Mumbai: The founding editor, creator of Amar Chitra Katha and Tinkle comics, Anant Pai, better known as 'Uncle Pai', passed away on Thursday night after a brief illness.

He was 82 and is survived by his wife Lalita.

Hearing the news of his demise, fans and admirers thronged his Prabhadevi residence. The funeral took place at Shivaji Park crematorium late in the night.

Expressing his condolences, Samir Patil, CEO, and ACK Media said, "We at ACK Media are still in a state of shock. Mr Pai was a pioneer and an inspiration for everyone who worked in the field of children's entertainment and education.

The best homage from us to him would be if we can realise his ideas in new forms of media to connect with the next generation."

Anant Pai started the comic book series Amar Chitra Katha based on stories from the India epics, mythology and history. The idea struck him after he witnessed a quiz contest where participants could easily answer questions pertaining to Greek history but were unable to answer simple questions about India.

This was in 1967 when he was working with the Times of India and decided to leave his job. After facing many rejections he finally found a partner in the late G. L. Mirchandani of India Book House. They launched the imprint with Pai in the role of writer, editor and publisher.