Saturday, July 5, 2014

Comic #113 : First Indrajal Comics(The Phantom's Belt) in BENGALI : বেতালের বেল্ট[Translated]

 UPDATE(19/7/2014) :  A very fine article was published at today's edition of a Bengali newspaper  "EI SOMOY" on Indrajal Comics,the 50 years of this series,and I was mentioned there as a fan and avid collector of this series... :)  
[The number of Indrajal I have in my collection mentioned there is total i.e. incld. all versions and spares. I have 745 specific issues(out of 803).. ]

Few months back,I have translated a Mayukh Chawdhury comics -শয়তানের দ্বীপ - in English(The Devil's Island). The purpose was to introduce this famous Bengali artist-cum-storyteller's work with all non-Bengali Indian fans and fans around the globe(like Celso from Brazil)..

 This time,I did just opposite..
 That is,I have translated a famous and already read-by-millions English Phantom tale in Bengali,which was eventually picked as the cover-story of the introductory issue of Indrajal Comics  - The Phantom's Belt - published on March 1964! That time Indrajal had no Bengali version nor this story was ever reprinted,hence this fantastic adventure was never published in Bengali till date...

 So here it is for all of you,the Bengali Indrajal & Phantom(aka Betal aka Aranyadev) fans,the very first Indrajal Comics(The Phantom's Belt) in Bengali - বেতালের বেল্ট - after 50 years of the original publication!
  As you know Indrajal Comics completed it's 50 years of existence on the last March,so you can consider this post as an extended part of that celebration of this unforgettable series....something that will remain attached with me till my last days..!!
 And it was a fitting tale of avenge created by Falk and illustrated by McCoy on 1954.

 According to me,the best part of the story was that double rain-bow aspect...most unique....And unlike the many other 'superstitious/supernatural facts' associated with the Ghost Who Walks,this was never repeated in any of the later adventures of him...

[i] In the Indrajal version,Singh pirate was called 'Singha' and 'Bengali Explorer Club' was renamed 'Rankali Explorer Club'. Times of India(ToI) was obviously puzzled with these words,specially with name of that African country,and the first they renamed that by Rankali and later settled with Denkali! (I have used Denkali for readers' we are most familiar with this!)
Both changes were obviously required and that 'Bengali' one was of course a mistake by Falk as he tried to  'naming' a fictitious country using a real 'dialect'(Bengali)..

[ii] One person called Ramsay was renamed Ramlu BUT strangely name of that killer - Rama - was retained!!

[iii] The scans of the English issue(that I have used) was quite ordinary,pages weren't properly aligned, plus,it was done from a book in very tattered condition. So I had to edit and clean some parts as you can check here...I don't know PS and hence the cleaning was quite tiring and time-consuming,but the end result was satisfactory!
[iv] The numbering in Bengali I choose is খন্ড ১ সংখ্যা ১ this would be(for all versions) if  ToI picked the Vol.No. pattern from the very first year instead of the 20th! Thought it's better than using "-২২" ...what you guys think?? :-)

[v] I have translated the Phantom story only and skipped those other GK type pages & cartoons...

Thursday, June 5, 2014

John Celardo's TARZAN Daily Strips from the BARTAMAN(বর্তমান) Newspaper

 In the late '80s and early '90s we used to subscribe a Bengali newspaper - BARTAMAN(বর্তমান) and their licensed comic-strip was TARZAN!! Very soon I was hooked with this mighty ape-man. I still remember the way I used wait for everyday's newspaper(except Sunday) just to read those strips!

But I never tried to collect those strips back then...and I was still regretting for that! Until very recently,little I knew that there is a re-run of old Tarzan strips since last few years and they are publishing the same old strips!! And the artist JOHN CELADO was as efficient as RUSS MANNING - his successor!(For a long time I thought all were done by  Manning...while Manning redefined the series altogether but J.Celardo  had even more mystic charm in his style....his detailed description of a dense jungle and the atmosphere...all were just mind-blowing!)

