Ah, India, the land of mystery that has attracted so many westerners for centuries. But far from the Taj Mahal or the bathing in the Ganges, there is a unique aspect of everyday in this vast country that we, the outsiders, are almost completely uninformed about. It is those idiosyncracies that the comics series Brown Paperbag explores brilliantly. They first appeared in June 2016 and were created by Sailesh Gopalan, a 21-year-old design student from Mumbai who studies at the Srishti School of Art Design and Technology in Bangalore. Since then, this witty, funny portrayal, but also gentle criticism of Indian society, has amassed a collective following of more than 150k people.
Sailesh describes his comics 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”. His artwork touches upon everything from traditional weddings and clothing etiquette to superstitious moms and embarrassing fathers.