Hello Friends, today I am going to tell you about another revolutionary comic book writer that paved the way for many female writers! Her name is Manjula Padmanabhan.
A pioneer in English comics in India, Padmanabhan was the first woman to run a newspaper strip – in the Sunday Observer between 1982 and 1986.
The strip was called ‘Double Talk‘, and the protagonist ‘Suki’, was a frizzy-haired and loosely-clad woman who did whatever she liked and was criticized initially. At that time, a lot of comics were focused on superheroes and women were not given enough importance, Suki raised issues like Gender politics that did not go down well with the majority of the readership i.e males.
‘Double Talk’ had to shut down in 1986 for being too openly questioning of taboos, and Manjula was repelled from the idea of comedy, so much so that she did not even approach the genre in her playwright career for many years.
After the comic, Manjula wrote plays such as ‘Lights Out’ and ‘Harvest’, wrote books including ‘Island of Lost Girls’, ‘Escape’, ‘Unprincess’, and ‘Mouse Attack’. She went on to become an extremely known figure in the theatre industry. She won a Greek Onassis award for ‘Harvest’.
Even though ‘Double Talk’ didn’t go too well, Manjula Padmanabhan remains one of the earliest female comic strip artists in India, with a devoted cult following to this day. Tibu salutes her contribution.