Comic Con Express – Bengaluru - 2012

Another year and another Express Event from Comic Con India. Our Pre-show coverage of the event in the Garden City.

Comic Con India – New Delhi - 2011

Get to know, more about India's first ever Comic-Con, how does it rate among the rest.

Chennai Book Fair - 2011

We catch up with the Annual Chennai Book Fair, and see what it has to offer for Comic fans.

Lion Comics Jumbo Special - XIII Collector's Edition

An inside look into a collection, touted as the biggest Comic Book released in India

Showing posts with label American Genre. Show all posts
Showing posts with label American Genre. Show all posts

Feb 15, 2011

Chennai Book Fair – 2011 : Part 2 of 2

We continue our coverage of Chennai Book Fair 2011 (CBF 2011). The first part of the same can be found here, detailing ACK’s Tamil launch.

Vandumama Vandumama and Vanathi

If NHM was the talk of the Book fair, among Tamil Comic fans, then Vanathi Publishers (aka Vanathi Pathipagam, as its called in the native language) had its own share among the Nostalgic crowd, which grew reading the inspired writings by acclaimed children writer, Mr. V.Krishna Murthy, more famously known among the Vanathi Pathipagammasses under his nickname, Vandumama.

Being not so regular reader of Literary world, I am not much akin to the various publishing houses which ships out their range of titles every year. That includes Vanathi Publishers, whom I thought that had a tryst with Comics for sometime in the past, but never knew that they still are actively involved in promoting the old classics of Tamil Comics.

Right after the Chennai Book Fair 2010, a fellow Comiker alerted that Vanathi Publishers had released a Bale Balu Collection by Vandumama collected edition of Bale Balu, which was a popular comic strip cum short story feature, published regularly, in the erstwhile Poonthalir magazine during its golden run, when Vandumama worked as its Editor all-in-all. 

As I didn’t recollect seeing this edition in the fair, I couldn’t believe that news, up until I saw the book in for real. It was a complete nostalgia reminder to see the comic series, back in quality paper, bound perfectly in good packaging, priced at INR 200.

So, after hearing about further facts that Vanathi and Vandumama, go a long way back in history, with their continuous publishing of his collections all through the years, it was only a formality that Vanathi’s stall made it to a must-to-visit list, for this year’s fair.

But, what I found at the publishers stall were not just Comics collection of Vandumama, but a host of a series which Various titles by Vandumamahe had written over a handful of magazines, in his illustrious career.

Here is a glimpse of them, which have all been published by Vanathi, under their different brand names of Thiruvarasu Puthaga Nilayam (திருவரசு புத்தக நிலையம்), and Gangai Puthaga Nilayam (கங்கை புத்தக நிலையம்), (where Puthaga Nilayam, means Book House).

Iyanthirangal Iyanguvathu Eppadi by VandumamaVedikkai Vilayatu Vignyanam by VandumamaThethiyum Sethiyum by VandumamaNeengalum Manthiravathiyagalam by Vandumama

Nilakuthirai by VandumamaUlaga Adisayangal Nooru by VandumamaNeengale Seyyalam by Vandumama

What I came to know through the people who were managing the stall, was that it was only one part of the Vandumama titles which have come out of their publishing house, and much more can be collected, with a visit to their publishing house, in T Nagar, Chennai.

I did visit them and was amazed to see the lineup of titles, which I all grabbed in pronto. To restrict the length of this post, and to keep it only to the findings of Chennai Book Fair, we could see those titles in a different post, later.

But, what I must say is that if you have spent your childhood reading Vandumama’s stories, then you might not think twice before owning these collections, much of which are very low priced, considering the year in which it’s released.

One of the other advantages of visiting these Book Stalls, are a chance you get to explore some unknown titles from much unsought publishers, time and again. This time around there were two publishing houses, which I had never read or heard about from any Comikers (like Persepolis in Tamil venture discovered during last Book Fair), during my past altercations.

