The former title logo of the Mayavi comics. Artwork by Pradeep Sathe
|First appearance||Balarama (August 1984)|
|Created by||Pradeep Sathe and N.M. Mohan|
|Series publication information|
Mayavi is a Malayalam comics strip appearing in the Indian comic magazine Balarama owned by Malayala Manorama group. The series, created by Mumbai-based artist Pradeep Sathe and NM Mohan, was first published in the August 1984 issue of Balarama. Artist M. Mohandas gradually took over the drawing of the series after Balarama became a fortnightly.
Mayavi, the protagonist in the series, is a little devil, who helps to keep the forest safe from villains and dark wizards. Most of the stories revolve around how a dark wizard Kuttusan and his cadre of wizards aim at capturing Mayavi, but fail with drastic consequences. Mayavi takes place in a secluded forest in Kerala. It is not exactly known when the story takes place. In the local language Malayalam Mayavi translates wizard. As the target audience is young, the story takes the liberty to draw a fantasy world, in which wizards, demons and other strange creatures exist. However, despite the simplicity and slapstick comedy, Mayavi became one of the most widely read children's comics in Malayalam language.
Mayavi, a good imp, is the main character of the story. Mayavi was a slave of the witch Dagini, and she was very cruel to him. Later Raju and Radha helped to escape the imp from the bottle in which he was kept. Thankful to the children, Mayavi decided to help them forever from the clutches of evil forces. And, Dagini pledged to take revenge on the children and re-capture Mayavi. The comics pictures him staying alone in a forest without any notable family. Mayavi is loathed by the evil creatures and villains of the forest. Robbers who often take refuge in the forest to hide are brought to light by Mayavi.
Apart from the power of invisibility, Mayavi is not known to possess any magical powers, but derives them from his red wand. This handicap has been one of the prominent vulnerabilities that are often exploited by the dark wizards who try to capture him. Once his wand is lost, his imp characteristics command him to be enslaved in a glass bottle by the one who holds his wand. Mayavi has a hobby of sleeping under trees.
Raju and Radha
Raju and Radha are teenage friends of Mayavi. The similarity of names suggest them to be siblings, however it is not verified in any version of the comic. The children are depicted as roaming about in the forest. They befriend Mayavi after helping him to escape from the witch Dagini, who had enslaved him in a bottle.
The children are often imprisoned by Kuttusan and Dagini in a bid to lure Mayavi and thereby trap him. Another common storyline is one in which the children overhear the planning or execution of some dastardly crime. In such situations the children summon Mayavi using the spell "Om hreem kutichathaa" .
A dark wizard who lives in a hollow tree trunk in the same forest, Kuttusan is one of the main villains in the comic. The storyline depicts capturing Mayavi as the sole purpose of Kuttusan's life. He often goes out of the way, befriending beasts and other dangerous dark creatures in order to satisfy his aim. However, his clumsiness in handling matters related to magic, eventually leads him into trouble. His stupidity and stubbornness is a frequent source of humor in the comic.
Dakini, a witch, appeared in the series well before Kuttusan, is one of the close aides of Kuttusan. However, despite being a witch, she is often depicted as taking a rather repulsive approach to Kuttusan's wizardry. She is noted as much for her cowardice as for her noodle hair.
Well into her old age, she teams up with Kuttusan with the aim of capturing Mayavi. She and Kuttusan also never leave out a chance to catch Raju and Radha, who they know to be friends of Mayavi.
However, Dakini is a tantric deity described as a female embodiment of enlightened energy. In the Tibetan language, dakini is rendered khandroma which means 'she who traverses the sky' or 'she who moves in space'. Sometimes the term is translated poetically as 'sky dancer' or 'sky walker'. An owl is sometimes seen with Dakini.
Luttappi, is a cute, innocent devil bearing an uncanny resemblance to Hot Stuff the Little Devil, who works as an aide of Kuttusan. One of the primary sources of humor in the comic, Luttappi is noted for his cheekiness and cowardice. His stupidity and over excitedness often lands everyone in trouble. Luttappi owns the kuntam, a magical spear that can be propelled in flight (akin to flying brooms used in witchcraft). Manned by Luttappi, the kuntam serves as a convenient mode of transport for Luttappi's comrades – Dakini and Kuttusan.
