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Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Homage to the man who both entertained children through comics; creating cartoon characters before the digital/internet era!!!

Pran Kumar Sharma (August 15, 1938 - August 6, 2014), better known as Pran, was an Indian cartoonist best known as the creator of Chacha Chaudhary (1971). He also created other characters like Shrimatiji, Pinki, Billoo, Raman, and Channie Chachi. Born in KasurBritish India, graduated with a BA from Gwalior and Master of Arts (Political Science) degree from evening Camp College, Delhi. 

He then pursued a five-year course in Fine Arts from Sir J. J. School of ArtMumbai through distance as a private student while in Delhi, so that he could apply as a drawing teacher at schools, but he discontinued. Pran began his career in 1960 as a cartoonist for the Delhi-based newspaper Milap with comic strip Daabu. Apart from Daabu, Indian comics scenario was largely based on reprints of The Phantom and Superman. In 1969, Pran sketched Chacha Chaudhary for the Hindi magazine Lotpot, which made him famous. 


Pran has also created other cartoon characters like ShrimatijiPinkiBillooRamanChanni Chachi and others, which are regularly published in Indian magazines. He was included in People of the year 1995 by Limca Book of Records for popularizing comics in India. In 1983, the then Prime Minister of India, Mrs. Indira Gandhi released Pran's comics "Raman - Ham Ek Hain" which promoted national integration. Pran received a Lifetime Achievement Award 2001, from Indian Institute of Cartoonists. 


Pran has also given lessons in cartooning at the Pran's Media Institute, run by his son Nikhil.Maurice Horn notes that Pran has been given the title of "Walt Disney of India" in The World Encyclopedia of Comics. The Chacha Chaudhary strips find permanent place in International Museum of Cartoon ArtUSAHe had been suffering from cancer from past few months, and was admitted to a Gurgaon hospital for last days, where he died on early August 6, 2014.