Kenal Lebih Dekat dengan Bapak Komik Indonesia R.A. Kosasih, Pencipta Karakter Sri Asih

Get to know the father of Indonesian comics, RA Kosasih, creator of the character Sri Asih

For a long time, we have been more familiar with superheroes from abroad, such as Superman, Wonder Woman, Iron Man and others. Meanwhile, for domestic figures, the names of superheroes that are recognized can be said to be quite limited. For this reason, several filmmakers have begun diligently working on films with the theme of local superheroes, one of which is Sri Asih. The name Sri Asih has recently become quite a topic of conversation because it describes the character of Indonesian women who are strong and independent and try to be equal to men.

It turns out that the character Sri Asih was created in 1954 by comic artist Raden Ahmad Kosasih or better known as RA Kosasih. The Sri Asih comic itself was quite popular when it was released. Of the 3,000 copies printed, all were sold.

So, who really is RA Kosasih?

RA Kosasih is a comic artist who has contributed greatly to the world of Indonesian comics. He produced various phenomenal works, such as Siti Gahara, Cempaka, Mahabharata Series, Ramayana, Birth of Ravana, and many more. From there he was later nicknamed the Father of Indonesian Comics. His name was also immortalized in the Indonesian comic award, Kosasih Award.

Born in Bondongan Village, Bogor, on April 4 1919, RA Kosasih was the son of a trader from Purwakarta, Raden Wiradikusuma, and a woman from Bogor, Sumami. Even though he was not born into a family of artists, RA Kosasih's interest in drawing grew from a young age. He often waited for his mother to come home from the market to wait for the newspapers to wrap up groceries which usually featured excerpts from Tarzan comic stories.

After graduating from elementary school, in 1932, RA Kosasih studied at the Hollandsch Inlandsche School (HIS) Pasundan, a school for Bumiputra nobles. It was there that his interest in the art of drawing increased. In an interview with the daily Suara Merdeka, he revealed that his notebook at that time quickly ran out because he kept drawing.

After graduating from HIS, RA Kosasih actually had a great opportunity to become an ambtenaar (civil servant). However, he actually chose to be unemployed first. That's when he started spending most of his time drawing and watching wayang golek puppet shows. After returning from the show, RA Kosasih always had the story in mind. He thought, maybe if the story was summarized but still contained, it would be liked by many people.

After some time, RA Kosasih started his first professional career in 1939. He was accepted as a draftsman at the Bogor Zoological Museum. There he was responsible for drawing animals and plants for publication in museum and study books. Apart from that, he is also active in creating comic strips for a local newspaper in Bogor.

Entering the Japanese occupation, 1942, oppression occurred everywhere. RA Kosasih's life began to change. Only Flash Gordon comics were his entertainment at that time.

This difficult situation gradually improved after Indonesia became independent. In 1953, many newspapers began to open vacancies for draftsman positions. RA Kosasih was also accepted into the Bandung-based daily GUIDE.

From day to day, RA Kosasih's expertise is recognized by many parties, one of which is the publisher Melodie, in Bandung. The publisher offered RA Kosasih to make a comic. From there, the Sri Asih comic was born, the creation of which was inspired by American female superheroes. The figure of Sri Asih is depicted as being able to soar quickly into space like Superman and as brave as Wonder Woman. What's unique is that Sri Asih appears with a beautiful face and wears a costume like a Sundanese wayang golek and speaks softly like a palace princess.

Success with Sri Asih, RA Kosasih wrote his second comic entitled Siti Gahara. This work also gained success in the market, making RA Kosasih's enthusiasm for making comics continue to increase. After that, various comics from RA Kosasih were born. His productivity is what has made comic organizations or communities now choose him as the Father of Indonesian Comics.

When he entered his old age, RA Kosasih often got sick. He finally died on July 24 2012 at the age of 93. Even so, he is still remembered as a pioneer in publishing the first comics in Indonesia. RA Kosasih's birthday is also celebrated as National Comics Day.

That is the figure of RA Kosasih with his various phenomenal works. Even though he is gone, his works are still immortal and are a favorite of various groups. In fact, one of the titles will be made to the big screen. Thank you, RA Kosasih, for your dedication to developing Indonesian comics.

Back to blog