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Babu and Basic Ali

By Jawad

Americans have DC comics and Marvel superheroes, the Japanese have Manga, the Chinese Manhua, the Koreans Manhwa and our neighbours Indians have Chacha Choudhury, Sabu, Billu, Phantom and many others and the whole universe has Asterix and Tintin. What do we have here? Nothing; at least until a few years ago but it can't be said that the cartoon industry in Bangladesh has 'boomed' or something. The number of regular practitioners is very limited even now. One of the most notable ones among these revered soldiers, at least to the readers of the Daily Star and Rising Stars, is Sharier Khan.

The Addam's Family comes into our mind as one crazy bunch. The Ali family can be termed equally eccentric and their lifestyles thoroughly entertaining. The bald headed and experimental (put emphasis on mental) businessman Talib Ali, his equally eccentric wife Molly, the main character of the strip and a banker Basic Ali, his younger brother Magic and sister Nature, Basic's boss Mr. Haddad, heartthrob Ria, Magic's dream girl and the heroine of his novel Monalisa, the fakir baba and the out-of-the-world friend of Hillol… each has a story, or in this case a quirk, to share, outstandingly portrayed in the two colored Comic strip named “Basic Ali”. Whether it is scolding himself during holidays as the boss don't have his employees to scold or using rocks to balance the boat so that it does not sink when Talib and Molly do that Titanic thingy at the other end, the comic strip is amazingly humorous and great for beginning the day on a high. It has been published in the daily Prothom Alo since November 2006 and am I allowed to say that I sorely missed it the 10 days the paper didn't get delivered. But the main thing is collecting these daily strips and when they are read at a time they produce more fun for the reader. So Panjeri Publications presents Basic Ali (2). The only drag in this slice-of-life-in-a-humorous-POV is: it's not coloured. It is surprisingly rated 15+.

Need I say anything about Babu? The Dhakaaite second year college student Babu embarks on epic “situations” which always end hilariously. The wacky sense of humour of Sharier never fails to amuse the readers and the fact is proved by the popularity of Babu even after several years of regular running. The Babu series published by the same publications is for the same reasons as the previous one: collection and having a good laugh at leisure. It is colored though and in Bangla too. There are four volumes available in the market with the last of them published last month, along with Somo and the Gang.

Both of these books are definitely gems of a collection, especially if you are a fan of Superman and pizzas.


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