Friday, August 24, 2007

Comic #1:Mandrake Daily-Strip:Secret Mission(D231;1999)

Hi all friends. Today I'm posting the link of LAST Mandrake Daily scripted by Falk in the 1999. It's,eventually,the 1st Original Comic-Post in this blog aswell! :))
Just read this one....a perfect thriller! and has Narda...she looks stunning!!:o))
It has some similarities with a popular Mandrake Sunday strip published way back in 1987 ....ardent fans may recognise that. ;o))


Sunday, August 19, 2007

When Barry met Fredricks....

(I was accidentally witnessed of this conversation am going to describe here.....during my usual early-morning jog in a park of rare n beautiful was a cold n breezy sunday morning ... .Being an ardent nature-lover i was almost lost in those colorful-beauties until heard a familiar! i know them,they are.....ohh no,better you all read it and find out by yourself !)

Barry:Hello Mr.Fredricks,i don't expect you here so early!
Fredricks(was surprised) :oh you! no no....nothing special,just feel for an early-morning walk r's since years we last met!
By:yeah!but am more or less regularly visit this place....a beautiful site indeed!
Fr:wow! you are lucky mister! am rarely get some free-times....u know am still continuing the illustration of Mandrake strips with scripting as well since Mr.Falk passed's really hectic schedule,specially in this....
By(interrupted him):I know, i know...but don't u wanna relax and have fun as well?
Fr(with smile):what's fun? my work in my fun,my relaxation....yes,time to time me too feel bored or stressed,but then these things are part n parcel of our profession...ain't?
By(paused for a while): may be...but then, everything has an can't continue one thing for life long,u may know i got that illustration job in sixties (failed to remember exact year),from then i did the Phantom illustration for so long times,it was around three decades.It was a glorious experience indeed....even we spend nights by discussions over the scripts,panels,coloring .....u know Mr.Falk was so perfectionist!
Fr:(nodding his head positively):yes! he was one of those most perfectionist i had seen my know,when i took the illustration job of Mandrake strips,i think it was 1967, he was already a famous comic-writer,but still very open to take new things and willing to listen some one's point-of-view.....though final call always from his side....only sometimes when the syndicate persons..
By (interrupted Fr again ):i know ,i know....u talking about those idiots in King Features...who, have no sense in these remarkable art-works,only think about business?? (seems to be little annoyed)
Fr(defensively):err...may be, but one has to cope in this competitive world and for that you have to be patient,ain't?
By(tried to smile): hmm....may be
Fr: By the way,after retirement,what's up now days ?
By (rather relax this time):oh nothing! just enjoying my free-time ,which was almost non-existing thing until i quited the scripting.....also my wife Simmy is a great company back home.
Fr: i see! do u stopped suddenly or pre-planned it??
By:Neither actually! while i decide my mind to call it quit and expressed the same to those KFS guys ,but they requested me to continue for few more months....finally in 1994 one fine morning i felt that it's over and simply told them.....since then i never accept any offer days it's my amateur painting that keeps me busy.
Fr: Almost same here! only that my love towards this particular strip of Mandrake helped me to survive till now ...(paused for few moments ) though i left the Sunday strips in '02 as the pressure was unbearable.You may know i also illustrated some Phantom dailies after your retirement until 2000...frankly, i truly enjoy my works even at this age!
By: you seems to be...actually except those stressful deadlines , me too enjoyed that job with the superb scripts that i had to follow.
Fr:You should enjoyed it! after all it was you who gave the Phantom the modern look and giving all respects to Moore and McCoy i must say initially which was a more caricature-thing than reality....ain't?
By(completely blushed): haha....but they were the pioneers man!
Fr (little serious this time): who denied that? but you have to modernise things with time,see in my field Phil Davis was the pioneer of Mandrake strips, but i always willing to give this entire series a new n modern look from the very beginning .... i'm lucky that Mr.Falk always gave the freedom of experiments.
By:Very true! sometimes me also feel that i should continue for more years,specially after seeing those illustrations recently...those were petty ordinary!
Fr :Yeah!I must confess ,though i love my work, these day i can't maintain the same illustration-level that i once maintained in Mr.Falk's time!!...hope i'll give more time to this strip ...
By:My friend ,don't bother so much!think in this way that if you stop it,there'll be no Mandrake just keep it up! also i felt that you done a great job by re-telling those early stories of Mandrake in your scripting's really gives the essence of Mr.Falk even if in his absence!
Fr(visually stunned):Thanks for this compliment my old friend!But it's really amazing that you take so much interest in current strips!! Thanks again....just worrying about one thing,what'll happen to Mandrake strips after me??
By:Yeah,sometimes i check those strips...don worry man,just keep it up! and if you'll be not there, Mandrake wouldn't be either!!
Fr: You just made my day,hope we will meet more often!
By:Same here...bye.