Should we blame the awareness among Comic readers? or should we blame the publicity or marketing done by these publishing houses? is a Egg and Chicken question. So, let’s put that aside and have a brief look at both of them.

Ashoka from MacawOther Macaw BooksAshoka (Macaw Books)

First-up, is from a series of Children comics titles released, by a company called Macaw Books, in 2009. As I could gather from the back cover, this issue is part of their Great Heroes of India series, which seems to have 10 titles in the fold, priced INR 50 each.

This very book starts of with an illustration page straight-up, and doesn’t give credit to either the artist or Ashoka from Macaw (Inner Art)the series writer for the book, in a typical bygone Publishing industry’s mentality.

The artwork reflects that it was purely meant for Children’s literacy, even though it does pose some talented strokes, by whomsoever who worked on them. Maybe he stuck to what was being asked from him, by the publishing house.

I couldn’t source any more details about the publishing house, as their official website, is now no more in operation, as it seems to have given way to Malware and Spybots. The only little information I could source, were from their Profile page on Indiamart.

Seems the publishers never took their business seriously enough, and have folded over the time among competition, to bring more quality titles, to the market. Befits them, if that’s true.

Ramayana from Seasons Ramayan (Seasons Publishing)

Now to the second one from the Book Fair, which I consider as one of the priced collection to have been picked up from the event.

It’s from Seasons Publishing, based out from Mylapore, Chennai, and known more for their number of Children Activities and Illustrations books.

Ramayana from Seasons Inner ArtThey seem to have come up with a wonderfully illustrated and colored title, about the Indian mythology, Ramayan, as way back in 2005, priced at INR 135.

Have a look at one of the richly drawn inner pages, which is as good as an animated feature.  The illustrator of this series, is the wonderfully talented, Gaman.

Even thought the artwork and the book quality might deserve the price tag, back in 2005, that could have sounded big bucks, and partly could have resulted in the unsold venture.

Gaman Palem Here is the artist Gaman Palem, in flesh and blood, along with his most famous works. You can read his latest interview, where he talks about his work and Graphic Novels penetration in India. Also check out him in action, in this NDTV feature.

Surely, this artist deserves a rich bit of accolade, and I only wish he gets more prominent recognition from the growing Indian Comic scene.

As far as Seasons Publishing, this comics initiative seems to have been their only attempt to explore the medium. Obviously, the results of being darkened by the non-publicity, could have  given them wrong signals from proceeding further.

Hope talented artists like Gaman, and newbies like Seasons Publishing in the Comics medium scene, work out of more titles in this wonderful niche medium, as the Indian comic scene, is far better than what it used to be in 2005, when they first tried their trade.

Comic Con LogoThere is more awareness, and much wider audiences who are ready embrace this art form, and the traditional way of story telling, which dates as much as the Stone age of humankind.

The amount of interest this Comics medium, enjoys at present can much easily by showcased, by the upcoming first ever Indian Comic Con event organized by New Delhi based Twenty Onwards Media (much famously known as the publishing house beyond Random Humour magazine), in their city. 

The efforts they have taken to bring this mega concept into reality, which not only involved putting a bigger budget into the mix, but also in the countless hours spent towards bringing a host of publishers, artists and writers, under a single roof.  The participants for the event, now is a rare mix of legends, who have established the industry as it exists in India today, as well as the newbie, who are going to shape the Indian Comic scene, for the foreseeable future.

Indian Comic Con, is a much bigger concept which deserves an exclusive post of its own, so we will keep it for the coming days. Now to return back to our CBF 2011 event.

That’s as much as the collection, I managed to gather on Comics in the Chennai Book Fair. There were larger number of publishers who had showcased their new range of titles, but much of them are the Illustrated editions, aimed for kids and young readers. I only wish a handful of them, do get into the Graphical way of storytelling, either in form of Comics or Graphic Novels. They would make up for quite a good showdown, considering the amount of artist talent which is in house in India, and right here in Chennai too.

