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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

13 Mekala Comics: 05 Aayudhap Pudhaiyal-Agent X9 Phil Corrigan Daily Strip No 086 & 087 By Archie Goodwin & Al Williamson

Dear ComiRades,

Welcome back to TCU. Continuing our home run towards the 100th post, we have another one from the Mekala Comics. This is the 5th Post on this particular series and the previous posts can be read over here in TCU:

Just looking at the dates of these issues gives a staggering disbelief that already 16 years have been passed on whilst it is in the memory as if it happened just last year. How many of our collectors do have the complete run of all the issues published? It seems that most of the ComiRades who have bought and read these issues have not safeguarded them, as they do with our prized possessions from the famed Prakash publications. Now, enough of the nostalgia talk and let us move into this edition’s coverage. Here are our customary Advertisement and cover images (Cover art by Shyaam). Isn’t it stunning, to say the least?.

Mekala Comics Issue No 04 Dated Aug 1995 Enge Andha Vairam Inner Cover Next Issue Ad for Agent X9 Phil Corrigan Aayudha Pudhaiyal Daily Strip 86

Mekala Comics Issue No 05–Issue Dated Sept 1995 - Aayudhap Pudhaiyal Agent X9 Phil Corrigan Adventure–Daily Strip 86 Army Contraband–Cover By Shyaam

Mekala Comics Issue No 04 Dated Aug 1995 Enge Andha Vairam Inner Cover Next Issue Ad Mekala Comics Issue No 05 Aaydhap Pudhaiyal Agent X9 Phil Corrigan Adventure Cover

Mekala was different from the rest of the 2nd line Tamil comics as it had lots of fillers and quality stories, apart from the title story. Also it had a regular Editorial section, something which was very much missing in Rani comics. The interaction of the editor with the readers was sorely missed in the 2nd half of the initial Rani comics run. Note how the Editor names the readers. You must be kidding, right?

Mekala Comics Issue No 05 – Issue Dated Sept 1995 - Agent X 9 Phil Corrigan Adventure - Aaydhap Pudhaiyal - Henry Filler Story

Mekala Comics Issue No 05 – Issue Dated Sept 1995 - Agent X 9 Phil Corrigan Adventure - Aaydhap Pudhaiyal Editorial

Mekala Comics Issue No 05 Agent X 9 Phil Corrigan Adventure Aaydhap Pudhaiyal Henry Filler Story Mekala Comics Issue No 05 Agent X 9 Phil Corrigan Adventure Aaydhap Pudhaiyal Editorial

Daily Strip No 086 – A Jewel For Blackmail: We all know that the Agent X9 series was taken to greater heights by the talented duo of Archie Goodwin and Al Williamson. This story is amongst the foremost stories to be published in Tamil language. Yes sir, this is the 5th story from the dynamic duo and the 1st ever to be published in Tamil. As mentioned, it was daily strip numbered as 86 and was running from 04-12-1967 to 17-02-1968 for 11 weeks with 68 daily strips of pure excitement.

The story is one of the spy-chase stories from the combo. It all starts with Phil taking charge of the Missile defence conference which is headed by Susan Foster. As his wont, Archie Goodwin starts the story with Mr Foster being kidnapped by Mr Chang, in lieu of certain favours from his wife about the conference and the content. Enter Phil Corrigan and all the well laid plans of Mr Chang comes to a sudden end. As usual, Mekala comics severely edited the story and they presented the edited portion in a short paragraph. This is one of the very few Corrigan stories to have missed by the other editors, in Tamil comics.

Mekala Comics Issue No 05 – Issue Dated Sept 1995 – 1st Story - Aaydhap Pudhaiyal - Oda Oda Virattap Patta Seenathu Otran - Agent X9 Phil Corrigan Adventure

Mekala Comics Issue No 05 Aaydhap Pudhaiyal - Oda Oda Virattap Patta Seenathu Otran Agent X9 Phil Corrigan Adventure

Agent X9 Phil Corrigan Adventure - Daily Strip No 086 – Story: A Jewell For Blackmail By Archie Goodwin (Story) & Al Williamson (Art Work)

Agent X9 Phil Corrigan Daily Strip 86 A Jewell For Blackmail By Archie Goodwin & Al Williamson

Daily Strip No 087 – Army Contraband: Mekala comics did a very good thing by starting to publish the stories in their appearance order from this issue and we had the next daily strip in the same book as the 2nd story. When you have two full length daily strips in the same book and still have enough place for the regular filler stories, One can imagine the editing of the original story. This was the 05th story to have appeared in the dailies from the famous combination of Archie Goodwin and Al Williamson. This daily strip started where the previous one ended and the strip ran from 19-02-1968 to 04-05-1968 for 11 weeks and exactly the same number of daily strips as that of the previous one: 66.

The story starts where the previous one ends and this one takes place in the heart of middle east in a country named as Jhahran where the ruler is peace loving and invariably has contenders for the throne. One such is Harhat Bin Rashid and he plans to dethrone the present ruler by acquiring ammunition from a arms dealer named Bradley. Then things go out of control and add Phil Corrigan in the mix, you have a fantastic daily strip with enough dose of excitement and adventure.

