To Orwell Today,
I'm doing some research on a comic strip realized as from Orwell's "Animal Farm" and it seems that there has been an edition in India either as a comic strip in newspapers or as a comics booklet.
There has been an edition in Mauritius in Mauritian Creole. It seems that the comic strip was furnished without costs and leaving countries to adapt it as Mauritius did. There might have been an edition in Hindi or another Indian language!
Have you any trace of that in your Orwell Museum?
It's a thrill for me to hear from someone in Mauritius because my great-grandfather was the Anglican Bishop there from 1898 to 1903. His son, my grandfather, travelled there with him when he was four years old and it's a memory that stayed with him until he died at the ripe old age of 93 in 1986. See ORWELL & JURA GRANDFATHERS VICARS
I would be really interested in seeing that ANIMAL FARM comic strip that can be adapted to different countries and various languages - maybe we should have one in English!
There isn't a copy of one in the Orwell Museum in India that I know of (but that SHRINE TO ORWELL project is still in the developing stages). For sure, though, we'll try to track one down and have it there in Hindi and other Indian languages.
Please keep me informed if you learn any more about it and I'll do the same from this end.
All the best,
To Orwell Today,
Thank you so much, Dear Jackie!
I'm very happy to hear about our Mauritian connection. You seem to have fantastic pictures of the old Mauritian days! Have you had the opportunity to visit us? If you need any specific information that I can help to obtain, no problem! I'm quite versed in local history and literature! And, by the way, you seemed to say that your parent had written something on his extra-european experiences. Is it available somewhere?
Coming back to this comic strip of George Orwell, following my sources, it must have been in 1951.
In his 2006 book entitled "British Propaganda and News Media in the Cold War", John Jenks writes that "by December 1950, the IRD had acquired the foreign rights to turn "Animal Farm" into a seventy-eight-installment cartoon strip with suggested texts for local adaptation. By July 1951, the strip was being published in India, Burma, Thailand, Venezuela and Eythrea; many others were planned" (Edinburgh University Press, London, 2006)
Another author, Andrew Defty in his "Britain, America and Anti-Communist: The Information Research Department" (2007) says "In 1950, the IRD secured the overseas rights to produce a strip cartoon version of Animal Farm for newspaper serialization. The strip cartoon which consisted of 90 four-framed strips – was widely published in newspapers across the Far East, Middle east, Latin America, Ceylon, Africa, the West Indies and Iceland." (Rootledge, USA, 2007).
Please find attached a sample of the first and the last pages of the comic strip.
Hoping to have further contacts either on Orwell or on Mauritius!
Greetings again Robert,
Thanks a million for the ANIMAL FARM comic strip samples, scanned above. They're a much valued contribution to "Orwell Today".
I love the artist's depictions (and can even understand some of the Mauritian Creole - at least the occasional french word). The images remind me of the animation in the 1954 ANIMAL FARM MOVIE. You can watch a video clip and read further info at ANIMAL FARM ORIGINAL MOVIE & ANIMAL FARM HALAS & BATCHELOR
Thanks too for the info on the origin of the comic strip, ie created by the IRD (Information Research Department) during the Cold War (a term Orwell coined in his essay YOU AND THE ATOMIC BOMB). See ORWELL COINED "COLD WAR"
Orwell had a good friend who worked for the IRD. He gave her the names of dozens of people he suspected were either communists or communist sympathisers. See ORWELL"S CRYPTO-COMMIE LIST.
I haven't been to Mauritius yet, but it's always been a dream of mine to go there, ever since hearing my grandfather's stories which you can read at the bottom of the ORWELL & JURA GRANDFATHERS VICARS article.
I'm fascinated by Mauritius - that tiny little speck in the ocean off the coast of Madagascar. Hopefully some day I'll visit there and you can show me the rest of the ANIMAL FARM comic book and we'll look for my great-grandfather's house at Bishopscourt.
All the best,
...See ANIMAL FARM DRAWINGS COLLECTION
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