And now to reserve a place for now customary let-out corner of the blog post, and to detail the events which I had mentioned at the start of the post. Leading up to the Chennai Book Fair, some of the regular trouble makers, masquerading in the guise of Tamil Comic fans, had done enough damage to the those who took pains to bring Lion and Muthu Comics, to be made available, in the fair for the last couple of years. A result of which, they had lost the interest and avoided any efforts to bring up a lost cause again, which didn’t stop the rumor mongers going great guns, to conceal and reinterpret facts.

It was a personal disappointment, as I had been hoping to see the just released Lion Jumbo Special, reaching a much bigger audience through this fair. As it turned, it had to be pushed back to ardent readers, helping each other out to get their copy of the edition. Then again, only if Lion or Muthu publishers decide to make their presence felt officially, in a forum, probably along with a partnership, this is a going to be a recurring scene in Chennai Book Fair. Hope the better light, is just around the corner.

And if that wasn’t enough, I couldn’t help then making a reference to the poor infrastructure setup, which FindParkingCartoonthe visitors, are being subjected in Chennai Book Fair, every year. The problems toiletwhich range from Irregular Parking, Improper Ventilation, Unorganized Stall setup, Inconvenience for Debit/Credit Card customers, to a poor arrangement for much important nature calls, points to the fact, with a slap in a face, that you aren’t expected to be here longer, or that matter be here itself.

All those publishers who claim poor sales, should first push through the right sources, to setup basic amenities for the visiting book-fetish. As everyone knows, a Happy Body reacts with a Happy Mind, which is good for the book sales.

Year on Year, visits to Book Fair are being made with the expectation of seeing some improvements, but the resolve to keep visiting only takes a beating, every time you take the effort. No wonder, more than the book stalls, you find the crowd gathered around the temporary food stalls setup on the ground.  They seem to be the only people, happy with the mess. Hope the upcoming Comic Con India, would be better organized, away from the mess happening every year, at Chennai.

Che Graphic Novel by Payani Books A Peoples History of America - Graphic Novel by Payani Books Before I close, two important titles I missed from mentioning, and with a purpose, are the newly launched two full fledged Graphic Novels in Tamil, by a newcomer called Payani Books.

As I got to know of them only after the Chennai Book Fair, through another Comiker, and for the sheer amount of quality and work, which has gone down in getting these two titles in such good quality, in a little time - means they need a special post for their efforts. So, that’s reserved for another day.

As this is the first set of post for the year 2011, wish you all a Happy New Year and hope you had enjoyed your Feb 14, with your loved and dear ones. It’s a fresh new year, and fresh start in the blogging effort for Comicology. Let’s hope we have more chance to interact, and cherish our niche reading pleasure for months to come.  Adios Amigos !!

Jun 3, 2010

Graphix – Bone #5-9 | Smith & Hamaker | 2010

When it rains, it pours” says an often used English idiom. While that isn’t the literal case with the season we are being subjected to in the Indian cities, it’s aptly applies to Jeff Smith’s Bone series publications in India.

Yes, the long awaited Bone’s final set have come to the Indian stores, and I for one is happy as ever to read the conclusion to these anthropomorphic Bone cousins’ saga, in full blown colour.

The first set, consisting of Bone #1 to #4, was released by Scholastic’s Indian arm, under their imprint Graphix, back in 2008. At the time of their Indian release, Bone #9, the last collection of this Scholastic series, was undergoing their new colouring effort, and we were wondering here at Comicology, that the remaining titles would be released along with the #9, once that is made available to the US stores.

Colored Bone #9, eventually hit the stores in US on Jan 2009, and my hope of seeing the sets in India soon, were doubled. But, as it turned out it took more than a year for Scholastic to bring their last instalment of Bone sets to India.

Bone Saga's Main Characters

Reasons are unknown of the delay, which could be debated from the slow sales of these items off the store racks, or the relative popularity these Bone Cousins enjoy among Indian comic fans. But, it was sure that some concerns were related to the Indian prints, which has made Scholastic to adopt a safer Hooded One, Kingdok and Rat Creaturesmethod this time around, by procuring the second set directly from their Singapore editions.

