Indian Comics: A summary, and an ode

November 03, 2018
Most of us hungrily lapped up the hilarious adventures of the sassy Riverdale, hormone charged teenagers, and the riveting sagas of the superheroes from DC and Marvel comics. And while some of us were voracious when it came to reading and grabbed the Indian comic books as well, most of you are probably unacquainted with them. Indian comic books had their own charm, and here is a list of some popular ones; next stop, the Memory Lane!

Chandamama: Brainchild of B. Nagi Reddy and Chakrapani, the Chandamama issues were iconic. It was initially published in Telugu, in the year 1947, and then later in 13 regional languages. Stories were mostly taken from mythologies and fables, with memorable illustrations. The comics are no longer published now, but you might find an issue or two if you rummage through the pile of your parents' book collection!
Diamond Comics: Chacha Choudhury, whose brain was faster than the computer, Raman and his pals (Khalifa and Moga Singh), Billoo, Pinky, Shrimati Ji, Daabu you name it! The legendary Indian cartoonist, Pran, was behind these loveable characters, and although his comic strips first appeared in other newspapers like the Delhi-based Milap (Daboo, 1969), and the Hindi magazine, Lotpot (Chacha Choudhury, 1971), they were published as comic series by Diamond Comics, and we cannot be more glad!
Amar Chitra Katha: Uncle Pai, or AnantPai first headed the project, but the idea was actually proposed by a book salesman from Bangalore, G.K. Ananthram. Under Pai, the iconic comic book took off in 1967, and gained immense popularity with its mythological renderings with lucid, yet endearing narrative, and the rest is history.

Raj Comics: Started in 1986 by Rajakumar Gupta, the Indian audiences finally found their own desi-superheroes. No, Shaktimaan was not the first, there were the 'BrahmandRakshak's before him! While in many ways they bore this uncanny (ahem!) similarity with DC or Marvel, albeit in a strictly desi portrayal, the heroes like the suave Nagraj, or Parmanu, Doga, the handsome Super Commando Dhruva, Aarti (the list doesn't end here) were the then heartthrobs!

Tinkle Comics: Uncle Pai made it possible, and after the first issue came out, the universe reacted, and everything went like it was supposed to. It was sheer destiny. The inquisitive members of Anu Club, the scheming Tantri the Mantri, clever Kalia,  and the nefarious duo of Chamtaka and Doob-Doob, wise-monkey Kapish, the loveable simpleton Suppandi, or the lucky ShikariShambu, we had it all. Here's the part where the nineties kids are allowed to shed a happy teardrop, and bask in sweet nostalgia.
Time passes; nay flies, and things change. Maybe. Maybe not, as you prepare your next reading list, and include these comic books as well.

Post Written by - Lopamudra

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