Aug 9, 2009

Muthu Comics #312 – Mandrake | Aug ‘09

First of all, I should thank each and every one you who have visited and recorded your wishes on the Second year anniversary of our blog. Needless to say every message of it goes a long way in strengthening my commitment towards our unique hobby. Once again Thanks a Ton and let the Show roll on.

Muthu Comics #312 – Mandrake
Muthu 312 - Mandrake - Mirror People  
2 Stories | 92 Pgs | INR 10 | B6
B/W | Laminated/Paperback

What we have for our current blog post, is the Second issue of Muthu Comics for the year 2009, which has finally been published this month, closely following the Lion #206, released last month. Editor S Vijayan of Prakash Publishers, continues to amaze with his continuous release of classic titles, which I believe he would have long made ready, just waiting to see the daylight.

As advertised in Muthu #311, it features legendary American comics creator Lee Falk’s creation Mandrake the Magician, in a classic story from the 1940’s, where Mandrake goes toe-to-toe with one his fearsome foes, Ekardnam, from the world of Mirror People.

The cover-art once again is a stunning piece of work, which is following the footsteps laid by the recent Lion Comics edition, by utilising the same layout and colour choices. Good to see that the well adorned format, is being retained, adding all the more oomph for the classic stories being featured offlate.

Read on to have a preview of the original cover which inspired our Muthu edition, which will highlight the artistic talent of our locals.

Muthu 312 ComicsTime Editor in his Comics Time, highlights the fact that this Mandrake Story was in their plans right from 1990. There was a widespread fan reaction, which was pretty mixed about the Mandrake stories, with some liking it and others despising its fantasy filled storylines. So, Editor’s apprehension about the future of the Mandrake in Muthu Comics, is understandable. Nevertheless, the story has finally been published after 19 long years, from the date it was originally advertised.

Mandrake the MagicianMandrake the Magician is another creation by the legendary Lee Falk, who is more famous for his tryst with The Phantom. Know more about Lee Falk in our Phantom series, here. 

Mandrake was portrayed as a hypnotist, who used his powers to fight the criminals and enemies of his country, to mend the Wrongs to Rights. Mandrake is often touted as the first costumed superhero, even before Falk invented Phantom a couple of years later. The only reason why he wasn’t given that due credit, is because he wore a Magicians suite in his adventures, unlike other Superheroes who had a costume of their own.

Lee FalkLee Falk (1911-1999) had a childhood fascination towards Stage Magicians, and it wasn’t a surprise that he chose his first Comic character to be based out on one of them, in the form of Mandrake. It is said that Falk conceived the idea of Mandrake in his early age of 19; But only in 1934, he managed to appear for an audition with New York’s King Feature Syndicates, which eventually was his first trip out of his hometown, St.Louis.

His theatrical passion, and good looks (doesn’t he look like the Classic American movie hero of that time?) was instrumental in getting him an audition with the Editors, even though he went there without a prior-appointment, and he successfully brokered a deal to syndicate his first comic strip by the name of Mandrake the Magician, at the the tender age of 21. But at that age he had 2 more years to complete his college education, so he offloaded the artistic work to Phil Davis, an established artist who also lived in St.Louis.

Thus Mandrake the Magician arrived in 1934, the same year which also saw the debut of classic comic strip heroes, in the form of Flash Gordon and Secret Agent X-9 (aka Phil Corrigan). It took 2 more years before The Phantom joined them on the top list.

Phil DavisPhilip ‘Phil’ Davis (1906-1964), had a fascination towards drawing right since he was 6 year old, and it went a long way in him joining Washington University Art School. Along with his studies, he also worked as part-time artist for a telephone company, where he had his first tryst with commercialising his work. By 1928, he had a full-time artist job, while he also started illustrating covers for some magazines.

He eventually met Lee Falk in 1933, and their friendship was instrumental in Falk handing over the art work of Mandrake in 1934 to him, when he was looking out for a replacement for himself. It should be noted that one of Davis’s assistant was Ray Moore, who later became the official artist for Falk’s another creation, The Phantom.

Together, Davis and Falk then started to build a whole new fantasy world filled with incredible characters for Mandrake.

Mandrake the Magician - Daily Strip (1944)Mandrake the Magician - Colored Sunday Srip (1939)Mandrake the Magician - Comic Book Book (1937)

Lothar aids Mandrake with his Power CapabilitiesMandrake and his Hypnotisim Mandrake was pictured as a Magician who learned his art from the College of Magic. He got a hi-fi home by the name of Xanadu, which was sophisticated with all the hi-tec gadgets and securities you can find in the world, with fortified gates, and video cameras all along.

He got a trusted ally, in the form of powerful Lothar, who was an African Prince who befriended Mandrake and decided to follow him in his crime fighting adventures. Lothar is often touted as the Strongest man in the world, with the only exception being Lothar of the Seven LandsMandrake’s Chef and Secret head of International Crime fighting organization, Hojo, who is a renowned Martial fighter of his own.

