Comic relief

Comic relief

RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE

Representative image. Credit: iStock Photo

I vividly recall the day my artist grandfather held my hand and led me into the enchanting world of comics four decades ago. It was at the Sunday bazaar in the old Majestic area in Bengaluru where used comic books were on sale. A cartoonist himself, he would diligently select some for me – Blondie, Sad Sack, Richie Rich, Phantom, Casper the Friendly Ghost, to name a few. A gamut of emotions packed in a small panel of a comic strip would hold my attention for hours together. Dagwood eating loaded sandwiches in the wee hours of the morning with Daisy looking at him with those round innocent eyes was my favourite. I would be mesmerised by the wealth of Richie Rich and would dream of falling asleep wherever I wanted just like Sad Sack. The antics of Dennis the menace and the plight of Mr. Wilson was a treat for the eyes. Reading a comic had the potential to take you into their world, the illustrations made it easier.

Before I reached my teens, my grandfather had left this world, bequeathing me with his passion for cartoons. Growing up with Tom and Jerry I happened to meet Archie and his gang in my teens. Oh! the fantastic journey into the world of Betty, Veronica, Jughead and the others was filled with colours of romance and laughter. I also secretly wished that my college principal would be like Mr. Weatherbee, the principal of Riverdale High. I vaguely remember I had a withered old comic called Hi-school romance which boasted of vintage romantic tales.

Needless to say, Indian comics such as Indrajal comics who launched Bahadur fighting the dacoits, Chacha Chaudhary to name a few also had a place in my collection. Then came Uncle Pai who created Shikari Shambu, Suppandi and many others with a beautiful title ‘Tinkle’, which caused tinkles in my heart every time I picked up a copy even though I was ab adult.

Every morning, my day starts with the cartoon strips in the newspaper which brings a smile on my face be it Snoopy the dog or Hagar the Horrible. Last but not the least this piece would be incomplete without the mention of the polka-dotted frock girl--the Amul girl. A news item packed in a dollop of butter makes my day. I sign off quoting Snoopy’s family quote, ”The best part of life’s journey is who you get to share it with”. For me, I have shared it with all those comic characters all my life!