Indian Culture & Art in USA, a RedPatang.com Blog

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Almost grounded – Comic strip by Manjiri McCoy

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This weeks feature is on a new and upcoming comic strip called Almost Grounded.  The newly launched comic strip Almost Grounded is the brainchild of Manjiri McCoy, a software engineer who has teamed up with Brian Martin, a cartoonist from Richmond, Virginia.

The comic tells the story of a group of alien engineers with questionable credentials who are grounded on Earth, and have to make a new life for themselves while adapting to different cultures.   Manjiri says that she had been thinking about the strip for a few years now and started working on the script since last year in her spare time.   “Many of the storylines in the strip are inspired by true events. They probably are the more unbelievable ones! “  The daily strip often has writers notes at the bottom of the strip and I’ve caught myself chuckling at the way she captures humor in situations that people might not have given a second thought to.

And why aliens you may ask?  Well, although she is now a citizen, the writer was once a US visa holder (non-resident alien…under US immigration definitions) and then a green card holder (resident alien). “Being labeled an ‘alien’ made me think – what if actual aliens came to Earth, didn’t really have any superpowers (well, maybe one – just to keep things interesting) and had to live here for an unknown period of time because they were grounded? They’d have to get jobs and deal with the same stuff that we have to deal with. Being is the US, India or China wouldn’t make any difference to them because all places would be strange. I can’t imagine they’d all speak English. They wouldn’t all live in Roswell. They wouldn’t want to take over the planet. People would notice that our aliens were somehow ‘different’, though in varying degrees. Some people would freak out, and some wouldn’t notice anything odd about them at all. There would be plenty of opportunities for misunderstandings leading to comic situations, and the idea for the strip grew out of that.”

Here are some of her favorite characters – alien twins Wikk and Zikk. “They are very clever, well-meaning and good hearted, but they don’t have much common sense or tact. They cause a lot of trouble, but always get away with it. As a writer, I can do so much with these characters – I can put them anywhere on Earth and they’ll end up having some incredible adventures.”

Wikk and Zikk

Of course, this is a comic strip and so its meant to add a sprinkling of humor to your day, but Manjiri hopes that by basing her characters in different international cities like Mumbai and Shanghai…her strip not only creates a sense of empathy but also informs, educates and raises interest in these places.  A noble cause indeed!

The aliens will ‘land’ in India at the end of August 2011 and here is a sneak peek into a character who has not been featured yet (Audibaba the palmist and entrepreneur)

Audibaba

 

You can follow the adventures and misgivings of these delightful aliens in the daily strip and and follow them on facebook:

Daily comic strip at: www.almostgrounded.com  | Facebook page: www.facebook.com/almostgrounded

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