It is said that Falk initially envisioned Lothar as the slave (or a little over slave) of Mandrake, but later changed that into friendship, due to the increased awareness being Narda Mandrakegenerated worldwide on Black welfare. Lothar can be safely considered as the first Afro-American to have got featured in a lengthy comic series so consistently.

Mandrake got a girlfriend, and later wife in the form of Narda, who is a Princess of her own for an European nation. Lothar’s girlfriend, Karma was also an African Princess, thus making Mandrake’s extended family a Royal one :).

Leon Mandrake (1939)Resemblance with Real-life Celebrity: It is often touted that Falk initially envisioned Mandrake’s appearance, keeping him as a role model, which Falk himself did admit in few interviews. But, it should be noted that he had lot in resemblance to then then famous Stage Magician, Leon Mandrake, who was often referred in full as Leon Mandrake the Magician.

Mandrake's Show on Oympia Theatre (1949)He also was known for his top hat, scarlet lined cape, and boasted a pencil line moustache, which you can prominently find in the comics form Mandrake too. The real Mandrake was performing over 10 years before Falk envisioned his comic character. So, it is all likely that he would have taken some inspiration from him for his creation.

Though Falk never admitted this resemblance, the comic strip lead to a strong friendship between Phil Davis and Leon Mandrake, when they eventually met during one of Mandrake’s Magic show tours. They remained good friends throughout their entire life, ever since.

Mandrake in King ComicsMandrake in Marvel ComicsDavis and Falk continued to pen and draw the Mandrake stories, which were Mandrake -Lothar Art Panel signed by Falk and Fredericks (from a Fan's collection)syndicated across the globe in newspaper dailies, Sunday colour comic strips, and Comic book formats.

The partnership was broken in 1964, when Davis died of a heart attack.

Falk then recruited Fred Fredericks, to don the artistic role, who continues even today, for the longest tenure spanning more than 45 years. When Lee Falk passed away in 1999, he also took over the writing for the Mandrake script.

Fredericks brought the modernization to Mandrake script, to base him more on the Science Fiction fantasy stories. It was during Fredericks tenure that Narda & Mandrake finally got married in 1997, during one the stories. Frederick also modernized the look of Lothar, into the modern day dress code, which even though retained the Panther texture, this time on a close fit shirt. Lothar was also shown to have got well-versed with the American lifestyle and command over English language.

Mandrake campaigns for Earth Day If you want to follow the daily strip which Fredericks works on, follow this link to King Feature Syndicates, which is updated on a weekly basis with an archive from last month.

Here is a Preview of it, where Mandrake campaigns for Save Earth.

Fellow comic enthusiast, and one of Mandrake’s greatest fan, Sagnik, provided this TimesUnion website, where you could enjoy a month load of Mandrake archives, until today. Enjoy, and thanks to the Mandrake Dude. 

Indrajal Comics - MandrakeRani Comics - MandrakeOverall, while Falk-Davis Mandrake stories were classic art of work, Falk-Fredericks duo made the series contemporary in style, making Mandrake fans to accept both forms of work as the true tribute to Falk’s legendary creations.

In India, Mandrake was published in multiple languages by erstwhile Indrajal Comics. In South India, it was published regularly by erstwhile Tamil Comics magazine Rani Comics in their line-up, and has been occasionally featured in the long running Tamil Comics magazine, Muthu Comics, one of which is the current month release.

Muthu 312 Mandrake Story - Narda sees her NightmareMuthu #312 - Nizhal Ethu? Nijam Ethu?
(நிழல் எது? நிஜம் எது?): Reality of Shadow

Have you ever wondered, what if everything we known all along as the Rights and Wrongs, were all false, and it is the other way around? No one would like to imagine that weird situation. But, Lee Falk dared to dream of a world mixed with different set down, in this Mandrake adventure.

Muthu 312 Narda confronts Adran The story starts with Narda having a strange incidence of seeing her mirror image behaving differently and talking to her in a strangely scripted language. The mirror image of her, named Adran (reverse of Narda) claims that they are the real people, and gets into a confrontation with her. The mirror image strangely seem to have powers to enter our world, and along with Erkandam (reverse of Mandrake), and Rathol (Lothar), they abduct Narda into their Mirror world.

Narda detours the Wierd world of Mirror People What Narda witnesses there is a whole new world, where policemen do day-time robbery, dacoits help people, Army generals serve as Security Guard, and Lift Operators, and the military is run by Privates at the Office. Narda comes to know of a threatening plot in which the Mirror world is staging a plan to capture the real word across the mirror, with the help of a new discovery made by Erkandam.

How does Narda get saved in the end, and manage to save her world makes up the rest of the story, where more than Mandrake, Narda plays a huge roll. There are some interesting pieces where Erkandam and Adran always tries to run down the people they see on the road, and Narda intervening in their hideous stuff to save the passerby's.

We would have hoped to see a real showdown between Mandrake vs Erkandam, who is touted to have the same powers of Mandrake, only differing from the cause they use it for. But, the confrontation is cut short, in this episode prematurely, leading the readers to expect more on the Mirror People saga.