So I am now subscribing Bartaman once again,for these strips alone,and this time I will collect each and every strips - as these TARZAN daily strips were never published in India in book-format/magazine,so Bartaman's reprint is the only source of these rare Tarzan strips in Bengali!! 

Here are scans of few such you can see,the current run is from 1964...that is, 50 years' old strips!!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Comic #112 - The Devil's Island by Mayukh Chowdhury[Translated]

                                            বঙ্গদেশে জন্মে তুমি দেখিয়েছ যে রঙ্গ,
                                          প্রাচ্য থেকে প্রাশ্চাত্য পেয়েছে সমান সঙ্গ।
                                              তোঁমার রচনায় তাই দেখি তাই 
                                               জাতি-দেশ ভুলে এসেছে সবাই,
                                                  দেয়নি কেউ রণে-ভঙ্গ ! 
                                                                        (a few lines by me as a tribute to Mayukh Chawdhury)

During a  recent discussion on a topic on Mayukh Chowdhury - the renowned Bengali artist and story-teller - at Facebook, a fan commented what would happened if MC was born outside of Bengal/India where his work would had been not restricted in the regional language(i.e. Bengali) but in English and would been read by millions!! And that's so true because his works were mostly free of the regional/national boundary, be it wild-life based comics,or Robinhood comics or those alien tales - all these stories deserve a much wider range of readers because of the contents!
 But what a pity that,even after 52 years of his first published work and 18 years after his demise, there is no single translated job done on his work,at least I never seen/heard about any!!(While Narayan Debnath and Satyajit Ray's some works have been already translated,it's baffling why MC was omitted till date!)

 That particular discussion promoted me to do the job. And so as a very small tribute to this legendary artist, I have translated one of the Mayukh's earlier work - a fascinating thriller based on the Californian coast - ''শয়তানের দ্বীপ" i.e. The Devil's Island!

 I have tried every possible way to retain the original feel,starting from the way MC narrated the dramatic events happened there to the font/text color and font size! Hopefully it will show to many,specially those who can't read Bengali,that what a great artist-come-narrator he was!
 And then, this is a just very small piece of his numerous work!

  • Original Story Title : শয়তানের দ্বীপ
  • First Publication Year : 1965
  • Original Version : Bengali
  • Creator : Mayukh Chowdhury (1926-1996)
  • Translator : HojO

PS - This blog has completed it's 7th anniversary on the 6th of this month!So you can also consider this post as a belated anniversary post! :o)

Saturday, March 1, 2014

50 Years of Indrajal Comics : A Celebration Post

For Those Who Came in LATE....
  • March...
  • 1964...
  • A NEW Times of India Publication,a comic-magazine(then monthly) was launched in India,titled Indrajal Comics.....
  • JAN...
  • 1966...
  • Bengali version was started off,been 22 issues behind of the pioneer issue...
And since then for almost 3 decades the generations of Indian kids and teens(and grown-ups as well) were mesmerized by this series,it's enchanting presentation that incld. exciting tales and much more!
  • May...
  • 1990...
  • 27th year of publication...
 Indrajal Comics was officially killed cancelled - a sudden decision made by the publisher ...
 The last issue, featured the last hero introduced in the Indrajal universe - Dara - was released on 16th April,1990...
JUNE'1990..1992..1995..1999...2002...2005..2007..2012..2013..2014....and the coming years.....
  • College Street of Kolkata...
  • Dariya Ganj of Delhi....
  • Fort  Market of Mumbai....
  • Abids' of Hyderabad....
 AND 1000s of other old-book-shops throughout the India WERE (AND still ARE) RANSACKED by millions of  BOOKWORMS known as Indrajal-Addicts.....and a research revealed : older they are crazier they act!!!
  • March...
  • 2014...
Today Indrajal Comics completes it's 50 years of existence !

