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Sunday, September 28, 2008

18 Review O4: James Bond Comics 1-Adhiradi Ulavali

Dear ComiRades,

In This Post, we are going to discuss about The Ever Green Spy - 007 James Bond. What More appropriate time than now when we are eagerly awaiting the theatrical Release of "Quantum of Solace"?. The moment i say James Bond in Tamil Comics, ComiRades would have jumped in Joy hoping that am going to start a Series on Rani Comics (An Indian Publisher of 007 Stories in Tamil Language). Excuse me, Gentlemen. There are other comics also which have printed James Bond in Tamil (Rani Comics' Sister Concern Devi'n Kanmani Comics etc); However, am not talking about them over here. Am Referring about a Comics started just for James bond stories itself in Tamil, from Chennai titled as Secret Agent James Bond Comics. Here, Have a Look at the Front cover of the 1st issue & first page of the Rare Book.

01 03

Amazing, isn't it? Unbelievable, But true. Mr.S.Rama Jayam was the editor for the above mentioned Rani Comics till issue no 92. After which, he started his own comics named James Bond Comics. However, he didn't use the Regular newspaper strip stories of James Bond that were the norm of the early Rani Comics. The Background Story is Quite interesting; However, i will brief it Shortly. After the demise of Ian Fleming's Widow in 1981, Swedish Publisher Semic Press was allowed to start their own comic series based on the Character (ComiRades may recall that at this same time, British Writer John Gardner started James Bond Novels). The English rights of these were given to Bulls Press, Sweden - And Glidrose Publications, London. Mr Rama Jayam acquired the Official Rights & this can be referred by the credits in the last page of the book itself. Here is the scan:

34-1

 
The 1st issue of this series was Adhiradi Ulavaali (Loosely Translated as The Dare Devil Spy). This was published sometime in 1987 as part of the Semic Series of James Bond Stories as The Spy Trap (This Publication House were as notorious as some of our own Home-Brewn Publishers in not maintaining Issue Numbers, Delays and Regular Releases). Movie Buffs should no way confuse this title with the 1992 Arthur Sherman Directed Hollywood Film.The story was penned by Jack Sutter (Famous for His Super Villains Against Bond & One-to-One Combat Storylines) and was illustrated by Sarompas. Be a Judge & rate these Sketches of Page No 4, 10 & 23:

04 10 23

Well, the story line in Tamil is something like this (Hey what do you mean by Tamil Story Line? Wait till the end of this post): A Scientist is kept as a prisoner in Alps Mountain & a mysterious man 'saves' him from there by indulging in Daredevil activities only to Hand over him to the Chinese. Meanwhile, Bond is Resting with his new Flavour Anna in Greece. Both of them receive individual Telegrams making them to separate from each other. Bond collects a video tape in which he receives Instructions from Mr M about the new Chinese Spy whose image was captured by an American in a camera Film which got destroyed while flying.

26

Bond has to recover that Film to identify the new Super Spy. Bond Gets in to the sunken Flight underwater and hands it to the Consulate only to lose it to the Chinese Super Spy who destroys the embassy to recover it. Then begins the chase which Takes Bond in Land (Bikes), Water (Swimming), Land Again (Car), Sky (Flights), Land Again (Walk, Cycle & Truck), Sky Again (Helicopter).

Take a look at Page 23, where you can Almost hear Bond saying "எப்படி இருந்த நான் இப்படி ஆயிட்டேன்!" as he rides the bicycle. Finally Bond destroys the film as the Super Spy escapes from the clutches of Bond. The story ends with Bond meeting Anna Again to tell the truth that he indeed is a Spy & left her only to capture the Chinese Super Spy;

Anna in Turn says that she is an American Spy who was ordered to capture the same Chinese Super Spy. Both of them decide to Capture the super spy.

This is the last page of the Story. This is How the Tamil story line was. Actually, the original story by Jack Sutter was something like this: It was the Russian Super Spy who Took the Scientist & James Bond's New Found Interest Anna is Actually the Russian Super Spy (Look at the Bruises and Bandage that she has in the last page).

Many ComiRades will not accept that Bond is Outsmarted by a Lady & Because of this, the change in the storyline for the Tamil Version. Am Planning to meet the Tamil Publisher to clear the air.

Title: Adhiradi Ulavali (The Spy Trap)

Cover Design: Art By V.Chinnaiah,

Cover Type: Soft Cover, Non-Laminated.

Serial Number: No. 1.

On Sale From: 1st May 1988 Onwards.

