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Comic book Tinkle on TV

On its 30th anniversary, children’s comic book Tinkle will bring popular characters like Suppandi and Shikari Shambu in a TV show on a kids’ channel.

tv Updated: Nov 14, 2010 15:27 IST
Rachana Dubey

Today, on its 30th anniversary, Tinkle Comics is on its way to becoming a TV show featuring the hunter Shikari Shambu and Suppandi, the village simpleton. Talks are on with various actors to play the parts, and kids’ channels such as Pogo and Cartoon Network have been approached. The show will go on air sometime next year, hopefully closer to a school vacation.

When asked, Luis Fernandes, the editor of Tinkle, says, “Finding the right actors to play them on screen is a bit of a task. But I’m sure we’ll be ready with the show very soon.”

Why only Shikari Shambu and Suppandi as TV characters? “Suppandi is our most popular cartoon character. Shikari Shambu too has been popular for his sensibilities. We may just add others at a later stage,” Fernandes says.

TinkleOn November 14, 1980, Tinkle made its debut and was launched by 12-year-old school girl Elaine D’Lima. There was no issue of the children’s comic book that December but it started having monthly editions from January 1981 and turned a fortnightly from 1982. In 1990, the magazine also flagged off special holiday editions.

Tinkle started out with only one character, Kalia, the Crow. Shikari Shambu, Tantri the Mantri and Suppandi arrived in quick succession, followed by Ina, Mina, Mynah, Mo, Zim Zim and Gotala, the Dumbbells, the Defective Detectives, Sea Diaries and Butterfingers.

The Tinkle Digest was launched in 1996. By then, other comics such as Phantom and magazines such as Target had shut shop. In 2001, Tinkle became a monthly and to this day, sells approximately 2.5 lakh copies a month. Today, Tinkle is also available online and on mobile.

According to Fernandes, the popularity of his kids’ magazine never dwindled despite various changes in the target reader group because, “We encouraged our readers to write stories. We mixed entertainment with Indian folklore. The magazine now covers science, history, culture and nature through its knowledge sections.”

Which edition has been the editor’s favourite? “Tinkle No 551,” says Fernandes. “It had been 20 years since Pradeep Sathe, (the co-creator of Kalia, the Crow) and I had worked together.”