Mekala Comics Issue No 05 – Issue Dated Sept 1995 - Aayudhap Pudhaiyal - Pudhai Porulum Pudhaikkappatta Porulum Agent X9 Phil Corrigan Adventure

Agent X9 Phil Corrigan Adventure - Daily Strip No 087 – Story: Army Contraband By Archie Goodwin (Story) & Al Williamson (Art Work)

Mekala Comics Issue No 05 Aaydhap Pudhaiyal - Pudhai Porulum Pudhaikkappatta Porulum Agent X9 Phil Corrigan Adventure Agent X9 Phil Corrigan Daily Strip 87 Army Contraband By Archie Goodwin & Al Williamson

X-9: Secret Agent Corrigan Volume 1By the way, Now you can buy the Daily strips of Agent X9 (By Archie Goodwin & Al Williamson) – courtesy IDW Publications. Muthu Fan has done a wonderful post on the book and you can have the pleasure of reading that post HERE.

As mentioned elsewhere, Mekala comics had some nice filler stories and most of them are the handiwork of the uber talented Mr Bujjai. There were several stories from him in this series and one such was published here. Unfortunately Yours truly is not going to publish the full story as it was the case in the previous post as one publisher is accumulating the stories of Bujjai to publish in a single volume. Best of luck to him.

Mekala Comics Issue No 05 – Issue Dated Sept 1995 - Agent X 9 Phil Corrigan Adventure - Aaydhap Pudhaiyal - Bujjai's Thumbu Vaangiya Vambu Story

Mekala Comics Issue No 05 – Issue Dated Sept 1995 - Agent X 9 Phil Corrigan Adventure - Aaydhap Pudhaiyal - Bujjai's Edhir Neechchal Story

Mekala Comics Issue No 05 Agent X 9 Phil Corrigan Adventure Aaydhap Pudhaiyal Bujjai's Thumbu Vaangiya Vambu Story Mekala Comics Issue No 05 Agent X 9 Phil Corrigan Adventure Aaydhap Pudhaiyal Bujjai's Edhir Neechchal Story

The regular readers review of the story was also present. Most of the comirades liked the situation where Corrigan catches Mr Chang with the rope. Equally liked is the scene where Phil finds his way back in the dessert with the help of the steps of the camels. It was refreshing to know that the readers actively participated in these competitions. Here is the prize winning review:

Mekala Comics Issue No 06 – Issue Dated Oct 1995 - Readers Review of the Previous Book (Mekala Comics No 05 Aayudhap Pudhaiyal)'s Best Panel

Mekala Comics Issue No 06 Readers Review of the Previous Book's Best Panel

The regular letters to the editor by the readers mentioned the point of view of the way the readers were mentioned by the editor. Also there was the question on the change in the look and appearance of Corrigan from the way he looks in the cover to the way he looks in the story. Probably the reader has not noted that the inner art is drawn by somebody whilst the cover was drawn by our local artist Shyaam.

Mekala Comics Issue No 06 Readers Comments of the Previous Book

Mekala Comics Issue No 05 -  Issue Dated Sept 1995 - Agent X 9 Phil Corrigan Adventure Aaydhap Pudhaiyal Next Issue Ad – Kazhugu Paarvai – Mekala No 06
Mekala Comics Issue No 06 Readers Comments of the Previous Book Mekala Comics Issue No 05 Agent X 9 Phil Corrigan Adventure Aaydhap Pudhaiyal Next Issue Ad

Well, that's all for the time being & TCU will be back with the next issue of this series in the alternative post, as the next post will be the 100th post of Yours truly and hence it will be a special one.

As usual, post your comments in the comments section. For those who want to Pen their thoughts in Tamil, Kindly Use the Option Provided in the Widget in the Blog.

Thanks & Regards,

King Viswa.

Monday, July 18, 2011

3 Comic Cuts 35-News 35: M.S.Subbulakshmi Graphic Novel (Dina Malar Vaara Malar), Wilco Picture Library, Season’s Top 5 From Comic World & Steel Claw gets his weapons

Dear ComiRades,

Welcome back to TCU. Again another Comic cuts and yours truly is very much happy these days as there are lots of news on the comics front and at least they keep the interest on comics going on till we get some of the new Tamil comics for the season. Let us get on with this post.

Friday, The 15th: 15-07-2011: On this day, Yours truly initiated a small move and this particular move brought this particular quote from Neil Armstrong “One small step for a man, One giant leap for Mankind” to memory. What is that step? Is that so important to Tamil Comics? Will it have any change in the trend? Only time will answer these questions. If the results of this step is fruitful, We will have the golden era of Tamil Comics from Next year onwards. As of right now, only this much can be said of this step and keep a closer watch on these pages for the updates.

The Hindu – Wilco Picture Library: There are so many picture libraries in India which are very much similar to that of ACK in both content and style. Most of them lack the extra edge required to last long. However, there is no stopping for the new publications to try and make some impression. Here is a new one named Wilco Picture library. TCU has tried some of these in the month of March itself and they are OK to say the least.

