Tintin comes to Kolkata as Timpa

Kolkata: A new spin-off of popular Tintin comics takes the adventurous childhood explorer and his goofy grandfather to Kolkata.

Created by Jhangir Kerawala, "The Adventures of Timpa" is a comic strip inspired by the legendary cub-reporter Tintin.

The 14-year-old Timpa, whose character is modeled on the lines of the young Belgian reporter Tintin, is a school student whose father works as an inspector in the Kolkata Police.

"This is how he gets to know about the various criminal activities going on in the city. It is his inquisitive and adventurous nature that takes him around the city to solve those cases," Kerawala told PTI.

The first in the series "Operation Rescue" was launched last year by Pop Culture Publishing while "Red-hooded Gang" and "Legacy of the Gods" will be released at the second annual Indian Comics Convention in Delhi later this month.

The story of the "Red-hooded Gang" is inspired by the real-life tales of the series of bank robberies that rocked Kolkata in 1983-84.

"The cops were at a loss as to how to solve that puzzle when a series of banks were being robbed in Kolkata apparently by the same gang. Covering their faces with a red cloth, they robbed many a banks in the city," Kerawala recalls.

"Legacy of the Gods", on the other hand, is based on Eric Von Danikan`s theory of intelligent aliens residing on our planet long ago.

"Danikan was kind enough to write me a letter acknowledging the base story of the comic in 1987," he says with pride.

When asked on the differences between the two characters Timpa and Tintin the artist said his creation is more local in nature.

"Tintin was global. He used to travel all around the world, but Timpa is younger in age and remains in Kolkata," he points out.

Here also, the comic relief comes from Timpa`s grandfather. "The stories are not at all violent as they meant for younger audiences. There is a moral to every story coupled with humour and adventure," says the author who left a job as an accountant to switch to creative writing.

Now living in Pune, he had created Timpa two decades ago. "I made it for Indrajal Comics in the late eighties and early nineties. But after the publishers shut shop, Timpa too had an untimely death," he laments.

Only the first part of the series was published at that time.

"Thanks to the revival of interest in comics these days, I am re-launching the old ones and also making new additions," he says. Two months later, the publishers plan to come up with "Runners of the Golden Horn" and "A Country at Ransom" both of which were created two decades ago, but remain unpublished.