Total No. of Pages: 16cmx24cm, 36 Pages (Story 24 Pages), Black & White.

Price: Priceless for Comic Fans; For others, INR 2/-


Partner in Crime: Kovai Dr Sathish.

This is Editor's Corner where Mr Rama Jayam Expresses his view on Tamil Comics (Series on the First ever Single Hero. Correct Me if am Wrong).There were other gift announcements like HMT Watch prize, Rs 50/- prize for the best comment (a la Rani Comics). The story Amma Aasai iravugal By Chithra Manalan started from where it got ended abruptly in Rani Comics.Many a ComiRade will recall the fact that the Next story Rocket Ragasiyam got published in Rani Comics Later.

27 28 31

The next thing in the book was a pleasant surprise for all the avid readers of Tamil Comics. It featured two Legends of the Tamil Comics Industry, Namely Mullai Thanga Rasan and Chellam.

For those who came late, Mullai Thanga Rasan was associated with many a Tamil Comics Publication and Chellam is the Greatest Tamil Comics artist. Period. No more questions on the authenticity of these Legends. These two combined to give a Series named Vengala Silai Marmam.

Here are the scans of the 3 pages from the 1st issue of James Bond Comics.

32 33 34

The inner covers of the issue carried out another Surprise for us. Judge Dredd as Judge George. ComiRades must note that Judge Dredd was published in another Tamil comics Publisher more than a decade after this. Who is that? that's for me to know & you to guess and comment in the comments section.

02 35

The back wrapper featured Night Visit Vivek (Story by Gnani and art work by Chellam). Have a Look at these.

36Well, That's all for the time being. The next posting will be on the 2nd issue of James Bond Comics itself. As usual, post your comments in the comments section using the link just below my Signature.

P.S: Kindly do not send any mails regarding the Old issues Scanned copies, Book sales, exchange etc. As for as Scanning is considered, am doing it for promotional purpose only & have no intention in violating the Copyright law.

Thanks & Regards,
King Viswa.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

11 TCU Comi-Contest 1: Guess the Names

Dear ComiRades,

This contest was announced in the review of Iceberg Comics' Issue No 1 and was reminded in all the posts since then. However, when i keep on receiving Calls / SMS's / Mails stating that where is the contest, then i decided to Post these as a separate post itself. Here are the Contest details:

In the 1st issue of Iceberg comics, there were 3 Trailers of Forthcoming issues that were advertised. All you need to win some exciting prizes is to guess the Series Title / Lead Character.Post that as a comment over here & you are entitled to win prizes.




Here comes the 1st trailer: Looks like a Science fiction story. Since many people called me to provide Clues to solve this, Am providing one over here: Read the synopsis given next to the panels and that's it.







Here comes the 2nd Trailer: Period / Historic Series. You want clues to this one as well? Post that as a comment & then i will give the clue.









Finally, the 3rd Trailer: Looks like an Action packed Adventure series. For a Clue on this, Go back to Old Lion Comics issues (in the last 6 years) and you will get her name like a Flash.





Send the answers in this page only so that it is easy to moderate the entries. I have received 8 answers (7 in Mail & 1 in Post as a comment).

For the starters, all you need to do is look at the comments section just below my name in this post & click that. A Pop up box will open and all you have to do is type the answer in that and post it. That's all.

Thanks & Regards,
King Viswa.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

8 News 5: Amar Chitra Katha-Website (The Hindu & Deccan Chronicle)

Dear ComiRades,

As i was Posting the Issues on Iceberg, I Couldn't post this On Monday itself. My sincere Apologies on that regard. The Mumbai based ACK media Group (India Book House - Creators of the Legendary Tinkle, Amar Chitra katha etc) have launched their custom designed Home Page www.amarchitrakatha.com

Being a Regular Registered Member To their parent Homepage www.ack-media.com, i was eagerly waiting for the new site. The new site is dedicated for the Lovers of Indian Made Comics. The users can register there (As i Did) and can purchase the Golden oldies of the Amar Chitra Katha's in Various Languages (English, Tamil, Hindi, Telugu, Kannada etc). I purchased one story in Tamil (You do have payment options like Pay by Cheque, Pay by Credit Card) & they are priced like this: 0.99$ for one book. There is nothing wrong in trying something new.