They shaked each other hands cheerfully...

(ohh....Somebody was shaking me as,not my hand but my! it was my little bro,trying to wake me up! it was damn 7 o'clock and me was lying on my bed..... sooooo,it was a dream!!!!! gosh...i just dreamt all those conversations!!!! ....can't believe it....OR was that real????
However friend,am don ask me any question regarding this conversation, even if you have one! may be it was just a dream, so am not responsible for any loop-hole...samjha?)

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Happy Independence Day

Happy 15th of August to all of my fellow bloggers !
It's our 60th independence day....time to make some resolutions (yes,for me this day is more meaningful for making some oaths than usual new-year-resolutions..)
Lets wish,we will see more prospect and less corruptions {am NOT joking!'s my sincere wish} in our country..:-)))
In personal front,being in the very important stage of my career,it's like i'll get the better offers within a couple of months (as per the things are going till now)....lets hope all will happen for the best!
Jai Hind :-)))

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

At last I got these:'Cheryl Blossom' comics in ARCHIE and TIMPA's Own Comic Books!

Hi friends, there's a good news for all Archie comic lovers!After several searches , ultimately I have my hands on some 'special' Archie comics from one old-book-shop today,it was one of those rare visits at such places :-))

I'm talking about the red-haired hottie in that crazy teenager's life who,being a very-late-entry(first introduction was on 1982) , even able to challenge the two other inherent female characters in this comic-series....Betty n Veronica! So, you can understand that she's NOT ordinary any way nor my interest in her ;-)
You can read about her at wiki.

I got three comics published between 1995-1997 along with another 'Archie and his pals'.

*The most exciting one is the story titled 'Beach Blanket Blossom'(four parts in one book;1995)'s really exciting to see those three girls engaged in a water-fight !

Also,today I am amazed to find TIMPA's own comic-books(English)!!...those were published way back on 1986 by Pars Publication.The page quality was very good,almost like Tin Tin/Lucky Luke series...

wow! at last we can read Timpa comics in original form :-))

As I have mentioned earlier in my post on Timpa that there were 36 stories published at Indrajal Comics(1988-89), but these are NOT published in Indrajals and also without edited,either the story or the panels (which were common in IJC due to page-restrictions)

The THREE comics I got today are...

[1]Legacy of the gods
[2]The red-hooded gang
& [3]Operation rescue
All are 30+ pagers....

P.- It's just 80 bucks that I've to spend on these 7 timeless comics!
I'll try. to scan-n-post these comics someday....:-)
Now,lemme enjoy these stuffs !
Till then,bye friends....:-)))))))))))

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Aleena - ' The Glamorous Enchantress'

There is a change of topic....after a couple of lengthy posts on Phantom (though it's just beginning!) i thought it'll be a good idea to shift the discussion to Mandrake -the magician.
And the first character hit my mind was Aleena...yes,i'm talking about Aleena - the enchantress,who rarely appeared in this magician's life but whenever she came ,it was a tough deal for Mandrake as she ,like Mandrake,also an ex-student of College Of Magic situated in some mysterious cave of Himalaya.
Apparently,she had a crush on Mandrake since their student-life .Even once she protested Derek's (evil-twin of Mandrake) mis-behaviour towards Mandrake and as a result got slapped by this furious fella,that leads a fight between twins until Theron intervened.Think this incident indicates there was no initial bad-feelings between them until Aleena became a scholar and introduced with the urban,rich society. From then her sky-high ambition leads her doing misuse of the all those mighty hypnotic powers she learned in that place,including frequent change of her husbands. Yes,she is the Liz Taylor of comics strips who married 6 times and still in search for new partner! Only difference (with her real-life counterpart) is ,after marry, using her remarkable power she forced each of those husbands turned to be her slaves!

