Gulati, Graphic novelist, gave a talk on ‘Time Travel through Comics: Exploring India’s Past’; Debkumar Mitra, Founder and editor of Longform Collective, educator and painter, delivered a talk on ‘Longform Story: the Long and Short of It’; and Gayatri Menon, Design educator, researcher, and artist, discussed ‘Traditional Indian Storytelling’. The event also witnessed the book release of Orijit Sen’s “River of Stories” (25th anniversary edition), India’s first graphic novel.

The “Exhibition of Low Art” showcased comics by Orijit Sen, Sarnath Banerjee, Amruta Patil, Nikhil Gulati, Longform Collective, and artworks and artefacts on Indian Traditional storytelling by students of National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad (mentored by Gayatri Menon). It also exhibited some select and curated images from the original sketchbook of Satyajit Ray with support from Mr Sandeep Ray, eminent filmmaker and son of Satyajit Ray, and Pinaki De. The exhibition was curated by Prof Argha Manna, Artist-in-Residence, IITGN.

Press Coverage


About Us


ART at the Indian Institute of Technology, Gandhinagar (IITGN) is an initiative that promotesand facilitates artistic expressions and engagements on campus. Art as a medium and practicenurtures liberal, inclusive, interdisciplinary, and futuristic values. With Art@IITGN, we envisionan environment which will allow for ingenuity to thrive while simultaneously bridging thetransference of intergenerational knowledge systems. This initiative provides spaces on campusfor students and community members to experiment with art.

IIT Gandhinagar

Visual Story Lab (VSL) is founded by Argha Manna at IIT Gandhinagar. VSL approaches science, history of science, social science and other related academic disciplines critically through the lenses of visual storytelling. The chief agenda of this lab is to bridge the gap between academic research and storytelling through different visual media. Our current practices are mainly based on drawings, paintings, illustrations, comics and graphic novels. Using these mediums and methods we are interested to bring critical stories like scientific revolution, history of science in pre and post-independence India, Anthropocene, environmental crises, human migration and hunger problem in India into life. Along with our current storytelling methods we are keen to expand our practices to animation, filmmaking, installation and transmedia storytelling through collaboration.VSL offers a richly interwoven program of research on visual methods, creative expression, experimentation in pedagogy through visuals, and social responsibilities involving faculty, graduate students, undergraduates and people beyond academia.

IIT Gandhinagar


IIT Gandhinagar is located in Palaj, Gandhinagar, Gujarat on the banks of river Sabarmati. IIT Gandhinagar, founded in 2008, offers a unique educational experience in India with an innovative curriculum. The institute promotes critical thinking and an appreciation of interdisciplinary knowledge, emphasizing the liberal arts, project-oriented learning, and diversity.

IIT Gandhinagar campus is serene surrounded by lush greenery and a beautiful river, offering visitors an enriching experience. The campus architecture is a blend of traditional and modern style, making it a visual delight. Its natural beauty, modern infrastructure, and cultural diversity make it one of the most sought-after campuses in India for students and visitors alike.


The campus also offers a range of facilities for visitors, including a well-equipped library, sports facilities, and comfortable accommodation options.


IIT Gandhinagar, Palaj, Gandhinagar, Gujarat

Contact / 07923952103

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