Indian Comics, over the years, have given us some wonderful characters which have been loved by millions of us. We have grown up with them and have spent a lot of our imaginative days with these Indian Comic Characters.
So, who are these Indian Comic Characters and are they still relevant to the kids of today? Lets find out.
- Bahadur – India’s first super soldier of sorts with no superpowers really. Just great training, a big heart and an intelligent mind. His father who was a dacoit was killed by the policeman who ended up adopting him. A great series but focused on dacoity and theft and issues of the seventies. Kids of today who are growing up with Avengers may not really connect to the artwork and the basic premise of the comic book. Another issue is also that they are simply not available, not even ebooks. However, you can read about the series more here.
- Motu Patlu and Lot-Pot – With a stellar star of characters like Motu Patlu, Chirkut, Jasoos Chakram, Lot Pot was the first and the oldest magazine of India. It is published since 1969 and just completed 51 years of continuous publication. Your child will of course know Motu Patlu from the animated series, Now is the time for introducing your child to these comics. A selection is available here.
- Suppandi – Part of the evergreen Tinkle Comics, Suppandi became a star for his antics and stupidity. Taking things at their literal face value, he creates so many situations and events which are an absolute riot. Suppandi as a character became so famous that he had comics released dedicated to him. A must read for your child. A good selection is available here.
- Shikari Shambhu – Just like Suppandi, Shikari Shambhu is a part of Tinkle Comics. He is this bumbling and coward hunter who ended up catching animals purely by accident. A must read again simply because it is hilarious. A good selection is available here.
- Chacha Chaudhary – One of the most relatable characters ever created in Indian Comic Book History, Chacha Chaudhary is Elederly and an extremely intelligent elder Whose brain works faster than a Computer. He is known for his red turban, a wooden stick, a waistcoat with a double inside pocket, and a pocket watch. His familyhas his wife Bini (Chachi), a dog called Rocket and a giant alien from Jupiter’ named Sabu ( Remember this? – A volcano erupts on Jupiter when Sabu is Angry). He never locks the door of his house; but nobody has been successful in robbing his house. He solves a lot of problems using his wit as his only weapon. Sabu is the strongman who also aids him when physical powers are needed. Todays kids may find them a tad too simple, but 7-11 year olds may enjoy them. I would strongly recommend that your kids read them. A selection available here.
- Billoo and Pinki – Billoo, very much like Archie, is a quintessential teenager with all the issues and problems which a teenager has. He has his friends, his dog and a few people he doesn’t get along with. The comics are essentially how he gets into trouble and how he gets out of it using his brains, his wits and his luck. Pinki is a 5-6 year old naughty girl who tries to help but in the end creates a mess of things. A good read for a child in the 7-12 age bracket. A good collection is available here and here.
- Shaktimaan – Shaktimaan was one character which was earlier launched by Diamond Comics as an action Hero, but later was taken over by Raj Comics. Your kinds must be aware of the character through its television series and it may be a good idea to introduce them to the comics to inculcate the reading habit.Recommended for children from 10-14 years of age. A good collection is available here.
- Super Commando Dhruv – He was India’s answer to Batman. A person with no other superpower except the ability to talk to animals, he used to fight crime, aliens, robots, super-humans and even dinosaurs using his physical abilities, sharp reflexes and his quick thinking mind. There is a lot of violence in them and hence recommended for children aged 10 and above. A fantastic collection is available here. This character remains my personal favorite.
- Nagraj – India’s first truly super powered hero. He derives his powers from the thousands of snakes which live within his blood stream and can come out to help him as and when the situation needs. All these snakes also come with fancy powers of their own and hence make our hero almost invincible. From Ancient beings to parallel universes to becoming immortal to shape-shifting, The entire series is heavily inspired by the Marvel Universe. It was indeed the first time, most of us back then were introduced to this type of writing and stories and we loved every bit of it. Recommended that your child reads this just for the fun of it. Again, slightly older children please. A good collection is available here.
- Bankelal – Bankelal was the scheming Mantri who always was planning something or the other to get the king killed and to takeover the kingdom. However, every time his plan backfires and something good happens. Recommended for reading. A good collection is here.
There were a few old comics like Phantom, Mandrake the Magician and Flash Gordon and which were excluded from this list as they were essentially authored by writers in the UK and US and then reprinted in India in Hindi and other languages. They were not Indian Comic Characters.
Hope you enjoyed reading this list. We would love to hear your thoughts on this list.
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