The Hindu Daily News Paper – Issue Dated 12072011 - Supplement Young World - Page No 4 – Book Buzz Section - Stories in Pictures - Wilco Picture Library
The Hindu Daily News Paper Dated 12072011 Supplement Young World Page No 4 Wilko Picture Library

Deccan Chronicle – Comic Relief: Deccan Chronicle often comes up certain innovative and thoughtful write ups on comics and related issues. Apart form the odd news, most of them well designed. Here are the latest news from them in their regular teen tonic section. Have a read, folks.

Deccan Chronicle Daily News Paper – Chennai Edition – Supplement - Chennai Chronicle – Issue Dated 11072011 - Page No 25–Teen Tonic Section-Comic Relief
Deccan Chronicle Chennai Chronicle Dated 11072011 Page No 25 Comic Relief
Deccan Chronicle Daily News Paper – Chennai Edition – Supplement Chennai Chronicle – Issue Dated 11072011 - Page No 25 - Comic Relief Season Top 5
Deccan Chronicle Chennai Chronicle Dated 11072011 Page No 25 Comic Relief Season Top 5

Dina Malar Vaara Malar Sunday Supplement Logo

Dina Malar Vaara Malar – M.S.Subbulakshmi Graphic Novel: This particular book from Ms Lakshmi Devnath has created enough interest in the market, that it is still talk of the town well after a month after the launch. This time it is from the celebrated weekly supplement of Dina Malar news paper titled Vaara Malar, where Andhu Mani wields the magic wand, issue after issue making it the most read and sought after weekly supplement in Tamil magazines. If you haven’t read this, you’ll definitely regret missing it later on.

Dina Malar Vaara Malar Book - Sunday Supplement - Issue Dated 17072011 - Page No 29 - MS Subbulakshmi Graphic Novel By Lakshmi Devnath – Book Review

Dina Malar Vaara Malar Sunday Supplement Issue Dated 17072011 Page No 29 MS Subbulakshmi Graphic Novel Jpg

Dina Malar Siruvar Malar Logo

Dina Malar Siruvar Malar – Steel Claw Copy Cate Lee Rock: Some time back TCU has done a post about the resurrection of Siruvar Malar. Now they have reverted to the old style again and they have only 2 comics stories in the entire book, spanning a grand total of 8 pages. In out last comic cuts post (Comic cuts 34), we have mentioned that this new series titled Lee Rock is aping the most loved Comic Character of South India for the last 41 years.

The story line continues and here in this latest episode, Lee rock gets his gadgets in his artificial steel claw and if they are similar to that of Louis Crandell, am not surprised. Here are the pages for this week’s episode.

Remember, you can read Siruvar Malar free of cost in their home page. Here is the link for that: Siruvar Malar

Dina Malar Siruvar Malar Friday Supplement Issue Dated 15072011 Page No 22 Lee Rock Becomes Steel Claw Dina Malar Siruvar Malar Friday Supplement Issue Dated 15072011 Page No 23 Lee Rock Becomes Steel Claw
Dina Malar Siruvar Malar Friday Supplement Issue Dated 15072011 Page No 24 Lee Rock Becomes Steel Claw Dina Malar Siruvar Malar Friday Supplement Issue Dated 15072011 Page No 25 Lee Rock Becomes Steel Claw

Puthiya Thalaimurai Logo

Puthiya Thalaimurai Tamil Weekly Issue Dated 21072011 Page No 59 Surprise in Waiting

 Puthiya Thalaimurai – Surprise in the Next week Issue: We all know that this particular magazine is not like the regular magazines and it gives value to infotainment rather than mere market and commercial elements. Hence it was always in yours truly’ s reading list.

Now, they are mentioning that there will be a surprise from their next issue. What it could be? Well, that’s for me to know & you to find out, before the next Friday.

Well, that's all for the time being & TCU will be back with the next issue of this series in the next post.

As usual, post your comments in the comments section. For those who want to Pen their thoughts in Tamil, Kindly Use the Option Provided in the Widget in the Blog.

Thanks & Regards,

King Viswa.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

6 Mekala Comics: 04 Enge Andha Vairam? Agent X-9 Phil Corrigan Adventure (Daily Strip 128 The Eyes of Kushna) By Archie Goodwin & George Evans

Dear ComiRades,

Welcome back to TCU. Most of the ComiRades would have wondered about the continuous posts on 4 days as the speed of posting is not often related with TCU these days. Initially, yes-There was this urge to do almost daily posts. However, the thirst dried up as time went on. Now as we are nearing the landmark 100th post, there is some fuel left in the tank and we are trying to move on.

This is the 4th Post on this particular series and the previous posts can be read over here in TCU: Mekala Comics No. 01 (ப்ளாக் மெயில்), Mekala Comics No. 02 (சம்மர் ஸ்பெஷல் - நடுக்கடலில்) & Mekala Comics No. 03 (மாய விமானம்). Continuing on the same series (which ran 5 further more issues up to the closure), we have the daily strip from the duo who revived the Agent X-9 strips and took it to a new dizzy height where all the Phil Corrigan stories are now collector’s delight. However, As Al Williamson took a mini break, George Evans drew this particular story and though he lacks the style of the the master, he makes it up with his own pattern of action packed pictures. Here is the cover scan of the issue along with the next issue ad of the same story. The reason for providing both of them is to marvel at the artistic talent of Mr Shyaam.