Editor S.Vijayan has tried his hands on a new model of utilising reverse texting, exactly as it appears in a mirror image, which is pretty different method from what was adopted in the original, which simple change the order of text. There was some difficulty in the method, where the names didn’t have a meaningful reverse order, where Editor chose to rename it to suit the language in which it has been translated to. For eg., Narda’s (நார்தா) mirror image is called Daarna (தார்நா) and Mandrake’s (மாண்ட்ரேக்) mirror image called as Greatnaam (க்ரேட்ணாம்). A great work, indeed.

Mandrake's D033 in Magic Comics (Full color) Original of Mirror Mystery: The weird world of Mirror People was originally published first in the 33rd episode of Mandrake strip, which ran from Oct 1944 to Dec 1944 for 10 weeks, under the partnership of Davis and Falk. It was later reprinted in full colour by Magic Comics (which is an imprint of King Features Syndicates, collecting their famous comic strips like Secret Agent X-9, Blondie, along with Mandrake), in a sequence of their titles. A soft copy of which you could obtain from a Mandrake fan’s comics blog, here.

D126-2nd Mirror mystery It took another 2 decades, before the second episode of Mirror People appeared in the 126th episode of Mandrake Dailies, titled ‘The Return of Mirror People’, from Aug 1964 to Jan 1965, spreading over a lengthy 19 weeks. There was no further episodes of Mirror People then in the Davis-Falk partnership.

Our Muthu Comics (#312) edition of this current month, features this second story of Mirror People.

When Fredericks took over the mantle of Mandrake strip, he along with Falk brought back the Mirror People one final time, as the 210th Mandrake Daily strip, titled The Mirror Mystery, which ran for 22 long weeks between Nov 1991 to Apr 1992. Mandrake fans consider this as the best story of Mirror People so far, where Fredericks brought in a lot of change and innovation into the storyline envisioned by the former duo. Sadly, further episodes featuring Mirror People was never published.

Mirror Mystery (D033) on Magic Comics Mirror Mystery (D210) on Diamond Comics (Hindi version)Indrajal Comics, the most loyal publisher of Mandrake stories never managed to print any of Mirror People episodes. By the time the 3rd album was released in 1991, IJC had went out of business. (Thanks to Sagnik for the IJC info)

Diamond Comics of India, who had published most of the 1960-1992 Mandrake Daily strips in full colour, then published the 2nd and 3rd episodes of Mirror People during their run-up.

So, at present, Muthu Comics is the only publisher in India (and probably in the world) to have published a full fledged Mandrake story. Good to see the legend of Lee Falk’s living on.

Muthu 312 - Robot Archie Filler Muthu #312: Extra Features: This edition of Muthu Comics was not only a treat for Mandrake fans, but it also features a short story one of Lion Comics' evergreen superhero, Robot Archie.

It’s one of those short stories where Archie plays his typical saviour role, this time in the cause of Pearl divers, by diffusing the mystery of a strange sea animal, which is causing a havoc among the sailing community. It was originally featured in one of the Annual Specials of erstwhile UK based Lion Comics, from the Fleetway Company.

As per the tradition, the Issue also contains an advertisement about the next two forthcoming Muthu Comics editions, which features:  

  • Yet another American classic comics hero from the stable of King Feature Syndicates, Johnny Hazard (who is christened in Tamil Comics as “Wing Commandar George”) in an issue titled ‘Vinnil Oru Kullanari’ (விண்ணில் ஒரு குள்ளநரி), meaning “A Fox in the Sky”; and
  • Franco-Belgian comic star Ric Hochet (who is christened in Tamil Comics as “Super Reporter Johnny”), in a issue titled ‘Maranathin Nisaptham’ (மரணத்தின் நிசப்தம்), meaning “Silence of Death”

So, it’s going to be two more classic issues from the stable of Muthu Comics, which brings back the fan-favourites Hazard & Hochet from two different genres of comics world. I am eagerly looking forward for them.

Muthu 312 Johnny Hazard Issue Preview Muthu 312 Ric Hochet Issue PreviewMuthu 312 XIII Collector Edition Preview

The other advertisement is about the XIII Collector Special, which has become a prominent one to be featured in recent times. If you would have noticed these XIII advertisements in the past and present, you would see that Editor hasn’t used any of the images from the previous 10 albums of XIII, which were printed by them. Doesn’t it make for an interesting wait?

Martin More than the other advertisements, I am more interested about the announcement of a Martin Mystery 2 part story which has been hinted in the Comics Time of Editor. When Muthu Comics #310 carrying Martin Mystery story was published, we had discussed the situation where Editor Vijayan had utilised all of the Martin stories which were released in English so far. So, we had even wondered whether he would now touch the Italian version of the same.

