Take a break with some lively characters for company. Featured in some Indian comics, many of them have become household names. From Suppandi and Chacha Chaudhury to Feluda, these unforgettable characters provide us with timeless fun and laughter.

Make friends with your books this summer. These iconic fictional characters from Indian comics will keep you company for many summers to come. So sit back, relax and get entertained.

Chacha Chaudhary: He is everybody’s favourite chacha because he is intelligent and has the most interesting adventures, plus he has a giant with super powers, for a friend. Born in 1971 out of the imagination of comic artist Pran, Chacha Chaudhary solves mysteries, fights crooks and helps people using his super-fast brain, and with the help of Sabu the giant from Jupiter and chacha’s pet dog Rocket.

The characters in Chacha Chaudhary’s fictional life include a sharp-tongued wife and a truck that is half-human.

(Published by Pran Comics)

Suppandi: He is foolish but sincere. He is incorrigible but loyal. This famous simpleton leaves his employers dumb-struck and the readers rolling with laughter at his stupidity. No task is too easy for him — Suppandi is sure to goof it up! It is thus hard for him to remain employed in one house, and therefore you’ll get to read about his misadventures with different bosses every time.

(Published in Tinkle by Amar Chitra Katha Media)

Detective Moochwala: As the name suggest, Detective Moochwala was as famous for his crime-solving skills as he was for his unique moustache. Assisting him on his adventures were his pet dog Pooch and super gizmos. He “was” because the comic strip created by cartoonist Ajit Ninan in the 1980s was stopped in the early 1990s because the magazine “Target” in which it was published underwent changes.

Feluda: What happens when a creative filmmaker is inspired by the fictional super detective Sherlock Holmes? He creates his own fictional detective! Filmmaker Satyajit Ray’s famous comic character Feluda is a crime-solving detective who goes on several adventures solving crimes across the country and sometimes across the border too.

He is accompanied by his teenaged cousin Tapesh and at times by the bumbling crime writer Lalmohon Ganguli aka Jatayu.

(Initially written as short stories and novels, the adventures of Feluda were later published as comics by Ananda Publishers and more recently, by Penguin Books.)

Shikari Shambu: He is not your quintessential hunter — he is not brave, does not have a good aim and ventures out to capture man-eating leopards just to escape his nagging wife! Tinkle’s Shikari Shambu is scared of animals of every size, and yet is invariable thrown into the heart of chaos and trouble and a very dense jungle. Though he might not think it a laughing matter, for us it sure is funny to see how in spite of all his fumbling and bumbling he comes out victorious every single time, much to his own surprise!

Fact turned fiction

They may be real people with real impact on our history, but their fictional avatars are more popular with children and even help teach a thing or two about the importance of brains over brawn. Having made the successful transition from the royal courts to our comic strips are…

Birbal: Historically speaking, Birbal was an advisor to the Mughal emperor Akbar during the 16th century. Initially appointed as a poet and singer, Birbal became close to Akbar and ended up as his advisor on several administrative and military matters. Their interaction is the fodder for many folktales that emerged after their time, with emphasis on Birbal’s wit and intelligence. Many stories have jealous ministers of Akbar’s court plotting to outsmart Birbal before the king but fail miserable. The stories are all the more enjoyable because his wit is laced with humour making for a fun read thus fanning several comics based on the pair.

Tenali Raman: Tenali Ramakrishna or more populary known as Tenali Raman was Birbal’s contemporary in the South — a jester and poet in the court of Krishnadevaraya of the Vijayanagara Empire in the 16th century. Like Birbal, he was also known for his wit and humour. His importance in the court of King Krishnadevaraya has spawned several folktales which now make for popular comic plots. Right from helping catch a bunch of thieves to teaching a lesson to the greedy, his tales make for good entertainment.