 A true immortal series it proved the fact by their act even after 2 decades of the  'sudden death'!
 In short,Indrajal was NOT just another comic-series for us,the was much beyond that....Forget about the cover-titles,one will have a good time with few 100s of Indrajals just by reading the informative articles/side-strips alone(or looking at the old advertisements and relieve the nostalgia!)....
BACK to the PAST :

 Way back in the '60s, ToI decide to promote their newly launched series and that was not tough for them as they were one of the top publishers in India back then,already owned one of the popular magazines : Illustrated Weekly India where Phantom was introduced much earlier that we have him in the pages of  Indrajal!
 Initially they heavily relied on Falk's Phantom(Betal) and Walt Disney's stories.With passing years they finally settled their target heroes : Phantom,Mandrake,Flash Gordon!They in the late'70s they introduced an Indian hero : Bahadur, just to give the series a more Indian feel and readers,a variety!
 Later on,we have few more western and Indian heroes(namely Garth,Lt.Drake,Rip Kirby,Buz,Corrigan,Aditya & Dara) and some had a good impact on fans' mind but the highlighted ones remain the same - that is, the Fantastic Four!

 Here you can see few very early advertisements of Indrajal...published in the '60s issues of  Illustrated Weekly of India (image courtesy Kevin Patrick - a Phantom researcher) :

 The Indrajal ads used to appear in the Bengali teen-mag Anandamela in the in '70s are the best among the lot I have even seen...A brief story-synopsis followed by the titles and art of the featuring heroes were always present in those pages! These kind of ads surely did enhance the readers' interest many folds!(Those who can't read Bengali will easily guess the titles from the art.)


Once Again...Back to the PRESENT:

 ON THIS SPECIAL MEMORABLE OCCASION LET'S CONSIDER THE WHOLE March of 2014 AS "Month of Indrajal Comics" and hopefully other bloggers will carry forward the celebration as well....
 So I WILL POST some selected Indrajal Issues in this post in the three languages I prefer to read i.e. Bengali,English & Hindi(in the order of preference) as follows :

  • Comic #109 : A Bengali Betal Indrajal : রহস্যময় প্রতিশোধ (সংখ্যা ২০৯ ; ১৯৭৫)
 এই ইন্দ্রজালটিতে বেতালের দু'টো গল্প আছে। দ্বিতীয়টিও মরুভূমির প্রেক্ষাপটে....নাম  "মরুভূমির আতঙ্ক"।
 দুটিই লি ফকের অনবদ্য সৃষ্টি, তবে প্রথম গল্পটির প্লট অনন্য যা প্রতিবার পড়ার পর এক অদ্ভূত অনুভূতি নিয়ে আসে!!  মরুভূমিতে একাকী এক পুরুষ আর তার অভিনব(এবং ভয়ঙ্কর) প্রতিশোধের পরিকল্পনা....

বেতাল সেই 'বাজ প্রশিক্ষক'-এর দৃষ্টিভঙ্গিকে সমর্থন না করলেও আমরা,পাঠকরা, না করে থাকতে পারিনি। তাই নয় কি??
এমনকি বেতালও শেষে বিভ্রান্ত হয়ে যায়...

   দ্বিতীয় গল্পটি ছোটো কিন্তু বেশ ভালো...আর শেষটা অনবদ্য, যা চলমান অশরীরীর রহস্যময়তাকে আরো একবার ফুটিয়ে তোলে...

  • Comic #110 : An English Dara Indrajal : The Enemy Agent (Vol.25 No.43 ; 1988)
 This was the introductory tale of this Indian James Bond who did a good job! 
  Must admit,the plot was perfect set-up for Dara to introduce in the Indrajal's prestigious universe of heroes and super-heroes... 
 You will see how he nabbed a cunning traitor..

And the illustration,as we always have mentioned,was top-notched!    

  • Comic #111 : A Hindi Mandrake Indrajalम्रित्यु कि परछाई (सन्खा २९८ ; १९७८)
प्रस्तुत है मैनड्रैक की एक कहानी जहां हम देखेंगे होजो  का कमाल! क्या '8' के साथ कोई सम्बन्ध है?

यह जानने के लिए पढिये : मृत्यु की परछाई!!