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Ramayana: Divine Loophole by Sanjay Patel
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Ramayana: Divine Loophole (2010)

by Sanjay Patel

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This version of the Ramayana, abridged and illustrated by Sanjay Patel, is a very enjoyable and visual introduction to the great Hindu epic tale. Using simple everyday words and evocative art, Patel creates a narrative that appeals to all generations and cultures. A very handy guide to all the characters of the story is provided at the end of the book. While the text can sometimes verge on the simplistic, the beautiful illustrations more than adequately redeem this. I can't wait to read the other adaptations of Hindu mythology by the same author! ( )
  timtom | Jun 27, 2014 |
A most excellent illustrated edition. Patel's artwork really gives his condensed narrative a lot of energy, amplifying the text's visual capabilities. The story itself is simplified, but Patel warns of this in advance. This is his interpretation, and how he envisions the world and characters of the Ramayana. I'd like to sample the full translation to get a better understanding of the story, but this was a marvelous beginning. ( )
  WildcatJF | Jul 3, 2013 |
Great art but the writing is nothing much to rave about ( )
  kaipakartik | Dec 30, 2010 |
A beautifully, charmingly illustrated retelling of the Ramayana by Pixar animator Sanjay Patel. Patel's drawing style is distinctive (reminiscent of some of the opening sequences of Monsters, Inc.) and well-suited to this lighthearted retelling. It is not intended to cover the full story, but to hit the highlights; the illustrations are definitely the star here. (I especially loved the page showing the bears and monkeys searching for Sita.) ( )
1 vote lorax | Jun 11, 2010 |
Patel applies the artistic talent he brought to The Little Book of Hindu Deities to the Ramayana, distilling the epic into a well-illustrated, engaging tale that you can read in an evening to refresh your memory before Diwali. Patel intends this illustrated version as something to whet your appetite for the full story, and recommends Ashok K. Banker’s three thousand page English-language adaptation. ( )
  slothman | Mar 7, 2010 |
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Dedicated to my family,

Dad (Gopalbhai), Mom (Ramilabhen), Bro (Amulbhai)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 081187107X, Hardcover)

Artist and veteran Pixar animator Sanjay Patel lends a lush, whimsical illustration style and lighthearted voice to one of Hindu mythology's best-loved and most enduring tales. Teeming with powerful deities, love-struck monsters, flying monkey gods, magic weapons, demon armies, and divine love, Ramayana tells the story of Rama, a god-turned-prince, and his quest to rescue his wife Sita after she is kidnapped by a demon king. This illustrated tale features over 100 colorful full-spread illustrations, a detailed pictorial glossary of the cast of characters who make up the epic tale, and sketches of the work in progress. From princesses in peril to gripping battles, scheming royals, and hordes of bloodthirsty demons, Ramayana is the ultimate adventure story presented with an unforgettably modern touch.

Q&A with Author and Illustrator Sanjay Patel

Q: What was your inspiration to tell this story?

Patel: Well I finally read the thing. I mean I suck at reading and everything. But I came across a great adaptation of the Ramayana by an author named Ashok Banker. I actually discovered the book via Nina Paley's blog. She's the one woman force behind Sita Sings the Blues, the feature length animated work about the same subject. After reading a few pgs on Amazon I ordered the first book by Mr. Banker which weighed in at over five hundred pgs. Keep in mind that was just book one of a seven part series. I just read and read and the thing slowly unlocked. And what I found was an ancient mythology with themes and symbols that were timeless and essential. Really meaningful stuff all wrapped up in a visually rich world of epic adventure. The story was just begging to be illustrated.

Q: How did you get started working at Pixar?

Patel: The only thing I was ever good at was copying drawings from comic books. I just drew, and nothing could ever get me to stop. All throughout school I was considered "the artist," which really just meant that I could make really bad drawings for people’s letterman jackets. A friend told me about Cal-Arts and animation. The school was the key. Most of Pixar’s directors have come straight out of Cal-Arts and its character animation program. I just walked in their footsteps and they ended up recruiting me after my second year. I've been at Pixar ever since, close to thirteen years now.

Q: Describe your creative process. How do you create your illustrations?

Patel: Once I have a concrete idea of the story point that I want to communicate, which is usually nailed down in the writing, I then think of one “story telling image. For instance, it's a big story point when Hanuman, the monkey with special powers, uses his burning tail to set fire to the Ravana's capital city. Since this story has been told many times before I try and research what visual artist have done previously to communicate this moment. Here I pulled together reference from paintings and from vintage comics.

Click on the image to learn more about Patel's creative process and see more example illustrations.




Q: How long did it take you to create the scenes in the book?

At one point the illustrations were getting churned out at about one every two and half days. I was at a good clip till I decided to redo the entire book three times. I kept fighting with trying to make the art light hearted and cute, but the story was anything but that. The Ramayana is pretty dramatic and graphic, and I eventually found a style and voice that captured those things. It only took me four years.

Q: Which characters in the Ramayana did you have the most fun illustrating?

Patel: I can doodle Ravana the ten-headed demon king in my sleep at this point. I also love sketching Hanuman and Rama. They both have really fun shapes to fiddle with. The cover of the book was actually a blast, it was probably the last illustration I did.

Some of Sanjay's Favorites:

Favorites Illustrator(s)
Marc Boutavant
J Otto Seibold
Saul Steinberg
William Steig
Ronald Searle
Richard Scarry
Martin & Alice Provenson
Mary Blair
Charley Harper
M. Sasek
T. Biskup
Lewis Trondheim


Favorite movie(s)
Back to the Future
Amelie
The Wrong Trousers
Raiders of the Lost Ark
The Mission
Raising Arizona
Princess Mononoke
Dumbo
Abyss
Bottle Rocket



Favorite band(s)
That's a toss up between M83 and Sigur Ros


Favorite restaurant(s)
Usually places that serve french fries and hot sauce.


Favorite book(s)
Phoenix Karma by Osamu Tezuka:
Calvin & Hobbes Tenth Anniversary Book by Bill Watterson
Angry Youth Comix by Johnny Ryan


(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:53 -0400)

Artist and veteran Pixar animator Sanjay Patel lends a lush, whimsical illustration style and lighthearted voice to one of Hindu mythology's best-loved and most enduring tales. Teeming with powerful deities, love-struck monsters, flying monkey gods, magic weapons, demon armies, and divine love, Ramayana tells the story of Rama, a god-turned-prince, and his quest to rescue his wife Sita after she is kidnapped by a demon king. This illustrated tale features over 100 colorful full-spread illustrations, a detailed pictorial glossary of the cast of characters who make up the epic tale, and sketches of the work in progress. From princesses in peril to gripping battles, scheming royals, and hordes of bloodthirsty demons, Ramayana is the ultimate adventure story presented with an unforgettably modern touch.--Amazon.com.… (more)

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