October 18, 2006

A Comic Encounter

Most journeys, for me, have been synonymous with reading. On the most recent one I bought Chandamama for old time's sake- for Vikarm and Vetaal, the photo caption contest, the historical anecdotes...

Very disappointed - so many typos, poor quality and grammatical errors. I wish I had abstained from converting a colourful memory into a gaudy reality.

My Amar Chitra Katha collection got me a lot of friends. I was granted one a fortnight and more during vacation. I was enchanted by Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Abhimanyu and Bose and so many more. My perspective on mythology, history and folklore was largely defined by ACK. I guess it was an adequate counter balance against the non-relatable but enjoyable & aspirational Malory Towers and the English countryside of Five Find outers and Famous Five.

The Jungle Book and Goldspot crown collection will remain one of the best marketing ploys ever. And how I loved it. I had asked all the neighbour shop uncles in Guntur to give me the crowns! ( Did any of flatten the crowns and string a twine through - somewhat like a horizontal yo-yo to be held in 2 hands? )

I remember my excitement & eagerness when I began subscribing to Target, a brilliant magazine, which did not talk down to children. Had to rely on the Indian post and what fun the day it arrived. All "homework" would get done faster than the time taken to spell the word. I would curl up with the mag and my favorite snack, fried channa daal or moong daal. I do not recall which I devoured faster and with greater relish. Mocchwwala and Grandma's Gupshup, Faster fenay and Funny world or the channa.

The next day at school, I would check if any of my friends had received their copy and if not act pricey.


Children's world,( India Book House?) was not as good but close.

Subscriptions to Indrajaal followed. Phantom and Mandrake were my favourite - did not like Bahadur and Flash Gordon was it ? And in Mandrake though Lothar was more interesting and did not get his due.

On to Tinkle- I hated to admit I read it. I must have been a snob. I enjoyed it only in parts- Nasserudin Hodja & Kalia. Cannot recollect the crocodile's name . Found Suppandi & Shikari Shambu rather slapstick and dumb. Could not fathom why Suppandi was such an icon. When I met Uncle Pai- my neighbour aunty , Mrs Shastri was a friend and colleague of his at ACK- I told him I loved Tinkle!! Thank God, Kalia did not bite me.

In my early teens, Asterix made an entry and decided to stay.

Archies was, I thought, a comic series for spoilt girls for a long time- blame it on Victorian school morals.

Champak and Chacha Chowdry were tacky and boring but I was initiated into them by Appa for a while in the hope that my Hindi would improve.

Now I have moved on to MAD and Dilbert. Not to forget Calvin & Hobbes. And Hagar the Horrible.

Hope the Gen next relates to at least some of the comics I mentioned above.

17 comments:

Appu said...

and young world by the hindu. that was a must read too. moved on to tintin and asterix, and generally to bigger novels. even now spend a few minutes at the tintin rack and relive the past

itchingtowrite said...

nice post- nostalgic & journey down memory lane. i would hav read almost all of the mytho series of ACK. were u familiar with Nandan- had many stories in them
agree today's quality in terms of matter & paper qlty has come down drastically. doesn't seem to be value for money at all nowadays.
My parents used to insist an equal split of Hindi & english comics...am waiting for mine to grow up & introduce them to comics

artnavy said...

Appu- no young world in my part of the country then- mumbai. but yes it is a great publication

itchy- all the best with ojas- tejas

Tanushree said...

i doubt what our next generations going to read...

Amimu said...

great recollection; Cannot recollect the crocodile's name : Was it Doob-doob ? I think so; anyway I had big collection of tinkle and AMK, maybe close to 300 or so, I binded them meticulously in bunches of 10; and my daily project of cutting cricket photos/scorecards and making a photo album. at one point i could rattle cricket statistics numbers in sleep. since i grew up in kerala in early childhood, i had malayalam magazines poompaatta and balarama. hiding comic books inside text books - that was great fun!

mommyof2 said...

I was huge fan of comics and I think I still am:-) I2W, NANDAN was my favorite till I came here:-)I used to wait so eagerly for 21st cuz that was the day it used to come but if it was late 2-3 days I used to get so sad. And my grandma & I used to had competition reading it first;-P I remember I couldn’t wait to come home those days and reading while eating:-) I wanted to have kadi & rice the day Nandan used to arrive..;-D twice the fun:-)))

rads said...

oh wow, that brought back some pleasant memories. Loved reading every one of the ones you mentioned...

btw, did my tag :)

rads said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Really good reading about the old time books....i guess now you do not get some of them...or if u do it will be modernized....

Nice post...

R.E.B.E.L said...

oh man.. i rber everyone of those.. All my time was spent readin those books only..
u missed out on champak and gokulam tho!!!

And tell me about dilbert n calvin now.. Cant live w/o them.. my life totally identifies wit em!!!

Keshi said...

what a lovely collection of great comics.

Next gen wont be reading books for sure which is really sad.

Keshi.

artnavy said...

Amimu- yes it was doob doob

REBEL- I mentioned Champak didntI?

Pity that these are hardly available...Gokulam I am unfamiliar with- tell me more

Chandamam was the one which came in mutiple languages and so did Tinkle& ACK ?

Aditi said...

ohh this was a trip down memory lane for me too.. almost broke my heart on reading that chandamama's quality had deteriorated so badly. I was quite fond of it, not to mention target,tinkle champak
all of that..

theanalogkid said...

i think the deteriorating quality is because you are grown up. i have some ambulimama ( chandamama's in tamil ) and champak and tinkle that i liked when i was young. they are a lot boring and have a lot of typos. i think its all related to "growing up". its sooo much better to be young and innocent. i wish i can unlearn.

Varsha said...

Oh you make me nostalgic...sniff...I miss the carefree childhood days

Twisted DNA said...

"Now I have moved on to MAD"
Mad? Really? You read Mad? Cool! You are my new best friend :)

Rio said...

Aha! I love comics, and easily regress into childhood at the mention of them :-) Loved most of the books you mentioned, especially Target, Amar Chitra Katha, Jungle Book, Archies, Tinkle, Asterix and of coz the current faves, all the ones you mentioned! :)