Promotional art for
by ACK Medias
|First appearance||Tinkle, 1983|
|Created by||Vasant B. Halbe
|Place of origin||India|
|Abilities||Luck and rifle|
Shambu is a cowardly and lazy shikari (hunter) whom the rest of the world perceives as courageous.  He always tries to run away from dangerous animals, but due to some stroke of luck always ends up as a hero. He lives with his wife Shanti. In The Legend of Shikari Shambu (Tinkle Magazine No.573), it was revealed that Shambu, before being called "Shikari" Shambu, fell on a tiger and knocked him out. It was after this incident that he got the name "Shikari" Shambu.
He is shown as, always wearing his large hunting hat, that covers his eyes and green pant and shirt. He carries a large rifle which he never used properly.
By 1988, Tinkle was already on its way becoming the most popular children’s magazine in India. Their biggest rival that time was another children magazine named Target, run by Living Media. Unlike Tinkle, Target was more of a narrative magazine, with a few pages of comics. Their flagship character that time was Detective Moochhwala (Hindi for "the man with a mustache") by Ajit Ninan. Moochhwala who was a detective with penetrating eyes and a huge mustache. Tinkle decided to create a competing character. Subba Rao and Dhruva, two of the creators at Tinkle, came up with the proposal for such a character. They decided to base this new character on a boastful but cowardly big game hunter in the then famous television drama, I Love Lucy.
Luis Fernandes then worked on producing the first story, which was originally named "Shambu", before Shahid Hidayat prefixed Shikari (Hindustani for "hunter") to the name. Some of his editorial team-mates had reservation over the use of the name Shikari, as the wildlife conservation theme was in its prominence. But, the sheer charisma of the name, they and the editor Anant Pai, decided to let it continue. But, contrary to the name, the creators ensured that Shambu never would shoot or kill any animal in any of its episodes. More than that, creators slowly even disassociated him from his trademark hunting gun, after few episodes. The "non-violence" policy of Tinkle also resulted in Shambu being portrayed as more of an explorer than a hunter.
One of the reasons for the popularity of Shikari Shambu, was due to the comical illustrations of the artist, Vasant Halbe. Halbe, who was a freelancer at Tinkle that time, had impressed the editorial team with his earlier works. Once he was confirmed officially as the artist for the series, he showcased his character sketches, of which a drawing of Shikari with his Topi (hat) pulled down over his eyes, caught everyone’s attention. The sketch went on to be the among the flagship character of Tinkle. In 1997, Savio Mascarenhas replaced Halbe as the illustrator.
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- "5 Unforgettable Indian Comic Heroes of All-Time". India.com. 2015-10-16. Retrieved 2016-02-15.
- Pooja Pillai (2010-11-14). "The Tinkle Tale". The Indian Express. Retrieved 2013-01-29.
- Abhas Sharma (2012-10-07). "Tinkle Tinkle little star". Business Standard. Retrieved 2013-01-29.
- Namita Handa (2010-11-13). "Tinkle comic turns 30 on Children’s Day, keeps kids glued with new characters". DNA. Retrieved 2013-01-29.
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