Toms (cartoonist)

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Catoonist Toms.jpg
Born VT Thomas
Pulinkkunnu, Kuttanad
Nationality Indian
Notable works
Boban and Molly

V. T. Thomas a.k.a. Toms is a cartoonist from Kerala, India. He is the creator of the cartoon characters Boban and Molly (Malayalam:ബോബനും മോളിയും, Bobanum Moliyum).

Toms was born at Pulincunnoo Kuttanad in 1929 as the son of V.T. Kunjuthomman and Cicily Thomas. He graduated with a B.A. degree. Toms joined Malayala Manorama as a cartoonist in 1961 and worked there till his retirement in 1987.

Toms’ impish cartoon characters Boban and Molly were a household name in Kerala for over 40 years, mainly through the pages of the Malayala Manorama weekly. Besides Boban and his sister Molly, Toms peopled the cartoon with characters like Kunchukurup, Appy-Hippy, Unnikkuttan, Panchayat President Chettan, his wife, etc., all of whom found a place in the hearts of Malayali society.

Asked by a young fan about the genesis of Boban and Molly, Toms said that he had named the cartoon characters after two children in his neighbourhood, Boban and Molly, who asked him one day to draw their picture. “This took place after these two naughty children thwarted every attempt of mine to prevent them from jumping the fence around my house and walking through the kitchen, on their way to school”, explained Toms.

The two children are now grownups, Boban in Ernakulam and Molly in Alappuzha. Though the real-life Molly has had a grandchild, Toms believes that his characters are ageless. “I have never made them to age, because nobody would love a grandfather Boban or a grandmother Molly playing pranks.”

When he left Malayala Manorama, Toms commenced publishing Bobanum Mollyum in Kalakaumudi, to which move Malayala Manorama objected legally. A District Court temporarily restrained Toms and permitted Manorama to continue publication of the cartoon serial . On an appeal, the High Court of Kerala ruled in pursuant of Indian Copyright Act, 1957, that the ownership of cartoon strips drawn during Tom's employment with Manorama would continue to be with the appellant, while Toms will be free to own the characters Boban and Molly and continue creating cartoon strips to publish at his will. Accordingly, he has since then, been drawing and publishing the cartoon as periodical publication.

Toms is married to Thresiakutty. They have three sons and three daughters. They also have a grandson called Dominic Thomas.

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