Amitabh Bachchan has had such a huge fan following that he even had a comic book to his credit, where the superstar doubled up as a superhero.
Created by former editor of Movie Mag Pammi Bakshi, the comic books were printed for two years in the 1980s. The hero was known as ‘Supremo’. The series were designed by art director Pratap Mullick with Gulzar pitching in as the script consultant. 3-Dimensional editions were also published.
As Amitabh completes 40 years in the film industry on November 7, Pammi Bakshi tells how Supremo comics happened. Amitabh Bachchan was a huge name in the 1980s. He had changed the economy of the film industry by giving hit after hit. One day, I saw some children playing in my building. They wanted to be superheroes -- some wanted to be Superman and some Batman. But when Amitabh’s name was dropped, all of them started fighting as every child wanted to be Amitabh Bachchan.
I was very stunned, as until then I had thought Amitabh was a rage among elders and college-going kids. Here, I saw that he had a huge effect on school kids too. So I realised we needed something for children, and I thought of a comic book. I met Amitabh about this and he was okay with the idea. His only clause was that his character should not look like a caricature. There was no talk about remuneration. Gulzar was a close friend of mine. He was writing a book for his daughter Meghna at the time. I told him about the comic book idea and he came on board as a consultant. I was working with Movie Mag, a sister concern of India Book House (Supremo’s publishing house). So it was easier for me to work things out says Pammi Bakshi.