The best part of the site is that you can read the "Story of the week" absolutely free of cost from the Digital ACK Section; Current week story is the most beautiful child in Agra. There are pages like create with us where we can indulge in making an art or story. Then there is Culture beat Section which helps us in finding out what exactly happening in and around us (Nothing in Chennai with reference to literature or art ). However, i do have some points that need to be improved by the ACK media. the section ACK Recommends is still under construction. The culture beat section to be updated with utmost care etc. However, one must always appreciate the work done by ACK Media in promoting the India-centric comics.

The news was covered by news papers (Deccan Chronicle, Chennai Edition Dated 21st Sept 2008 - Chennai Chronicle, Sunday and The Hindu, Chennai Edition dated 22nd Sept 2008, Monday - Metro Plus).

Here is what Deccan Chronicle published: Typical of Deccan Style whereby necessary information like the website name itself is missing in the entire coverage. What else can be said about the entire article then?

However, The Hindu did the coverage of the same not on the same day. Instead they did the article got published on Monday just below their popular comic strip in Metro plus section, which talks a lot about connectivity & positioning. Be your own judge and decide on both the articles.

Well, the contest on the guessing game is still very much open & i have received only 8 mails on this (Which has to be appreciated) and the worst part is, None of the entries got all the 3 answers correctly. Those who can guess the names of the trailers announced on the 1st issue of Iceberg Comics, can Mail me / Post as comments. The 1st Three Correct Entries stand to get a Surprise Gift from Yours Truly (Separate Gifts for Those who reside in India & those who don't).

Well, that's all for now guys. Feel free to post your comments and suggestions in this blog using the Comments link below my sign or send mail to tamilcomicsulagam@gmail.com.

Thanks & Regards,

King Viswa.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

12 Review O3: Iceberg Comics-3rd Issue-Blueberry

Dear ComiRades,

Iceberg Issue No 3 is the Bone of Contention in this post. After featuring XIII in Issue No's 1 & 2, The Editor of Iceberg decided to give a Break to XIII and decided to Bring on Mike Donovan AKA Mike Blueberry. Here is a Portrait Drawn by Jean Giraud. For those who came in late, Blueberry is the Lead Character in the Franco-Belgian comics western series created by the Belgian script writer Jean-Michel Charlier and French comics artist Jean "Mœbius" Giraud.

It chronicles the adventures of Mike Blueberry on his travels through the American Old West. Blueberry is an a-typical western hero; For He is neither the kind of a wandering lawman who brings evil-doers to justice, nor a handsome cowboy who saves the village from the Thugs and becomes the New Marshall over there - Just like the umpteen Number of Cowboy movies we have seen over the years. Have a Look at the cover of the 3rd issue of Iceberg.

Iceberg#3-FrontSimilar to 2nd edition, 3rd issue also follows the same size and Price.When we received the story, we were more than happy as we have received the Book after 7 months; Yes, the 2nd issue was on sale from 14th April 2006 & the 3rd issue was on sale from January of 2007. The Editor Mr Nisha Haran Has to be appreciated for trying to Re-Capture the international standards by having the Cover similar to the international edition.Unfortunately, i couldn't find the Cover scan of the French edition in time to compare (My personal room in Upstairs is yet to be settled after the Retirement function of My Dad on June 30th). Will post that in the near future. Mr Nisha Haran continued to voice his thoughts & Explanations for the Delay in the Editor's Page called as Hi Readers. We must take note the continuation of writing style and standards followed by Him. Hats of to you sir. We are not Complaining on the Delay Part. We are not in-humans to ask for Books when you are in the Midst of the TOUGHEST political scenario over there. Rather, we appreciate your Love for Comics.

Iceberg#3-Page-i
Those, who want to Thank Mr Nisha Haran can visit their Official Site (Which is very much alive & Kicking in spite of the situation.) and pen their support by posting a comment over there in the messages part. It will be of Great support to that Wonderful person, who is worth his weight in Gold. The story, Titled ila Ratham = Young Blood, is about the origin of Blueberry. Have a Look at the 1st page of the story, set in the peak of civil war ridden 1861 where the then persona of Mike Donovan is revealed by Landlord Tucker. A Rich Spoilt Brat that he is, Mike is Loved By the daughter of Tucker. The circumstances force Mike to run away from the Home. 

Iceberg#3-Page-01

This is the part of the story where the Historic event happens. The Re-Naming of Mike Donovan as Mike Blueberry By himself happens here only. When a soldier asks his name, Mike looks in the bushes (He cannot reveal his real name) and looks at the Blueberries over there and Names himself as "Mike Blueberry".

