By 1983, Tinkle was already on its way to becoming India's most popular children's magazine. One of its competitors was Target published by Living Media. Target was a narrative magazine but it also carried a few pages of comics, the most popular being Moochwala by Ajit Ninan. The eponymous Moochwala by Ajit Ninan. The eponymous Moochwala was a bungling detective with penetrating eyes and a huge moustache.
One day my colleague, Subba Rao burst into the editorial room in great excitement, announcing that he had found an answer to Moochwala. He had been watching the then popular TV serial, I Love Lucy and had found it hilarious, mainly because of the misadventures of one of the protagonists, a boastful but cowardly big game hunter.
Subba Rao suggested we create a character along the same lines. I produced the first story three days later. I don't remember who gave Shikari Shambu his name. I think I named him Shambu to start with, and then Subba Rao suggested the prefix Shikari.
About the Author
Anant Pai, the editor and Kamala Chandrakant, the fourth member of our editorial team did have some reservations about calling him a shikari as the need for wildlife conservation was just beginning to impinge on public consciousness at that time. However, as the name sounded so good, and as we had decided that Shambu would never actually shoot any animal (we even stopped showing him with a gun after a few episodes), Mr Pai finally put his seal of approval on the name.
Shikari Shambu might never have reached the heights of popularity it did if not for the droll illustrations of the artist, Vasant Halbe. Halbe had been freelancing with us for a few months, and all of us liked his work. He was the unanimous choice when we had to decide on an artist for the series.
When he showed us the character sketches, one of them stood out - a drawing of a shikari with his sola topi pulled down over his eyes. So was born the great adventurer, Shikari Shambu, a man whose eyes no one has ever seen! The first episode appeared in Tinkle 37 in June 1983.
Table of Contents
|Title:||The Adventures of Shikari Shambu||Publisher:||Amar Chitra katha|
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