The package, size and format remains the same, with the quality of the papers being the only difference. While the Indian Prints (#1 to #4) were thinner, the new set have more thicker quality papers, but still they are both comparable in terms of  the glossy paper quality. And to maintain the standards, they are being priced at the same range of INR 350 each.

We had discussed the steep price during our last post, but I still  believe that the world renowned characters, who are now available to us in brand new colored avatars, deserve that price tag.

So, without further adieu, let’s move on to our preview of these 5 titles of Bone.

Scholastic Graphix: Bone #5
Rock Jaw – Master of the Eastern Border Bone (Scholastic) #5ISBN: 978-0-439-70636-0
2010 | 116 Pgs | INR 350 | C5 | Color | Paperback

Bone #5, titled Rock Jaw, carries the Bone Cousins to the Eastern borders in their quest to take the Rat creature, named now as Bartleby (a character, which recently made it to the MTV list), and chronicles their encounters with the Big mountain lion, Roque Jaw (Chapter 1), often mistakenly pronounced as Rock Jaw, much to his irritation.

Book 5 Inner PageIn total Bone #5 comprises of 5 exact chapters where they get new allies in form of The Orphans (Chapter 2), and also discover the Rat Creature Temple (Chapter 3) along with the unlikely duo of Stupid Stupid Rat Creatures.

Further down they fall victim to the mysterious Ghost Circles (Chapter 4) with a special face-to-face encounter with Kingdok and his hoard, as the volume comes to the close with a final answer to the Call of the Wild (Chapter 5) for their little Bartleby.

The encounters with the Stupid Stupid Rat Creatures and the monstrous Rock Jaw are a out and out laughter package, which is sure to tickle your funny bone.

Scholastic Graphix: Bone #6
Old Man’s Cave Bone (Scholastic) #6 I
SBN: 978-0-439-70635-3
2010 | 118 Pgs | INR 350 | C5 | Color | Paperback

Book #6, titled Old Man’s Cave, starts with a Prologue of Cranky Groundhog, where Fone Bone and Smiley Bone try to find their way back to the valley, to be close to their dear friends.

While back in the valley the long murmured showdown between Book 6 Inner Pagethe Rat Creatures and the Valley people had started, with the first round being won by the demonic creatures, as the secret of The Hollow Tree (Chapter 1) is revealed to the readers.

Thorn turns out the Guardian angel to lost Bone cousins in Dragons in the Earth (Chapter 2), while they try escaping the menace of Ghost Circles, through Thorn’s newly discovered power of Protection Spell (Chapter 3), as they defy Grandma’s order and try to chart a new path of their own.

Back near the sanctuary of Stick Eaters, where the Valley people have retreated, their trusted ally Lucius is befooled by a Wolf Call (Chapter 4), as the Blood Moon (Chapter 5) night arrives for a pinnacle showdown between Hooded One and Grandma Ben, with Bones and Thorn playing an important role in the final outcome.

Scholastic Graphix: Bone #7
Ghost Circles Bone (Scholastic) #7 
ISBN: 978-0-439-70634-6
2010 | 150 Pgs | INR 350 | C5 | Color | Paperback

Bone #7, titled Ghost Circles, starts of with a heart-rendering Prologue of Jonathan, who at his last bed, repents his actions, which casts suspicions over the loyalty of Lucius.

Back at the Old Man’s Cave, a bloody war ensures between the  Good and the Bad, sounding the End Times (Chapter 1). Book 7 Inner PageThorn along with Grandma Ben, leads the Bone Cousins, for her final assault on the Rat Creatures stronghold, as The Promise (Chapter 2) is revealed, and Darker Truths (Chapter 3), comes out to open.

Battle with the blood thirsty Rat creatures, turns to Snap! Crackle! Pop! (Chapter 4) action, and Thorn and Fone Bone, manage to enter the mysterious Ghost Circles, to find out the voices of Root Cellar (Chapter 5), which gives them the necessary direction to face the evil looming at their path.

