Friday, September 10, 2010

Comic realism

Classical Indian comics basically train young minds to suck up to the stereotypes of the status quo

Bahadur: I think we'll rest here and have our supper.
Sukhia: Not our last supper I presume!Operation Cancer, 1985.

The Bahadur series featuring the tall and lanky Indian kick-ass hero, clad in blue jeans and a saffron kurta, took off in the late 1970s under the auspices of Indrajal Comics, devoted to a medley of superheroes. Bahadur (The Brave) was the baby of Aabid Surty, a maverick Hindi writer and painter. Surty conceived Bahadur in 1976, published by Bennet and Coleman, the Times of India group.

Its popularity soon surpassed that of the western superhero gallery of Phantom, Mandrake and Tarzan. Surty's signature disappeared from the credit pages after a couple of years, to be replaced by Jagjit Uppal's name. Indeed, Surty has publicly claimed that he was cheated and pushed out, and in the absence of a written agreement, he could not sue the company.

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