Indian Comics

What Are Comics?

A magazine for children that tells stories through pictures which is often combined with text or other visual information.

History of Fun.!

When The Times of India launched Indrajal Comics,India’s comic industry began in the mid-1960s. Mid 1960s saw syndicated strips like The Phantom, Mandrake being translated to Indian languages. In the late 1960s, evolution of Indian comics came in the form of Amar Chitra Katha which contained 100% Indian content. In 1970, Indians most popular comic character Chacha Chaudhary was brought to life through hindi magazine Lotpot. The popularity of Chacha Chaudhary, Pran Kumar Sharma’s stories went on to be translated in over 10 different languages. 1980s saw the entrance of several unforgettable and original characters, magazines and publishing houses like Tinkle magazine was founded. Chacha Chaudhary’s entry into the world of Diamond comics. The arrival of Raj comics. Around 1992, A Raj Comics issue titled Nagraj aurBughaku and super commando Dhruv and sold more than 9 lakh copies within 3 months of its launch, becoming the bestsellingIndian Comic ever. Manoj Comics, another one of India’s leading comic book houses, also published more than 365 comics within a year in the ‘90s, thereby implying that there was a time in the era readers actually had one new comic book to read every single day.  There was a major decline in the sales of comic books by the late ‘90s and most Indian comic book companies were forced out of the game. The reason was rise in technology. After 2000, only amarchitrakatha, diamond comics and raj comics were left. After few years of struggling to revive Indian comic culture, comic companies were able to revive the culture through the birth of virgin comics, bullseye press, graphic India. Also, in 2004, Webtoons (a publishing portal) was launched which is a home to thousands of digital comics of different genre.

Famous Indian Comic Characters

Chacha Chaudhary is one of most favourite comic character that was created by PranKumar Sharma. Chacha Chaudhary is a middle-class Indian, frail but an extremely intelligent elder. The usual villains of Chacha Chaudhary are corrupt government officials, thieves, roadside goons & bullies, tricksters, cons and local thugs. He not only fights them and helps the common man but also teaches them moral lessons and good behavior.

Shakti is Goddess Kali’s transcending incarnation. Kali is the destroyer of demons and the last word in woman-power. She has a raging desire to get justice for women in this man’s world. The distress cries from any woman, anywhere in the world, turn her ordinary self of Chanda into a ferocious killer known as Shakti. Shakti is Maha Kali – Great Kali.

The Bahadur series focused a lot on dacoits. Bahadur himself was the son of a dacoit Bhairav Singh, who died in combat with Police. Bahadur, then a teenager, was adopted by Vishal, the police officer. Upon growing up, Bahadur set up the Citizen’s Security Force. Though Bahadur dealt with many kinds of villains, he displayed a much softer corner towards dacoits trying to rehabilitate them.

Shambu is a cowardly and lazy shikari (hunter) whom the rest of the world perceives as courageous. He always tries to run away from dangerous animals, but due to some stroke of luck always ends up as a hero. He lives with his wife Shanti. In theLegend of Shikari Shambu (Tinkle Magazine No.573), it was revealed that Shambu, before being called “Shikari” Shambu, fell on a tiger and knocked him out. It was after this incident that he got the name “Shikari” Shambu.

Reasons Behind Failure of Indian Comics

  • The publishers don’t know the difference between inspiration and copy.
  • Indians prefer watching over reading. (mostly free)
  • No resource for new creator.
  • Pressure of family and society.

For every 90’s kid, comic books were like a family member but today’s generation prefers online platforms for reading rather than seating and reading books. Many of them do not understand the thrill one feels while reading books. But now, many Indian comic books have digitalized themselves and also have websites or apps for their fan so that They can access to the content. Now it’s our job to let get them past our devices and introduce it to young generation.

By Ruchi Goel

Assistant Professor

BA(JMC)

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