As they approach the Rat Creatures stronghold, for one final battle, Thorn and company, discover the Prayer Stones (Chapter 6) erected for the Dragon shrines, and their meanings are revealed.

Scholastic Graphix: Bone #8
Treasure Hunters Bone (Scholastic) #8 
ISBN: 978-0-439-70633-9
2010 | 136 Pgs | INR 350 | C5 | Color | Paperback

Bone #8, titled Treasure Hunters, brings Phoney Bone and his ever bright business minds back to the fore, but not before Lucius gets his own due with a Prologue dedicated to him.

The travelling party of Thorn and company, reach the Gate of Atheia (Chapter 1), the place where the Old Kingdom once was Book 8 Inner Pageruled by Thorn’s forefathers, who commanded the Valley and beyond.

What now resides there is a corrupt government, and mysterious areas covered with The Cold Spot (Chapter 2), for the evils to traverse between Dream and Awakened Worlds.

Meanwhile, Smiley Bone and the reunited Bartleby, turn out to be good Pals (Chapter 3), inside the gates of Atheia. While, Fone Bone along with the trouble-maker Phoney Bone, faces the romantic battle of love and affection, with the To Be or Not to Bee (Chapter 4), question looming large.

Inside the gates of Atheia, a secret meeting of the old loyalists Bone and the Valleytake place, with Thorn finally being briefed about her queen mother, nicknamed Moonwort (Chapter 5). She was apparently killed by the Rat Creatures, which ultimately led to the end of their family’s rein over the old kingdom.

Thorn finally reveals that her search is aimed for the The Crown of Horns (Chapter 6), which is said to be the key to defeat the demon lord of Locusts, who is on a quest to resurrect himself, for a rule over the Valley and beyond.

With dark clouds looming around the city, Rat Creatures gather at the Gate of Atheia, for a final assault for control. Thorn and Grandma now find themselves, in the midst of a bloody battle.

Scholastic Graphix: Bone #9
Crown of Horns Bone (Scholastic) #9
ISBN: 978-0-439-70632-2
2010 | 214 Pgs | INR 350 | C5 | Color | Paperback

Book #9, the final volume of this Bone saga titled Crown of Horns, starts off with the recollection of the Thorn’s childhood in The Dungeon and The Parapet (Chapter 1), which is the second biggest chapter of the entire Bone series.

The full blown chapter details the bloody war between the Rat Book 9 Inner Pagecreatures and their allies, and the rejuvenated but outnumbered forces of Atheia, making their final stand on behalf of the human kind.

An Insert of Mim (Chapter 2), the first Dragon queen, is briefed in a short chapter, before Thorn reveals that the Ghost Circles which surrounds the city into an unbreakable magic cover has some Gaps (Chapter 3), using which they believe that they can bring some much needed help from their allies at Old Man’s Cave, who unknowing to them are facing a handful of problems on their own.

Escape from the City (Chapter 4), then details Thorn and company’s escapade using these Gaps, as they desperately try to get some sort of helping hands in their battle against the evil. But unknowingly Bone 41 (Original Cover)to Grandma, Thorn maps her own path to Chamber of Horns (Chapter 5), to put an end to the menace in toto.

Bone 45 (Original Cover)What happens is then the final battle of good vs evil, in another lengthy chapter (Chapter 5) of the volume 9 (which even outnumbers Chapter 1 of the same book in terms of numbers), with the readers having to witness the familiar climax of many a fairytales unfold before their very eyes.

Homecoming (Chapter 6), is a dedicated to Lucius, the martyr of the blood war, where he is sent on his final voyage back to his hometown for a royal burial. Joining them on their entourage are Bone cousins, who embark on their own mission back to Boneville, with Thorn & Grandma joining to see them off.

Bone 48 (Original Cover)A small chapter of Solstice (Chapter 7), is also inserted in this volume, which briefly recites the Christmas enjoyed by this travel party, on their voyage.