Even, during the Comics Time of Muthu Comics #311, Editor had hinted of the improbability of Martin appearing again in his future plans. But finally, he has decided to continue the much famous Italian comic hero, which is only good for all fans of Martin Mystery, including myself :)

King Comics - Mandrake Issue Cover Muthu 312 - Next Comics Classics Preview (Steel Claw)The back cover of the Muthu Comics issue talks about the next Comics Classics edition, which once again features a golden oldie of Steel Claw, in his Superhero avatar. If you want to experience a dose of it, have a read on our last Comics Classics edition which featured him in his superhero form.

And as promised at the start of the post, here is the original cover upon which our present edition Muthu Comics cover was made-out. It was one of the covers from the 10 issue Mandrake series published by King Comics in United States.

Look at how the colour choices have been improved, even to the last minute detail of removing the sweat on the face of Mandrake from the original, which couldn’t go well with the Rose power makeup style of our Comics artists :). Also note the transformation of Lothar from a worried sober looking man, to a Bollywood sidekick, which comes with an added bonus of eye-brow makeover Winking. Creativity on show. :) 

For buying this comic, contact Lion/Muthu Comics Office @ +91 (04562) 272649. or mail them on

Mandrake in other Media: It will be good that we end this Mandrake post, by looking at the other Media appearances of Mandrake.

Mandrake Movie Serial (1939)Movie Serial: Flash Gordon and Secret Agent X-9 Comics strips, who debuted along with Mandrake in 1934, rose to immediate fame, and they had the Movie Serials made on them in 1936 and 1937 respectively. So Mandrake didn’t lag much, as he joined that elite  list, when Columbia Pictures made a 12 Mandrake TV Episode (1954)chapter movie serial in 1939, which was aired in consecutive weeks, made famous in first half of 20th century.

TV Series: In 1954, NBC made a TV series Mandrake, without further episodes. It was followed then by another TV movie in 1979.

Defenders of the Earth (1986-87) Animated Series Mandrake then had a major role in the newly formed Defenders of the Earth team, which was portrayed in animated series, which saw King Features prominent comic strip heroes, forming a group to defend earth from the mischief makers. The series was aired from 1986-87, and is still very popular on DVDs, among comics fans.

Original MandrakeSoft Logo MandrakeSoft: In 1998, when I had started my career in the Information Technology, there was a huge euphoria around Linux based Operating Systems. Many a companies were formed, among which one company attracted my attention, due to its name.

It was a French company called MandrakeSoft, who had named their Linux version as Mandrake Linux. I used to wonder, whether they had sought necessary permission to use the comic character name, because their logo was clearly resembling the comic version. But I never bothered to check further details.

While working on this post, I came to know that in 2003, there was a legal suit launched by King Feature Syndicates on MandrakeSoft, alleging copyright infringement, which the later ultimately lost. The company then changed their name as as Mandriva, after the court ruling. Seems publishers aren’t budging even a bit on aspects, which may demean their command over the world famous comic brand names.

Feature Film: In 2007, it was announced that Omega Entertainment, had acquired the rights to make a new move on Mandrake the Magician, and it was touted to be a 2009 release. Jonathan Meyers was drafted in as the lead actor, while Chuck Russell has been given the directorial duties. The movie is currently on hold, and the reasons for them are unknown, but it might be linked to Meyers history of addiction to alcohol and his legal run-downs. Hopefully, the movie would come out as planned, and honour the legendary creation of Lee Falk, which has long been pending for a reasonable movie credits. Does anyone remember that pathetic Phantom movie?


Old Mandrake and Lothar (Donalid Soffriti)And that brings us to the close of our lengthy Mandrake post. And before we close, I hope there are many of us who would have thought what would happen to our dear old comic characters, when they reach the old age (even though it would never happen as far as the fantasy world is considered)?

Well, here is a humorous take on our very own Mandrake & Lothar, by the cartoonist Donald Soffiritti. He has quite a few of those funnies on other comic characters on his weblog. Have a look, and laugh your guts out Tongue out. Adios Amigos !

References: Mandrake’s Wikipedia Article | Lee Falk’s Wikipedia Article | Phil Davis Lambiek Profile | Leon Mandrake’s Angelfire Article | Deepwood’s Mandrake Daily Strip List

40 ComiComments:

Nice write-up,Rafiq!! and I didn't expect this issue will release so soon :)

Yes,MIRROR MYSTERY is an amazing part of Mandrake's adventures,which,as some fans have claimed,originally scripted by 'another' writer,Alfred Bester in place of LEE FALK during WW-II when Falk was away in war's duty!! BUT,2nd & 3rd were from his pen & matter of fact, whoever behind this concept,it WAS indeed fascinating....:-)
Few things I noticed in your post as...
#1:Lothar's gf is NOT Bela but Karma,but hey,I understnd the reason of mistake,as we are all our desi Bahadur's fan(and so Bela)!!lol ;))

#2:Indrajal never ever published a single MIRROR story..

#3:yes,3rd and last MIRROR was appeared in DC in '92(#12 & #59),but this 2nd Mirror(D126) in DC?? I never heard this(but not sure!) you have any clue/infos regarding this??

