First of All Let Me Wish Every One Of You A Happy New Year. Even though the Present Government Has changed the Tamil New Year to Jan 14th ( Pongal - Another Special Day For Tamilians), Majority of them still celebrate today as the First day of the New Year. Even though, there should be no space for Personal things, Yours Truly Thanks all those ComiRades who called / Mailed / SMS'ed / Blog Posted the Birthday Wishes. Personally Speaking, This is the Worst Ever Year in terms of Everything. Well, let us Not dwell on those.
To Mark the Special Day, TCU is Herewith starting a Brand New Series in This Blog. A Series which will be part of the Tamil Comics History in the Years to come (Hopefully, As per the Publishers Plan-Wise). We have come across 50 Movies to See before you Die, 50 Books to Read Before You Die etc and many other on the series as collectors edition. some of them are Good and some of them are, Well, Pretty Good.
So, Here is what we are starting today: 50 Greatest Moments in Tamil Comics History. Yes, and the ComiRades could be part of the History as the Publisher plans to include the Comments as well as it will add to the story strength. From Today, TCU Will post 50 Greatest Moments in the History of Tamil Comics and at the end of the series, they will be Ranked by The ComiRades and then Published. We all May Have a piece of History (in Tamil As well - Publisher Rules).
There are Certain things that TCU Proposes here:
- There are No Hard and Fast Rules in selecting the Books/Stories/Scenes.
- Books/Scenes are selected based on the Impact they had on the readers than the impact on the Sellers.(No Spider/Archie?)
- Absolutely No Favouritism.
- The order of the Posting is not the final order.
- Sentimental Scenes may not be the only ones that will be polled. Even Comedy scenes and Fights can also be ranked.
- The Final order will be done on ranking of a Poll.
- The ComiRades can also suggest some of the Top Rated Scenes and if they are in the same league by the selection panel, they will also be selected and Reviewed.
- One Scene Per Book Only.
- Even though there may be Multiple scenes, they all will be reviewed and the best one will be posted.
- Parts of the Same Book will be considered as Single Story (Tex Willer 1-2-3 Will be 1 Story).
- Exception is XIII Which Will be 10 Different Story Entries.
- The Publisher and Not TCU will Have the Final Say (After all, His Money).
Now, Let Us Get into Tamil Comics' first Entry of the 50 Greatest Moments in Tamil Comics History without any further delay.
Muthu Comics – Issue No 230 – Dec 1994 மாண்டு போன நகரம்
Editor = S. Vijayan
Translation = S. Vijayan
Language = English to Tamil – Direct.
Comics Magazine Background: The Year Was 1994 and that Marked the Revamp of Muthu Comics and what Comics Historians Mark it as Stage 8. Here, The Editor Brought Back the Trusted 2nd Rung Heroes like Spy 13 (Agent John Steel), Wes Slade, Mandrake, Roger & Bill etc. This Period was Marked with the Return of The Greatest Ever Tamil Comics Artist Chellam to Main Line Comics with Brand New Stories of His Magic.
Cometh The Man and Cometh the Changes. Two Colour Stories were back and so was Serial Stories (தொடர் கதைகள்) and fillers and also the Wrapper Style so closer to the Commando Covers.
Now, Enough on the background of this book and lets get on with the Character. Agent John Steel Was a Spy in Second world War and his stories can be categorised into two: Before and during the 2nd World War and After second world war where he Dons the role of a Detective.
John Steel Made his Debut in Tamil in Thigil Comics with Origins Dating Back to Various IPC/Fleetway series like Thriller Picture Library, Suspense Picture Library (Mostly Reprints) and others. TCU Has got the 17 Books of John Steel Case Book Series in English and Very Soon a Complete Intro Post will be done on this wonderful Character on acquiring the remaining ones prior to the War.
The Opening Scene of the Story itself Breath Taking in terms of Mastery of Language. The Debate of Who is the Best Editor (In Terms of Translation and Mastery of Language with relevant Local touch) will Most probably settled at the end of this Series.
