Kachee Goliyan makes its debut with Umro Ayar - first Urdu comic

Published: April 15, 2013

Comic artist Saad Hassam drawing a sketch of Umro Ayar at the comic book’s launch on Sunday. at T2F. PHOTO: ATHAR KHAN/EXPRESS

KARACHI: Two years ago, a group of young students and aspiring entrepreneurs came up with a plan to initiate a series of comic books based on characters from Urdu literature with an aim to revive the forgotten superheroes of the subcontinent.

Umro Ayar, reportedly Pakistan’s first Urdu comic book, was launched by Kachee Goliyan at the T2F on Sunday. Speaking to The Express Tribune, Kachee Goliyan editor Nofal Khan explained that “The company, since its inception two years back, had the idea of creating a comic book featuring Umro Ayar.”

Initially, the company decided to test the market for such a product by posting random creations of comics on social networking websites, such as Facebook. With an aim of branding the company’s name, the creators reached out to their audience through the website. As a result, the company’s Facebook page attracted a following of over 100,000 fans, many of whom are from relatively small urban centres in the country like Wana and FATA, claimed Nofel Khan.

Having established a strong following, Kachee Goliyan finally decided to publish their first comic book. In response to a question regarding the character, Nofel explained that “the creators wanted to revive our superheroes and Urdu literature at the same time. We have grown up reading about Umro Ayar who is a phenomenal figure in Urdu literature, so this is what we felt would be the best starting point.”

In a field relatively dominated by big wigs like Marvel Comics, the creators feel they stand a very good chance of making a breakthrough. “We want people to remember and appreciate our superheroes instead of just romanticising the creations of the West,” said Nofal, explaining the company’s goals.

Umro Ayar has been received with much gusto from local comic book fans, who believe the company has its heart and brains on the right track. Speaking to The Express Tribune, Armeen Tinwala, a graphics designer by profession, described the comic book as a big success for Pakistani literature. “Although they still have a long way to go, I believe they have the potential and talent to make it big.”

Talking about the company, Tinwala said that they had shown much progress in their graphic details since their inception and had managed to refine themselves, the results of which were apparent in Umro Ayar.

Kachee Goliyan’s business strategist, Mateen Ansari, told The Express Tribune that the “company took the revival of Urdu literature in Pakistan very seriously.” To show their dedication to the cause, the company has decided that for every comic book sold, one will be donated to a child in a government school in Orangi. “We wish to educate children how to read comic books so they can have their own superheroes,” he added.

Bearing in mind, the potential of such a product in the International market, Umro Ayar has also been translated in English so that it can be made accessible to comic book enthusiasts in other countries.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 15th, 2013.

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Reader Comments (7)

  • Final Solution
    Apr 15, 2013 - 11:13PM

    “We want people to remember and appreciate our superheroes instead of just romanticising the creations of the West,” said Nofal, explaining the company’s goals.

    It’s funny to see team Kachee Goliyan bashing the very western superheros ( i.e iron man, robocop, capt. america, batman, wolverine,) they themselves used, copied and parodied in their earlier comics to promote their page.
    Nowadays anyone with a graphic tablet can become a self proclaimed comic artist even though their art may be substandard.
    RIP Imagination.

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  • Morbid Isolation
    Apr 16, 2013 - 1:59AM

    I think it’s a great initiative. Kudos to both of them for giving creative content a shot and I hope this effort continues in the future until we have our very own comic book industry. It may be a little premature to compare with greats like Marvel and DC. After all, they have been the pioneers of this art from and dominating the business since the early ’20s. Pakistan needs its own identity in the arts whether it is through comics, film, music, fine arts etc. The goal is to begin and continue to a point where it starts evolving, the rest will unfold itself.

    @ Final Solution, please do not disregard the effort and intent behind this work, projecting your own inadequacies onto someone who is actually trying is pathetic. Such initiatives must be promoted for the sake of art rather than pitiful personal insecurities.

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  • Apr 16, 2013 - 10:35AM

    :’) Makes me so proud.

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  • Final Solution
    Apr 16, 2013 - 6:37PM

    @Morbid Isolation:
    Kachee Goliyan owes its popularity the the very western characters they speak against.
    I would’ve lauded their effort it they hadn’t resorted to bashing them in favour of their own (read copied from urdu digest) superhero Umro Ayar.

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  • Apr 19, 2013 - 6:53PM

    Wow someone is jealous. They weren’t speaking ‘against’ anyone. They were just talking about the style they adopted. Jeeze.

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  • MedSaeed
    Apr 21, 2013 - 10:09PM

    @Morbid Isolation: i agree, and if you read their history, even MARVEL and DC were really really premature when they started off!!!
    i congratulate Kachee Goliyan for their great step towards this new initiative and i’m sure many more comics will rise in this nation, all thanks to these guys!!!! thumbs up… :D

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  • Sangi
    May 24, 2013 - 11:02AM

    @Final Solution:
    First of all, they didn’t bash Marvel and DC’s superheroes, they merely created a superhero that the Pakistani population could relate to.

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