Today (22nd May 2009) Happens to be the 150th Birth Anniversary of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and to honour Him, TCU is Uploading this Special Post where Sherlock Holmes is a Major Part. Before getting into him, Let us Take a Tour towards the End of the 80’s and early 90’s when Our Beloved Editor Mr Vijayan was planning to diversify. Hence, He Chose a Safe path. Get the World Famous Characters into Tamil in Novel Format. Why into Novel format and Why Not Another Comics Magazine when he himself is running Popular Comics is the question that will be asked by everyone of you..
The Reason was the Popularity and Success of Monthly Novels in the Late 80’s and the downward trend in Comics in the same period. Yes, In the Late 80’s and early 90’s, There was a Spurt in Tamil Monthly Novels and Many of them were launching Monthly Novels Left, Right and Centre. The Notable Ones Were:Super Novel (Launched Novel leader), Ungal Junior (Launched Ullaasa Oonjal), Sujatha & Novel Sathya (Got ReLaunched) and many more apart from the Already running titles such as Crime Novel, A Novel Time, Pocket Novel, Suspense Monthly Novel, etc etc. And these Novels were doing very good and hence they used to come up with Special Issues such as Diwali Special, Summer Special etc which used to contain 2 Novels and many other wonderful fillers. Yours Truly has read a Lot of them and still in possession of more than 2000 (Even after giving away more than a 500 Novels some time back). May be, because of the Sudden Spurt in the Novels Mr Vijayan would have also thought of Entering into this domain.
Now, Most of these Novels were written by Rajesh Kumar, Subha and PKP and a handful of others and to get them to write for would have been like just another Monthly Novel. Hence to differentiate his magazine, Vijayan concentrated in bringing the classics to Tamil Language. Classics such as those written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Erle Stanley Gardner, Edgar Allan Poe etc. Now Translating them into Tamil has another Advantage also as most of these works are Copyright free and hence there will be No Payment Issue on these. So, He started to advertise his dream project in most of the Comics.
But, why Comics? There is another Logical answer for this. Most of the Lion Comics Readers who started to read it in 1984 would be in the prime of their teens or passed it and hence their reading habit would have touched the gradual 2nd degree (Comics to Novels) and hence by advertising in Comics, He most obviously targeted his potential readers in the right way and also they are his Comics and hence he wouldn’t required to Pay the Ad Charges. He Started off with Teaser Advertisements such as these in circa 1989 and it continued in the best part of 90, 91 and 92 as well.
Teaser Advertisement for Perry mason’s Entry into Prakash Publishers in 90’s
Thigil Comics Issue No 48 – Dracula Kottai - Jul 1990– Next Issue Announcement
However, the launch was delayed (in the 1st Dark Hole of Prakash Publishers when they discontinued Mini Lion, Thigil Comics and Generally Inconsistent) and when the 1st issue hit the stands, There was dramatic change in the Environment with Some of the Novels discontinuing and this is the REAL age when Satellite Television Took Over (And the next Yr Saw the launch of Tamil Satellite Channels) and hence the gradual decline in reading habit. In this period, The Monthly Novels such as Ungal Junior and Super Novel were pricing their Special Issues at INR 7.00 / INR 8.00 and they had generally 144 to 160 pages. Some ComiRades May ask Why TCU is keep on Comparing with these 2 Novels with Thigil Library. Because the Size, Paper Quality and Pages of Thigil Library was similar to them. The One thing that was Not Similar was the Pricing: INR 10.00. When Compared to this, Ungal Junior Has published a Summer Special in May 1993 For INR 6.00 and it had 2 Novels with 144 Pages. Now, INR 10.00 was a Lot of Money in those days and, well, let us discuss these later.
Thigil Library Issue No 1 Dated 1st March 1993 Front Wrapper – Perry Mason Novel
Thigil Library Issue No 1 Dated 1st March 1993 Back Wrapper – Advertised in Many Books
The Cover design was stunning, to say the least. It also changed the trend of the Novel covers in those days when K.V Anand used to Shoot Covers for Novels and other Publications used to Copy the Foreign Novel Covers and Cinema Stills to attract. However, Vijayan has brought the Hand-drawn cover for a monthly novel after a Very Long time (Ma.Se – A Novel Times, Ramu – Super Novel before K.V Anand Took over). Let us Have a look at the editorial page and the Credits page.Earlier in the 60’s, Chennai Based Little Flower Company Translated Perry mason Novels in Tamil and the Specialty of these Novels was the Localising of the Supporting Characters. As with the trend of Perry mason, The Supporting Characters were localised in Thigil Library as well.
