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Evolving identity of Indonesian 'wayang' comic books

Ni Nyoman Wira
Ni Nyoman Wira

The Jakarta Post

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Jakarta  /  Wed, October 23, 2019  /  03:10 pm
Evolving identity of Indonesian 'wayang' comic books

The 'Mahabharata' series by R.A. Kosasih published by Melodie. (JP/Narabeto Korohama)

There was a time when comic books were considered important commodities and sources of entertainment in Indonesia since the first local comic Put On by Kho Wan Gie was published in Sin Po newspaper in 1930. Despite their popularity, comic books were largely shunned by the public as they were perceived as uninformative, unpatriotic and weakening the people's will to read, according to a Kompas newspaper article written in 1979 by the late literary figure Arswendo Atmowiloto. Author and rector of Jakarta Arts Institute Seno Gumira Ajidarma during a public lecture on 'wayang' comic books in Indonesia on Oct. 15 during the 'Cergam Festival Komik itu Baik' at Dia.Lo.Gue in Kemang, South Jakarta. (JP/Ni Nyoman Wira) To make sure they stayed in business, comic book publishers saw wayang (puppet) comics as a solution to the problem. Wayang comics are a genre planted on wayang tales,...