Guess what, just when I took a breath thinking that we have reviewed pretty much 90% of the titles released by Cinebook as Backlist in 2008, here we are pounded with another set of classic titles from the Franco-Belgian Genre. Yeap, Cinebook have launched their much expected second batch of Backlist titles to mark the new year 2009, in India.
But, subsequent enquiries to Westland didn’t return any favourable response. One of the bigger problems with Indian based companies, is that their zero-response attitude towards readers or fans, unless you have links with a distributor or an inside friend. So, the news of whether or when we will see the next batch of Cinebook, was never known until Oct’08.
On Oct’08, as a desperate act, I logged a request to our dear old friend, Terry of CBO, to check directly with Cinebook’s Olivier Cadic to assess the probability of Indian re-entry. Guess what, the relentless Terry came back within a couple of a days, with this good news on CBO. According to which, Westland and Cinebook brokered a return deal at the Frankfurt Book Fair, last year.
Well, it was sweet news to me, and since then I was expecting to see them hit the stands in India. My further queries to Westland office on the availability of these titles, were met with a cold shoulder, as always.
Nevertheless, here we are with another set of wonderful issues from Cinebook. One thing I feared was about the pricing of the titles this time around, with the economic slowdown. But, the good hearts in the biz, seem to have stuck on with their earlier success mantra of bargain prices, tailor made to Indian Comics fan’s budget.
So, without further due, here is the complete list of Cinebook comics available in India, as part of the first batch for 2009:
Few notable misses from this set are:
- Lucky Luke: As expected, #11: Western Circus, #13: The Tenderfoot, #14: The Dashing White Cowboy released by Cinebook in 2008, have been given a miss, since they were published in India by Tara Press, already.
- Iznogoud: Cinebook have published 3 issues of Iznogoud up until 2009, but they chose wisely against distributing them in India; The reason is that Euro Books have currently planned to publish 12 issues of Iznogoud in India in 2009.
- Largo Winch: #2 issue was released back in 2008, but it is missed out in this lot. I was certainly hoping to see the story unfold in this issue, but it seems we might have to wait for the next batch, and be content with #3 for now.
- Biggles Recounts: Issue #3 was missed out. No qualms, as I didn’t find the series impressive enough to miss. But #3 was promising enough, since it was to talk about Wright Brothers and their inventions.
- Biggles: Spitfire Parade was released by Cinebook in 2008, but as Euro Books have already published majority from the Bergese set in India, the miss is understandable.
Note: As per the latest news, Cinebook have stopped publishing Biggles titles, due to a legal disagreement between the Original French publisher Le Lombard and the people who represent Biggles copyrights. I hope that the issues are sorted out soon, and we will get to see more Biggles titles under the brand of Cinebook.
Due to the recent change in the distribution cycle of Cinebook in India, we would not have to wait for a year or so for each batch of those wonderful titles. Westland have now started ordering Cinebook titles every month on an incremental basis, which is a good news for me, and most importantly will help to continue the series uninterrupted.
As you might have guessed, we will be looking into each of these series more in detail in the upcoming posts at Comicology. So Stay Tuned, to know more on these gems from the Franco-Belgian Genre.
Here is a snapshot (at the left) of my Complete Cinebook collection (from both batches of 2008 & 2009). Doesn’t it gives a good show :). It certainly looks huge on my shelf, and only back in 2007 I was thinking that Euro Books is the biggest set in recent years (snapshot at right).
No doubts, Cinebook instalments are much better in content than Euro Books.
Not to forget it is also much heavier on your pockets then the later. But isn’t it worth the money? :)
Talking of Collections, I couldn’t help but talking about about one of my largest buys ever recently. Couple of years back, when I visited Uncle Sam’s country, I picked up one issue each of Titan Book’s New Modesty & Bond Series Collection. They were highly priced (when converted to INR, obviously), but I thought I could own it as a one-off showcase piece in my collection.
But, when I recently witnessed Chennai’s Odyssey Bookstore, showcasing the complete Bond & Modesty collection on the stands, I couldn’t stop myself from the tempting offer laying before me to own them, even though they were priced directly at the exchange rate, once again. Dollar seems to have followed me all along :-).
Nevertheless, the classic comic strips of Bond & Modesty deserve their price, and I convinced myself over a month, to lay my hands on the complete set in 2009.
It remains (and I hope it stays) till date my biggest spend on any specific comic series.
At least, the one good thing I did amidst all these buys, is opting for an email Credit Card statement instead of the traditional physical ones. Well, as all you might know, It saves me from some prying eyes back home, and a lot of trouble thereafter :).
Well, we are in for a long deal of reviews at Comicology, with all these recent buys. So strap on, and let’s zoom past them for months to come.
Last Updated: 23 December 2010 - with new Cinebook Titles for the year.