There are many new things afoot in the Tinkle stable, including a talk show section and newer titles that have been launched, as Soma Das finds out
Mention Tinkle comics and a sense of nostalgia emerges. After all, over 34 years of entertaining and educating readers, it has given us memorable characters like Suppandi, Shikari Shambu and Kalia the Crow, among others.
The Tinkle team at work designing the comics
The brand has also reinvented itself periodically to retain an avid fan base among generations of children. Their latest initiatives to keep pace with the times include a talk show series, new character series and features introduced based on readers' feedback.
Rajani Thindiath, editor, Tinkle, talks about these initiatives, "If we have Dental Diaries, the comic-horror series about Billy the fangless vampire, we also have the wonky SuperWeirdos that explores a world of people with weird superpowers.
Then, there's School's In, which deals with the ups and downs of school life and PsyMage, the first true superhero series in Tinkle with high-octane action."
New in print
In terms of features, they have introduced an analytical mystery segment: You Be the Detective, a Word Play feature and Name-Place-Animal-Thing, an info-game about forgotten people, exotic places and little known animals.
Targetted for avid fans are imprints such as the Tinkle Tall Tales books, which are Tinkle's first graphic novels that focus on a long story of a popular Tinkle Toon. Thindiath explains, "The success of our first three titles Shikari Shambu, Butterfingers and Defective Detectives prompted us to release four new books.
Two were launched last November and two more will launch shortly. We recently launched four of our character collections as well."
Talk to us
The Tinkle Talk Show is another innovative feature that has been introduced in the comic. Hosted by Kooki (an overenthusiastic dog), he helps readers address questions to their favourite toons and gets replies. "Our readers love Tinkle Toons so much that they want to see them in every issue, which becomes difficult because of space constraints," she shares.
Through the Talk Show, they retain that connect and get answers to questions such as 'Why can't we see your eyes, Shikari Shambu?' or 'Suppandi, do you have a dream job?' reveals Thindiath. Readers have appreciated their newer segments, especially the infogames, which children often use as aids for their school projects, she adds.
"We provoke readers to think, question and explore, even as they laugh while reading the stories and features in the magazine. Characters such as Suppandi, Shambu, Tantri and Kalia are as popular today as they were 30 years ago.
Our readers send us mails, talk to us, engage with us on social media, and we listen. Our databases and surveys help us figure what children are looking for and what we can do to enhance their experience," concludes Thindiath.