AND for all Mandrake fan's,here's IS a good a news.....that u don't need to visit KFS original site,where you will get ONLY 1 week's worth of current Mandrake daily and that too from previous month,here's a direct link where ONE CAN READ ALL CURRENT DAILIES OF THAT VERY DATE,WITH 1 FULL MONTH OF ARCHIVE!! :-)


@ MaNdrAke dudE: Dear Sagnik,

Thanks much for the first-up comments. It was indeed a surprise to see the Muthu Comics edition coming out so early, seems the Lion/Muthu publishers are clearly on a roll at the moment.

No one can deny the fantasy filled Mandrake stories, which were able to imagine something out of our day-to-day life and turn it into a world which is total opposite to it, that speaks the brilliance of the creators, even if it indeed is a borrowed concept. No wonder, Falk is simply superb in that line of thought.

Regarding the points you noted:
1. Indeed it was my mistake to refer Lothar's girlfriend... obviously the Bahadur factor is the reason behind it :) I have corrected it now.

2. Thanks for confirming about IJC. I remember someone had mentioned that Mirror People was featured in IJC too, now it turns out it never was. I have updated the reference in the post for the same.

3. Even I don't have confirmation whether the 2nd story was published in DC, but remember having read it somewhere in one of the blogs. Only those who own the complete DC Mandrake collection could confirm it.

Thanks again for a detailed comment my friend. Goes a long way in shaping the accuracy of the blog post, which talks about one of our favorite comic superstar.

By the way, thanks much for that Mandrake link, will add that into the post too.

@Rafiq Raja: Nice post! Keep it up.

@MaNdrAke dudE: Thanks for link!

Salut Rafiq,

So the editor has started another series with Mandrake. Hope he'll continue the remaining books also. Or he may combine all in one volume if those stories were very interesting.

Anyway, nice review. I loved the make-up bit. He should have written about his Wonderful Magic Tail Coat. :)



உங்கள் கடுமையான உழைப்பில் தயாரிக்கப்பட்டிருக்கும் பதிவு என்பது பதிவில் அடங்கியிருக்கும் தகவல்களைப் படிக்கும் போது தெரிகிறது. மாண்ட்ரேக் குறித்த ஒர் மினி என்சைக்ளோபிடியா என்று சொன்னால் கூட தப்பில்லை.

மாண்ட்ரேக் மனவசியம் செய்வது போல உங்கள் பதிவு படிப்படியாக மாண்ட்ரேக் உலகத்தை எங்களிற்கு சுற்றிக் காட்டுகிறது.

ஆரம்ப கால முத்துக் காமிக்ஸில் மாண்ட்ரேக் அடிக்கடி வந்தார் என்றே எண்ணுகிறேன். விண்ணில் நீந்தும் சுறா என்னும் மாண்ட்ரேக் கதையின் தலைப்பு இன்றும் எனக்கு ஞாபகமிருக்கிறது.ஆனால் இந்திரஜால் காமிக்ஸில் அவர் ஒர் தவிர்க்க முடியாத ஹீரோவாக இருந்தார்.

மாண்ட்ரேக்கின் வில்லன்களை பற்றி நீங்கள் எழுதாததுதான் எனக்கு வியப்பை அளிக்கிறது. அதற்காக தனியே ஒர் பதிவு வைத்திருக்கிறீர்களா :))

தமிழ் ஓவியர் லோதரிற்கு இமை மை பூசியதோடு விட்டாரே என்று சந்தோஷப்படுங்கள், காதில் ஒர் வளையும் போட்டு, மாயாவி போன்று லிப்ஸ்டிக்கையையும் பூசியிருந்தால் எப்படியிருந்திருக்கும் என்று சற்றுக் கற்பனை செய்து பாருங்கள்.

மிகுந்த அக்கறையுடன், உழைப்பும் குழைத்து நீங்கள் தந்திருக்கும் அருமையான பதிவு இது நண்பரே.

உற்சாகத்துடன் தொடருங்கள்.

@ Prabhat: Thanks for the visit and comment, bro. Sagnik does have an abundance wealth of info, when it comes to Mandrake, isn't it ? :)

@ Josh: Dear Friend, I doubt whether our Editor would publish the Mandrake's Mirror Mystery in complete cycle. He seems to be picking up titles randomly from 1930 to 1950's daily strip, so we may not be seeing them in sequence.

As far as the Make-up goes, you know our guys. Magic Tail Coat.... hehehee... the only place I saw them before our comics was in the Magic shows, I used to wonder how they manage not to step over their own attire... :)

P.S.: Heheheh... I would love to accept the Salute. But, my days with NCC my seniors had told me that I should never offer or accept Salutes unless the rank deserves that.... So, I will let it skip by ... booohoooo :( :)

Dear Rafiq,

Thank you for a very informative and comprehensive post. The hotline was interesting to read. Looks like our editor has renewed his enthusiasm for comics again judging by all the announcements for new comics. I hope he comes here again and posts more comments soon as he had promised last month.

