Before the western comics were introduced widely in India, children had their beloved 'Chacha Chaudhary' and 'Birbal' comics to read while growing up. As every 90s kid watches their Marvel superheroes take on the villains on-screen, or reads DC Comics PDFs on their smartphones, a flashback of those long train journeys reading their favourite Indian comics is bound to come across. Although the times when one had to wait for a new edition of their favourite comic book series to come to the newspaper vendor is long gone, revisiting that golden period can never hurt.
There are some Indian Comics that millennials will cherish but Gen Z will have a hard time understanding the emotion behind the fondness. Amar Chitra Katha was started by Anant Pai, considered the pioneer of Indian Comics. Amar Chitra Katha was able to put Indian mythology, folklore and history into comic books, making them more interesting for children. It gave us gems like Tenali Raman and Birbal, which later became household names.
Then there is Diamond Comics, which gave Indians their favourite Chacha Chaudhary. The character of Chacha Chaudhary was created by Pran, not the actor, but one of the most famous cartoonists of those times. Almost everyone remembers that Chacha Chaudhary's brain works faster than a computer.
One of the most famous comics during those times was Tinkle, which introduced characters such as Suppandi and Shikari Shambhu. Almost every child wanted to get their hands on the latest edition of Tinkle.
At this age of digitally printed graphic novels, smartphones and CGI fed superhero films, it is impossible to imagine a 10-year-old reading a basic Indian comic book. Indian comics are a lost art, and only someone who grew up during those pre-smartphone times will understand the value of the joy that simple thin booklet could give a child.