There are only 4 Indrajals in which this glamorous enchantress (yes,she is hot n glamorous ,a rare example of blonds ;-0) appeared,though first one was 'Aleena the enchantress' (No.397 & 398;1982 ),it was not the original first story of this series....that was published lately as 'Spell of enchantress'(Vol.24 No.52;1987) where she forced Mandrake to bring her the 'crystal cube'- an amazing thing supposed to be gifted by aliens to the College of Magic .Aleena almost managed to grab that priceless species,before Lothar and Hojo were saved Mandrake from her mighty hypnotic spell(it's one of those rarest rare moments where this legendary magician himself was under the hypnotic spell!).It has been learned in this thriller that Narda/Karma yet to see her . Then in the next story (No.397 & 398) where she again backed to woo Mandrake and then tried to kill Narda after Mandrake rejected her the end,Mandrake's hypnotic gesture apparently made her a witch (grrr....) that scared away all of her slaved-husbands!!
[above u can see few moments from these strips]
Later, for the LAST time she returned in the 'Captive enchantress' (Vol.25 No.4;1988) where she was trapped by some deadly smugglers ....she then tried to call Mandrake using telepathy .Initially Mandrake thought that call as her another evil attempt to create trouble,but with Narda's insistence (ooops!women are truly mysterious,my friends....) Mandrake saved her from the deadly clutches of those smugglers.In the very end,Aleena thanked Narda for the help ...... with one question in her mind "What does he see in her? (Narda)"? and Narda wondered as well " What did he ever see in her "?...she was actually confused about whether Aleena still loves Mandrake or not!. ....but it's answer is obvious :Y-E-S!
What u think,friends??
Also,it was most probably the LAST strip where this enchantress returned,wish we would see more strips of her!
P.S.- would be happy if someone proves me wrong,that's she was appeared in another story...but then,is it really??

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Phantom : The Legendary Saviour [Part-II]

I would like to finish my each topic in a single post,but here's the difference for Phantom and Mandrake. I have so much to share and that may be beyond 10 posts each;in short it's my passion and gonna continue irrespective of whether anybody reads it or not!
Before going to elaborate the topics i left in part-I, here's something to share my own experience with this Legendary Ghost Who Walks.

In India comics lovers (specially the Bengali and Hindi readers) more relate with Phantom as Vetal - chalaman ashariry/chalte phirte pret. My first meeting with Vetal/Indrajal was in way back 1989.Though i read some comics of this Falk-creation in that year, but my madness about Indrajal Comics (who yet to know what was Indrajal,should not proceed further!) started with a Rip Kirby comic! and later i realise it was LAST Rip Kirby in Indrajal[The foiled coup;Vol.26 No.29].

Still can remember the day clearly, when one of my class-mates (& my buddy) ,Amritanshu brought this book in class.Initially ,being an ardent 'Chacha Choudhary & Sabu's fan then, i was not much interested in this comic book ,still go through some pages,ads,Henry etc very casually ...then as class dissolved for that day,he asked to return the comic....still remember,at that moment i first realised how much i became fond of this comic-publication,if not story then at least with the format! Then i repeatedly asked him to bring some more of these comics.As a true friend he allowed me to go through ALL of his Indrajal collections (a decent one ,indeed!) .Most of my initial IJC were from him,those still i've in my collection (a completely unforgettable memory's associated with these odd 40 Indrajals those are more close-to-heart than my presently huge collection!!) and since then Indrajal Comics are my part-of-regular-reading (i'm a TRUE book-warm...go through ,from comics to novels, all those appeal me).

First Vetal-Indrajal i brought very soon after this fabulous introduction was Mystery of the black box [Vol.26 No.33]. It was a good story indeed,though initially i couldn't relate with the little people,but after few months i also got some previous comics (e.g Vol.26 -No.25;The Chivalrous Protector) of this little aliens and since then these amazing people always attract me (there are total 6 comics published in IJC ) .
[here's the Hindi-cover of this 26-33 issue]
Actually their ancestor's space-ship crashed on Earth millions years ago,since then they are living in this planet beyond the river-of-fire,surrounded by hot lava and separating them from the outside-world of giants. Among earth-people only Phantoms (OUR 21st phantom and his some ancestors) are their friends and saviour as well.

