Bengal’s rare exhibits highlight history, evolution of the comic genre at this must see display

Asha Bajaj
3 min readFeb 10, 2024
Comics

#BengaliComics, #ComicsinBengal, #KolkataCentreforCreativity, #ComicsCultureCollective, #Kolkata, #Exhibition

Kolkata/IBNS-CMEDIA: If you are in Kolkata through February and early March, take a dive into the world of Bengali comics thanks to a collaboration between Kolkata Centre for Creativity and Comics Culture Collective.

Titled ‘Comics in Bengal’ it is a captivating exhibition which focuses on comics in Bengal, right from its inception in the 1920s to the present day.

Exhibits include prints of a variety of comics, including some rare ones, published in newspaper strips, magazines, books, and some original artworks.

According to the organisers, the idea is to offer a comprehensive idea about the dissemination of the genre and the manner in which it made its way to the popular imagination of the readers, especially 1960s onwards.

According to Richa Agarwal, Chairperson, Kolkata Centre for Creativity, “The exhibition aims to uncover the vibrant legacy of storytelling, adventure, and creativity that has shaped the comic culture in Bengal.”

At the ‘Comics in Bengal’ exhibition, you will have a chance to study the masterpieces created by comic book illustrators suchNarayan Debnath, Kafi Khan (Prafulla Chandra Lahiri / P.C.L. / Piciel), Mayukh Chowdhury, Sailya Chakraborty, Sufi, Pratul Bandhopadhyay, and Tushar Chatterjee who honed their skills through regular publications in Bengali periodicals such as Mouchak, Nabakallol, Suktara, Sandesh, and Kishore Bharati, among others.

The highlight of the inaugural day was an illustrated talk by Professor Abhijit Gupta (Department of English, Jadavpur University) where he introduced the audience to the evolution of Bengali comics, and how the concept made inroads into the world of Bengali advertisements too.

Moderated by Abhijit Sukul, a comics enthusiast, the panel discussion on ‘Banglar Comics: Sekal o Ekal’ [Bengal’s Comics: Then and Now] consisted of a hearty conversation between artist Subrata Gangopadhyay and artist-illustrator Debasish Deb, with the latter focusing on the intense artistic involvement required for creation of comics.

The ‘Comics in Bengal’ exhibition will be held till March 9, 2024 along with panel discussions, talks, and workshops on select days.

For details, see here

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Asha Bajaj

I write on national and international Health, Politics, Business, Education, Environment, Biodiversity, Science, First Nations, Humanitarian, gender, women