Often, when printing an international comics in the regional language, the best policy is to reproduce the cover art of the original issue. However, when we are dealing with the daily strips, we do not have the luxury of the reference material in terms of the cover. Publishers overcome this by re producing the most impactful action packed panels of the story. This trend was changed with the advent of Mekala Comics where Shyaam was keep on producing his own cover designs which are varied in style.

Mekala Comics - Issue No 03 Next Issue Ad Enge Andha Vairam–Art By Shyaam

Mekala Comics - Issue No 04 Dated Aug 1995 - Enge Andha Vairam – Daily Strip 128 - Agent X9 Phil Corrigan Adventure Cover – Cover Art by Artist Shyaam
Mekala Comics Issue No 03 Next Issue Ad Enge Andha Vairam Mekala Comics Issue No 04 Dated Aug 1995 Enge Andha Vairam Agent X9 Phill Corrigan Adventure Cover

Though the cover image was the most action packed of the four covers in the series, this was the lesser impactful and eye-catching of the lot. Phil Corrigan was more the younger Nasser than the one who was designed on himself by Al Williamson. Though colourful and snazzy, it wasn’t up to the standards of the previous cover designs. The readers differed in from the humble opinion of Yours truly and they liked it a lot and that can be seen in the readers review. The customary editorial and the first page of the story are here: Kindly note the serialisation of the issues and this issue is numbered as 03.

Mekala Comics-Issue No 04 Dated Aug1995-Enge Andha Vairam-Editorial

Mekala Comics-Issue No 04 Dated Aug 1995-Enge Andha Vairam-Agent X9 Phil Corrigan Adventure-Archie Goodwin George Evans Daily Strip-Story 1st Page
Mekala Comics Issue No 04 Dated Aug 1995 Enge Andha Vairam Editorial Mekala Comics Issue No 04 Dated Aug 1995 Enge Andha Vairam Agent X9 Phill Corrigan Adventure Archie Goodwin George Evans Story 1st Page

The storyline is like this: The person who has the possession of the 2 diamonds (Named as the eyes of the Kushna) has the rights to rule the land and a new twist is provided when the current ruler has a challenger to the throne with sinister ideas to dethrone him. Enter Agent X-9 (with support from the most likeable Yaseed) and he makes the most precise plans awry. The rest, as they say, is history and the climax has a memorable moment when Corrigan catches a Helicopter which is about to start (Yes, not a bike or even a car, but a helicopter). The best moments of the story are the interactions between Corrigan and Yaseed.

As mentioned in the previous post on issue No 03 itself, this story also was published in Tamil language. Not once but twice. The second time was in the summer of 1992, some 3 years before this issue of Mekala comics. The first cover left such an impression that it is still in the memory for most of the old timers who have bought it as a new issue in the shops. Doesn’t it imply the story in a single image?

Muthu Comics Issue 105–Dated 1st Jan 1980- இரண்டாவது வைரக்கல் எங்கே

Muthu Comics Reprint– இரண்டாவது வைரக்கல் எங்கே?

முத்து#105 - இரண்டாவது வைரக்கல் எங்கே முத்து#XXX - இரண்டாவது வைரக்கல் எங்கே

The ‘Time-Delay’ bug that intervenes with the comics publishers of South India caught up with Mekala also and one such person who didn’t get the comics in time, vent up with his anger about the delay in the readers comments section and the editor has acknowledged that, implying awareness and taking responsibility for the same.

The Best moment of the story selection was unanimous and it can be seen from the number of such selections of the same panel by many. The part where Ms Cobra tries to escape and Corrigan just catches the Helicopter and tries to balance on his grip on the Helicopter which is about to take off & the rest of the people who were cheated by her also ‘Give-a-hand’ to Corrigan and thus preventing the helicopter from taking off by the sheer weight, thus implying the unity is strength.

Mekala Comics-Issue No 05 Dated Sept 1995-Aayudhap Pudhaiyal-Last Issue Readers Comments-About Issue No 04 Enge Andha Vairam Story

Mekala Comics-Issue No 05 Dated Sept 1995-Aayudhap Pudhaiyal-Last Issue Readers Review About Best Moment-About Issue No 04 Enge Andha Vairam Story

Mekala Comics Issue No 05 Dated Sept 1995 Aayudhap Pudhaiyal Last Issue Readers Comments Abut Issue No 04 Mekala Comics Issue No 05 Dated Sept 1995 Aayudhap Pudhaiyal Last Issue Readers Review About Issue No 04

The fillers were restricted to a story of Bujjai and it was so lovely to read. His style of simple strokes is much liked by many pundits and critics, not to mention the common man. And, there was a change in the style and pattern of Mekala Comics and this can be seen in the next issue advertisement as well. Right from the new pattern of the logo to the message in the story, there were certain very subtle changes.

