When I first came to know of Cartoon People back in 2017, I didn't think much of them. They seemed nothing more than a group of youngsters trying to make a name for themselves on social media. Back then, webcomics like Cyanide and Happiness and Loading Artist were quite popular on Facebook and Instagram, and as far as I was concerned, Cartoon People was trying to emulate a similar appeal.
As years rolled by, I realised how my initial idea regarding them couldn't have been any more wrong. Over the years, I got the opportunity to learn more about their plans and vision, and also had the chance to work alongside a few of the group's members.
And from what I can tell, they're definitely onto something big.
Cartoon People are celebrating their fourth anniversary this year, and I thought of taking this opportunity to look at how far they've come, and how some of their own artists are set to make it big on a global basis.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the group, Cartoon People is a community of Bangladeshi cartoonists and visual storytellers that was founded in 2016 by cartoonist Syed Rashad Imam Tanmoy. The group specialises in comics, caricatures, and of course, cartoons.
Since its inception, Cartoon People has wholeheartedly worked to inspire like minded enthusiasts. Apart from holding regular workshops and sketchbook sessions for its members, as well as for the general public, the group has also gone on to organise events related to their line of work. In the process of doing so, they have worked with different local and international organisations such as a2i, United Nations, World Bank, and so on. They've gone from being a small community of cartoon and comic enthusiasts, to taking on bigger roles to develop the art form, as well as take on other social projects.
Perhaps the most inspiring part of Cartoon People's journey till now is how it showcased talent. Many cartoonists and artists from this community are now doing quite well for themselves. Some of my personal favourites from Cartoon People include The Bathroom Artist by Walker Bin Zaman, Gorib Anju by Tamim Anju, Tiborai er Cartoon by Chandrika Nurani Irabotee, Peu Draws by Debadrita Peu, Tube Light by Tuba Anjum, and Shesh Raater Shopno by Ayman Aswaf.
The thing about these artists is the variation in their work, and their ability to say so much through their stories and characters. From entertaining us with humorous and satirical comic strips, to making us think and question global and societal issues through illustrations and cartoons, they have left no stone unturned to establish themselves as important figures in our local art scene. There's no doubt that these youngsters are inspiring a whole generation who're currently following their every single work.
In their four-year journey, Cartoon People have indeed come a long way, and they aren't going to stop. The group is eager to publish their own line of comics, as well as create some visually stunning animation along the way. And with all the things they've done and achieved so far, who knows how far they'll go?