July 4, 2022

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Remembering Narayan Debnath, the illustrator who gave Bengal its first superhero ‘Bantul’

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For those who had been raised in a Bengali family, you possibly can be conversant in the paintings of Narayan Debnath, a famous comics artist, creator and illustrator, who dropped at existence cult caricature characters like Bantul the Nice, Handa Bhonda, and Nonte Phonte. The artist gave up the ghost these days, January 18, after a chronic sickness on the age of 96, leaving at the back of a legacy that many artists aspire to have.

Debnath, a Padma Shri awardee, even held the file of operating the longest comics collection via a person artiste for Handa Bhonda, which has now finished 53 years. He used to be the primary and the one comics artist from the rustic to have won the D. Litt. level — ‘Litterarum Physician’ or ‘Physician Litterarum’, a point in humanities that is regarded as to be the next doctorate after the Physician of Philosophy (Ph.D.) level.

The artist has additionally been credited for growing ‘Rabi Chobi‘ printed to have a good time the delivery centenary of Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore within the Would possibly 1961 factor of {a magazine} known as Anandamela. His works had been a continuing in Suktara, every other Bengali per month mag.

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Debnath’s works are evocative of youth nostalgia. He used to be born in Shibpur, Howrah, India, the place he spent maximum of his existence. The artist had as soon as confessed in an interview printed in ‘Narayan Debnath Comics Samagra‘ that visible arts him from an excessively early age. Whilst his circle of relatives used to be within the industry of gold retailing — and there used to be scope for him to design jewelry — he studied advantageous arts on the Indian Artwork School for 5 years.

There are 4 volumes of Narayan Debnath Comics Samagra, wherein the artist recounted many sides of his existence, together with the truth that on his wedding ceremony day, Mahatma Gandhi used to be assassinated, and that used to be stunning for him and his visitors.

Curiously, the artist had began as a freelancer in promoting companies, making film slides and emblems. Between 1950 and 1961, Debnath would illustrate in a variety of youngsters’s books together with journey novels and translated Western classics. However, his adventure in comics formally started in 1962 with Handa Bhonda in Suktara.

Those that have learn ‘Bantul‘ will know of his burly body and energy, his useful nature that made him nearly invincible. The artist gave the nature those qualities all through the Bangladesh Battle of Liberation, when he used to be beseeched via editors and publishers to awaken such sentiments in other folks. In essence, Bantul used to be India’s ‘Captain The usa’, a superhero, who may stroll right into a combat and tackle tanks, missiles, bullets, and many others.

It’s stated that ‘Bantul The Nice‘ used to be his first comedian in color. He created the superhero in his thoughts whilst getting back from Kolkata’s School Side road. The identify additionally got here to him straight away.

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His different works come with ‘Rajar Raja/Chobite Vivekananda‘ that recreated the lifetime of Swami Vivekananda, ‘Chitre Durgeshnandini‘, in accordance with Bankimchandra Chattopadhyay’s novel ‘Durgeshnandini‘, and ‘Shootki ar Mootki‘.

The illustrator have been underneath remedy at a personal medical institution in Kolkata for the closing 25 days. Docs stated his situation began deteriorating within the morning and he breathed his closing round 10 am.

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