Mekala Comics-No 04 Dated Aug 1995 Enge Andha Vairam-Pg No 60 Bujjai Story Mekala Comics-No 04 Dated Aug 1995-Enge Andha Vairam-Next Issue Ad
Mekala Comics Issue No 04 Dated Aug 1995 Enge Andha Vairam Page No 60 Bujjai Story Mekala Comics Issue No 04 Dated Aug 1995 Enge Andha Vairam Inner Cover Next Issue Ad

Well, that's all for the time being & TCU will be back with the next issue of this series in the next post. As usual, post your comments in the comments section. For those who want to Pen their thoughts in Tamil, Kindly Use the Option Provided in the Widget in the Blog.

Thanks & Regards,

King Viswa.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

10 Mekala Comics: 03-Maaya Vimanam–Agent X9 Phil Corrigan Adventure by Archie Godwin & Al Williamson

Mekala Comics Issue No 01 May 1995 Agent X9 Phil Corrigan Black mail Next Issue Ad

Dear ComiRades,

Welcome back to TCU to what is now becoming into a lively series of posting on Mekala Comics. The reviews of the first 2 books of this particular series can be read over here: Mekala Comics No 1 & Mekala Comics Summer Special. Now, we are onto the next book of the series.

We all know that keeping up a regular timeline of issues is a major problem in Tamil comics. This was very much evident from the 3rd issue of Mekala comics itself. The series was launched in the Month of May 1995 and the next issue was advertised in the month of June 1995. However, when a complementary issue (Summer Special 1995) was published in the later part of the May month, the regular issue of June 1995 was delayed and it was published only in July 1995. We can attribute the delay with various reasons: The pressure from the distributors & dealers, maintenance of the monthly accounting, serialising the books etc.

However, once the book was published in July 1995, the response was mixed from the audience. The die hard ComiRades immediately recalled that the same story was published in Muthu comics, some 17 years ago. Many supporters of Mekala comics advocated that Since that Muthu comics is out of reach for many ComiRades, it was ideal to publish the story again in Tamil. What is wrong in it? was the question that was asked by many of them. However, for the ComiRades, it was a huge let down as the 1st book itself was a story which was published in Lion comics, barely a year ago. Yes, the 1st issue of Mekala Comics was a translation of the George Evans Daily strip titled “Black mail” and the same story was published in Lion comics in March 1994 under the title “Pinam Kaatha Pudhaiyal”. So, for those who were looking forward to fresh stories from a brand new comics book, the story selection was not up to their expectations.

For those who keep a tab on the statistics, there are still 18 daily strips from the famed Archie Goodwin – Al Williamson combo that need to be published in Tamil. This famed duo started from Daily strip No 82 and went on till Daily strip No 132. Out of these, starting with daily strip No 113, we had everything published in Tamil in comics such as Malaimathi, Muthu comics, Indrajal and Mekala. The editor of Mekala comics could have gone to some of the un published stories from the above mentioned 18 titles. However, they are not to be blamed as a clear picture of the stories published in Tamil. In fact most of them still do not know. Here is the book cover and the editorial:

Megala Comics No 03 Maaya Vimanam Dated July 1995 Front Cover By Shyaam

Megala Comics No 03 Maaya Vimanam Dated July 1995 – Editorial Page

Megala Comics No 02 Maaya Vimanam Dated June 1995 Front Cover 03

This particular story was reviewed in detail by Muthu Fan in one of his earliest posts. That can be read over HERE. It will be a honour to quote him on the story synopsis:

A handwritten copy of a story written by Ambrose Glyde (who died in 1912) from a Museum in USA. The writer claims that he met a race of people ruled by gods (Dhevadhaikal) when his ships sinks near an uninhibited island in Antarctic sea. The suspect is Prof Jonathan who has actually opposed for the book to be displayed in the exhibition. Though he opposed that the story is untrue not worthy of featuring in the exhibition, he knows that the story is true. He was more interested in knowing about the matching which featured in the story. This matching generates electricity using the rocks and sand quarried in the cold Antarctic climate. Prof Jonathan is interested in mastering the technology for his commercial gains.

With the help of the book he searches and finds the island in the book. Philip Corrigan who was entrusted with the job of finding the book is closely on his heels with the grand daughter (Theresa Glyde) of Ambrose Glyde. They all manage to reach the island but Prof Jonathan does not live to get the secret of the machine as the whole island sinks beneath sea when he activates machine as the earth becomes too weak because of years of excavation. Corrigan and Theresa managed to escape from the island before it is destroyed. Typical science fiction like Jules Verne etc, but made interesting with the elements of theft, murder and conspiracy all thrown in good measures.

Now, that’s what i call a lively commentary on the story. Thanks a Lot, Dear MF. We want many such posts from you. At least on the birth dates of the fellow ComiRades.

Megala Comics No 03 Maaya Vimanam Dated July 1995 – Story Intro Page

Megala Comics No 03 Maaya Vimanam Dated July 1995 – Story 1st Page
06 Megala Comics No 02 Maaya Vimanam Dated June 1995 Story 1st Page

In the same post by MF, there were enough things said about the editing's of the story by Mekala. A comparative study will dilute the idea of this post and hence they are not discussed over here. For more on the same, you can read it in MF’s post as well.

