As a child I used to make cartoons and took them to publications like Malayala Manorama and Manorajayam weeklies in my home town Kottayam, Kerala during my vacation after 10th standard. It was in 1973 during my Pre-degree days Manorajayam published a few cartoons and that were all strip cartoons. It was the kindness of the editors that it were atleast published. In January 1976 my first cartoon appeared in Malayala Manorama weekly and I was paid a Rs 10/- and that ten rupees is my first ever earnings in my cartoon profession.
Later, I went to study engineering. While pursuing my engineering course, I did a few cartoons and got it published. In the engineering college, N S S Polytechnic Engineering College, Pandalam, Kerala, the very first year I designed the cover page of the college magazine and a few cartoons. In the second year, I was elected as the Magazine Editor. In that edition I contributed a number of funny cartoons. In those three years in college, I was nominated as the institute’s “The Best Actor” and “The Best Artist”. After coming out of the engineering college, it was time for job hunt. In the process I reached Mumbai and forgot all about cartooning.
While in Mumbai, in the beginning of the eighties I got an opportunity to associate with a Malayalam fortnightly to do a half page cartoon on its last page. That was my fist ever cartoon column. Around the same time I was approached by another weekly “Paschima Tharaka” from my home town Kottayam for a weekly column.
I have always been an ardent fan and follower of Cartoonist Shri R K Laxman.
“So why can’t you try serious cartooning?”
I felt someone was prodding me again and again to take up cartooning seriously. Through a contact, I approached The Free Press Journal, the oldest newspaper from Mumbai city. I met the editor, showed him some of my work. He liked it and asked me to start working for them.
Long journey of a Cartoonist
It was in 1994. Initially, I joined there as a sub-editor cum reporter in the Business desk. Once I got an entry, I started doing cartoons, illustrations and caricatures. At the same time, I did cartoons, illustrations and caricatures for their other publications too. Gradually friendships and contacts manifested, and I got chances to mingle with editors and journalists and become member of The Press Club, Mumbai.
Then I joined “The Current” political weekly. In 1996, I started contributing cartoons for “MidDay”. I continued with MidDay till 2001. Then I joined The Asian Age, Mumbai in 1997 as their staff cartoonist. Even though I joined as a staff cartoonist I took liberty to continue doing cartooning with my previous newspapers including the Metropolis On Saturday (MoS) a Times of India Group weekly newspaper
In 2001, I quit The Asian Age and joined The Times of India’s Bombay Times. The advantage I got from The Bombay Times is that I could contribute a lot of cartoons for their group publications like The West Side Plus, The Down Town Plus and J L T.. I also contributed cartoons to Maharashtra Times (Marathi Daily from Times group) the column titled “JAMESCHHI MACHMACH”
From mid 2003, I got offers from The Free Press Journal and The Asian Age and decided to do freelancing with both the news papers. For the next 3 years my pocket cartoons were appearing in the front page of Free Press Journal under the title “ Knock-Out Punch” and the same cartoons appeared in Marathi in their Marathi newspaper NavShakti under the title “Maska Pav”.
My contributions towards other publications:
New Women – Monthly; Late News – Daily; Body & Beauty Care – Fortnightly; Metro Beat – Daily; Project Info – Weekly; Infrastructure Today – Monthly; Clean India – Monthly; Sailor Today –Monthly; The Verdict – Political Weekly; Parsiana – Fortnightly; Malayala Manorama – Weekly; Mathrubhumi – Malayalam Daily, Mumbai; Kalakaumudi – Malayalam daily, Mumbai; The Rashtra Deepika – Malayalam Weekly; Chenda – monthly; Jwala – Malayalam monthly; Marunaadu – Malayalam Fortnightly; Manorajyam – Malayalam weekly; Sakhi – weekly; Paschima Tharaka – weekly; Sunny News – English fortnightly, GUNA – English Weekly etc.
Work Experience as Cartoonist with English Daily News Papers
1994 to 1996 – The Free Press Journal
1996 to 1997 – The Current
1997 to 2001 – The Asian Age
2001 to 2003 – TOI (The Bombay Times)
2003 to 2007 – The Asian Age
2008 to 2011 – ICICI Money Manager
2010 to 2015 -Coatings Journal
1996 to 2001 – The MID-Day
1996 to till today – The Free Press Journal
The Free Press Journal: As a freelance cartoonist.
Reporter OMAN: Consulting Artist
Cartoon Watch: As an editorial panel cartoonist.
Kairaliyude Kaakka: Illustrator / Cartoonist.