Indian spooks: What Hindi Comic Books Readers Are Afraid of

  • Marcin Ciemniewski Jagiellonian University, Kraków
Keywords: comic book, graphic novel, horror, India, Hindi, Raj Comics


The comic book industry in India began in 1950. Back then leading American comic books like The Phantom, Flash Gordon and Rip Kirby started to be published in India and translated into local languages. Indian youngsters in no time became interested in the new medium, especially in superhero comics known from the American popular culture. The success of these translations encouraged local publishers and cartoonists to create Indian themed comic books, set in India with Indian heroes (and superheroes) − even though Indian comics were still strongly influenced by American ones, mainly in terms of esthetics. However, around 1950, American comics publishing companies also tried to attract adult readers by presenting more adult content in a form of horror and thriller stories. Publishers in India quickly adapted this trend launching a very popular comic book series in Hindi of thrill, horror and suspense. In this way horror – till then almost completely absent from Indian literature and popular culture – was introduced to the local audience. The question remains, how different are those local spooks from the American ones and finally: what are Indians afraid of?

Author Biography

Marcin Ciemniewski, Jagiellonian University, Kraków

Ph.D. candidate at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków, Poland, Hindi and Urdu language instructor at the Institute of the Middle and Far East, Jagiellonian University, Poland. He specializes in South Asian popular culture, contemporary literature of India and Pakistan and Indian theatrical traditions.


Comic books:

O’Barr J., The Crow, Detroit 2011.

amībā, rāj kāmiks, saṁkhyā 563, dillī.

bhūt mahal, manoj kāmiks, dillī.

ḍrākyulā bālak, manoj kāmiks, dillī.

hatyārī ṭren, rāj kāmiks, saṁkhyā 64, dillī.

kadam-sṭuḍiyo, ḍrākyulā dillī meṁ, manoj kāmiks, saṁkhyā 722, dillī.

nājrā khan, dilīp kadam, umākānt kānḍe, ḍrākyulā āyā maut lāyā, manoj kāmiks, saṁkhyā 16, dillī.

nājrā khan, dilīp kadam, umākānt kānḍe, ḍrākyulā kā pretjāl, manoj kāmiks, saṁkhyā 10, dillī.

nājrā khān, taufik bhāī, kadam-sṭuḍiyo, phir āyā ḍrākyulā, manoj kāmiks, saṁkhyā 6, dillī.

taruṇ kumār vāhī, kāṁv kāṁv, rāj kāmiks, saṁkhyā 651, dillī.

vinod kumār, pradīp sonī, bavāl, rāj kāmiks, saṁkhyā 542, dillī.

vinay mohan, miḍve, narbhakṣī camgādaṛ, forṭ kāmiks, saṁkhyā 16, dillī.

pret ankal, rāj kāmiks dillī.

rājā, surendr suman, cīkhtā kabristān, rāj kāmiks, saṁkhyā 337, dillī.

maheś datt śarmā, mahāpiśācinī, forṭ kāmiks, saṁkhyā 13, dillī.

taruṇ kumār vāhī, sañjay aṣṭputre, khūn sane hāth, rāj kāmiks, saṁkhyā 473, dillī.

taruṇ kumār vāhī, vivek mohan, bhūt se baṛā murdā, rāj kāmiks saṁkhyā 454, dillī.

taruṇ kumār vāhī, vivek mohan, nareś kumār, śav vāhan, rāj kāmiks, saṁkhyā 664, dillī.

taruṇ kumār vāhī, pratāp mulik, candū, zindā mar jā, rāj kāmiks, saṁkhyā 432, dillī.

mīnu vāhī, rāhul va gopāl, bhayānak, rāj kāmiks, saṁkhyā 404, dillī.

mīnū vāhī, taruṇ kumār vāhī, tahalkā, rāj kāmiks, saṁkhyā 14, dillī.

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How to Cite
Ciemniewski, Marcin. 2019. “Indian Spooks: What Hindi Comic Books Readers Are Afraid of”. Politeja 16 (2(59), 161-76.