When Gotham Comics was launched, it gave me a chance to explore something out of this box. But, again it was limited only to American based comic heroes, and the European Golden Period still remained a treasure unrevealed to one and all.
Recently, I chanced upon a new initiative by a global company called EuroKids International, who has forayed in the Graphic Novels in India, by introducing few books under the Euro Books brand-name. They have two limited series editions, the first being Agastha Christies Novels in Comic form, which is not of international standards, and looks to have been aimed for the kids. But, the other one was real surprise, a 14 title series of Biggles, starring one of the famous European Comic heroes, Bigglesworth.
|Biggles 3-in-1 Vol.3: Air Adventures |
| The Flight of the Wallenstein | The Yellow Swan |
| The Pirates of the South Pole | ISBN: 978-81-286-1478-1 |
|Biggles 3-in-1 Vol.4: Captain Courageous |
| Fire in Province - 1 | Fire in Province – 2 |
| Deadly Snow | ISBN: 978-81-286-1476-7 |
|Biggles Single Vol. Edition 13 |
Chappal Wadi | ISBN: 978-81-286-1316-6 |
|Biggles Single Vol. Edition 14 |
Spitfire Parade | ISBN: 978-81-286-1475-0 |
The storylines are full of history, with plots developed pre and post World War scenarios, with some dealing with the treasures which went missing during the wars, which adds all the more delight to the comic fans.
Pierre Clostermann, a french flying ace himself, says this in one of his prefaces of Biggles titles:
|Bergese artwork inside Biggles Graphic Novel - 1 ||Bergese artwork inside Biggles Graphic Novel - 2 |
Pierre also adds this this about Francis Bergese:
Here is the complete list of Biggles titles released by EuroBooks in India (All in 2007). All these titles were originally released in French on a year-on-year basis, which were later translated and released in UK by Red Fox as English editions. So no wonder Euro Books has made sure that they chose from the second lot, to save them of translation duties.
|#||Title||Story||Artist||Original Title (French)|
|1.||Yellow Swan||Francis Bergèse||Francis Bergèse||Le cygne jaune (1990)|
|2.||The Pirates of the South Pole||Francis Bergèse||Francis Bergèse||Les pirates du pole sud (1991)|
|3.||Spitfire Parade||Francis Bergèse||Francis Bergèse||Le bal des Spitfire (1992)|
|4.||The Flight of the Wallenstein||Michel Oleffe||Eric Loutte||Le vol du Wallenstein (1994)|
|5.||Squadron Biggles||Francis Bergèse||Francis Bergèse||Squadron Biggles (1994)|
|6.||The Last Zeppelin||Francis Bergèse||Francis Bergèse||Le dernier Zeppelin (1995)|
|7.||The 13th Tooth Of The Devil||Michel Oleffe||Eric Loutte||La 13ème dent du diable (1997)|
|8.||The Wotan Sword||Michel Oleffe||Eric Loutte||L'épée de Wotan (1998)|
|9.||Deadly Snow||Michel Oleffe||Eric Loutte||Neiges mortelles (1999)|
|10.||The Lost Oasis - 1||Michel Oleffe||Frank Leclercq||L'oasis perdue – 1 (2000)|
|11.||The Lost Oasis – 2||Michel Oleffe||Frank Leclercq||L'oasis perdue – 2 (2001)|
|12.||Fire in Provence - 1||Michel Oleffe||Eric Loutte||Feu sur la Provence – 1 (2003)|
|13.||Fire in Provence - 2||Michel Oleffe||Eric Loutte||Feu sur la Provence – 2 (2004)|
|14.||Chappal Wadi||Michel Oleffe||Eric Loutte||Chappal Wadi (2006)|
While Bergese has worked on the majority of the titles, drawn and scripted by himself, there were also sizeable titles scripted by Michel Oleffe, with Eric Loutte and Frank Leclercq donning the artist duties on and off. But, it should be noted that they chose to base the characters layout in line with how Bergese had envisioned them previously, may be as an homage to the legendary creator.
Eventhough, the great Comic Hunters ERB and Viswa of Chennai, say that they do posses some Biggles comics of Old ages obtained from Second Hand book shops, I wasn't fortunate enough to behold them so far. Thus far these instalments from Euro Books are the only ones which are in my collection. I hope some other publishing company in India, dig-in and bring the other titles available of this unsung hero from Franco Belgian Era. Overall, Biggles series seems to be one for the collectors and comics fans, and thanks to EuroKids for bringing this hero to limelight in India.
Unfortunately, the Euro Book site doesn't have any information about these books, so the best way to get them would be to reach the chain bookstore like Landmark, Odyssey, or Higginbothams. Each of the 14 Titles run a lengthy 48 pages, and the are priced at INR 199. They also have 4 Hard-Bound Compilations containing 3 stories each priced at INR 450/-. The remaining two editions has to be picked from the singles lot. A Little heavily priced, but compared to their original European price, and the quality of the papers and binding, its a good buy, and a good addition to your classic collection. If you are interested in exploring further, The complete list of Biggles, could be found here.
As always, please leave your comments about this article down below, which will keep me going.