Design

India's rare first graphic novel is being reprinted

For the first time in decades, Orijit Sen's The River of Stories will find its way back into circulation.

A cult classic

Cult success has brought India's first-ever graphic novel, Orijit Sen's The River of Stories back into circulation for the first time since the late '90s.

One of only a few remaining hard copies has been preserved by Sen himself and has acted as a magnet for those looking to reproduce the work.

The graphic novel has traveled with Sen across multiple cities in India and has been photocopied by fans who make the pilgrimage to his store, People Tree, in New Delhi.

The River of Stories follows protests from the early '90s of dams built over the Narmada river which eventually displaced thousands of people.

It combines two narratives, one of a journalist documenting protests against the dam project and another that delves into mythologies of indigenous people there, specifically a singer called Malgu Gayan.

It was only after Sen mentioned River of Stories in an interview a decade after the book's release that it started to gain attention from readers interested in the medium.

In an interview, Sen told EyeOnDesign that it was his daughter who convinced him to reprint the graphic novel which is set to be recirculated in December this year.

"She reminded me to see it for what it is: The River of Stories might be the first Indian graphic novel, but more importantly, it is almost a historical document that represents a crucial moment in time in the Narmada Andolan."

Orijit Sen speaking to EyeOnDesign

Since The River of Stories was released in 1994, Sen has continued to create graphic novels and inspired other Indian creators to do the same.

The trend-setting artist is currently working on a new graphic novel that follows the lives of sex workers in the Indian state of Maharashtra according to EyeOnDesign.

To see more...

You can read Sen's The River of Stories here in PDF form or check out his store's website.

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