The only thing that irritates the seasoned readers is the naming of the characters. Theresa becomes Thirisa (திரிசா – Just like the Daily Thanthi name). This trend was prominently present in Rani Comics and was the prime reason for the discontinuation of the same by the ComiRades.

Megala Comics No 03 Maaya Vimanam Dated July 1995 – Story 2nd last page Megala Comics No 03 Maaya Vimanam Dated July 1995 – Story last Page
54 55

As mentioned elsewhere, this story was published in Muthu comics in 1978 itself, when Muthu comics was published twice in a month. What kind of days those would have been. Can’t even imagine the joy of the old timers who had the pleasure of reading their favourite comics twice in a month. Here are some of the sample scans from the book.

Muthu Comics Issue No 74 Panithevin Devadhaigal – 1st May 1978 - A Phil Corrigan Adventure Cover

Muthu Comics Issue No 74 Panithevin Devadhaigal – 1st May 1978 - A Phil Corrigan Adventure Back Cover

Muthu Comics Issue No 74 Panithevin Devadhaigal – 1st May 1978 - A Phil Corrigan – Page 01

Muthu Comics Issue No 74 Panithevin Devadhaigal A Phil Corrigan Adventure Cover Muthu Comics Issue No 74 Panithevin Devadhaigal A Phil Corrigan Adventure Cover 2 Muthu Comics Issue No 74 Panithevin Devadhaigal A Phil Corrigan Adventure Page 01

Muthu Comics Issue No 74 Panithevin Devadhaigal – 1st May 1978 - A Phil Corrigan Adventure – Page 02

Muthu Comics Issue No 74 Panithevin Devadhaigal – 1st May 1978 - A Phil Corrigan Adventure – Page 07

Muthu Comics Issue No 74 Panithevin Devadhaigal – 1st May 1978 - A Phil Corrigan Adventure – Page 49

Muthu Comics Issue No 74 Panithevin Devadhaigal A Phil Corrigan Adventure Page 02 Muthu Comics Issue No 74 Panithevin Devadhaigal A Phil Corrigan Adventure Page 07 Muthu Comics Issue No 74 Panithevin Devadhaigal A Phil Corrigan Adventure Page 49

As their wont, Mekala continued their fillers in this book as well. The new addition with this book was that of the henry from King Features Syndicate. The usual Mr Tommy was also present with the omnipresent touch of Bujjai. Hopefully some time in the future, somebody will compile all the filler stories by Bujjai and make it a collector’s edition.

Megala Comics No 03 Maaya Vimanam Dated July 1995 – KFS Filler - Henry

Megala Comics No 03 Maaya Vimanam Dated July 1995 Inner Cover By Bujjai

02 67

Bujjai Story: Those who have read Rathnabala magazine in the 80’s would have got a taste of the fantasy based stories from Bujjai. Here is one such story from the master himself. This particular story was much appraised by the readers in their letters to their editor.

56 57
58 59
60 61
62 63

Most of the ComiRades have a feel for environment can be felt from the readers review and the best moment of the story they chose in this book. Here is the prize winning review from approximately 78% of the comirades who participated in this contest.

Mekala Comics Issue No 04 Dated Aug 1995 Enge Andha Vairam Last Issue Reader Review Page No 58 Mekala Comics Issue No 04 Dated Aug 1995 Enge Andha Vairam Last Issue Reader Review Winners Page No 59
Mekala Comics Issue No 04 Dated Aug 1995 Enge Andha Vairam Last Issue Reader Review Page No 58 Mekala Comics Issue No 04 Dated Aug 1995 Enge Andha Vairam Last Issue Reader Review Winners Page No 59

Couple of names from the Letters to the editor were instantly recognisable, as they are regular readers of the Muthu comics in the 90’s. There was also the odd mention about the delay in the comics publishing as well. The next issue advertisement was in the back cover of the book and this one also was drawn fabulously by the talented artist Shyaam.

Mekala Comics Issue No 04 Readers response for Issue No 03 Maaya Vimanam

Megala Comics No 03 Dated July 1995 Back Cover Next Issue Ad By Shyaam

Mekala Comics Issue No 04 Readers response for Issue No 03 68

Well, that's all for the time being & TCU will be back with the next issue of this series in the next post. As usual, post your comments in the comments section. For those who want to Pen their thoughts in Tamil, Kindly Use the Option Provided in the Widget in the Blog.

Thanks & Regards,

King Viswa.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

12 Mekala Comics: 01-A Summer Special 1995–Buz Sawyer, Johnny Hazard, Juliet Jones & Bujjai Stories

Dear ComiRades,

Welcome back to TCU. We are currently in the series post on Mekala Comics and this is the second post in this series. The previous post (Mekala Comics 01), we have reviewed the history behind the 1st issue and the storyline featuring Agent X-9 AKA Phil Corrigan. The 1st issue of Mekala Comics was launched in the month of May 1995 and as the month of may coincides with the summer holidays, the publishers planned for a special issue as well.

