Introduction On Racism Epigraphs A History of the Pulps A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Glossary and Character Taxonomy Breakdown by Country of Origin Bibliography Table of Contents The Best of the Encyclopedia
Gagaklodra. Gagaklodra was created by “Monsieur d’Amour,” the pseudonym of the Indonesian author Njoo Cheong Seng, and appeared in over one hundred stories, novels, comic strips, and films from 1930 to 1953, beginning with “Penjakit Tjinta” (Liberty, Nov. 1930).
Gagaklodra is a Superhuman Lupin modeled on Arsène Lupin. Gagaklodra (real name A. Raden Wiradraka) is Chinese-Malay Indonesian and is active across the archipelago. From 1930 to 1945 he is a rogue who enjoys mocking the police, but after Indonesia’s declaration of independence in 1945 Gagaklodra begins helping the police solve crimes, especially those committed by political agitators. Gagaklodra is very clever, athletic, and skilled as both thief and crime-solver, but he is also a silat expert and has various mystic abilities.
* I'm including Gagaklodra in the Best of the Encyclopedia category because of his archetypal nature and his historical importance. Indonesian fiction had master thieves before Gagaklodra, but Njoo Cheong Seng made Gagaklodra's adventures enthralling enough, and his characterization pronounced enough, that Gagaklodra became the Indonesian master thief for a generation. Moreover, Gagaklodra's stories count as historically important because of the high degree of political matter that Njoo Cheong Seng put in the stories. Whether it was rebelling against the colonial police and constantly outwitting them or acting against political agitators and Communist rebels, Gagaklodra voiced the positions of the great majority of Indonesians and, because he was a badass Superhuman Lupin, made those positions both more acceptable to hold and validated by his holding them. (A comparison would be Superman continually voicing criticism of the Trump administration during 2016-2020). In this sense Gagaklodra and the stories were influential in the real world beyond the world of popular fiction, and thus definitely count as being historically important.
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