River Crossing (Chapter 8), finishes of the Bone saga, with the Bones reaching their mark for a farewell, with Thorn and Grandma giving them the send-off. Unknowing to them, Phoney Bone has managed to scalp the treasure of Atheia, as he tries to smuggle them out as the culmination of his long standing mission.

"Despite the cover of the last issue of the original run, portrays Red Dragon asking us to keep mum; the ending of this Bone saga would be debated for long and hard, by those who followed the series through the 90’s and beyond the millennium”

Does he get the support of his allies Smiley and the do-gooder Fone, or do they become his nemesis, is unravelled in the final pages as the readers give a farewell to the Bone Saga, which redefined the thin line between Comics and Graphic Novels for over a decade.

Bone 55 (Original Cover)But, did the ending really satisfy the Bone readers to the fullest? I have my own reservations, and despite Jeff Smith claiming that he had the ending planned even before he started drawing his first album, I still don’t think that end was as he had envisioned originally, at least to the true essence of it. It was abrupt, and doesn’t bode well for the legacy set by the early adventures of Bone.

Nevertheless, despite the cover of the Original #55 issue of Bone, portrays a Red Drag asking us to keep mum, the ending of this Bone saga would be debated for long and hard as long, by those who followed the series for the whole of 90’s and beyond the millennium.

Jeff SmithCREATORS CORNER: Jeff Smith

We have spoken a whole lot about Jeff Smith in our two earlier blog posts about One of Jeff Smith's earlier Daily StripsBone, here and here, but he never seizes to amaze me, each time I read more about his path to glory.

From a $7 per day strip maker, to a man who owns a fledgling comics business entity, his story is an inspiration for all those aspiring comic fans, who like to make their own cut.

Jeff Smith, Vijaya Iyer, and their Bone empireJeff now devotes his time between guest talks in comics forums around the world, and writing and drawing his new adventure series, RASL. But, Bone continues to be his hallmark achievement, and now is a study material in many of the schools in his country.

Recently, he won in his favour a Minnesota review committee ruling, which was in response to a petition filed by a kid’s mom, to ban Bone based story telling from school syllabus. The reasons given - the Bone volumes portrayed violence, gambling, and drinking in its earlier episodes.

Anyone who had read Bone series would stand against those allegations, so there was no wonder the judgement turned in the favour of Smith and company.

Steve HamakerCREATORS CORNER: Steve Hamaker

Even though this collection of Bone series is not new, as it was only a re-issue version of the 9 Steve Hamaker breathes colors into Bonevolume Bone collection released by Jeff Smith’s own Cartoon Books, which in-turn collected the 55 edition single issues; where it standsout is in the breathtaking color rendition by the incredibly talented Steve Hamaker, who breathed his life and soul into turning a classic into a modern day Graphic Novel standard.

Bone had achieved a cult state, even before Hamaker came into the picture. But, he made the turnaround, which resulted in Bone now being introduced into schools in United States, as a medium of teaching. Steve Hamaker was recently nominated for Eisner Awards, for his works on Bone’s latest volumes, which incidentally was his 4th for this esteemed recognition in comics industry.

As a tribute to his work, I could only do my part by dedicating the creativity rights of Bone, by naming him along with Jeff in the title of this Bone post. You deserved it fella !


And that completes our Bone run at Comicology, and if you haven’t read it, now is a chance to read them all in one go. So, head to your nearest book store, or sit and order it from your online store.

Nevertheless, Enjoy the reading, Adios Amigos !

Jan 15, 2010

Comics & Chennai Book Fair – 2010

This post was originally published on Jan 6, 2009, and has been further updated on Jan 15, 2009. Jump to the Updates

Gone are the times, when a variety of books and magazines, used to fill my imaginations in those childhood days. The materials available then, which ranged from Novels, Weekly magazines, to Monthly editions, was able to cater to all sects of elders at home. Kids, weren’t left alone in the party, as they had a variety of children's magazines to drool on, in the likes of Indrajal, Amar Chitra Katha, Diamond, Chandamama, and our very own Lion/Muthu Comics, Poonthalir, or Siruvar Malar.

