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Sep 05

Bankelal:Lost his Charm!

Posted by: Ajay_D

Tagged in: Untagged 

My dear friends, I am a janooni fan like all of you and I have no hate for any particular series in Raj comics. This is why I did not make a simple choice. In fact, I am about to review the "New Bankelal" series for my worst series pick. I think most of us will agree that new Bankelal series is one of the biggest "flop" we have ever seen in Raj comics history. If this will hurt anyone's feelings (sorry Amit bro) then I am truly sorry, But what I am about say is from my experience and the emotions. I hope Sanjay ji will take note on my comments and improve Bankelal. Unlike many fans, I did not grow up with Bankelal, In fact I never read single Bankelal comics in my life until recently. In all my honestly, I was never into comedy comics as a child and I was never Interested in this character called "Bankelal". Contrary to the stereotype, I was the Kid who looked up to Super heroes and powerful comic legends. This was the reason why I never turned to any Indian "comedy" characters. I wanted a hero, who would entertain me with his super powers and action moves, rather then funny one liners.

There were characters like "Crookbond", who had decent physical appearance, But we are talking about Bankelal here. A skinny, weak, and scrony character with no stand out physical features. This is not the type of role model a kid like me would prefer to grew up with. In fact i even envied Super Commondo DHruva for his childish appearance over our Tough looking "Nagraj", So naturally Banke stood no chance in making place in my heart. I denied reading Banke till my adult age. It was in 2006, with the emergence of the Raj comics forum, then I was able to get some positive feedback regarding this series. I was amused when fans called it "one of the best comedy series in Raj comics!". Now, there was a strong urge, a will to read this series in all its glory. I remember I purchased the Bankelal set from Raj comics site after getting my hands on Nagraj, Super Commando Dhruva and Thrill horror suspense sets first. This set included the initial 15 issues and many issues from 2000-2006. Although the set was not complete, I was more then pleased to get my hands on what remained in their stock. I read the first 15 re-printed comics of bankelal. This proved to be quite a amazing reading experience. The plot setup, the characters, the artwork, the atmosphere created by bedi ji, It all came together perfectly.

After I finished reading the old issues, I turned to the newer issues. As I turned the pages to view the artwork, It did not look all that pleasing to me. In fact, The artwork in the newer issues, looked far worst then the artwork in the older Bankelal issues. That was my first disappointment, then as I slowly continued to struggle through these new issues, I noticed the over usage of the comedy remarks such as "hehe" "Buhuhu" and "Grrrr". I was really turned off by this, Because it only made the story more monotonous, rather then compliment it. In simple terms, almost all text balloons were haunted by annoying "he hes". I mean, to be quite real, the older issues hardly used this kind of gimmick and they still proved to be a enjoyable read. So, what made Raj comics turn this fun series to a predictable, gimmick infested marathon? I cannot answer this question to this day!

To my surprise, Downsize did not stop there. The concept as a whole, was milked to death! Our bankelal has tried to kill the king for the last 20 something years, and in light of proper logic, one would think he would stop. But Raj comics have served us with this same concept for the last decade, a rather stale one. If any writer in his/her right mind was running out of appropriate story concepts and ideas, They would go and try to create new ones. But Raj comics had to work this so called "try to become Raja and fail" concept to its core, so that it stripped the series of all its respect. It turned many readers into haters. The ones who grew up with Banke had some emotional connection, But casual readers would be quickly turned off by the repetitive story plots and the dry humor.

The cast did not advance or grow either, Raj comics always dealing with same old characters. In fact, I cannot remember the last time when a interesting character was introduced in bankelal series. If my memory serves me right, It was "labaddin" the hectic poem writer in "Pecha paada Bhaloo". This was the only interesting main character introduced in this series and even then, Raj comics did not make any interesting use of him. This character had lots of potential, But he was never given enough attention to begin with. I also remember in recent comics called "Jalyash" a "pappad wala" character is introduced, But lets see what kind of treatment he receives in the future issues.

These are not the only weaknesses in the new Bankelal series, To put a another nail in the coffin, The new stories are just too confusing. In order to create a the complex plots, Raj comics will mix up many sub-plots in the story, this creates a great deal of confusion for the reader. For example, While I was reading issues like "Shivji ki barat" and "Ulta yog", I was confused out of my damn mind. The existence of countless sub-plots in the story made me wonder, What is going on here? I was forced to go back and carefully examine all sequences in order to make sense of things. This is how you are forced to make sense out of the new plot, otherwise you will be left wondering-Where is this going!? This series is primarily aimed for younger readers, So naturally Raj comics should be keeping things simple as possible...but.

In my last point, the lack of clever comedy is the other major weakness here. Actually Raj comics were never too creative in their comedy (exception of Anupam ji), They relied on clever storyline for the success of early Bankelal issues.So when the interesting story ideas have run out, there is nothing to the rescue. So no matter how hard they try to make us laugh and giggle with their dry jokes, There will be little to no success. I have never had a giggle, let alone a laugh! A comedy series, Which fails at comedy...what a disaster!

In the end, I don't want to be too negative regarding Bankelal. I did enjoy some issues of the 21 century. uhem..."Few" is the keyword here folks. But I feel that Raj comics have truly lost their lead with Banke, I feel its time to give Banke the much needed "vacation" until there something better for him! In this present time, Bankelal series is nothing more then a joke in itself (isn't that ironic?). Sanjay ji, Please let Banke go with the little respect that he has left, before hes completely stripped of it. I hope I did not go too hard on him, But I had to let my emotions speak. If anyone is offended, I am truly sorry. Thanks for reading!