CHENNAI: It is not everyday that one decides to take a flight to another country to buy Tamil comic books at a book fair. Meet V Subramanya, a 65-year-old from Jaffna, Sri Lanka, who loves his comic books and has visited the Bapasi Book Fair in the city after a gap of three years.
“I have been reading them for over 25 years, but during the war I lost most of my collection and am now trying to get them back.” Dressed in a simple lungi and shirt, Subramanya speaks in his heavily accented Sri Lankan Tamil. “I was in a refugee camp for two years. My favourites are Tex and tiger comics.
Tex is a comic book sold across Europe, the story of a crime fighting cowboy set in early 20th Century America. The Tamil translated version is sold in the State by Muthu Comics. “We have been selling comics from 1974. There is a special crowd for comics. Tex is like MGR; he has fans in France, Belgium, and England, we translate the books to Tamil,” said R Ganesh, who manages the stall at the book fair. “We first started with Irumbukai Mayavi comics but Tex comics overtook the sales.”