Tina Malhotra’s journey through a high school existential crisis was difficult. Bringing her world to life was just as wrenching.
Author Keshni Kashyap and illustrator Mari Araki spent four years working on the graphic novel Tina’s Mouth: An Existential Diary, which was published in January. Kashyap was trained as a filmmaker and Araki is a surrealist painter. The pair had to teach themselves the comic form while melding the book’s substantial text with some 1,000 drawings.
“I’d rather kill myself than do another graphic novel,” Kashyap says flatly. “It was so hard to do.” Besides, “The world is such a rough place right now. I don’t really want to write about privileged teenagers anymore.”