Friday, February 15, 2013

Comic #100 : Bengali Indrajal Comics(No.262) : Bahadur meets Bela in the Sada Bhuter Adda(সাদা ভূতের আড্ডা)

Friends,yesterday was the Valentine day(as you know it very much) and today is Swaraswati Puja - known as Bengali's V-Day!! :o) And in this occasion,enjoy the 100th comic of this blog(but not the 100th comic-post,it's 87th only, as some posts have multiple comics).

How Bahadur ,the brave crime-fighter, met his girl-friend Bela?? You will get the answer in this thrilling adventure,4th of the series,scripted by A.Surti & illustrated by G.Brahamania!
 Their meeting was quite dramatic as Bahadur had this wrong impression that Bela was faking that kidnapping story of her father and hence tried to capture her...
...but soon find out that was a wrong move, as Bela was a tough lady(and she taught him a lesson!)
And then, from Mukhia he learnt her true identity,that she was truly the daughter of seth of the village Pipli and her father was indeed kidnapped!!
Apart from their meeting,this tale is special for another character - who later became an integral part of CSF - the dacoit Lakhan(who was one of the kidnappers!).His fight with Bahadur,where he received severe beating from that brave soul,was quite famous!
Further,that infamous hide-out of the kidnappers,located nearby Jaigarh,"sada Bhuter Adda"(White Ghost's Dane), was first time mentioned in this series.Later we have seen it's mention in some other adventures aswell, renamed a bit as "Sada Bhuter Astana".
Now,during a recent discussion at another blog, a thought pop-up in my mind that, while we ALL are ardent Indrajal fans no doubt but then,do we really love all characters appeared in this series or have some favorite heroes whose adventures we love to read,or rather,we actually read Indrajals just to read their adventure only?? From my personal experience & interactions,I learnt that some are fans of only Phantom & Mandrake and don't read other stories at all, while some like all characters published in this series.Well,I do stand between these two extremes.:)

If today I have to pick my favorites,here it is,exactly in the order of preference,or say, craziness :
Mandrake,Phantom, Bahadur, Flash Gordon, Dara & Rip Kirby.

About the rest,I read them more like a general comic-fan but I don't miss them,to tell you the truth!Like me every fan has his/her own picks.What's yours??

Now I can tell you the basic elements of each of the above mentioned heroes that actually hooked me in their respective series!
For Mandrake,it was primarily his amazing power of magic plus those fantasy plots included the adventures in the Central Galaxy with Magnon but one thing that attracted me most was his residence - atop hill exotic mansion -  XANADU and it's crazy drive-away!! I still can remember those stories,where one can have just a glimpse of Xanadu and it's drive-away, became my favorites!:) Despite Karma,Lothar's girlfriend,is bit bore, I do enjoy the stories where all four of them were present,sometimes accompanied by Hojo. And may I dare to say that some of Mandrake & Co.'s arc-enemies made him more popular like 'Cobra','Clay Camel' or that vicious 'League of 8'?? I do believe that,their presence put Mandrake & Lothar among the A-lister crime fighters and adventures became more thrilling and intriguing ones.What's your take on it?

Coming to The Phantom,well,apart from the top-quality stories in general,I love that tree-house & the isle of Eden!I know skull-cave is the most important part of the Phantom's universe but for some reason I like that exotic tree-house bit more.And who doesn't love that amazing world of Eden where all kind animals co-exist??I know most Eden related stories were tend to be less dramatic but that doesn't lessen it's charm any bit for me!Presence of integral characters like Guran,Rex,Diana and the adventures related with Jungle Patrol are among my top favorites.

Next is our own Indian hero - the son of a dacoit - Bahadur! I was introduced with his late '80s adventures where all major CSF(Citizen Security Force) members were more frequent in the plots - stories like Death Duel(V26 N18),Bank Heist(V26 N35) etc - and that made me to love the whole gang than the solely main hero and even today,I love to re-read those adventures more where you will find the majority of CSF members(Bela,Lakhan,Mukhia,Sukhia) having important roles along with Bahadur,compare to Bahadur's solo stunts! Then, it's needless to mention that the charming presence of Bela - Bahadur's live-in girl-friend - only increases the interest in the stories for me,much like for all Bhadur fans! ;o) But saying this,unlike Diana or Narda,Bela wasn't there for glamour quotient solely ,rather being a karate-pro,she helped Bahadur to nab those criminal many a time.So it's rare to find a story where the plot revolved around Bela-was-in danger/kindnaped-and-how-Bahadur-rescued-her!

Flash Gordon came much earlier phase of my Indrajal introduction and I loved the sci-fi elements in this series right from the beginning, read one of the best FG stories published in the Indrajal. The presence of wise Dr.Jarkov & Gordon's beautiful girl-friend Dale,their adventures in the planets Mongo & Kkrobu(ruled by Jarkov's wife Matara!), Ming the merciless, Barin's place Arboria and top of the all,the vicious pre-historic creatures(superb illustration by Dan Barry)   - all simply hooked me!

After Bahadur,the 2nd Indian crime-fighter introduced in Indrajal was Dara - the prince of the spies! Introduced in The Enemy Agent (Vol.25 No.43; 1988),he was of course inspired from James Bond - with a licence to kill - but had an Indian touch!He was originally from North India's Kashmir region,a prince and secretly,a spy and crime-fighter.Only few people knew his origin incld. the chief and that brought a nice suspense elements in the stories - 8 in total - those dealt with various kind of national problems,from the terrorists to drug smuggling to high-profile kidnapping.Beside the stories, the art,done by Pradeep Sathe, was simply the top-notch!