Luttappi stays with Kuttusan at his home in the tree trunk. Despite being a very resourceful aide, Luttappi isn't always at good terms with Kuttusan and Dakini, who, on their part, take little effort in hiding their dislike. Luttappi is often portrayed as doing all the housework for Kuttusan. He is also often shown as grumbling and cursing under his breath.
Vikraman and Muttu
Vikraman and Muttu are two notorious criminals at large and wanted by the local police. The comics pictures them as using the forest as a hideout after breaking out of jail. Vikraman and Muttu are friends of Kuttusan. However, their friendship is strictly limited to the mutual benefits they gain out of it. Vikraman and Muttu are never portrayed as having a grudge against Mayavi. However, they often assist Kuttusan and Dakini in order to capture him.
Vikraman and Muttu's primary aim is to procure as much wealth and power as they can. In most Mayavi comics featuring them, they are seen conspiring on a break in to the bank or jeweler at the local town. However, all their plans are foiled by Mayavi, who is usually alerted by Raju and Radha.
Lottulodukku and Gulgulumal
Lottulodukku and Gulgulumal are two evil scientists who invent new gadgets and ideas to destroy the world. They are afraid of Vikraman and Muttu, who steal their inventions and use these tools for their purposes such as robbing the bank and breaking into people's houses. But Vikraman and Mutthu always get into trouble using those gadgets. Their enemies are Raju and Radha, and they are always looking a chance to kill them.
Uncle of Luttappi, unlike Luttappi, he is dark grey in colour. He is much bigger in size than Luttappi. Kuttusan and Dakini go to Puttalu's den to steal many charms and potions to trap Mayavi, but they get trapped in Puttalu's trap instead.
Everybody is afraid of Puttalu, but Puttalu does not have very significant role in Mayavi. He enjoys sleeping and don't want Luttapi to wander with Kuttusan and Dakini. Puttalu's name is created by reading Luttappi's name backwards.
Some of the characters in the series, including Mayavi and Luttappi, underwent a major dress-code change in 2011. According to the editor of the magazine, the changes were intended to make the characters acceptable for readers outside Kerala.
|Directed by||Madhu. K. S.|
|Story by||NM Mohan|
|Music by||Mohan Sithara
Jaison. J. Nair
|Animation by||Hibiscus Digital Media|
|Distributed by||Manorama Music|
|Release date(s)||August 23, 2010|
Mayavi-VCD is a 3D animated version of the comic strip published in Balarama. It was released on August 23, 2010 by Manorama Music, a music production company owned by Malayala Manorama Group. Story and concept for this version was also by NM Mohan, who is the creator the comics, which is being published in Balaralam since many decades. The 3D version was developed by Hibiscus Digital Media Pvt. Ltd, Thiruvananthapuram. The music for the title song, Nammude Veeran Mayavi was done by Mohan Sithara, while the score and other songs were composed by Jaison. J. Nair. The lyrics were written by Sippy Pallippuram.
The CD featured 7 stories, some of which are already familiar to the readers through the comic series in Balarama, and two songs.
- Title Song - Nammude Veeran Mayavi
- Story - Mayavi Ethippoyi
- Story - Vikramanum Muthuvum
- Song - Poochappuli
- Story - Dakiniyude Soothrangal
- Story - Rakshasamarunnu
- Story - Kunjimarunnu
- Story - Mankoos Manthravadi
- Story - Maanthrikavilakku
In popular culture
Due to immense popularity of the magazine the characters became pop culture icons with TV shows,movies and other stories referencing or based around them.
- The Balarama Cave at Wonderla, is modelled using characters from Mayavi.
- The title of the malayalam film Mayavi (2007 film) is from the series.
- The characters Vikraman and Muthu make an appearance in the movie Amen (2013 film) .