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Iconic Bengali cartoonist Narayan Debnath dies at 96

Bengali cartoonist Narayan Debnath died in Kolkata on Tuesday morning after prolonged illness, PTI reported. He was 96.

An official of a private hospital where he had been admitted since December 24 told the news agency that he breathed his last at 10.15 am.

A Padma Shri awardee, Debnath was the creator of legendary bengali comic strips characters like Handa Bhonda, Batul the Great and Nonte Fonte, among others.

The Handa Bhonda comic strip ran for 55 years, before Debnath stopped working on them in 2017 – presumably a world record for the longest-running comic strip as a solo writer-artist.

Two of the world’s most popular and longest comic strips written and drawn by a solo writer-artist are Johnny Hart’s BC (49 years; 1958-2007) and Hank Ketchum’s Dennis the Menace (43 years; 1951-1994).

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee expressed grief on the cartoonist’s death.

“Extremely sad that the noted litterateur, illustrator, cartoonist, and creator of some immortal characters for children’s world, Narayan Debnath is no more,” she wrote in a tweet. “ He had created Bantul the Great, Handa-Bhonda, Nonte-Fonte, figures that have been etched in our hearts for decades.”

Extremely sad that the noted litterateur, illustrator, cartoonist, and creator of some immortal characters for children’s world, Narayan Debnath is no more. He had created Bantul the Great, Handa- Bhonda, Nonte- Fonte,…

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