As Someone who can boast (on the fact To have read more than 2500 Tamil Novels starting from Jayakanthan, Chandilyan, Kalki to the present day Authors) about Tamil Novels, This One was absolutely brilliant, To Say the least. The reason could be the Strength of the Source material. Still, it need to be translated in such a way that you love it. And this is where Vijayan Succeeds when some of the Previous attempts were Not up to the Mark. The Parry Mason Novel is a Masterpiece in Story telling and those who Love the Ric Hochet Type of Murder Mysteries will love this like anything. If you get a chance to steal this book, Don’t hesitate. Just to make sure that he satisfies his source strength, there was a Comics Story as Well.
Thigil Library No 1 Dated 1st March 1993 Misty Story 1st Page
Grimm's Ghost Stories Issue 17- July 1974-2nd Story Page 11
Thigil Library Issue No 1 Dated 1st March 1993 Next Issue Ad
That was the end of Thigil Library 1. Now, the Cover design was heavily inspired by Misty and it can be referred from the link given. Apart from the Misty Girl in the Cover, The other part (The Stabbed Man) is inspired from the Cover design of Kelly green. Now, This is not an Unwanted Add-on in this post, as many others might think. The Artist Leonard Starr was featured in One Lion Comics and His work was also present in another one of the English Comics in India. And that Lion Comics will be covered very soon in TCU.
Now, In TCU’s Rating, Thigil Library 1 Was a Success and TCU Personally Likes the Effort and creativity shown by the Editor. More on Translation – What Can be said about this. Just read the 1st page of Edgar Allan Poe Story (scan given above). This was one of the Better translated Tamil Novels and deserves to be rated among the very best. The Next Time TCU meets The Editor (Most Probably this month or Next month), the 1st question will be: Who is V. KanunaiAnandham? (He Happens to be the Co-Translator for the Perry mason Novel along with S.Vijayan). As mentioned in THIS Post, when discussing about the Translators, TCU Mentioned that among the very few incidents when Prakash Publishers published details of the Translators, there were 2 and this happens to be the 2nd One (1st One being the Jesse James Story of Lucky Luke). Now, the following Scans are posted Just to Show Off that TCU’s Library Has the 1968 Version of the Perry Mason Novels translated into Tamil as well. By the way, Look at the Names of the corresponding Characters (Kannagi, Arjun Singh).
Perry Masan Tamil 1968 Novel Front Wrapper
Perry Masan Tamil 1968 Novel Credits Page
Perry Masan Tamil 1968 Novel Character Intro
Perry Masan Tamil 1968 Novel Back Wrapper
Now, then. Perry Mason was made into Comic Strips in the 1950’s and 3 of the stories were featured in Muthu Comics: As with the case of TCU (Comprehensive Coverage) Here are they:
Now, The Usual Bug that we are so accustomed with Prakash Publishers didn’t leave Thigil Library As well. After the Launch of the 1st issue in March 1993, ComiRades were waiting for the 2nd Issue for months. Meanwhile, The editor has done his own survey and Found out that the COST is a matter to be sorted out immediately. Hence, the 2nd (And Final) book of the Thigil Library series was Priced at INR 5.00 (A Slash of 50%). The 2nd book was Available only in the month of September 1993 and by this time Cricket and Cable Television entered into the Living Rooms and the reading habit was Hit for a Sixer. Compared to the 1st Issue, the 2nd one was more attractive as a Package Since it contained more comics stories than the 1st issue. Have a Look at the covers:
Thigil Library No 2 Dated Sept 1993 Front Wrapper – Singathin Pidari – Sherlock Holmes Story
Thigil Library Issue No 2 Dated 1st Sep 1993 Back Wrapper With Intro to Drawn Stories
One of the Issues with ComiRades is that they do not reveal their thoughts to the Editors often. As seen in this case, Very few letters were written for the 1st book and here are they. ComiRade Arun Karthick surprised me by writing that the Perry mason story was not up to the mark. Another One of the ComiRades from SriLanka appreciated the translation. By the way, Today happens to be the Republic Day in SriLanka. Happy Republic to all the SriLankan ComiRades who have supported this Blog, Even though this might not be the right situation for any kind of celebrations considering the scenario prevailing over there.
