English poet, George Herbert once said that, “He that is not handsome at 20, nor strong at 30, nor rich at 40, nor wise at 50, will never be handsome, strong, rich or wise.”
Of Ramish Safa – the co-creator of Pakistan’s premier comic book company, Kachee Goliyan – it can safely concluded that he is handsome enough to be the face of the company . Rich enough to buy expensive & exorbitant Lego sets and wise enough to capitalize on the need for a comic culture in Pakistan. And he’s achieved all of this before he’s even 25.
What separates Ramish Safa from all the contemporary and emerging comic artists around him is that he carries with him a vast portfolio of experience. This includes having to his credits; being a co-founder of another social enterprise and masterminding the success of its flagship project and mascot “Pappu“.
Then, who can forget his most successful venture to date “Kachee Goliyan”, an idea that started off as – Pakistan’s first – digital-online comics and spread like cancer across the bloodstreams of the internet.
The success of this catapulted Ramish to fame and ballooned “Kachee Goliyan” into one of the most popular Digital & Social Media companies going around.
Strike up a conversation with the co-creator of KG about some of the world’s most enduring comic book characters and hang on for one pell-mell ride.
In two words, Ramish Safa is energetic and focused. At 24, his repartee brims with the exuberance of a six-year old at the sight of a superhero with rapid-fire bursts of information streaming out, punctuated by frequent jokes.
Even as his Kachee Goliyan characters J.C & Sufi blaze new territory on the Internet, he and his inner circle hatch plans for further expansion of the comic franchise. While simultaneously churning traditional hard-copies of their own comics.
Talking about his inspiration for the comics Ramish stressed upon the need for a proper comic culture in Pakistan.
“It started a couple years back when I made my first story board for a project I was hired for. Nofal and I realized how we could actually do this as a serious thing. We strongly felt the lack of local comics and thus we decided to do something about it,” exclaimed Ramish.
“Both of us live abnormal lives. It’s a fact. Me and Nofal had been friends since my first day of college. And since the first day we had a very different approach to life in general. Social norms, relationships, studies, you name it. I was always a person with a very dark mind. Nofal on the other hand had a more optimistic approach to life, both being very unorthodox mind you. So when you combine two mind sets like that, what you get is crazy ideas and out of the world concepts. That’s how we do it,” remarked the co-creator of Kachee Goliyan.
Despite all the success, Ramish isn’t a detractor, even if something is not his particular cup of tea. Whether he’s saluting his contemporaries in the comic community, praising Hollywood Directors or welcoming – and mentoring – rising stars, Safa peppers his conversation with the rally cry, “More power to them!” Driven by creative restlessness, he revels in the exclamation point.
Ramish staunchly opposes dumbing down to reach a mere common denominator, in fact he bristles at the notion of condescending to an audience. “Why would I do that? It’s insulting. I don’t like it when my teachers do that with me. I start with the basic assumption that people are reasonably intelligent, so I approach them as friends“.
Despite all of this he is quick to acknowledge, “There are no secrets – no tricks. Without good ideas, you’re nowhere.”
Just as photons shed mass if they quit moving, success and financial incentives aren’t always enough to satisfy an innovation and pop culture junkie of his stature. He refuses to tie himself down to one project and chooses to diversify with the most recent example being the Umru Ayar Comic Book Series along with his short story-esque social commentary and rant which is as crisp as a burlesque can possibly be.
Today, despite all his achievements, Safa refuses to downshift. “The minute you sit back to think ‘I’ve done it all,’ you’re through. You might as well be dead,” he says.
He does take time to continually recharge his batteries – all those synapses merrily popping away at the heart of a creative laboratory with simultaneous projects at various stages of completion. Such inveterate multitasking “definitely helps to keep things interesting,” according to Ramish Safa. “I love to be busy. Boredom is my enemy.”
The genius of an artist of his caliber is having the ability to make most of the purple patch that he has struck – creatively – after all, this is what separates the Artists from the Men.