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Tuesday, January 25, 2022 

Indian cartoonist Narayan Debnath passes away at 96

India's Frontline reported on the death of cartoonist Narayan Debnath, who created some comics that were notable in his country:
Narayan Debnath, the great comic book writer, illustrator and author, who created the iconic Bengali cartoon characters "Bantul the Great", "Handa Bhonda" and "Nonte Phonte", passed away on January 18, after a prolonged illness. He was 96. Debnath’s death marks the end of an era in Bengal’s cultural history.

Debnath was a pioneer in the field of comics in Bengal and his creations have been an integral part of Bengali childhood for the last 60 years, from the time the lovable duo of Handa and Bhonda made their appearance in the children’s magazine Shuktara in 1962. The stories of the mischievous and thin Handa constantly pulling a fast one over the stout and slow Bhonda was an instant hit with children. In fact, "Handa Bhonda" has the distinction of being the longest-running comic strip in Bengal with more than 50 years behind it.
The creations he worked on are stuff that doubtless aren't known in the USA, which is surely a shame, as foreign comics can have their values too, for learning about overseas cultures. And Debnath clearly did succeed in providing children with enjoyable pastimes decades before, which is a lot more than can be said for how things are run in the USA's industry now.

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