We're meeting Prabha Mallya after 2 years at the Indian Coffee House (ICH) on Church Street*. We first met her in 2008 when we collaborated on a children's story project called Tell me a Story.
We catch up on life, on what we're all doing, what we want do. And then we pop the question, "Would you like to do a guest poster in Hush." And Prabha, bless her for this, immediately said "Yes!"
Ten days later, we find a dark, edgy illustration in our mail box. The image, in itself is light and breezy, the colours are all bright, but scratch beneath the surface and it doesn't tell a pretty story.
Soon afterwards, Prabha joined the TWELVE team as the cover artist on the series... and what she's doing on these covers - we'll let you see them for yourself and decide. This much we can say - it's not what you'd expect from a comic book cover.
Prabha is Manta Ray's ART DIRECTOR, almost all of the visual elements - from promo posters to the cyclic home page images (the flippys, as she calls them) to the TWELVE teaser poster - are designed by her. Prabha gets us completely - she knows what Manta Ray wants to do, what our vision is, where we want to go - and sometimes it so spooky that we wonder if she can read our minds (not kidding).
Right now, Prabha is illustrating her first TWELVE story, which is also where Clue 3 is set. 3 boys sitting in a Momo shack, munching on delicious chicken momos (12 of them, if you haven't yet counted). We're super excited about this story, because it is also a homage to one of our all-time favourite comic books (ok, if you must insist - Graphic Novel)... and we can't wait to show it to all of you.
Prabha blogs here. She has been commissioned to do TONS of book covers, her sketches were featured in Time Out Bangalore and was until recently one of the residents at Pencil Sauce (a super cool graphic design + illustration studio in Bangalore)
Prabha studied at BITS Pilani, IIT Kanpur and Savannah College of Art and Design. She is currently creating the cover art for the opening issue of Manta Ray's TWELVE
* Church Street is one of the Manta Ray team's favourite places in Bangalore - we meet here for breakfast at ICH, lunch at the nearby Egg Factory or dinner at Koshy's. Two days ago, we met at Java city and had cold coffee & ice tea. This is where we share ideas, show work, discuss scripts and catch up with each other.