If I read a post in your site, I’ll learn a lot about the character, artist etc etc. Keep up the spirit. As usual books have not arrived to Sri Lanka. Even yesterday I checked in several book stores. BAD LUCK :(

@ Shankar: நண்பர் ஷங்கர்,

மாண்ட்ரேக் குறித்த என்சைக்ளோபிடியாக்கள் பல தளங்களில் மாண்ட்ரேக் ரசிகர்கள் உருவாக்கி வைத்திருந்த உபயமே இந்த பதிவு, பல தளங்களில் இருந்து திரட்டபட்ட தகவல்கள் சற்று என் பாணியில் மாற்றி கூறி இருக்கிறேன், அவ்வளவே. அது உங்களுக்கு பிடித்து இருந்ததில் மகிழ்ச்சியே. மற்றபடி மனோவசியம் எதையும் மறைவாக விதைக்கவில்லை என்று உறுதி கூறுகிறேன், நண்பரே :).

முத்து காமிக்ஸில் மாண்ட்ரேக், மாயாவி கதைகளுக்கு பிறகு அதீத இதழ்களில் வெளிவந்ததை நானும் பார்த்த நியாபகம் தான், ஆனால் எப்போதும் நமது இதழ்கள் தாமதமாக கிடைத்ததை வைத்தே சில நேரங்களில் முத்து வெளியிட்டதாக பதிவில் கூறியிருந்தேன்.

விண்ணில் சுறா என்ற தலைப்பை நான் படித்த நியாபகம் இல்லை, என்னுடைய முத்து ஞானம் 90 களுக்கு பிறகு தான். அதற்கு முந்தைய இதழ்களை பொறுத்தவரை கேள்வி ஞானம் மட்டுமே. நாமெல்லாம் யூத் பாருங்க.. :)

இந்திரஜாலை பொறுத்த வரை மாயாவியும் மாண்ட்ரேக்கும் அவர்களின் இரண்டு கண்கள் போல. அதன் காரணம் தான் இந்திரஜால் ரசிகர்கள் இன்றும் லீ பால்க்கின் இந்த இரண்டு அமர காவியங்களை தங்கள் இதயங்களில் தாங்கி வாழ்ந்து கொண்டிருக்கிறார்கள்.

அதன் காரணமே, பெரும்பான்மையான இந்திரஜால் ரசிகர்கள் தளங்களில் அவர்கள் அதிகம் பேசும் கதாநாயகராக இவர்கள் வலம் வருவது கண் கொள்ளா காட்சி. மாயாவியும் மாண்டரேக்கும் காமிக்ஸ் ரசிகர்கள் மனதில் ஏற்படுத்திய தாக்கம் அப்படிபட்டது, அதில் நீங்களும் நானும் ஐக்கியம் என்பது கூடுதல் சந்தோஷம்.

லோதருக்கு வயைம் தொங்குட்டான், லிப்ஸ்டிக்கா... அய்யோடா... நினைக்கவே கர்ண கொடூரமாக இருக்கிறதே.... நடக்காத வரை பரவாயில்லை.

விரிவான கருத்துக்கு நன்றிகள் நண்பரே.

Again a nice post with informative writeup.Lee Falk genius can't be described in words as his these two characters will always remain etched in the memory of comic lovers of the world for much much long.

@ BN: Dear BN,

Indeed our Editor has come back with a renowned quest to bring back some glory to Tamil Comics front. Martin, Johnny, Hochet, Mandrake, the list is pretty impressive, making it to look forward eagerly. In this shower of titles, I hope that he doesn't miss the Blueberry titles which has become an integral part of Muthu Comics, just like Tex Willer for Lion Comics. No announcements about any Blueberry titles is a worrying factor, at least for me.

I hope when Editor does make his presence felt on our blog, he would also throw some light on his plans over these titles. Like you and others, I am also hoping to hear from him eagerly :)

@ Mr.J: Welcome buddy and thanks for your comment. I can understand what feeling the overseas comics fans would be having over delayed comic releases. I felt the same when I was away for a short time from my home.

These comics have become such an integral part of life that, it is imminent we feel the same about it. By the way, haven't you tried the Subscription option, yet ?

@ Comic World: Zaheer Bhai, no wonder an ardent Indrajal Comics fan like you have so much likeness towards Mandrake and Phantom. They bring us so much nostalgic feeling of our childhood, that it's hard to replace those memories. Long Live the legacy of Falk's creations.

Great post Rafiq. Mandrake was my second favorite character.What about having a post of about your best ten comics.Will be nice to know.


I was a big fan of Mantrake during my childhood days. Even now also enjoying Mantrake much.
"Wing Commandar George". His stories are very speed. It is a good news to have him back.
What happen to Muthu's super hero Captain tirger. Missing him for a very long period. There is no captain name in coming soon adds also.

Dear Rafiq,
Your blogs is like "Maniratnam movies. Not frequent but when it comes it comes with a bang. Makes me think when your next post will be and on what topick. Even though you have always mentioned the content is available on the net, you just write it up the way in your style, Your style is really good. Like Mani who made Film Roja ( Sathi Savitthri New version), Dalapahy ( Karnan new versions) and now Ravanan - Your posts have that punch and content which makes them reading really enjoybale.

