Graphic Retellings of Durga Mythology in Contemporary Popular Culture
The IUP Journal of English Studies, Vol. XI, No. 1, March 2016, pp. 7-13
Posted: 8 Aug 2016
Date Written: August 8, 2016
According to Shakti tradition in Hindu religious and philosophical thought, the ultimate reality of the cosmos is an all-pervading female spiritual energy that fills the cosmos, a female manifestation of the Supreme Being—‘Shakti.’ With the composition of the classical Sanskrit text Devi Mahatmyam by sage Markandeya in the sixth century, the worship of the female principle assumed new dimensions. This paper focuses on the mythological meta-narrative of the Goddess with the aim of exploring the curious intersections between Hindu mythology and a cosmopolitan modernity as reflected in a select few comics of the late twentieth and early twenty-first century India. Taking Anant Pai’s Tales of Durga (Amar Chitra Katha) as the starting point, the paper explores the modernist appropriations of traditional Devi mythology in three works—Ganesh’s (2002) Tales of Amnesia, Virgin Comics’ Kali (2007), and Priya’s Shakti (2014)—and shows that a serious comics culture has arrived in India, turning the comics medium into a vehicle for social dialogue and cultural critique.
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation