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Bibhutibhushan’s works relived through comics

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By Riya Yadav and Arka Mondal

New Delhi: At a time when “Harry Potter” has replaced Thakurmar Jhuli and comic strips of Spiderman, Avengers, Thor, etc have eclipsed “Chacha Chaudhary”, the bold endeavour by Speech Bubble Entertainment is on the verge of reviving Indian culture, literature and language.

We get introduced to the world of comics during adolescence, and these comic strips do play a major role in influencing our personality.

Do you remember any Indian comic character? Probably ‘No’. And this is because our craving for the western culture and the cultural invasion from the west has also attacked our upbringing. With parents encouraging their children to read Tintin, Phantom and other characters instead of Indian characters, our home-grown comic heroes stared at a bleak future.

A paradigm change was needed to haul the Indian comics culture out of the dark days and revive them.

However, comics like Taranath Tantrik City of Sorrows and Kolkata Kaleidoscope (non-fictional graphic harshonovel) focus on nuances of Indian cities. The cities of India have stories waiting to be discovered, the stories of a glorious past which date back to centuries.

In a bid to uphold Indian language and characters from Indian writings, Prabuddha Neogi along with his friends launched Speech Bubble Entertainment and started publishing a comic book series Taranath Tantrik City of Sorrows.tar 1

 

 

 

It is about an investigator of paranormal activities, and together with his travelling band of vagabonds, he is a part of a psychological horror story. Based on a novel written by the famous Bengali writer Bibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay, the comic strips aims to expand the reach of the famous writer using the English Language as a tool.

It is published in English, however, there are plans to bring it out in different regional languages, says Prabuddha Neogi.

Prabuddha Neogi in a candid interview to NewsGram.com noted that Bibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay’s repute as a writer is not limited to only Pather Panchali but other brilliant writings as well. 

prabuThis is what Prabuddha Neogi said.

NewsGram: Any particular reason behind choosing Bibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay?

Prabuddha Neogi: The choice was obvious, his writings covered a plethora of subjects besides touching the emotional chord of people. Besides, people only got the opportunity to know about novels which were made into movies by Satyajit Ray. Taranath Tantrik City of Sorrows is a humble effort to showcase his writings that had mesmerised readers for ages.

NewsGram: Why comics?

Prabuddha Neogi: There are other famous writers like Narayan Gangopadhyay whose stories are being translated into comics books. Hopefully, fresh stories by new comic writers will also be introduced in near future because the readers are fed with the same old books with new covers.

NewsGram: Why Indian stories?

Prabuddha Neogi: There are wonderful stories from Kashmir to Kanyakumari which lay untold and unexplored. Since the superhero category is highly overrated, introducing new characters which are more real and realistic will catch the fantasy of the readers. So it is time to introduce a new flavour to Indian storytelling.

NewsGram: What are the challenges?

Prabuddha Neogi: Publishers feel disappointed when people look for a maximum number of pages at the minimum price. People prefer to spend money buying video games and watching 3D films rather than buying comics. However, the future is bright as the quality of production by Indian publishers is of international standards. The content, illustrations, binding can  compete with any globally acclaimed comics. Cooperation from other brands is necessary for building up a good market for the trend which began in 1930s but is yet to be explored.

The target readers are people from all age group. Production is being done through online web series and motion comics and publicity through social media, sample artwork and poster distribution. Newer ways are being explored for making comic reading a trend in the young generation. Indian readers are not a fan of comic reading as in the West, so lucrative and modern methods are being applied to lure new readership, he added.

 

 

 

 

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The Brain behind Chacha Chaudhury: Cartoonist Pran Kumar Sharma, the Father of Indian Comics

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Pran Kumar Sharma
Pran Kumar Sharma. Wikimedia
  • Chacha Chaudhury was an Indian comic that once competed against the Western comics
  • The comic characters of Chacha and Sabu once became a very popular household name
  • It is safe to say that Chacha Chaudhury was a childhood memory for most of the adult population now

August 11, 2017: It was Pran Kumar Sharma, a popular cartoonist, who came up with the famous characters Chacha Chaudhury and Sabu.

Born on 15th August 1938 in part of India that is now called Pakistan, Pran began his career as a cartoonist in 1960. His first cartoon was published in a Delhi based Newspaper called Milaap at a time when western comics dominated the Indian reader market.

