Comic books are a popular form of entertainment throughout the world offering stories in a variety of
styles and genres. As a Sri Lankan who enjoys comic books, I would like to see Sri Lankan English
comics. Sri Lanka has had comics for some time, but there are only a few comics in English. Sri
Lankan English comics are slowly starting to emerge. In this article I am listing types of English
comics I’d like to see Sri Lanka produce.
There could be social commentary on issues facing Sri Lanka. Examples of this include both the
good & bad of social media, the problems of crime, the cost of living problems, bribery & corruption,
issues of discrimination, the rule of law or the lack of it, the lack of road discipline among others.
Stories of Sri Lankan history could be featured in graphic novel form. History could range from prehistoric stories such as tales of Sri Lankan Kings to 20th century events such as the story of Sri
Lanka’s independence. There also could be fictional stories set in the past.
When it comes to political stories, one story I’d like to see is a political hero. It would be a story of a
minister who is one of the good politicians with integrity. This politician is not pleased with the
existing political culture Sri Lanka has and takes steps to improve it discreetly in order to protect his
or her job. This character would prevent corrupt persons comprising politicians, public servants,
business people or ordinary people from carrying out their plans. Another thing this hero would do is
expose corrupt politicians and public servants resulting in them getting out of office.
Sri Lankan comics offer potential for humorous stories showcasing Sri Lankan humour. A famous
brand of Sri Lankan jokes are Udurawana jokes. These jokes are about a Sri Lankan who doesn’t
know English very well. Udurawana jokes could be presented in comic strip form.
Graphic Novel Adaptations
When it comes to graphic novels, there could be graphic novel adaptations of successful Sri Lankan
novels, including those which originated in Sinhalese, Tamil and English.
As superheroes are popular, I think Sri Lankan English comics have an opportunity to feature Sri
Lankan superheroes. I think villains superheroes could take on include the underworld and corrupt
politicians, businessmen & public servants.
As a sci-fi fan, I would love to see Sri Lankan sci-fi superheroes. Sci-Fi superheroes could be those
without superpowers who become superheroes with a tech-supersuit that does amazing things. Another type of sci-fi superheroes are those who obtained superpowers via contact with technology or alien life forms. This goes into my next type of comic, that being sci-fi.
Sci-Fi is the type of of comic I’d most like to see. Sci-Fi is perfect for comic form as it allows the
comic artists to draw creative and enjoyable imagery. Sci-Fi is at its best when it discusses the human condition. Sri Lankan sci-fi comics could discuss the human condition and of course Sri Lanka & its society.
There could be stories set in the future offering two possibilities which are:
- A dark future showing us where we as a country do not want to go to.
- An optimistic future showing us where we as a country wish to be.
Another option is an alternate version of the present which could go in all sorts of different ways.
- An alternate universe Sri Lanka which is worse than our current setup. This would show us where we as a country do not want to go to.
- An alternate universe Sri Lanka which is better than our current setup. This would show us where we as a country wish to be.
- An alternate universe Sri Lanka which is neither better nor worse but simply different.
Some Sri Lankan sci-fi stories which could be featured are aliens landing in Sri Lanka (It could be in
an open way or where only a small number of people get into contact with the aliens), a Sri Lankan
inventor inventing a new piece of technology and its implications for Sri Lanka (and possibly the
world), time travel stories which go to the past and/or future, a Sri Lankan or group of Sri Lankans
travelling into space set in the present or the future.
There a number of international themes which could be featured. Some stories could deal with Sri
Lanka’s relationship with the outside world. An example of this is a story about a Sri Lankan
Ambassador to the United Nations. There also could be adventure stories with heroes based in Sri
Lanka who travel the world and also have adventures where their friends from overseas come to
Many Sri Lankans have good knowledge of the world, so we can use our international knowledge to
write stories set in other countries. This would be examples of comics made in Sri Lanka appealing
to a global readership.
When it comes to comics printed and/or published in Sri Lanka, they could be an export product that
generates revenue for the country. They would be read by Sri Lankans around the world as well as
people native to other countries.
English speaking comics would have an opportunity for unity. These would be Sri Lankan stories in
English showing Sri Lankan characters dealing with both common Sri Lankan and universal themes
enabling it to appeal to Sri Lankans of different ethnicities.
We can look to both American and European comics as influences. It’s worth noting that comics
could also have combinations of some of the different types I mentioned above. An example is the
Belgian comic The Adventures of Tintin. Tintin is an adventure comic that is also a comedy which
goes around the world. It has also delved into other genres throughout its course which include
mysteries, spy stories and sci-fi. I would like to see a Sri Lankan version of The Adventures of Tintin.
We should also create some comics that are unlike any comics created elsewhere in the world.
I hope you enjoyed my thoughts on the potential of Sri Lankan English comics where I gave different
types of Sri Lankan English comics that can be created. I would enjoy hearing others give their
thoughts on Sri Lankan comics they’d like to see.