Main Objectives of Essay

  1. To establish the value and ROLE of Illustration and graphic Narrative in The Hare Krishna Movement.
  2. To explore why and how comics and graphic Narratives including animation is so important as a teaching tool in Hare Krishna Gurukuls.
  3. To be able to put this into a context so that non Hare Krishnas can see the important and relevance of the teaching methods.
  4. To explore how the whole world can benefit from learning about this.

Essay Reading List /Bibliography

Article Religion and Comics Wiley Online Library

Srila Prabhupadas books including Bhagavad-gita, Srimad Bhagvatam and Caitanya Caritamrita, Nectar of Devotion, Ne tar of Instruction, Sri Upanishad and The Teachings of Queen Kunti
A Comic Book about the Life of Srila Prabhupada
front cover of Illuminations from Bhagavad-Gita
ACHARYA by Bhaktisidanta Das
Graven Images Religion and Comic Books and Graphic Novels edited by David Lewis and Christine Hoff Kraemer.
Persepolis by Marjane Sartrapi
Do The Gods Wear Capes?
Spirituality, Fantasy and Superheroes -New Directions in Religion and Literature by Ben Saunders
Making Comics- Storytelling secrets of comics, Manga and Graphic Novels by Scott Mcloud
Graphic Details – Jewish Women’s Confessional Comics in Essays and Interviews -Edited by Sarah Lightman
Stigmata- a Graphic Novel by Lorenzo Matteotti and Claudio Piersanti.
Maus 1 by Art Spiegelman
Maus 2 By Art Speigelman
Will Esisners Contract with God series

The Transcendental Art Master by

this downloadable article ¬†or e-book ‘The Transcendental Art Master’ was fundamental for my understanding of Srila Phrabhupadas mood as the transcendental art master.

Guity Novins History of Graphic Design- The Online Textbook

Sacred and Sequential

Elizabeth Coody and Christine Hoff Kraemer, Unquestionably “Women Write About Comics”

Comics Academe: Christine Hoff Kraemer on Graven Images


This Book Graven Images has been interesting to read while I am writing my essay. The book includes a series of articles bout the role of graphic narratives in religion and how Graphic narratives are more and more used to relate religious philosophy. It includes articles about varied Graphic narratives from writers of various faiths and interest.

Black as Wood

What about comics and graphic Novels that address the issues of the degradation of Traditional Cultures.

What would a comics industry that showed these themes look like?

Is it not a very positive outlook of everyone to learn about our traditional cultural heritage. Of Course it is!

Degradation of the feminine and degradation of traditional cultures and degradation of our mother planet Earth are all linked and are explained in vedic literatures as symptoms of Kali Yuga.

Would it not be sensible to explore the world of graphic narratives and sequential art form this outlook? What would I find?




Pens work, Priya Shakti , Hare krishna movement , The Past and other stories

How can I use the sum total of my experiences to make innovative work now?

Do I need to refer to myself and my own experiences to work through the trauma or can I change the trauma into something different through my work?

Does the work have to be autobiographical in some way to enable healing and transparency?

Are there other ways that my art can be useful?


This is our tutor Pens recent article. It would feel god to talk to Pen about the various issues that came up in this article to do with how we as artists can deal with sensitive issues. (Social Services in crisis etc.)

Priya’s Shakti



This female Graphic Novelists work is very inspiring because it is a lot like some of my own work in many ways and she has has the backing and funding to be able to bring her comics into the modern world in very innovative ways. I love the fact that she has made some of her work into murals that are digitally interactive and that her work is available digitally free to all.

Inspiration because of the themes it deals with as well as the design elements that I would like to work on more in the future.


This is a piece of my artwork from about 10years ago.
This is a piece of my artwork from about 10years ago.
another of my pieces of work which i a snippet from a much larger painting.
another of my pieces of work which i a snippet from a much larger painting.
another of mine about racism and slavery
another of mine about racism and slavery

I have noticed similarities between my work and the work of Priyas Shakti- The way we both uses collage to make our comic pages, and the panel structure is unusual. Also there are links in the fact that when at an interview at The Royal Drawing School I was told that my paintings /comic pages would also work well as Murals.

I am also really interested in turning my work into digital interactive works and have been looking more at ways of doing this in the past year.

I deal with sensitive subject matter in my work and would like to be able to take this further.

