Hola Everyone! 2014 sees the start of a new series on my blog. Twice a month, on every alternate Friday, we will have a post on ‘5ives & TENS’. A top 5 or 10 post on things that I love/like/dislike/hate or simply noticed. Could be anything from food I’ve eaten to cities I’ve travelled. Books I’ve cherished or services I’ve used. This is my personal countdown of life as I have lived. Care to share?

Comics were a strict no-no when we were kids. The reason given, it would ruin our English. We were encouraged to read newspapers. Well, in those days we had a special bunch called ‘editors’ who had a magic grammar wand. So, yes, newspapers. But then kids are programmed to do exactly what you tell them not to. Happy to state, we were no different. And so, for the premiere I bring to you the top 5 comics I read while growing up. And this happened because today I wore a Christmas gift given by mom. It triggered happy memories. And just like that I knew I would have a different #100HappyDays post for day 4 of why #BlogwatiGSmiles

The T shirt that started it all

1. Amar Chitra Katha

Along the days of Ramanand Sagar’s Ramayan, there was Amar Chitra Katha. Mythology has never been told better. Right from celestial nymphs to divine beings, little known fables to well know figures, they had it all. We had the fortune of living in a large colony. And so, we’d exchange books freely. Those were the good ol’ days of a circulating library as well. Amar Chitra Katha was a parent  approved comic that taught me much of what I know of Indian tales. I particularly adored the ones woven around royalty.

2. Tinkle

Tinkle was an off shoot of Amar Chitra Katha. Full of fun and moralistic values too, it was a delight to read. Tales of Supandi the silly servant, Shikari Shambu the not so brave hunter, Tantri the Mantri trying forever to usurp the throne and Kalia the clever crow were sections I’d look for. Funny, after all these years the names came to mind instantly. who can forget the famous Uncle Pai and his trademark notes to kids.  No wonder, thanks to all these wonderful memories, my cat is called TINKLE!

3. Phantom

Ah, the Ghost who walks with Hero, the horse and Devil, the wolf took me across many adventures. In midst of the jungle, he lived in a skull cave. Guran was his trusted aid and Diana Palmer was the love of his life. Whenever there was trouble, the drums would send out a message to him. And the Phantom would set out to restore peace and harmony. There was something about this masked man that kept us hooked on for hours.

4. Mandrake the magician

Mandrake the Magician by Lee Falk, created by the same author as that of the Phantom,  was another favourite. He had hypnotic powers and boy. that made him so invincible. Along with a shiny hat and a red cape, Mandrake had a pencil thin mustache. His steely eyes were what held you captive. Lothar was his trusted aid and Xanadu was his advanced den. I thought both of them were pretty funky names back then. His escapades were a roller coaster ride. A snap of his fingers and he could make buildings disappear. I did try this vanishing trick on my parents. Clearly, they saw through it all.

5. Archie’s

As we grew a tad bit older, Archies made way into our lives. Since these were imported and a tad bit on the expensive side, the library is where we found them. Archie, the nice guy, Veronica, the rich brat, and Betty, the girl next door had a love triangle. Funnily, Archie dated both of them. That’s when I learnt, a walk in the garden is a must prior to picking a rose or two :D. Reggie, the smart Alec, Jughead, the foodie and Moose, the big guy added the fun bits. I totally adored Ethel, but identify with Jughead the most! And who can forget Pop Tates, Mr. Weatherbee and Miss Grundy. Of course, there are many more memorable characters like Mr. Lodge, Midge, and Miss Beazley. These comics for us were the coming of age kinda books. They hung around, got into trouble, fought, hugged and kissed. We loved it all! I would hate to see Archie married to either Betty or Ronnie. I like it the way it is. Maybe it is time to pick another Archie’s Digest.

Other honorable mentions would be Asterix and Obelix along with Tintin. However, these being in a different font and graphic than the regular comics, were not so much on my reading list. Once in a while, I’d skim through.

So what comics did you read?



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