Iceberg#3-Page-15

The Best part is that this particular hero has already been introduced to Tamil by the Redoubtable Prakash Publishers as Captain Tiger. Once the 3rd issue of iceberg was on sale, Prakash Publishers changed their Story from their Cow Boy Special Line up. They straightaway swapped Chick-bill for This story & the very next part of this which was announced in the Website of Iceberg Comics.

When we were waiting for the Cowboy special (Circa June 2007), Rafiq raja of Comicology and Yours truly were discussing how the Editor of Prakash Publisher will name the Hero as Captain Tiger. There were discussions among other ComiRades that there will be Tiger drawn on the Strip and Mike will look at the Tiger & get inspired to say his name is Captain Tiger.

The second part of the story is how Blueberry Grows up. This was portrayed in the Story Sattanooga Baalam.

Iceberg#3-Page-16 

Another set of scans from the same story. Look how the sketches were made. Mobius, You are truly a great Artist. Kudos.

Iceberg#3-Page-32

The Last page of the story where the Greatest Decider of Events in Our Life, Called FATE, helps Blueberry to save his life. Imagine the situation where your Childhood Buddy is standing in front of you to kill you with loads of hatred & a Gun of course, and you have no means of escape. Bang. His Gun is empty.

Iceberg#3-Page-46

Apart from these wonderful stories, there were letters from the fans (Local & Global). Have a Look on what some of these letters do say. truly amazing. Love for comics has no Boundaries, Truly.

Iceberg#3-Page-ii

There were some pages which were allocated for Contests, Subscriptions etc. To be very precise, the centre spreads (4 Pages) were dedicated for this purpose. Have uploaded 2 of them for you.

Iceberg#3-Insert-A Iceberg#3-Insert-B
Iceberg#3-Insert-C Iceberg#3-Insert-D

Now, this was the back wrapper of the 3rd issue of Iceberg comics. Look at the way it was made to enthuse the readers. Again, order and format was maintained just like the second issue. I was Wondering that if The Editor can do such a wonderful job from Sri Lanka, what he would have done for the wellness of Tamil comics, if he was not born in a war torn country. God Only Knows.

Iceberg#3-Back Now, this is for the ComiRades who have a Keen sense of Info related to comics. After the success of the Graphic novel, People wanted to cash in on the Name of Blueberry by making a Movie on the same. However, they made a Mistake by Choosing Mr Jon Kounen, Better known as the music video director having personal interests on Shipibo-Conibo culture and shamanism, with which he became familiar during his trips to Mexico and Peru as the director for the Movie.

Movie Poster Renegade Movie Poster

So much so, that the late Charlier's Family dis-owned the movie. This movie is loosely based on the story The Last Dutchman's Mine. Have a Look at the Movie Posters (The Movie, even though a French production was made in English & Marketed in US of A as The Renegade). On the insistence of our ComiRades, i have gone through this film. Just like the Late Charlier's family, I also disown the film as part of the Blueberry saga. True Blue ComiRades can give a Miss to this movie. If the director is a master in the Shipibo ayahuasca rituals, let him do that in one of his Music DVD's;

Meanwhile, Those who can guess the names of the trailers announced on the 1st issue of Iceberg Comics, can Mail me / Post as comments. The 1st Three Correct Entries will stand to get a Surprise Gift from Yours Truly (Separate Gifts for Those who reside in India & those who don't). Here is the cover design for the 4th Issue of Iceberg Comics.

BB_B1 Brand: Iceberg Comics (Iceberg Comics, Galle, Sri Lanka).

Title: ila Ratham


Cover Design: Normal Size, Hard Cover, Laminated.


Serial Number: No. 3, Part 1 of Blueberry's 2 part mini series.


Number of Pages: 48, Black & White.


On Sale: Jan 2007 Onwards

Price: Priceless for Comic Fans; For others, SLR 50/-

Continuity: Part 2 To Be Available Two months later (???)


Scan Courtesy: Dr 7.

Well, that's all for now guys. Feel free to post your comments and suggestions in this blog using the Comments link below my sign or send mail to tamilcomicsulagam@gmail.com.


Thanks & Regards,

King Viswa.

Monday, September 22, 2008

11 Review O2: Iceberg Comics-2nd Issue-XIII

Dear ComiRades,

This is the 2nd Post on Iceberg Comics (A Handsome Comics From a Handsome Country - Comments inspired By Actual Saying of Mike Coward) about the 2nd issue of Iceberg. For the Un-Initiated, Kindly
Click Here.