Once these little people saved phantom from quick sand ,in return,later someday phantom saved their queen from some greedy king.

Once little kit (our phantom's son) went to find these little people,after listening a fabulous story from old man Mozz. soon he was under dreaded danger,as his
canon was just near the river-of-fire when he saved by those aliens. So this future-phantom(22nd) also introduced with these people following his fore-fathers,despite the fact,Diana don't believe his words as for her all those facts are nothing but Mozz's imaginary stories.(though it was good for those aliens secrecy,isn't?) [Above u can see some pages from a little people story published in IJC No.205;1974]

Much later Phantom again saved the queen of little people,Melody from a mad Duke (who thought these people are electronic-creatures!!) . After sent that Duke to jail,who eventually was an international fraud, prince Bhald asked good bye to their ONLY friend in this world-of-giants, as their cave,which was actually a destroyed space-ship in a volcano surrounded by melting hot lava ,under the threat destruction all the volcano would erupt soon! But they have to save their black-box from it, as it's the last option for them to connect with their planet ,by an unknown sound-wave.
After a near-fatal attempt,vetal ultimately able to save that mysterious box and soon after that the cave completely covered with hot lava,leaving NO place for these little aliens. Then this benevolent ghost helped these ill-fated people to find a new place...that's it in a cave of EDEN(soon will dedicate a post on this fabulous island),his island-of-peace. Since then these little people are living there.

So dear readers,if by any chance you are intend to visit Eden (obviously with Phantom's permission), should meet these little aliens !

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Phantom : The Legendary Saviour [Part-I]

Among many Phantom illustrators, the name created most sensation is Barry,Sy Barry who illustrated this Legendary comic-hero from 1962 to 1994 & helped this strip to reach a remarkable height.

In other word,during more-than-70-year run, Phantom comics reached in the maximum popularity OR better say get the modern-n-real-life look in Barry's era...though Lee Falk is creator of this 'ghost who walks' all credits behind his modern look goes to Sy Barry .

Before him,McCoy and Moore did the illustration jobs and frankly those were far away from the reality look,not only Phantom but all other characters illustrations were like more caricature-thing and hence not much popular.Also the script were less thrilling and patter of the stories also little monotonous (same kidnapping stories of Diana or some lost people in jungle etc. & almost all thugs looked alike! ).

After Sy Barry take the illustrator job,he gave Phantom a new and real-life-hero look (that even becomes more attractive from '70s strips). Falk was very happy with this development and instantly went for a make-over.
[here's some strips illustrated by Moore and Barry; while 1st one by Moore in '50s era, next two by Barry in '71 and '80 respectively.... it's just shows the excellence of great Barry]

I doubt if Barry wouldn't step-in then as an illustrator, Phantom may be not exist for such a long time.It's in Barry's era when Col.Worobu ,President Luaga ,black-king Junakar and miss Tagama appeared,also with some other integral characters about which i'll discuss in later part . Also after some year, Morris-town became Mawitaan and Bangala to Denkali.Also it's the first time when Devil - Phantom's deadly wolf looks like a real-wolf-than-dog as it was in earlier strips.

All who read early (i.e. before Barry) phantoms saw Diana and all other female characters as blondes.It is learned that,Falk was quite fade-up with this monotonous look (incld. Phantom's look as well) and after some discussions with the then new illustrator Barry and the king Features Syndicate's officials, they decide to give a complete make-over to every characters and most effectively to these ladies.As a result,without any notice at all , including Diana,almost all female characters became brunette from blonde! quite a make-over ,hah!
[Though in some strips blonde characters appeared,but that were less frequent and they too were look much prettier than earlier!]

Jokes a apart, it's really stupendously increased the 'glamour quotient' in this comic-strips.Personally i'm agree with this fact.... actually Diana turns not only more glamorous after this, also she becomes less of a damsel-in-distress (previously most of her stories were revolved as she was kidnapped by thugs and phantom rescued her all the time!) and gets more meaty roles in the later strips.
Also other characters got a make-over with introduction of some NEW and exciting characters..e.g. REX - 'Phantom's foster son'.

But that'll be in next part with lot more other discussions on the Ghost Who Walks...