Thigil Library 2 Dated Sep 93 – Credits Page & Letters (Note Page 83 Story Title)
Thigil Library Issue No 2 Dated 1st Sept 1993 Letters 2 – Very Few Were Written
Now, This Issue was not only reduced in terms of Price, but also in terms of content as well. Instead of 2 Novels, there was only one and it was supported by short stories and other comics stories. Now, this was Sherlock Holmes Mark 2, when he was retired and Watson was no longer with him to chronicle the events. One of the Better Stories. Have a Read.
|Thigil Library Issue No 2 Dated Sep 1993 Sherlock Holmes Intro||Thigil Library Issue 2 Date Sep1993 Sherlock Holmes 1st Page|| |
Thigil Library Issue No 2 Dated Sept 1993 Oru Aavi Arikkai
Unlike the 1st issue which had only 1 Comics story, this issue had 3 of them and every one of them are wonderful. As Usual, TCU is here with the Originals of the Stories.
|Thigil Library Issue 2 Dated Sept 1993–Puyal Rathiri Story (Re)||Thigil Library Issue 2 Dated Sept 1993–Grimm–Enrum Nadigan||Thigil Library Issue 2 Dated Sept 1993 Kalakadalil Oru Payani|
|Twilight Zone Issue No 21 Dated May 1967 Page 22 – The Phantom Lighthouse-Puyal Rathiri|| |
Twilight Zone Gold Key Issue No 2 Dated Feb 1963 Page 3 – Journey Into Jeopardy
In the 50’s, a Very short lived Daily Strip of Sherlock Holmes was started and it was scripted by the Radio Master Edith Meiser. However, the Artwork was done by Frank Giacoia, who was later on associated with Jack Kirby. Sherlock Holmes Featured as a Special Guest In the 50th Anniversary issue of Detective Comics where Sherlock Holmes Meets Batman. Muthu Comics Bought The Copyrights of the strip stories drawn by frank and here are they:
Now, All the 3 Books featuring Perry Mason and the Last 2 Books Featuring Sherlock Holmes are available with the Publishers and all you need to do is to call them by looking at the side bar of this Blog for the contact Number of the Publisher. For Those who are Lazy, Here is the Number: 04562 – 272649.
Some of the ComiRades who read the Intro page by the Editor may think that How can he claim to have brought Sherlock Holmes to Indian comics for the 1st time when Paico Classics has already published Him in 1987 itself? Well, the Answer is very simple. Mr Vijayan Has brought the Strip Stories to India for the 1st Time and what Paico published were classical stories.
Paico Classics Tamil Edition Issue No 2 Dated Oct 87 Sherlock Holmes Hound of Baskervilles
Paico Classics English Edition Issue No 7 Dated Oct 87 Sherlock Holmes Hound of Baskervilles
Here are some Info about the authors involved with the Thigil Library: Click on the Link to know more. Don’t Miss the Cricinfo Link for Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
|Description||Author Of Perry Mason||Author Of Sherlock Holmes||Father of Detective Fiction|
|Full Name||Erle Stanley Gardner||Sir Arthur Conan Doyle||Edgar Allan Poe|
|Time Line|| |
17th July 1889 – 11th March 1970 (Aged 80)
22nd May 1859 – 7th July 1930 (Aged 71)
19th Jan 1809 – 7th Oct 1849 (Aged 40)
|Info Links||Wiki Link||Wiki Link, Official Site, Cricinfo Link, Museum||Wiki Link|
|Works||Novels||Novels||Short Stories, Novels|
|Branched Into||Comics, Radio Shows, TV Serials & Films||Complete Details (Watch out-Guy Ritchie Film)||Novels|
Now, Then. Here is some Latest News to realise how Visionary Our Editor is. New Horizon Media is About to Launch One of the Sherlock Holmes Stories in Tamil with Quality Translation. I Repeat, Quality Translation because the man in charge of this is Mr Badri. Those who want to Order this Book can Contact in the following address:
New Horizon Media Private Limited
33/15, Eldams Road,
Alwarpet, Chennai 600018,
Tamil Nadu, India.Ph: 91 44 4200 9601 / Fax: 91 44 4300 9701.
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 section or Click Here.
Thanks & Regards,