Thursday, August 25, 2005

Comic Relief

Comics have a special place in the childhoods of most people of my generation. For most of us, comics provided us with our first taste of fiction literature. Comics offer a most unique entertainment value proposition, not matched by any other literary medium, that of being able to see, as well as read the story unfold. The amount of effort that goes into the creation of a comic is also much greater than any other form of literature, of the same size.

I grew up on Tintin, Phantom, Mandrake and Asterix. My early childhood passed on a regular diet of Indrajaal Comics, with Phantom and Mandrake being my favorites. I was also an avid reader of the Phantom strips published in the daily news papers. Gripped by Phantomania, I even went to the extent of creating my own hand made Phantom comic collection, by clipping off the strips from the newspapers on a daily basis, coloring them, and pasting them in my notebook. But as far as storylines were concerned, I enjoyed the magical world of Mandrake, much more than the slam-bang stuff of Phantom.
The only Indian comic I was fond of, was Chacha Chaudhary (May be because we share the same surname :) ). None of the other Indian comic characters could capture my interest. Neither was I into reading about those famous American superheroes; Superman, Spiderman and Batman. It was largely because they were not that easily available, and coz. I did not like their gloomy way of story-telling.

Slowly, I graduated to reading another comic, one which was to become my all time favorite, Tintin. Tintin comics are a comic fan’s delight, with great sketches done with tremendous attention to detail, fantastically adventurous storylines, and rib-tickling comedy. No one who has read some of Captain Haddock’s outlandishly funny exclamations will ever forget them. But perhaps what attracts the greatest number of fans to Tintin is the fact that he is just another boy, without any superpower or mutation, who manages to navigate through his adventures by a mixture of common sense and logic. Tintin mania made me collect all the 23 Tintin comics, in an effort which stretched over a decade. I loved the Tintin sketches so much that I frequently tried to replicate them on my drawing book. Another one of my comic crazy activities was the creation of my own adventure comic. It was probably in those childhood days that the seeds of the creation of Arbit Choudhury were sown.

Just the other day, I hit upon a most unusual blog, called The Comic Project, created by a Phantomaniac like me, dedicated to publishing scans of those engrossing Indrajaal Comics editions of yesteryear. Reading through the strips, some of which I had first read 15-20 years back, felt like being teleported back to those blissful childhood days. Wish I had my Indrajaal Comic collection with me now, so that I too could contribute to this wonderful effort. If only mom had not heartlessly sold off all my comics to the “raddiwala”......

Now for some Tintin Trivia....
Question: What is the full name of Captain Haddock?
Answer: Archibald
(Refer “Tintin and the Picaros”)

"Why did Snoopy quit the comic strip? Because he was tired of working for peanuts"


chaos said...

the bottom line is the BEST :)

Nikhil Kulkarni said...

Chacha Chaudhary was my favourite too ... it was fun to see how a normal individual could deal with crooks and gangsters
Speaking of Tintin ... guess you should also elaborate on the 'Making of Tintin' which you have narrated to me ... and junta do visit
A really well-developed site - neat and impressive!!

The Raven said...

TCP is also a member of the MUMBAI COMICS CLUB. You'll find a lot of other comics uploaded by us. Join us by subscribing to MumbaiComicsClub(at)yahoogroups(dot)co(dot)in

Ummm ... u'll find crazier people who love comics. ;-)


The Raven said...

You can subscribe here

Saurabh Shrivastava said...

Of all the characters you mentioned I did'nt find super commando dhruva (SCD).May be you haven't read about it but I can tell you that SCD series was the most exciting and thrilling.It made huge profits in Hindi speaking areas.South indians and North East people know little about it.Its unfortunate that Bollywood has'nt made any movie on SCD.I hope upcoming Indian animation industry will do something about it just like we got mogli.


Conceptnext said...

Agree with saurabh. super commando dhruv was the best comic hero i used to read during my time. BTW, it looks like comic nostalgia is all around. I was remembering my old comics days just a few weeks back..