ALSO READ: Indian-Origin Comics pick up their Immigration Tales and Desi Stories for Stand-up Acts in the US

But by creating these Indian comic characters, Pran revolutionized Indian comics. Chacha Chaudhury was first sketched for a newspaper called “Lot-Pot”.

Instantly, Chacha Chaudhury and his counterpart Sabu became common household names. Pran, thus, wrote his name as India’s most successful comic artist.

Chacha Chaudhary stories in Hindi:

It is often said that Pran wanted to design something different from common comic characters in western societies, such as Batman and Superman. The legendary cartoonist wanted to draw a character that represented India and looked Indian. With this thought, his hands drew a short and bald old man.

Chacha Chaudhury was born, and the rest is history.

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Filled with comedy and stories of morals, Chacha Chaudhury went on to become India’s best selling comic.

Kids, as well as adults, became fond of Pran’s creation. Other famous characters by the legend include Raman, Billoo, Shrimati Ji and others.

Pran Kumar Sharma died of colon cancer at a hospital in Gurgaon on August 6, 2014. He was 75.

In the year 1995, the cartoonist was named in Limca Book of World Records. He was also awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2001. Interestingly, Pran was called the Walt Disney of India in World Encyclopedia of Comics.

– Prepared by Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter: @Saksham2394

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Dinkoism: The New Religion that Worships a Superhero Mouse in Kerala

With over 9000 Facebook followers, Dinkoism has spread around the world.

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Dinkoism, India's brand new religion which worships mouse messiah. Image source: www.youtube.com
  • Dinkan, a fictional mouse is a native of a fictional Pankila forest from a children’s magazine
  • The core principle of Dinkoists is to make satire of all other religious groups
  • With over 9000 Facebook followers, Dinkoism has become popular around the globe

Established by a group of rationalists in Kerala in 2008, Dinkoism, the newest religion worships a superhero mouse.

Dinkan, the superhero mouse, is a native of a fictional Pankila forest from a children’s magazine. The holy book of Dinkoism  is the comic Balamangalam  which was featured in a children’s magazine series from 1983 to 2012.

According to the Dinkoists, time and space was created by Lord Dinkan. Lord Dinkan was eating a Cassava and he let out a laugh out of boredom which caused the formation of time of space. Thus,Lord Dinkan’s Big Laughter concept replaces the current Big Bang Theory.

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Dinkoism is mainly inspired by a mock religious faith called Pastafarianism, which also has a flying spaghetti monster as a God. They have their own holy book, symbols, priest and parodies of devotional songs, said the sputnik.com report.

The core principle of the Dinkoists is to make satire of all other religious groups though they deny that they are a spoof religion.

Image Source: Facebook

“In our belief, Dinkan is the God who created this world. He is also the one who keeps the world as it is now. And, we believe Dinkoism is the most suitable religion for the modern age. This is the belief part, “says Sukesh Vadavil, spokesperson for the Mooshikasena (meaning mouse army) to Sputnik.

The Sputnik report also states that Dinkoists value human rights and all the modern-day values that a religion should have. Values such as animal rights, gender equality and freedom of speech are the nucleus of the belief.

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Image Source: Facebook

The followers of Dinkoism had celebrated Akshaya Jetteeya on the 8th and 9th of May. They sold undergarments to the public as anyone who buys the undergarments would be blessed by Dinkan and would be prosperous in life, according to Dinkoists’ belief.  Akshaya Jetteeya is a parody on Akshaya Tritiya. Akshaya Tritiya is a holy day for Hindus and Jains. People generally buy gold on the auspicious day, as it is the ultimate symbol of wealth and prosperity.

The event was inaugurated at the historic Mithai Theru in Kozhikode by exchanging brief packets stuck with stickers of Dinkan among themselves. They told the curious crowd that gathered there that buying ‘Jetties’ (briefs) on the auspicious Akshaya Jetteeya day will bring good luck.

‘Akshaya Jetteeya’ and ‘Konaka Tritiya’ was celebrated in Kochi by selling ” undies that can cover the shame of corruption and communalism.”

With over 9000 Facebook followers, Dinkoism has spread around the world.

-This report is compiled by a staff-writer at NewsGram.

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