Finally,Rip Kirby.Other than Indrajal,his daily strips were regularly published till 2000 in ABP - a Bengali newspaaper - as Goyenda Rip. So I was quite aware about his adventures since the late '80s but wasn't that much of a fan,might be due to his stories were seems to be bit slow-pacy (with more relax atmosphere) than I would like to see in an adventure series(and reading a RK story parallel with Phantom/Mandrake/Bahadur stories didn't help me either)! But in the last few years, I have started to like this cool detective and his adventures,that funny-yet-efficient butler,Desmond, and the other regular characters like Amur sisters,Honey Dorian etc,read both RK-Indrajals and the earlier A.Raymond strips. [Between, I have this uncanny connection with RK Indrajals as other than my introductory Indrajal was a Rip story,the first Bengali Indrajal issue that I bought during my 2nd phase of the Indrajal-hunts(in the early 2000s) was also a Rip story! :o ]

Besides the top heroes,Indrajal was/is famous for the side-heroes/strips and the various informative features.Does anybody can forget the strips of Gunadhar(Henry),Chimpoo,Babua,Chotto Raja's 1-page strips or that kid detective,Timpa & his grand-pa's full-fledged adventures?? Then there were regular dose of  Ripley's own shocking news,Capries' animal world etc various informative articles as fillers, only enhanced the uniqueness of this series.

And last,but not the least,the advertisement pages!! I have never seen or heard about any other comic-series where fans are fascinated about those old ad pages - published solely for commercial purpose!!The most memorable ads were like gold spot,gems,amul etc!

Now,to read the full adventure, download....

Monday, February 4, 2013

Comic #99 : A Mandrake Indrajal - Charam Astra/চরম অস্ত্র(No.229)

I think this adventure of our magician friend hasn't published in Bengali in any of the Indrajal blogs.So here it is.
Enjoy!! (Just one note : as MediFire people are constantly deleting any newly uploaded links,so download this file as soon as possible because no free file is going to stay for long,sadly!)

Between,the request for an updated list of the Bengali Indrajal e-version still holds!!I hope seasoned bloggers & visitors will come forward with one.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

A Query on Bengali Indrajal e-Comics List & A Compilation of the Bahadur BERAL

Do you have the current list of digital copies of Bengali Indrajal Comics?? As I have checked Devil's blog,he has made that 'members only' i.e. blocked for all visitors!Donno why,might be he has his reasons!Also it seems that at the BanglaTorent, they have covered almost all issues from No.300 to Vol.27 - a commanding job no doubt - but still I couldn't made a list of Indrajals published from the below 300 range!Can anybody help???Suman,Walker,MS or even Devil(I have already sent him a mail regarding this)??? It will help to avoid duplication for all bloggers who are willing to post Bengali Indrajals.
At least I need the infos about these following Ijcs whether these are already published elsewhere or not!

Now,after seeing the Walker's post on Bahadur Beral(the "Brave Cat"),the colored comic-strip created  by famous cartoonist Narayan Debnath,I have posted a comment on the publication history of the same based on my 'memory'.But I had some doubt and hence today searched my old issues of monthly Bengali magazine Suktara - where this naughty cat was first appeared and is still under publication - to have a closer look on this matter and now here it is as follows :

To start with, I had a wrong idea over frequency matter. Bahadur's adventures were NOT published in a regular fashion,unlike the other strips by Mr.Debnath( Batul,HB etc),but much like in a random frequency!Sometimes published in back-to-back 3 issues and other time only 1 story in 4 issues!After having a closer look on my issues from early '90s, it seems more or less the frequency was 2-strips-per-3-issue i.e. in average 8 adventures per year(12 issues).Over the years,specially from the late '90s, frequency was even lowered.

Anyway,now why all these matter at first place??It's because a new Bengali publisher,Lalmati, bought the licence of Debnath's strips and released 2 volumes(each is 40-pager) of BB in the 2011, as you have already seen in Walker's post,and now they have apparently stopped, leaving an impression in the readers' mind that all/almost all adventures of this naughty cat have been covered in those volumes.Sadly that is not the case!!
Now there is no exact knowledge of total number of strips of BB published till date but a rough calculation can be presented as follows:
From 1983 to at present,on 2013,a total of 350+ Suktara regular issues were published with 30 odd Puja-Annuals where the strips were usually 2-pagers!So following the above mentioned frequency,a total of 200-250 odd regular pages plus 50 odd pages from the special issues.In a total a minimum of 250-300 odd pages worth of adventures were published till date, leaving some more or less 200 odd pages worth of these strips yet to be published as a collection!

So we hope that the publisher,who is unfortunately looks like more in money making than maintaining a standard printing quality and story selection,will cover all these remaining stories in the upcoming volumes(that might need another 4-6 volumes),ardent readers and all die-hard fans of Narayan Debnath can have the full series in their hand!!Will they??

Now,you can see a few vintage 1-pagers from the early '90s issues of Suktara ,some are included in those 2 volumes.Will post few more in the coming days!(Walker has already posted a 20 odd strips of BB,so check his post for more such strips! :) ) After comparing LP's reproduced version & these 20-30 years old original pages from Suktara,I have personally felt that latter ones had much better printing quality eventhough LP used thicker & bigger pages!Those who have seen both versions can understand this..