Even at the tender age of 18-years-old, freelance illustrator Debangshu Moulik has an unusually strong visual style and sense of storytelling. The teenager’s visual prowess is on full display in his recently completed comic zine Old Shirt. Set in Pune, India, 75 miles outside of Mumbai, the zine is an allegory about human friendship told through the life cycle of t-shirts. The imagery, which is at times surreal and cartoonish, plays with scale and proportion but still seems unfailingly human. Despite his artistic maturity, Moulik is incredibly modest about his creation in the zine’s opening pages.
“This book is an experiment,” he writes. “I have never really made anything like this before. I don’t know if it’s good or bad, but it’s a project I finished and I’m proud of the fact I did. I had a lot of fun making this, and I hope you have fun reading it. And thank you, for taking some time out of your busy life to read it.”
Moulik tells Creators that the zine grew out of a conversation he had with a friend — about how t-shirts are far more comfortable once they have become old and worn out. The two agreed that one grows into a friendship the way a person grows into a piece of reliable clothing, like a t-shirt.