Comics Historians and Old ComiRades still Swear by Mullai Thangarasan and the New Generation of ComiRades who were born and brought up with S. Vijayan’s Works Just say that He is the Best of the Best and they will leave no stone unturned to make sure.
Somewhere along the Line are Mr S RamaJayam, Vandu Mama, Anil Anna – Puvi Vendhan, etc. Well, that discussion is for some other time.
The words “வெறித்தனமாக சுட்டெரித்த கதிரவனை எதிர்த்து குளிர்க்காற்று போராடிப் பார்த்து தோற்றுக்கொண்டு இருந்தது” should be taken in the syllabus if at all there is a teaching school for translation. Many may argue with the fact that the original work could be So Good that the mere translation is So Good.
Well, Not really. Check out any of the Rani Comics (Including when Mr S Ramajayam Was the Editor) and their original work and you will understand.
The story line goes something like this: During the 2nd World war, John Steel Visits a Small Village in Italy for Espionage and is Badly wounded By the Germans. When he is about to be captured, A Hugely Built Figure Not only saves him from the Germans by shooting them but also carries him like a Baby in His Hands and Makes Sure that he is taken to the correct place for Medical treatment.
Muthu Comics 230–Dec 94–Mandu Pona Nagaram–Scene 2
Muthu Comics 230–Dec 94–Mandu Pona Nagaram–Scene 3
Expecting Nothing Back, Alberto Lighatti walks back to his regular Work – Fighting Germans. John gets well and Completes His official work and then goes back to his Hometown. Now, He is Back to Pay his tribute to the Man who saved his life.
When he visited the Akino Village about 10 Years Back, Alberto Lighatti was a Hero to his Homefolk and Hence John Expects little difficulty in finding him in the Village. However, he is astonished when he sees that the beautiful village of Akino is completely destroyed and lay in ashes. He visits the Nearby village and the moment he mentions the name of Alberto, he is savagely attacked by the villagers before being saved by the Inspector, who was sent by the mayor Don Edwardo.
The inspector then tells the story of Akino’s destruction in Mayor’s office. Alberto, becomes a Looter turned by the greed and while acquiring the Stolen Goods of a Nazi General, he also destroys His own village. The Words of a person while laying in the shambles and fumes is very clearly heard by the Inspector who remembers it till date. And those who read the story can also remember the Epic sentence: நெருப்பின் தகிப்பை விட அந்த குரலில் அதிக வெப்பம் இருந்தது, meaning that the words contained more heat than the fire on the entire city.
Muthu Comics 230–Dec 94–Mandu Pona Nagaram–Scene 4
Muthu Comics 230–Dec 94–Mandu Pona Nagaram–Scene 5
The rest of the story is how John removes the Stigma from the name of Alberto and how he restores the Heroic Status that was prevailing about ten years back. And when it happens, Just read the sentence. Maestro. Hats of to Mr S.Vijayan for such a mastery over language and giving us pleasure over a period of time.
Those who Have the Book, Kindly read the story back and enjoy the poetry which is masked as translation in this piece of work. And finally, when John gets back, he makes sure that he does not turn back to have a look at all the eyes which were staring at him. Somehow the other, this has gone down well with Yours Truly and ever since reading the sentence, Has never looked back (in all contexts) in Life. The Entry for the 50 Greatest Moments in Tamil Comics History from this story is Scene 3 where the person curses Alberto.
Well, then. This concludes the 1st entry of the 50 Greatest Moments in Tamil Comics History. Remember this is the Entry from the Story:
Thigil Comics – Issue No 36 – Dec 89 - நதியில் ஒரு நாடகம்
Editor = S. Vijayan
Translation = S. Vijayan
Language = French – English – Tamil.
Comics Magazine Background: This Particular Year was the most turbulent year in the annals of Tamil Comics Publications and Thigil Comics Was in Yet another Revamp Mode and this Was Thigil Comics Mark 5. This season was Marked By Crime Novel Size Comics Not Only in Thigil Comics, But also in Lion Comics (As a Trial Case).However the Size remained same with Thigil Comics for a Considerable Run.