The summer of ‘95 was one of the very best for the summers for the ComiRades. The reason for that was the innovative special launched by Lion Comics titled as Lion Top 10 Special. Priced at INR 25, this was the most costliest ever comics book published at that time in Tamil comics history. The innovation with that special was, it was the readers who picked which story to be published and which one not to be. The Editor has given a choice of 16 stories and asked the readers to pick the top 10 stories amongst them and hence it was titled as so. More on that special can be read over here in TCU’s 50th Special Post. The response for the special was encouraging and the comics distributors felt a new wave emerging in the comics domain.

James Bond Comics Feb 1988 CoverSeeing all this, Mekala Comics publishers also believed that they can also pull a coup by publishing their own summer special. The outcome was this. In the annals of Tamil comics history, there was no complementary issue (Not a free issue given along with the 1st issue) with the 1st issue of any book. However, Mekala comics changed all this and they have numbered this book as Issue No 1 only and the next issue was numbered as No 3. Moreover, this was published in the same month as well (albeit, a little bit later than May 1st, when the actual 1st issue was launched). Comirades were waiting for the Lion comics special, and they received both the books almost on the same week in the month of May 1995.

Yours truly was on a family tour and picked up the Lion comics special and this book. However, one of the relatives switched this book with the Suspense Novel’s summer special. As it was a long train journey, there was no way that this book to be bought in another shop for the next one week. Well, let us not get into the sad stories if how yours truly has missed the book and get on with the review of the summer special. The cover art work of the 1st issue was much appreciated by the ComiRades and the in the second issue, the cover art was radically different. The USP of the 1st issue’s cover was the local touch provided by the talented Artist Shyaam. Even the back cover of the summer special had that distinct local touch. Later on, from Dr 7’s post in Akotheeka (No Comments – 007 Special) we got to know the origin of the cover’s inspiration.

Mekala Comics Issue No 01 May 1995 Agent X9 Phil Corrigan Black mail Joint Issue Ad

Mekala Comics Issue No 01-A Summer Special June 1995 Cover – Art Work by Artist Shyaam

Mekala Comics Issue No 01-A Summer Special June 1995 Cover 2 – Art Work by Artist Shyaam
Mekala Comics Issue No 01 May 1995 Agent X9 Phil Corrigan Black mail Joint Issue Ad Mekala Comics Issue No 01-A Summer Special June 1995 Cover Mekala Comics Issue No 01-A Summer Special June 1995 Cover 2

Unlike Rani comics, Mekala comics had the editorial page in the beginning issues where the editor used to voice out his thoughts on all possible things related to comics. Wherever possible, the distribution strength of the Filmalaya and group magazines were highlighted. The other thing to be noted is the serialisation of this particular issue. They have mentioned it as complementary issue No 1. Isn’t is strange to have 2 issues from the same brand in a single month? If you think so, then you are sold a googly as this phenomena has already been carried out by Lion comics editor S.Vijayan in the very first year of his arrival.

Mekala Comics Issue No 01-A Summer Special June 1995 Editorial

Mekala Comics Issue No 01-A Summer Special June 1995 Index

Mekala Comics Issue No 01-A Summer Special June 1995 Editorial Mekala Comics Issue No 01-A Summer Special June 1995 Index

The stories were from the KFS group and it was great to see Buz sawyer appearing in another group’s comics apart from Muthu Comics & Indrajal comics, in Tamil. Though he made his odd appearance in Rani comics under a pseudonym, he wasn’t supposed to be a regular over there. The story is very much similar to what Roscoe Sweeny has to undergo in one of the earlier adventures which was published in the Muthu comics group publications. The elements of Love, revenge and humour are mixed in such a manner by Roy Crane that reading this story was like a soap opera.

Talking about Soap opera's, there wasn’t any better comic strips on opera like that of the “Heart of Juliet Jones”. Though we had the pleasure of Elliot Caplin’s Big Ben Bolt in Tamil (Again another odd appearances in Muthu Comics & Rani comics), ComiRades never had the opportunity to read his master piece – The Heart of Juliet Jones. Though Times of India published few in English in Spectrum comics, they were not available in Tamil Language. Along with one of my all time favourite artist Stan Drake, Caplin produced this long running opera elevated by Drake's exceptional artwork. The figure drawing was characterized by Drake's pioneering use of naturalistic movement and expression, a style he achieved partly through the use of Polaroid photographic reference. The storyline is very simple: A Talented singer (managed by Juliet) keeps the fact that he got married and has twins under the wraps from the public in order to keep his rising fame. How the circumstances force him to acknowledge his family is the rest of the story.

Mekala Comics  No 01-A Summer Special June 1995 Buz Sawyer Story 1st Page Mekala Comics  Summer Special June 1995 Heart of Juliet Jones Story 1st Page
Mekala Comics Issue No 01-A Summer Special June 1995 Buz Sawyer Story 1st Page Mekala Comics Issue No 01-A Summer Special June 1995 Heart of Juliet Jones Story 1st Page

The 3rd story in this special is from the uber talented Mr Bujjai. Well, it will be gross injustice to summarise a great career in a single paragraph and hence TCU will post a detailed lengthy post on the creator who is touted to be the one behind the introduction of comics in South India in the 50’s itself.  A Wonderful story with great narration is what awaits the reader in the mysterious bungalow. If this particular book is considered a collector’s delight, partial reason is the complete story of Bujjai appearing in Tamil language. His talent was well recognised by Mr Vasudevan and wherever he moved as a Editor, Bujjai used to produce his creative works. Be it Dina Mani or Rathnabala, the trend continued. More on him will be spoiler to the post TCU is planning.

