Episode 249: Nidhi Chanani


We sit down on a pair of chair in the First Second booth, smack in the middle of a crowded New York Comic Con show floor early on a Saturday. Nidhi Chanani is still high from the release of her debut graphic novel, Pashmina, which only hit store shelves a few day prior. The book tells the sort of a young Indian-American girl’s fantastic journey, as she reconnects with the homeland she left at a young age. There are certain parallels to Chanani’s own life, though the author’s earlier attempt at straight autobiography had been scrapped sometime before starting on her debut. It was a false start at a first comic that taught her a lot, but perhaps hit a bit too close to home. “Every bad drawing is going to teach you something,” she explains. “So 200 pages of bad drawing is definitely going to teach you something.” Pashmina, on the other hand, has garnered a warm reception in the intervening months, particularly among schools and libraries. In this conversation, we discuss cultural identities, the artist’s struggles with art school and the pains and pleasures of putting a book out into the world.

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