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
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|
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|
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.
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
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.
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|
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
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,