Tinkle Comics art director Savio Mascarenhas completed a silver jubilee at the publication house. Mascarenhas’ journey started with Tinkle in 1991 as a freelance cartoonist. He started drawing single panel gags called See and Smiles.
He was working as a copywriter with an ad agency during that time. Pai, the editor and assistant editor Reena Puri showed a great amount of faith in his work, encouraging him to pursue drawing comics as his career.
Mascarenhas remembers the fond memories of joining Tinkle as a full time employee, he said, “I used to visit the office regularly to submit my work and then one day in the last week of December 1993, I walked in with a cake to wish Mr. Pai and the team a happy new year. He asked me if I was happy being a copywriter or did I like drawing comics. And I replied drawing is what interested me more. “I have a New Year’s gift for you, “he said, “Join us as a staff artist from the 2 January”. And that’s how I landed in a job of my dreams.”
Mascarenhas’ first break was drawing the characters from Mopes and Purr, a cat and dog detective duo who faught for the cause of animals in distress. He also created Janoo and Wooly Woo, moving on to the beloved Tantri the Matri. “I got my actual break in 1998-99 with illustrating the popular Shikari Shambhu after the original comic artist Halbe retired,” he recalls. Mascarenhas is currently working on the latest Super Suppandi.
Mascarenhas feels that Tinkle has seen a huge transition in terms of production over the years. The hand-drawn comics are been replaced with the digitised format. Storytelling has changed from simplistic to complex and layered plots. The characters have also evolved understanding the changing lifestyle and developments, also new characters like YogYodhas, Wingstar, NOIS, Big Baan (the new version of Kalia the Crow) are been added.
“VB Halbe, the original artist of Shikari Shambu, was no easy act to follow. It required someone full of quirks and childlike sense of fun like Savio to keep Shambu’s spirit alive for 25 long years and more,” said Tinkle editor-in-chief Rajani Tindiath.
For Mascarenhas these 25 years have been like living his dream and “I never saw it as a job; it is more of a passion. I have been fortunate to work with the best of writers and illustrators. I get to interact with children in schools across India who share their brilliant drawing and stories. And they are part of my huge Tinkle family.”
With this completion of illustrative 25 years, this is just one milestone in the journey of Mascarenhas and the comic fans would like to see this legacy going.