The creator of popular cartoon characters

Exhibition

The creator of popular cartoon characters

Popular cartoonist Pran’s latest exhibition of comics is on at the Indian Cartoon Gallery till February 22.

The exhibition takes a dig at almost everything happening around you, be it  politics, technology or fashion. Pran has very creatively and intelligently put together pieces of comic strips that convey a definite message. 

Pran has till date published more than 500 titles and a number of newspapers regularly carry his features. His comics ‘Chacha Chaudhary’ has been adapted for a television serial which telecast up to 600 episodes. His comics always come with a social message. Talking more about why he decided to invent home-bred cartoon characters, Pran explains, “I realised that most cartoon characters such as ‘Superman’, ‘Batman’, ‘Phantom’ are imported from Western countries.

I thought we must develop characters of our own that our children can relate to, rather than import something. That’s how my characters — Chacha Chaudhary, Sabu, Shrimatiji, Pinki, Billoo, Raman and Channi Chachi came into being.” Pran further states, “My characters are those that the ordinary people can relate to. Pinki, for instance, is a young girl who plays on the streets. Every child can connect with Pinki. Shrimatiji is a middle-class housewife who runs her house on a limited budget. I am sure a lot of women share the same sentiment as Shrimatiji.”  
 
Pran’s comic strips delve into current issues such as corruption and issues in middle-class homes. “I make sure that I lace every serious message with a little humour. People accept and take things only when it is packaged in an interesting form,” he adds. 
 
The exhibition is attracting people from all walks of life. Narendra VG, managing trustee of Indian Institute of Cartoonists, feels Pran’s  comic strips are unmatched in terms of quality and content. “Every piece of work has a definite message. I’ve always enjoyed interacting with Pran and understanding him more through his work,” says Narendra. Susheela, a housewife who brought along her two-year-old daughter, for the exhibition says, “At a time, when children are bombarded with everything Western, anything Indian comes as a big relief.

These comic strips are thoroughly entertaining.” Harsha, a student of engineering, who reads a lot of comics in his spare time, observes, “Although fictitious, people are able to relate to his cartoon characters almost immediately. His comics are serious yet entertaining.”

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