This study takes up the subject of Ramayana folklore in Indonesia. The epic poem Ramayana from India, has spread throughout among many regions of Southeast Asia, having been adopted as the main theme in various performing art forms such as theater, dance drama, and mask dance even up to the present day. In Indonesia, the Ramayana has been performed in the art forms such as wayang kulit (puppet theatre), wayang golek (rod puppet theatre), and sendratari (dance drama). The tale of Ramayana has also been handed down in written text form such as in novels, romances, and comic books.
In this article, I consider about the Ramayana folklore in Indonesian comic books, citing the characteristic structure and plot of them. Among the Indonesian comic books, R. A. Kosasih’s work is the best-known and most successful one. His comic is called as komik wayang because of its close relationship with the wayang theater. Kosasih adopted many episodes from the wayang tradition, but he dealt these episodes in the unique way. He changed the episodes and also added the episodes created by himself. By doing so intentionally, he prevented “regionalism” such as Javanese, Sundanese or Balinese. He created his own version of the tale of Ramayana. Whereas, we can see the lineage that based on the classical Sanskrit version as written by Valmiki, in the structure of the tales in his comic books, there are many episodes that derived from the Serat Kandha scripts that have close relationship with the stories of the wayang theater. We can also see the many unique episodes that created by Kosasih himself. Through the creation of comic books, Kosasih has succeeded in presentation the entire plot of the Ramayana with his unique version.