Keep it up the good work.

Your friend

Hey Rafiq, Ur blog gives afeeling of opening a comic book!!!!

I remember in thinathanthi paper came a comic strip titled Mayajala Kannadi.Is Nizal onrdu Nijam rendu the same story

Within a short time, to research on Mandrake so intensively , is a great job.







Dear Rafiq,

Your writings of Magician Mantrak are excellent. It would have been best if you have added a comment on first story of Mantrak published in Muthu Comics, ie "IRULIN VILAI IRANDU KODI".
As for, the story of "Vinnil Neendum Sura", I'm remember that there was a story like that and Mr. Shankar Viswaling is right.

Haja Ismail.M.
Saudi Arabia

அன்புள்ள ரஃபிக்,
இன்னும் இந்த கதை எனக்கு கிடைக்கவில்லை . சந்தா கட்டி பெறலாம் என்றால் நிலையான முகவரி சென்னையில் இல்லை. மாண்டிரெக் பற்றிய ஆருமையான பதிவு .Mandrake Linux பற்றிய தகவல் அருமை. நானும் அதை பற்றி எண்ணி கொண்டிருந்தேன்


மாண்ட்ரேக் பற்றிய தகவல் அருமை.மாண்ட்ரேக் பற்றி PhD பண்ணும் அளவுக்கு தகவல் கொடுத்து இருக்குறீர்கள்.

@ Vishal: Anyone who lived through with Indrajal, can never forget the magic and aura of Mandrake, no wonder you are a fan too my friend :).

Best 10 Comics? well I believe it would mean that I would have to get a common consent among all our readers to arrive at such a ranking. And to top to that, My IJC knowledge is very limited, as I haven't read all the titles yet. So, we would probably have that reserved for a later time. Thanks for the visit and comment, Old friend :)

@ Siv: Wing Commander George, Mandrake, Reporter Johny, Marma Manithan Martin, the series lineup as the future titles of Muthu Comics is indeed impressive, as announced by our Editor.

But, as you pointed out, I too worry on the only fact that Blueberry is missing out from the list. CineBook officials have said that there is some confusion on the Foreign rights of Blueberry titles, as there is a family feud over copyright ownership. I only wish that it isn't true for our Blueberry issues too. If it is so, it will be a huge loss for Tamil Comics. Only Mr.Vijayan could clarify. Let's stay hopeful.

@ Suresh: Dear Friend, a comparison with Maniratnam movies... I am honoured, but hopefully others won't consider it as me being Greedy :).

I love to be more frequent, but a life with a day job, and balancing the spare time with your favorite hobby, should be very well known to you, as we both belong to the same industry. As of now, a post a week, if not in two weeks, is my motto. Hopefully, I would manage to be regular on that lines.

Regarding the content collator aspect of my posts, you have hit the bulls-eye, and I am happy that friends like you have appreciated the time spent on them, which means a lot to me, and will keep me geared towards our passion.

Thanks for your visit and warm comments, buddy.

@ Viji: Hi Viji, The joy of opening a Comics Book is unmatched, for all comics lovers. I hope you haven't left out from that cult yet, even though I believe you would just have been settling in your new work location. Thanks for the visit and comment :)

@ Cisco: Much of the newspapers which syndicated mandrake strips all relied heavily on the Fredericks creations. So I hope the one you read would be the 3rd part of Mandrake Mirror Mystery saga. I too have a slight memory of having read it. Hopefully, someone would have saved those rare materials and would share it with us soon.

@ ERB: Your rampant offlate with your continuous comments. Thanks much for your nice and informative comments, bro.

@ Spider: It's our passion towards comics, which is helping me to collate these information from various sources. And its good to see you are appreciative about the efforts. Thanks much :)

Muthu #1, with 2 Variant covers... well, I hope that Muthu Comics gurus would be able to solve that mystery :) By the you hold a relic piece, my friend :)

@ Vijay Sappati: Congratulations on your new blog. Rest assured, I would be a regular visitor. Good to be in touch with another comics friend from the IJC generation.

आप्की यह नये दोरे मे, मेरे आर्थिक सुभ्काम्नाये आप्के साथ होगी मेरे दोस्त ।

@ Haja: Asalam Haja Bhai. First story of Mandrake on Muthu Comics, I do hope that I have it in my collection. Would duly update that in the blog post shortly. Thanks for making your presence felt on our blog after a long time. Wish you all the best for your comics project.

