Children, comics drift apart now

Children, the biggest lovers of comics, are absent from the second ''Comic Con India'' event, opened with fanfare at the Capital's Dilli Haat. The second day of the event showcased a huge range of heroes, both new and old, from Chacha Chaudhary to Munkeeman. 

Comic characters Suppandi and Shikari Shambu greet  visitors at Comicon India in Dilli Haat on Saturday. DH photo

Acclaimed film maker and creator of Munkeeman, Abhishek Sharma agreed that children are now drawn to interactive media such as internet. "This generation of kids is more tuned in to watch television or surf internet, than read comics," he said.

However, he did not find this trend very strange. “I would say it is just organic growth. With increased avenues of entertainment, the kids prefer those which are more eye-catching.

Most of the comic lovers are from our generation, who have grown on a staple diet of Pran and Anant Pai's creations," he added.

From eight-page booklets to big graphic novels, the Comic Con presented a wide range of comics. The annual event celebrates the use of cartoons and comics in the ancient Indian tradition of story-telling.

The comics with darker themes and subjects seem to be catering more to young adults than kids. From epic tales, being told from the antagonist's perspective, such as Ravanayana, to a graphic novel by Ari Jayaprakash based in Sonagachi, the world famous red light district of Kolkata, the new comics seem to be breaking new grounds in storytelling.

Jayaprakash said this trend meant that comics were gathering acceptance even with mature audience.

"The central character of my story is an Aghori woman. It is based in an alternate Kolkata, which has become a dark place. Set in Sonagachi, the story has a lot of mature themes," he added.

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