The penetration of TV, and Satellite channels, into our houses, weren’t able to deter the elderly crowd who still loved the print medium, but it effectively diverted the new generation’s interest.

Now, those old family get-together, have moved on to a new home, The Annual Book Fairs. Families throng the event, and do remember to bring their kids along with them. In Chennai Book Fair Entrancea ray of hope that the environment, would give those young ones the right platform to grow their interest.

DSCN2895One such event is the Chennai Book Fair, which celebrates it’s 33rd year of existence, this year.

It was started by Booksellers and Publishers Association of South India (BAPASI), in 1977, mainly  covering the English editions of various publishers. It took until the turn of 21st century, for the regional language publishers to storm this event, and now they clearly overpower their Angrezi counterparts, in numbers.

DSCN2894 DSCN2896  DSCN2905

I have been a regular visitor, since the day I came to know of its existence, through my elder sister. While she thronged the Book Fair, for laying her hand on the Literary works and Novels from famous authors, I used to restrict my visits to only get hold of some issues, from my beloved print medium, Comics. The kid in me, still refuses to look for any other modes of literary work, but, the key is that my love towards Comics, keeps my reading habit intact. So as long as it holds good, I wouldn’t look for a change.

Since, we don’t have the likes of American Comic-Con’s, or France’s Angoulême Festivals, happening in India, these Book Fair's turn out to be our only resort.

Let’s look at some of my recent buys, in this Book Fair, and I hope that it would help those Comics enthusiastic, who would be visiting the fair, which runs until 10th January.

Lion & Muthu Comics Lion/Muthu Comics (Prakash Publishers – பிரகாஷ் பப்ளிஷர்ஸ்)

If it is a comics hunt, that too in Chennai, could you leave out the legendary Lion Comics or Muthu Comics, from the famed Prakash Publishers?

Every year, it has always been a unfulfilled dream for the Tamil comics fans, to see a dedicated Prakash Publishers stall in the Chennai Book Fair. They always had to share the spotlight, by finding their way in some other vendor’s stall.

But, from last year, two of our loyal Tamil comics fans, old-timer RT Murugan, and Arun from Rhythm Infomaps stall and ArunBook Distributors, have made it a point to make the back-issues of Lion and Muthu Comics, be available at their extended stall. This year it is no different, as we have another bunch of those wonderful titles, waiting for you at the InfoMaps Shop, at Stall No.P5.

So, if you had missed any of the back-issues, or wish to buy a set for your closed Look for this Sign on the Stallones, P5 Stall is the place to be. This year, Arun has got a nice gift wrapped set consisting of one title each from the available bunch. So those visiting can simply walk away with one such bundle for their collection.

Here are some more pictures, to tempt you into buying them, even if you already have it with you. I got one set for me, that way :). Look for this familiar sign, in the shop.

Lion & Muthu Comics Assorted Lion & Muthu Comics Gift Pack Lion & Muthu Comics Assorted

Update: And just in case, if you miss out from buying the Lion/Muthu Comics in Book Fair, do remember that a sizeable number of the same is also available in the Chennai’s Koyambedu Bus Terminus at Sai Scholars Book Shop (Platform No.3-4)

Persepolis Tamil EditionsPersepolis in Tamil (Iran - ஈரான்) (Vidiyal Publishers விடியல் பதிப்பகம்)

Coimbatore based Vidiyal Publishers, have their 2005 Tamil edition Marjane Satrapiof Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis, for sale in their stall. The Tamil Editions, are in the same format as the original French title, both in terms of paper quality and package, and are priced INR 100 each.

On the first glance, I believe the translation could have been Persepolis Tamil Edition Creditslittle better, but I presume that the publishers wanted the comic to adopt the same colloquial way, in which Marjane expressed her personal story in the original. Persepolis Tamil Edition BackcoverIn any case, I should restrain myself from passing any overall comment, until I read through this Tamil venture.