@ Limat: நிலையான முகவரி இல்லாமல் சந்தா பிரதிகள் அடைவது கஷ்டம் தான். நீங்கள் உங்கள் சொந்த ஊரு விலாசத்திற்கு சந்தா கட்டிவிடலாமே. என்ன புத்தகங்களை பார்க்க சற்று தாமதமாகலாம், ஆனால் அவ்வழியே புத்தகங்களை சேகரிப்பதில் தொய்வில்லாமல் தொடரலாம். அது சாத்தியபடவில்லை என்றால், புத்தகங்களை தேடி ரயில்வே நிலையங்களில் தான் அலைய வேண்டும். 5, 6 ஆண்டுகளுக்கு முன்பு 5,6 ரூபாய் புத்தகங்களை வாங்க 30 ரூபாய் பெட்ரோல் போட்டு அழைந்த நியாபகங்கள் இன்னும் பசுமையாக இருக்கிறது.

மாண்ட்ரேக் லினக்ஸ் பற்றி அறிந்து வைத்திருப்பதை வைத்து நீங்களும் கணிணி துறையில் தான் இருக்கிறீர்கள் என்று எண்ணுகிறேன்.

ஆமாம், தமிழ் கே, மற்றும் லிமட் என்று இரண்டு முகவரிகளில் மாற்றி மாற்றி பிண்ணூட்டம் இடுகிறீர்களே... அவற்றில் ஏதாவது சூசுகமான செய்தி இருக்கிறதா ?

@ RAM: மாண்ட்ரேக் பற்றி ஆராய இன்னும் நிறைய தகவல்கள் இருக்கின்றனவே, முக்கியமாக அவறின் விரோதிகள் பற்றி கூற ஆரம்பித்து விட்டால் அதுவே தனி பதிவாக போகி விடலாம். பதிவின் நீளம் கருதி அவற்றை வெளியிடவில்லை, அன்பர் ஷங்கரும் அதை சுட்டி காட்டி இருந்தார். நமது பொறுப்பாசியிர் விஜயன் மாண்ட்ரேக் கதைகளை இனி அதிகம் வெளியிடுவார் என்பதால், அடுத்த புத்தகத்தில் மீதி கச்சேரியை வைத்து கொள்ள வேண்டியது தான்.

வருகைக்கும், கருத்திற்கும் நன்றிகள் தோழர்களே.

Just forgot to mention in the reply to Siv's Comment, that his comment was the 1000th Comment to have been recorded at our blog, Comicology.

A post count of 70, boasting of 1000 Comments, shows the love showered by all the visitor and esteemed commenters of our blog. Thanks much for all your support guys. Let's continue to enjoy our unique passion towards 'The 9th Art'

Rafiq,appreciating ur works..
sending new updates of the site to our mails is helpful for us and keep tracking the site...
(i wonder how u manage to find the original stories and details of the translated ones)

@ Lutherking: Actually, I could do the otherway around for email alerts then make you autosubscribe for the feeds. But that wouldn't give a personal touch to the mails, so I have been following the manual mail alert method. Good that you didn't consider it as annoying :)

Regarding the Originals, with so much information available on the internet, what I needed was just a noble intention to search for them, with little effort. I am doing it just to avoid others going through the same task, and the primary aim to make all possible info available at one place, with the credits.

Thanks for your return and comment, dude.

@ Naveen: Thanks for the return visit and comment Naveen.

By the way, why aren't you updating your sweetly titled NKUTD blog :) ? Looking forward to see you share your thoughts on your blog, based on your available time. Join the Bandwagon, dude :)

I was a big fan of Mantrake during my childhood days. Even now also enjoying Mantrake much.
"Wing Commandar George". His stories are very speed. It is a good news to have him back.
What happen to Muthu's super hero Captain tirger. Missing him for a very long period. There is no captain name in coming soon adds also.

Again a nice post with informative writeup.Lee Falk genius can't be described in words as his these two characters will always remain etched in the memory of comic lovers of the world for much much long.

Dear Rafiq,

Your writings of Magician Mantrak are excellent. It would have been best if you have added a comment on first story of Mantrak published in Muthu Comics, ie "IRULIN VILAI IRANDU KODI".
As for, the story of "Vinnil Neendum Sura", I'm remember that there was a story like that and Mr. Shankar Viswaling is right.

Haja Ismail.M.
Saudi Arabia

Nice write-up,Rafiq!! and I didn't expect this issue will release so soon :)

Yes,MIRROR MYSTERY is an amazing part of Mandrake's adventures,which,as some fans have claimed,originally scripted by 'another' writer,Alfred Bester in place of LEE FALK during WW-II when Falk was away in war's duty!! BUT,2nd & 3rd were from his pen & matter of fact, whoever behind this concept,it WAS indeed fascinating....:-)
Few things I noticed in your post as...
#1:Lothar's gf is NOT Bela but Karma,but hey,I understnd the reason of mistake,as we are all our desi Bahadur's fan(and so Bela)!!lol ;))

#2:Indrajal never ever published a single MIRROR story..

#3:yes,3rd and last MIRROR was appeared in DC in '92(#12 & #59),but this 2nd Mirror(D126) in DC?? I never heard this(but not sure!) you have any clue/infos regarding this??

This is very attention-grabbing, You’re a very professional blogger.
I’ve joined your feed and sit up for in
the hunt for extra of your fantastic post.
Also, I’ve shared your site in my social networks

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