When a 20-year-old animation student in Bengaluru decided to put a satirical spotlight on Indian families with a webcomic on Facebook, he didn’t think it would touch a chord with so many people on the internet.
A week ago, the student who goes by the pen name Saigo, started the Brown Paperbag page on the social networking site, and also put his comics up on the website, LINE webtoons.
The page – at the time of writing this piece – has garnered over 50,000 likes with some of his comics being shared hundreds of times.
The comics are satirical and have been inspired from real life experiences, though Saigo clarifies that not all of them are portrayals of his own life.
He describes Brown Paperbag as "a slice-of-life comedy webcomic aimed at highlighting the ironies and exploiting the stereotypes that prevail in Indian families and society in a satirical fashion."
And people are connecting to them, he feels, because they are relatable. "Even if it isn't happening to you or your friends, you still know it most certainly does happen to someone."
Saigo, who hails from Mumbai, studies at the Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology in Bengaluru.
An avid newspaper comics reader, he recently developed an interest in webcomics. "Comics were always an area I wanted to venture into, and as far as I know, there aren't many non-political satire comics focused on an Indian context, which gave me the base idea. It was something I started on a whim, expecting to entertain a few friends and maybe keep it as a leisure project. Little did I expect it to blow up the way it did," he says.
This however is not his first attempt at a webcomic as he also has a series called "Growing Pain", with a different subject matter, on Tapastic.
While all the comics and content have been created by him, Saigo says he often discusses ideas with his some of his friends and one helps him in managing the Facebook page.
As the likes on his page continue to rise, Saigo finds the challenge of keeping such a large audience engage both exciting and thrilling. And as long as he can juggle his academic commitments with his other obligations, he intends to regularly put out fresh content on his page.
"I can no longer look at the comic as something simply for myself. I am catering to an audience, a large one at that. And I am now prepared for it," he says.