Two siblings in Vellore district of Tamil Nadu have released a new comic book for children, putting their creativity and time during the lockdown to good use. Called "The Stix Comix", the debut edition of the hand-drawn comic -- which tells the story of the coronavirus pandemic - is being sold as e-copies via WhatsApp.
The young writers, Ishaan Abraham Pichamuthu (13) and Yohaan Benjamin Pichamuthu (10), children of a doctor couple, say it took them two weeks to write, and three weeks to draw and colour it.
The brothers love reading comics and enjoy Tinkle and the Spiderman series. They say that the impact of the lockdown motivated them to put together an interesting story for kids.
While Ishaan, who studies in Class 8, did the writing, his brother Yohaan, who is in Class 6, coloured, fixed the price and is looking after the sale of the books. "I loved creating new characters and giving original names like Le Gamer and Alex Rider. Some of course are popular names. We want to continue writing and would release this one after another," says Ishaan.
The comic books, which almost look professional, are priced at Rs 50 for a copy and are being sold at a 5 per cent discount. The first edition also has a word search game and a jokes section to further engage young readers. So far they've sold 10 copies among friends and relatives. "Its fun selling the book. None has said no yet. We would also be happy to give the e-book free for underprivileged children," says Yohaan.
The boys study at Ida Scudder School and aspire to become doctors.
"This highlights how children build on their own creativity when they are free from gadgets. We also thought this was a good activity for children during this lockdown. It encourages imagination, artistic ability, planning and design," their father, Dr Kishore Pichamuthu, says.
The couple says they refrained from pressuring kids to pursue academic activity all the time.
"The lockdown has so much of negativity but such things bring so much positivity. We feel so good," Dr Anjana Bennett, their mother, adds.