After the Successful debut of Iceberg Comics, Many ComiRades were wondering how good will be the second issue? Can it topple the First one? Both in terms of Quality and Quantity? I remember taking part in Animated Discussions with Many a ComiRade that they cannot Best the First issue. However, the Delay-Syndrome which has affected Tamil Comics Got to Sri Lanka As well. We were waiting for more than 5 Months to get the second issue. Was the waiting worth? You bet it was. Have a Look into the cover of the 2nd issue.

Sevinthiya Kudiyiruppu Wrapper-I


The Size and correspondingly the price both were compromised to accommodate the sales issues of the first book. From A4 to the size become a Normal sized one thus ending the great debate on whether Issue no 2 can best the previous one.

And have a Look at the Cover & 1st Page of the same in French Version. Very Nice to know that people follow the international standards. Hats off To Nisha Haran for producing the original at its absolute best. Even though the same story was published in India in Tamil Language in Lion Comics (Yes, Lion Comics as part of the Unforgettable
Diwali Super Special), the cover of the same used only in promo & not as the main cover. Many ComiRades will remember the Back wrapper of the Thihil Comics Sirithu Kolla Vendum in which the same was advertised.

01 02 03

As per the Standard followed By Spirou, Daragaud & Thihil/Lion, Iceberg also gave the Synopsis of the Previous issue in a single page. Have a look into the content. This is an Absolute Lesson for the Students of the art of Making comics on How to fit the entire story into one single page. Have a Look in to this.

Sevinthiya Kudiyiruppu 00 
The Editor's page was Branded as "Hi Readers" where Mr NishaHaran penned his thoughts along with the apologies for the delay, which was perfectly acceptable considering the Political situation which was/is prevailing over there. Have look on to the part how the Editor introduces Mike Blueberry and the anticipated questions on the storylines that will be featured. He very clearly says that they will be fresh as for as Tamil language is considered (For those who came in Late, Muthu Comics - Tamil Nadu based Comic from India- has already published the stories of Blueberry under different name). This raised the expectations on the 3rd issue. The reason for not publishing the 3rd part of XIII as the 3rd issue was mentioned as giving a break for him.
Sevinthiya Kudiyiruppu Editorial 

Now, Look at the 1st page of the story: This is where i have a problem with the Books in B & W as compared to Colour (Even though, As somebody who has experienced the Difficulties in Launching a New Comics & Promoting it, I knew that it is a Himalayan task to get a Comics in Tamil in Colour with Quality at affordable price). Let me put this question to all readers. Kindly look into the 1st page of Iceberg & Lion Comics and the same page in French version in colour.Sevinthiya Kudiyiruppu 01 This is where the content strength of XIII lies. Even in this kind of printing, it has become a huge success.
LSS-S06 Page 1 LSS-S06 Page 2 04

Now, Have a Look at this particular page whereby XIII shows his shocking reaction on knowing that his wife Kim is alive in his face. This is where colour comes in Handy. Comparative pictures will help you to be a Judge by yourself. As for as Yours truly is concerned, Judgement is Reserved.

Sevinthiya Kudiyiruppu 29 31

Now, the final page where part 2 ends. Imagine the situation in 1987, when there was no internet, Phone etc and the situation of the ComiRades when they realise that XIII has to be in Jail for the Crimes that He Didn't commit. They had to wait awfully long to know what exactly happened to him (3rd part was the memorable 50th issue of Thihil Comics).
Sevinthiya Kudiyiruppu 46
Apart from these, the second issue of Iceberg had Letters from the fans, articles on Bio Technology, I.T, Artificial Intelligence etc. I do believe that the background of the Publishing house was the reason behind this. The back wrapper of issue no 2 was so good looking. Have a look at this. can you see the strips in colour gives a wonderful picture than the ones in B&W?

Sevinthiya Kudiyiruppu Wrapper-II
Brand: Iceberg Comics (Iceberg Comics, Galle, Sri Lanka).

Title: Sevvindhiya Kudiyiruppu

Cover Design: Hard Cover, Laminated.

Serial Number: No. 2, Part 2 of XIII's 19 Part Saga.

On Sale: 14th April 2006 Onwards

Price: Priceless for Comic Fans; For others, SLR 50/-

Continuity: Part 3 To Be Available Two months later (?)

Scan Courtesy: Avadi Venkateshwaran.

Well, that's all for now guys. Feel free to post your comments and suggestions in this blog using the Comments link below my sign or send mail to tamilcomicsulagam@gmail.com.

Thanks & Regards,
King Viswa.

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