While we may look down upon lists as an odd way to acknowledge greatness, we all have our favorites in everything – this is why we talk about being someone’s number 1 fan (refer: Kapil’s Shows where everyone wants to be crowned as Kapil’s or his guest’s greatest fans.) What we are actually saying to that person is, “You top the list of my favorite stars/writers/artists/cartoonists.” We can’t, honestly, say whether a bigger fan than ourselves, exists or not – right?
So, these five cartoonists are my favorites in the given order – and Mario Miranda does top my list of favorites.
I know that there are a few that I fail to mention in this list, including Sudhir Dar and Shankar, but this is a personal favorites selection so please excuse me if you don’t find your favorite cartoonist here.
I also think that if I write about all the five in a single post, the post will become unwieldy – so please click on either the links above, or the Read more link against the introductory paragraphs to read about the five great cartoonists of India.
Mario Miranda (2/5/1926 – 11/12/2011)
I remember Mario’s works from The Illustrated Weekly of India, a magazine that I am afraid no longer exists. Until the 1750s Mario’s ancestors were Hindu Brahmins, but then they converted to Christianity, and Mario was brought up as a Catholic Christian. As a child…
Anyone who has grown up around TOI, cannot forget R. K. Laxman, the man behind the common man.
Laxman drew from a very early age – and like most self-made artists, he began by drawing what he saw around him. When he grew up, he applied to various art colleges, but his application was rejected, for he didn’t have the mettle needed for learning fine art (fair enough – for becoming a fine artist, you need to lack the skills to draw.)
Let me break this thought to bring you a slice of KBC:
Question (open-ended): What is common between the renowned cartoonist R. K. Laxman and Adolf Hitler?
Correct Answer: …
Ninan works with the TOI. When I open the TOI in the morning, one of the things that I actively seek out, are his cartoons. His line-work and his understanding of perspectives is excellent. Ninan hails from Hyderabad but works in Delhi. I’ve been following his work from the time when he worked for India Today, and I often marvel at his productivity.
Tailang, a Padma Shri awardee (he got it in 2004,) is what I would call a visual thinker. Tailang currently works with Asian Age, but similar to Mario Miranda, he started his career with The Illustrated Weekly of India.
Tailang worked mainly with The Hindustan Times (I am a Time of India reader but for a short time…
Abu Abraham (11/6/1924 – 1/12/2002)
I’ll be truthful and tell you that for a long time, I hadn’t heard of him, but then if an Indian cartoonist stays abroad half his professional life and his Indian stint expires before you are old enough to appreciate cartoons, then unless you seek him out, you don’t get to see his work.
When I sought out Abu Abraham’s work, I was immediately drawn to it for its candor and courage. His lines are super-simple, almost childlike; but his lines are…