The images below are all from a series of Graphic narrative/ comics that I made between 2003 and 2010.

Another of my drawings from early 2000's
Another of my drawings from early 2000’s
exploring sensitive subject matter
exploring sensitive subject matter
This is a page from a graphic narrative I began developing 15years ago this pageis from 2017.
work about chinese culture and racism.
a snippet of a larger drawing about eating disorders and starvation.
a page from a book I was making about starvation


Transcendental Art

Transcendental Art
Excrpted from Back to Godhead Magazine 1971, Vol. 1, No. 39

One of the basic principles of Krsna consciousness is that one may utilize whatever talent he has in the service of the Supreme Lord. And it is a symptom of a bona fide spiritual master that he is expert in engaging everyone in practical transcendental devotional service. His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada has thus engaged a number of very talented artists in the service of the Lord by asking them to use their natural artistic inclination in painting pictures of the Supreme Godhead. According to all the revealed Vedic scriptures, God is not formless or void, but on the contrary He has the most attractive personal form. In fact He has many transcendental forms. Krsna appears and expands Himself in multi expansions and incarnations, and these are described in Vedic literatures such as Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam.
His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada has written many books and continues to translate authoritative books about Krsna for the benefit of all mankind, and he has requested that this transcendental literature be profusely decorated with illustrations. His Divine Grace has also founded many temples of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, and these are transcendental centers where men and women may come and engage in spiritual life by seeing the form of the Lord. Therefore paintings are needed in all the temples, as well as for illustrations in books. For these two reasons an art department has been set up in ISKCON for production of Krsna-katha art (art based on the pastimes of Krsna).

If a painting is done according to authoritative descriptions, it has the same potency as the Deity. According to the Srimad-Bhagavatam such paintings, when painted under authorized direction, in devotional service, are also considered incarnations of the Lord. In other words, Krsna is personally present in a picture of Krsna.


Essay Preparation

What am I interested in writing about for my essay.


I am interested in writing about Hare Krishna Comics/art and illustration, the role of the Visual Image in the movement and how the Hare Krishna Movement has managed to have a good amount of materials available.

Perhaps would be good to see where there could be areas of improvement.

Are there any areas that need improving? Are there enough animations available for children? Who am I to say if things need improving or not?

It would be good to analyse in view of comparing this movement to other movements for example the Black Rights movement if there is formally such a thing and if and how the entertainment/education of people works through the medium of comics.

What do In know as FACT? I know about my previous involvement with Smash Mouth Education to create a genre of Edutainment for Black people about Black culture or for the people by the people (including all peoples).

My main interest is about enlightening people about how the principles from Vedic culture can be looked at through the modern medium of graphic narrative, how it is being done already and what can be improved.

In comparison to other cultural phenomena in the graphic Narrative world. What do I mean? What is the importance of developing interesting and beautiful graphic narratives for children, teens and adults?

What is the role of the graphic narrative in the world of uplifting consciousness?



What research do I need to do .

I need to thoroughly investigate what is out there in terms of krishna Conscious graphic narrative and do an analysis of the content.

I would like to consider making an analysis of the content and context of the work in view of the greater comic world.

I would like to make a comparative analysis of the work of other cultural/spiritual movements and put the work into a global context as well as see the universal qualities and evaluate that too.


ISKCON DESIRE TREE – Has the above site for display of the various PDF childrens books /graphic narratives for the young Hare Krishna Devotees.

There is a range of educational materials aimed at various age groups and the age specification is stated in the link to each piece.


"Are you shaved?!"
“Are you shaved?!”
Bed of Nails: Orthopaedic
Bed of Nails: Orthopaedic

I feel that the above examples of apparent Krishna Conscious cartoons are not particularly good examples although they are described as such on the internet and this is what came up when I searched on Google.

I do not feel that cartoons of this type can be considered a serious attempt at any type of education or enlightenment about the Hare Krishnas or really represent the philosophy in any sound way.

They are more fun than anything else the first one is actually really funny.

The childrens graphic narratives of Iskcon desire tree are a much better example of how imagery can be used to educate people about the philosophy of the movement.


Are the images used in the Hare Krishna Movement taken seriously outside of the movement? What value do they have outside of the movement and what can be done to improve the way image is used to attract people to the philosophy? Is this even something worthily thinking about?