This Stage 5 of Thigil Comics was Marked for not only the size, but also for the Supplements that was given (Not in this book’s case, though). Well, TCU Has all the supplements and that will be done as a Special Post sometime in the future as they are part of Tamil Comics History.
Character Background: Bernard Prince needs no Introduction to Tamil ComiRades now as he has become a Household Name and this is something that has to be amazed at for Only a Single 8 Page small story of Bernard Prince is Officially translated into English. Imagine that with no stories to fall back at (Like in the case of Lucky Luke where the ComiRade can always buy the English Version), Tamil Comics fans are starved with stories of Bernard Prince and still there are stories to be published in Tamil.
This series saw an avalanche of Bernard Prince stories with Rich Hochet (Reporter Johnny).Captain Bernard Prince is An Ex InterPol Officer and left his Position to venture into the Sea with Barney as his Partner in Crime and Jin as the third Member. The Gang is Completed with the Little Bear that is being taken care off by Jin. They have a penchant to get into trouble and save others life by risking their own. The Best part of Prince’s Stories is the Background of the stories being realistic situations.
This particular Story also Happens in and Around Sea / Jungle. To save a President, Our Team is marching towards the Army Training Base and the rest is self Explanatory. I Have give the full 4 pages to make your life easy.
Now, Would you believe that? How Can it Happen? Heroes are always supposed to be, Well, HERO’s. Will that happen in any case? Or Lets go the other way around. Has any one of the Heroes left their best friends to Die, without even trying? Will Tex Willer leave Kit Carson? Will Jess Long Leave Slim Sullivan? Will Modesty leave Garvin to Die without even trying? How can this Be? Come on Mr Greg, What happened to you? Could this be True? Isn’t it Cowardness to leave your partner to die? Thousands of such questions rang in My mind the moment i read this Page and was fuming at Prince.
ComiRades can always question yours truly for arriving at such a conclusion. Well, what to do? Barney is among the top 3 of the Most loved Supporting Characters who have appeared in Tamil Comics. All he says is “என்னை மன்னித்து விடு” which can be translated as “Forgive Me”. Utter Non sense. Where will Barney Forgive Him? In Heaven? And in the next panel, Captain Bernard Prince is REALLY walking leaving his Best friend all set to die in 10 Minutes.
He also rues at his own Helplessness. Yours truly was on the verge of Crying and look at this Panel. Prince is Turned Back (In reality as well – Turned his back to his friend) and the scream of Barney is heard throughout. What a Scenario. If yours truly has to make a Film in the near future, He will make sure that such a scene is (Even forcibly also) shot in the film, irrespective of the story line.
Voila, What happened next will remain in the Heart of Yours Truly forever. The way Prince runs back once he hears the Death cry of Barney and his words, his facial reaction etc etc. Well, My Limited lexicon prevents Myself from describing it here. Have a Look.
Prince Fighting Individually & Barney Watching it Upside Down
Prince is Caught & Facing Death for Friendship
Now, That is Why Captain Bernard Prince will be my Favourite Comics Hero (And Also Share Hunter’s As well). He is Intellectual, Calculative and Full of Innovative ideas. But first and Foremost, he is down to earth and is the Most believable Comics Book Hero whose adventures i can always relate.
This concludes the 2nd entry of the 50 Greatest Moments in Tamil Comics History. Remember this is the Entry from the Story:
Winning Entry from the Story நதியில் ஒரு நாடகம்–Thigil Comics –Adventure Based–Sentimental – S.Vijayan
Hopefully the publisher will allow the remaining entries to be made in the Blog Post as Well without any Constraint.
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 sidebar or Click Here.
Thanks & Regards,
Note: John Steel © IPC Media, ஜான் ஸ்டீல் © Prakash Publishers.
Note: Bernard Prince © Daragud, கேப்டன் பிரின்ஸ் © Prakash Publishers.