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Master of strokes

For some six decades Gopulu strode the Tamil art world like a colossus. His output was prolific. For three decades from the 1940s Gopulu worked with the Tamil weekly Ananda Vikatan mentored by another genius cartoonist Maali. Gopulu’s illustrations for hundreds of articles and serials in Vikatan lent a lot more of life to the writings of stalwarts like Kalki, Devan, Kothamangalam Subbu, Saavi and Jayakanthan.

Gopulu drew cartoons for IE for over three years in its initial formative period. Successive annual numbers used to carry his Indiratoons built around then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. Soft-spoken and humorous, Gopulu used to provide a large number of native anecdotes.

From Vikatan, Gopulu shifted as a commercial artiste and worked for Efficient Publicities and F D Stewart. The number of characters he had created for advertisements including the logo for Shriram Group is legion. Later, along with Vimala Sridhar, he floated Adwave Advertising and headed it for a number of years. The master of strokes joked about the stroke he suffered that paralysed the right side of his body including the precious right hand. Undaunted, Gopulu practised to draw from his left hand and continued with his work.

The south had the benefit of having several outstanding artistes like Maali, Thanu, Maniam, Shirpi, Rajam and Gopulu whose strokes imparted great life to the characters drawn and to the subjects covered. Disappointingly, except from a large section of Tamil readers, these did not get the recognition they deserved at the national level. 




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