Chennai cartoonist talks about his passion, recognition

Chennai: At a time when there is an over-load of information, what is hard to get is some perspective and maybe some good humour. It is then that people like S Ravishanker (50), come to the rescue.

The resident of Srinivasapuram, Adyar is a cartoonist who has till date created 170-odd pieces.

Speaking to News Today, he said, “I work as a Finance Analyst with The World Bank, Taramani, and I am a qualified Chartered Accountant. A typical work day is 12 hours and another 12 hours over the weekend which makes it challenging to pursue other interests or spend time with family or friends,” he says.

But despite the tight schedule, he has still managed to set aside time for his passion for humour, under the pen name ‘Zolo’.

“As a child, I loved the Peanuts comic strip, MAD magazine and Disney cartoons. I got a boost when a renowned English daily published my cartoon on the jallikattu controversy, alongside that of a regular artist,” he says.

Another memorable incident was when his work was re-tweeted by noted Hollywood actor, Al Pacino, on his Twitter handle.

“I was glad that I was able to touch a chord with both youngsters and the elderly,” he adds.

Some of his cartoons are political, but on the contrary, he says he wants to stay clear of it. “I do not want to convey any social or moral message. But I do want to communicate directly and at a subconscious level, in such a way that it tickles one’s funny bone. I have done cartoons on a wide variety of subjects that were never touched upon by any other Indian cartoonist. But unlike before, today, the political scenario is exciting and is also impacting our everyday lives,” he explains.

So how much time does he take for each piece? “Anywhere from two to 10 hours. If it involves doing a caricature of a celebrity or requires intricate details, I go through many trials. It might take eight or 10 days,” he concludes.

Naomi N