#FeatureFriday: The heroines of the Indian comic world - AnimationXpress

March 8-2019
#FeatureFriday: The heroines of the Indian comic world

Today, as the world celebrates women and everything that they stand for, there is also the realisation that just one day will never be enough to honour everything that womanhood encompasses.  A woman has tonnes of roles to play:  a mother, a wife, a daughter, a sister, a friend, a partner; but it is so important to understand that above all the roles, she is her own person first. Thus, saluting their spirit, here’s remembering some iconic Indian female comic characters.

Though comics has always been a male dominated entertainment section, this is not the scenario anymore. The number of female comic characters is only growing with coming days. Comic artist Abhijeet Kini says, “I always keep this line in mind when it comes to female characters, ‘Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned’. An angry or upset woman is powerful enough to rattle everything around her.”

Created by cartoonist Pran, Shrimatiji who appeared in Diamond Comics in 1960 is based on a housewife named Sheila. She is a modern Indian woman who stands as a pillar for her family, putting behind the daily struggles every Indian lady has to face in the society

Diamond Group of Publications director Manish Verma said, “Diamond Group has a lot of female characters under its own banner who stand out. They have a relevant part in the story and have been favourite among our readers.”

Bini Chachi, wife of Chacha Chaudhary, was created in the year 1971. Dominating and expectantly high on intelligence, she is definitely the better half of Chacha ji who matches his witty nature. She is a kind hearted lady with all the attributes of a strict but caring and supportive wife.

Angry Maushi is a character who can take on a hundred men in a fist fight. She is the female protagonist of Abhijeet Kini Studio’s comic titled under her name

The famous Tinkle Comics characters Ina, Mina, Mynah and Mo are siblings, they each have their own quirks. The series initially focused on how much trouble the girls gave their miserly father but is now exploring the individuality of each of the siblings as well as the coming-of-age of their mother, Bina, who has become a chef in her own right.

WingStar is the alter ego of 13-year-old Mapui Kawlim. She is an ordinary girl who discovered she was an extraordinary crime fighter when she put on the gadgets made by her inventor father. Together with her mother Khyati Kawlim’s martial arts training and her own wits, she is unstoppable. She now revels in her strengths and even her weaknesses, using them to effect with a dollop of arrogance and a whole load of snarkiness

Nadia is 10 years old, hyper active, energetic and always up for an adventure. No secret is too big for her to uncover and no escapade too daring, especially when her curiosity is aroused. A gender role reversal here is that Nadia loves and enjoys playing sports while her friend, Aadi, prefers drama, since melodrama comes so naturally to him!

“We have worked on gender roles by assigning male characters with roles seen mainly as female—such as cooking, doing household chores, crying or even playing with dolls. Female characters on the other hand have been shown as cops, powerful villains and even mechanics,” comments Tinkle Comics editor-in-chief Rajani Thindiath.

Siblings Bir and Bala are the last of the YogYodhas, the warriors of the spirit who can evoke spirit creatures called Praanis from their birthmarks by taking yogic poses, and Bala is amongst them. Trained in Kalaripayattu, the ancient art form from Kerala, Bala along with her sibling Bir will fight to protect the world from all evil forces. The series also sees a reversal of traditional gender roles

Sam (Samhita Pillai) has the bad fortune of having one of the Defective Detectives—Ravi—as her older brother. She initially wanted to join Ravi and his friend Rahul on their cases. However, it didn’t take her long to figure out they were the ineptest of detectives. Usually it is Sam who actually manages to solve cases with her quick thinking and fearlessness

The famous Tinkle Comics characters Ina, Mina, Mynah and Mo are siblings, they each have their own quirks. The series initially focused on how much trouble the girls gave their miserly father but is now exploring the individuality of each of the siblings as well as the coming-of-age of their mother, Bina, who has become a chef in her own right

“Our idea is not to compare female characters to male characters or compete with them. The effort is to show all characters—female or male—as individuals with their own quirks without being shaped by pressures of hackneyed expectations of gender behaviour or expression,” expressed Thindiath.

Fenil Comics character Julie, a TV press reporter of Haqeekat news channel, was a college friend of Suryakant who is an alter ego of Faulaad. In Faulaad series she helps him to destroy the cobra empire

Chhabili is a village girl of Devipur village from series, Bajarangi. She is from Jindaari tribe, which was once ancient fighters against British rule in India. Chhabili helps the protagonist to make the village a better place

Fenil Comics founder Fenil Sherdiwala feels, “Females are always unique from male characters. Sometimes they are much better than male characters. In Fenil Comics universe too female characters are playing an important role.”

Uttara from TBS Planet Comics After the comic Uttara came out, the comics got lot of fan response to bring her in an individual series. Uttara, thus will be reprising her role in a solo comic tentatively titled The Water Princess sometimes towards early next year, expressed Rajiv Tamhankar

TBS Planet Comics founder Rajeev Tamhankar said, “Women are the start of everything. Without a mother, nothing can start. Our organization too is indebted for some incredible women without whom none of our stuff could have come to life. The favourite characters from TBS Comics are written and illustrated by female writers and artists, our website is managed on logistics front by a lady. These amazing women are the real reasons why TBS Planet Comics is able to bring out high quality content and we are always indebted to them.”

Raat from TBS Planet Comics

“Diamond Group have always applauded the facets of feminism through the work. We take pride in featuring female role models who are opiniative, brave, determined and decisive. We aim to break more stereotypes through our creativity and story telling to build a strong presence for female protagonists not only in the society but in our creative world as well,” concluded Verma.

Happy Women’s Day ladies! Keep celebrating everyday!