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Hasmi, creator of comic book superhero Gundala, passes away

Jessicha Valentina
Jessicha Valentina

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Mon, November 7, 2016  /  06:52 pm
Hasmi, creator of comic book superhero Gundala, passes away

The creator of the Gundala Putera Petir comic books, Harya "Hasmi" Suraminata, passed away on Sunday. (Kompas.com/Wijaya Kusuma)

Indonesian art enthusiasts were saddened recently upon hearing of the passing of artist Harya Suraminata, known as Hasmi. The Yogyakarta-based artist was the man behind the famous local comic book Gundala Putera Petir (Gundala, the Son of Thunder).

Hasmi created Gundala in 1969 and the character remained popular until the early 1990s. Gundala was inspired by DC Comics’ character The Flash. The story revolves around a scientist named Sancaka, who gains special powers after being struck by lightning. Besides creating Gundala, Hasmi was also known as a theater actor.

The artist passed away on Sunday due to health problems. Monologue artist and comedian Butet Kertaradjasa told kompas.com that Hasmi was a humble man who loved to help others. “As a maestro, he never hesitated to share his drawing techniques and performance art skills with younger generations,” Butet reminisced.

(Read also: Artwork by Indonesian artist gets nod of approval from Marvel)

Butet said Hasmi had hoped to see Gundala adapted into a movie. “He wanted to see the result,” Butet added.

Local sketcher Motulz, who grew up during the golden age of local comic books, recalled that children in the 1970s until the early 1990s idolized Indonesian comic creators. When asked about his impressions of Hasmi, he told The Jakarta Post that the artist was a respectful and humble man. 

“I had the opportunity to meet him. When I saw him, I wondered if I could be as humble as him,” recalled Motulz.

Indonesian comic expert Hikmat Darmawan said that both Gundala and Hasmi’s working style continued to inspire local comic artists. He regarded Gundala as a unique character who combined mystical and supernatural worlds. (kes)

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