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.....
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  • 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!
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  • 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...
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the AFTERMATH...
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!!!
AND THE HUNT IS STILL ON !!!
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PRESENT DAYS:
  • March...
  • 2014...
Today Indrajal Comics completes it's 50 years of existence !


 A true immortal series it was.....fans 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 readers.....it 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!)....
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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.)


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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...


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  • 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!    


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  • 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!! 

20 comments:

Mahasthobir said...

Happy birthday to Indrajal Comics!!!
অকালমৃত্যু ঘটলেও ইন্দ্রাজাল কমিকস চিরজীবী হয়ে আছে, তাই তাঁর শতায়ু কামনাতেও কোনও বাধা নেই। :)

অসাধারণ post-টি বেশ উপভোগ্য। অনেক ধন্যবাদ।

ইন্দ্রাজাল কমিকসের অকালমৃত্যুই কী তার জনপ্রিয়তার অন্যতম কারণ? কী মনে হয়?

HojO said...

@MS : Yes,Indrajal died almost 24 years ago but it's still alive within us,and as you have rightly pointed out,the untimely death is one of the major reasons why even now we are sooo attached with this series!!

Ei prosonge boli,tumi nischoy Sunil Ganguly-r 'Purba-Poschim' porecho?Sekhane main-character Atin ke bachate giye ori dada,je chilo ek brilliant ar promising student,mara jaye!Tarpor bahu bochor par hoye jay,kintu Atin dekhe loke tokhono dada ke niyei katha bole,sei untimely death niye dukkho kore...takhon hotat or mone hoy "DADA R NEI,KINTU DADA MARA GIYEO BECHE GECHE!"

Same thing is applicable for Indrajal..

And thanks for coming...

Mahasthobir said...

অর্থাৎ এই ভাবে বলা যায় : ইন্দ্রজাল মরিয়া প্রমান করিল সে মরে নাই।

Ranjan Gangopadhyay said...

there is not any series / comics magazine like INDRAJAL COMICS which truly OVERLAPED with our life ..... mostly with the childrens of 70's, 80's & 90's ....... and it still the same ..... though it stop publishing .... hats off to INDRAJAL COMICS

Anurag.phantom said...

Nice post. Congrats.
Anurag Dixit

HojO said...

@MS : ha ha...eto almost Rabi!! ;)

@Ranjan : Yes,hat's off to this series,the characters and of course,the publisher for a consistent performance for almost 3 decades!
Na amra ei series ta khono bhulte parbo.... na ei dhoroner series ar konodin hobe!

And yes,only '60s to '90s kids were lucky ones....those grew-up in 21st century don't know what they have missed!!

@Anurag :Thanks for coming and you are welcome!

Unknown said...

Happy 50th birthday to Indrajal Comics
congrats on the post
Sagnik,keep up the good effort
i hv stopped commenting but really its worth to comment here...its a very good post

thanks

CHANDAN

INDRANATH said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
HojO said...

@Chandan: Thanks for your comments after years!I guess we can't forget those eventful moments of 2007-10 period...ain't???

Adn yes,it's a great moment....always feel nostalgic about two phases : first,the early years of my Ijc fascination('89-'95) and then the period of visiting the old shops and our Indrajal blogs('05-'10)...Do you remember your first issue/year of Indrajal??

Between,what about Sudhanshu??Long time he is absent from this world neither is available in FB...

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@Indrada: Thanks for coming ...Finally Indrajal reached a milestone!! :)
Ar oi Anandamela ad gulo just fatafati!!Oi rokom bornamulok ad dekhle tokhonkar rederder lov je oneeek bere jeto ta bojhai jae!!

Just think,24 years agee Indrajal bondho hoye geche(on Vol 27...ajo series ta thakle Vol 51 cholto) kintu amader craze ei series take ki bhabe bachiye rekheche...

Ekhono monehoy jeno just kichu bochor age 'Marattok Formula','Sapurer top','Gopon Abishkar' eitadi boi gulo kinechilam!!

HojO said...

@ALL : In the '50 Year Celebration Image' I have mentioned all possible important facts related with this series...and that incld. all of the major Indrajal blogs,starting from the pioneer(The Comic Project) to the latest ones....
So Bloggers,find your blogs' name in that image!! ;)

Vidyadhar said...

Thanks a lot

Pradip Baksi said...

Apnar post-ti dekhe mugdho holam. Besh kichudin apnar nijer blog-e post pachhilam na, sei aprapti-o dur holo.
Anek anek dhanyabad.

HojO said...

@Vidyadhar : U r welcome!Celebrate this rare moment...

@Pradip babu : Thanks for coming....hyan,ei series ta ghire amader onek memory ja monehoy konodin bhola jabena!

Mr. Walker said...

khub sundor presentation..dekhe bhalo laglo..

anand majumdar said...

hi all,

large quantity of vintage comics for sale.. some very rare editions. log on to www.tinyurl.com/retrogold
Am selling some of my personal treasures here.
Tinkle, Amar Chitra Katha, Indrajal, Champak, Chandamama, Kiran comics, Star comics, Tarzan, He-man, Superman, Batman, Korak, Spiderman, and many many more

www.tinyurl.com/retrogold

thanks
anand

Abhishek Bardhan said...

Excellent presentation.. Khub daroon bondhu...

Pradeep Hardikar said...

I read Indrajal Comics in Marathi from the year they started publishing it in 1964-65. First one was वेताळाची मेखला meaning Phantom's Belt ( or holster). I think I collected all of them from that point. Made binders containing several issues. Unfortunately lent them to friends who never returned them. Still remember so many characters. Phantom, Diana, Uncle Dave, Colonel Wicks, Worobu, King Hali (who kidnaps Diana and has a horse named Tankrade), King Junker (who gifts Kilawee to Phantom), Gurgaon, Miss Tagama, Rex, Tomtom, King Vlad Melodi (tiny guy who rides a pigeon), Wambesis, Ugans, Moris, Tirangis (who are cannibals), The great Phantom and Diana wedding that was attended by Mandrake and Lothar. Tufaan (Hero) and Waghya (Devil).

The memories are infinite.

Pradeep Hardikar said...

Gurran. Not Gurgaon! Lol!!

HojO said...

Thanks for your inputs. It's great to hear a fan who have had collected since No.1 issue.And you have read aplenty to remember all of the characters,yes,those are unforgettable adventures.I think you also remember the Mandrake and Flash Gordon stories.Those were spellbinding too. Between how long you have collected Indrajal?

Pradeep Hardikar said...

HojO, I do remember Mandrake-Lothar and Flash Gordan-Zarkov(?)-Della stories. And of course Mandrake had HojO who would do his regular job of a cook at Xanadu but really was a head of some spy agency! I did not like Flash Gordon ones as that is the time Indrajal Comics moved away from normal rectangular pictures to some weird triangular ones etc. Took away the neatness I thought. But yes, Mandrake, Lothar, Narda, Karma, Hojo, Lucifer (Mandrake's twin brother. Once, he fooled Mandrake by suddenly revealing mirrors in the room when Mandrake tried to perform his magic. His own reflection trapped Mandrake under a spell until Lothar slapped him hard on the face and brought him out of it!), The Mice Men of Rodentia.

I think I collected from years 1965 till about mid 70s when they stopped the Marathi publication I think. It used to cost about Rs. 1 in late 60s (which was about USD 0.60 in those days).

Slowly started losing them when I started giving them to my friends.

Recently, I went to Crossword in Pune and bought some 20 odd issues but this time in English. It was just to give a glimpse to my daughters of what we read when we were kids.