While growing up every child in India has probably had a hearty dose of Amar Chitra Katha comics, the first brush most kids have with the world of Indian mythology and epics. Anant Pai, the creator of those comics and of children’s magazine Tinkle, known to many as “Uncle Pai,” passed away on Thursday at the age of 81 after a brief illness, according to a statement from ACK Media.
Indians of all ages expressed sorrow at his passing. The fans of the comics include Jammu and Kashmir’s Chief Minister Omar Abdullah who wrote on Twitter, “Sad to hear about Uncle Pai. Grew up on a steady diet of Amar Chitra Katha comics from Kashmir Bookshop and my yearly subscription of Tinkle.”
The organizer of a comic books convention held in New Delhi over the weekend, which awarded Mr. Pai a Lifetime Achievement Award on Sunday, said today’s comic books creators owed a huge debt to the Amar Chitra Katha founder. “If it wasn’t for the Amar Chitra Katha, the comic convention wouldn’t have happened. The whole culture of comics was created by him.” said Jatin Varma of Twenty Onwards Media, which organized Comic Con India. “The news of his demise is a huge shock and it is yet to sink in that he isn’t with us anymore.”