The creator of Vikram-Betal will be remembered forever

Artist KC Sivasankar was the last surviving member of the original Chandamama design team

By   |  Published: 30th Sep 2020  3:51 pmUpdated: 30th Sep 2020  3:58 pm

Well-known illustrator KC Sivasankar whose sketches entertained young readers for many generations passed away in Chennai at his residence at 97. He was best known for illustrating Vikram-Betal series in the children’s magazine Chandamama. Chandamamawas a marvel for the ’80s and the ’90s kids. Back then, children used to wait eagerly for the monthly magazine.

The illustrations drawn by Chithra and Sivasankar brought the fantasy stories to life and none of the present animated movies can compete with his drawings.

The periodical magazine for children originally in Telugu was founded by filmmakers B Nagi Reddi and Chakrapani in 1947. The magazine reached far and wide and started being published in 13 Indian languages. In one interview, Sivasankar had shared how he became part of the popular magazine. “I was hired by Nagi Reddi in 1952 and he always shared in his interviews that Chithra (another artist) and Sankar are the two bullocks of Chandamama.” With this, we can understand how important Sankar’s role was in the magazine.

Sankar is the man behind the iconic art of Vikram-Betal series, a powerful image depicting the sword-wielding King Vikram carrying the corpse on his shoulders through a burial ground. He was the last surviving member of the original Chandamama design team. His illustrations which matched the storyline left a lasting impression in the minds of all Indians during their growing years.

Born at a village in Erode in 1927, Sivasankar developed an early passion for art. In 1934, he moved to Chennai along with his mother and siblings where he was discovered for his talent by his drawing teacher at school. He might have left the planet, but his colourful artwork will be etched forever in the minds of those who followed, and admired, it.

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