The fourth and final full length adventure features none other than Johnny Hazard, the wonderful strip from the famed Frank Robbins. He was a popular character in South India with his appearances in various publications such as MalaiMathi AFI Comics, Muthu Comics, Rani Comics etc. Even the next issue of Muthu comics is an adventure of Johnny Hazard only titled as Vinnil oru Kullanari. This particular story, Deadly date, was serialised in Daily strip No 99 starting from 30th June 1969 spanning over 2 months to be completed on 30th 30th Aug 1969. The story line is very much in line with the series - Staying in New York for a well-deserved holiday after completing his latest assignment, Johnny runs into an old friend with a two-fold problem: his valuable stamp collection has just been stolen and his new fiancée has been brutally murdered in her flat minutes after he left. Is there a connection? Agreeing to help an old friend in deep trouble, Johnny follows the clues to the dating agency responsible for the matchup that encouraged the assignation, only to find that ‘dating’ is not the only risky game on offer from that agency. Very interesting? read on.

Mekala Comics Issue No 01-A Summer Special June 1995 Bujjai Story 1st Page Mekala Comics No 01-A Summer Special June 1995 Johnny Hazard 1st Page
Mekala Comics Issue No 01-A Summer Special June 1995 Bujjai Story 1st Page Mekala Comics Issue No 01-A Summer Special June 1995 Johnny Hazard Story 1st Page

Mekala continues it’s trend of having lots of fillers in the book, making it more interesting to read. This was the one thing which was missing from Rani comics for a long, long time. Initially rani comics also had some very nice fillers when Mr Rama Jayam was at the helm. With him moving away from Rani comics, so were the interesting fillers as well.

Mekala Comics Issue No 01-A Summer Special June 1995 Filler

Mekala Comics Issue No 01-A Summer Special June 1995 Filler

Bujjai continued to showcase his amazing repertoire with his strips like Mr Tommy (a re-boot of his old Bhairava strips), Idea Appu adoring the pages of Mekala for the 2nd consecutive issue. Though they may look very simple, Bujjai proves his customary point to the viewers. A Pet lover like yours truly doesn’t need secondary reasons to like him than his strip Mr Tommy.

Mekala Comics No 01-A Summer Special June 1995 Inner Cover Bujjai Story

Mekala Comics No 01-A Summer Special June 1995 Inner Cover Bujjai Story 2

Mekala Comics Issue No 01-A Summer Special June 1995 Inner Cover Bujjai Story Mekala Comics Issue No 01-A Summer Special June 1995 Inner Cover Bujjai Story 2

One more short story from Bujjai was part of the summer special, thus making it a grand issue to remember for the fans of Bujjai. Apart from that short story, there was another reader review contest in the book. Just like the previous issue of Mekala, this one also reiterated the concept of advocating the best panel of the story and reasoning it. The best reviews will fetch the prize and instead of the usual INR 500/- prize money, it was the double of INR 1,000/- as this is a special edition.

Mekala Comics Issue No 01-A Summer Special June 1995 Bujjai Story 3

Mekala Comics Issue No 01-A Summer Special June 1995 Review Competition

Mekala Comics Issue No 01-A Summer Special June 1995 Bujjai Story 3 Mekala Comics Issue No 01-A Summer Special June 1995 Review Competition

As a whole, the summer special was a grand success and this was mirrored in the readers letters in the next issue. Most of the readers were the group’s loyal readers and they liked the idea of a new comics in the market. There was even odd fan followings for Bujjai’s works in the book. The cover was much appreciated and the credit goes to the editor and the Artist Shyaam.

Mekala Comics Issue No 3  Readers Response for Summer Special 1

Mekala Comics Issue No 3  Readers Response for Summer Special 2

Mekala Comics Issue No 3 Maaya Vimanam Readers Response for Summer Special 1 Mekala Comics Issue No 3 Maaya Vimanam Readers Response for Summer Special 2

The best review was reserved for the story – The twins, from the series of Heart of Juliet Jones by Stan Drake. Here are the prize winning reviews from the readers. Kindly note down the 3rd consolation prize winners village name. You wouldn’t be surprised.

Mekala Comics Issue No 4 Summer Special Readers review – Award winning Reviews for the best panel / part of the story – Juliet Jones Story Segment
Mekala Comics Issue No 4 Summer Special Readers review 1Mekala Comics Issue No 4 Summer Special Readers review 2

Well, that's all for the time being & TCU will be back with the next issue of this series in the next post. As usual, post your comments in the comments section. For those who want to Pen their thoughts in Tamil, Kindly Use the Option Provided in the Widget in the Blog.

Thanks & Regards,

King Viswa.

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