Nevertheless, the fact remains that, if not for anything else, for the sheer reason of promoting the Publishers intent to bring an International best selling comic title, for Tamil audience, this Tamil comics initiative should find its way in your collection.

Considering the higher priced Originals in the same format, a price tag of INR 100 justifiable. A friend in the Book fair told me that a Sri Lankan national who occupied a next seat to him, was coming over to Book fair, all along to find this edition. It’s a pity that such a publication, is unknown to us, when other nationals know about it even before us. Is it a problem with ourselves ?

Appusami ComicsManimegalai Publishers (மணிமேகலை பிரசுரம்)

Appusami ComisAppusami is a famous comic character, among Tamil readers, more famously among those who have Appusamiwitnessed his wittiest adventures, in various Tamil magazines, all through the past decades.

Created by Ja.Ra. Sundaresan, under his pseudonym Bhakkiam Ramasami, Appusami’s many stint in a variety of magazines, also involved some comic strips, where the artwork was handled by one of the able and most stylist artists from South India, Jeyaraj (who signs his artworks, with his initials as J.The character Appusami is so famous that, there is still a running domain, under his name (

I remember reading those comic strips back when I was a kid, and always felt that I never took enough care to collect those comic strips for safekeeping, as the artwork of J was one Appusaami Comicstop class not to be missed.

Recently, after hearing about the availability of one such comic, as published by Manimegalai Publishers (Courtesy: Siv), I wanted to get the same for my collection, badly. So, I landed up at the stall in the Book fair, and was lucky to find that the comic was still available, at a price of INR 10.

The inflated price was not only because the book was of smaller size with 52 pages, but also because of the year in which it was published, which is 1997 (as a second reprint, with the original dating back to 1993).

This comic edition follows the adventures of Appusami and Seetha Paati (his betrothed wife), on their quest to buy a Color Television set for their household. Look at the cover art which comically denotes this very concept. Typical J style.

I wonder, why such a good comic edition, is still left unsold after nearly a decade? Could the marketing have been faulty? as not many would have known that the comic is still available on sale with the  publishers, let alone leaving the fact that anyone knew of the existence of such comic at first place. Artist Jeyaraj

Bhakkiam RamasamiNevertheless, I am going to  cherish this collection, and only hope that some other  publisher would start collecting all other adventures of Appusami in comics format, very soon.

To know more about Artist Jeyaraj, read his Interview here, with some artworks to spice up his profile :).

Turok in Tamil (Taara - தாரா)Manimegalai Publishers (மணிமேகலை பிரசுரம்)

Tamil version of Dell's Turok (Cover)After a long hiatus, Manimegalai Publishers, seem to have ventured back into the comics field, by publishing the world famous Turok comic series, originally published by Dell Comics of US.

Turok (Dell Comics)After hearing about this venture, through Siv’s blog, I was on the lookout for the same, during my first visit to the publishers stall in the book fair. It was in vain, as it was out of stock then. But, was able to lay my hands on the same on my revisit.

The classical series is renamed as Taara in Tamil, and the Book is priced INR 50, in a size similar to A4, with hard covers.

Where it actually lacks the punch, is in the translation. Malaysian born Rajathilagam, fails miserably in that account, as the sentences Turok in Tamilseem to be abruptly ended, or continued, without any context. Having witnessed the works of Mullai Thangarasan, S.Vijayan, and Ramajayam, in the Tamil Comics field, this sub-standard work is quite unacceptable.

The quality is further degraded with a printing, which looks as if that it has been watershed on all pages. The reason seems to be a low quality adoption from the color originals, which could have been better, if they had done some color correction, before going into print. (The artwork page, given at the right is a result of some color correction in Photoshop, from the scanned version)

I only hope that Manimegalai publishers, will improve the print and translation quality with their further instalments, which we can only hope for. The classical note of the comic character Turok, deserves a better presentation, for sure.

Abdul Kalam in ComicsProdigy Comix (கிழக்கு பதிப்பகம்)

Prodigy Comix  Kalam (English) The New publishing sensation in the Tamil publishing field, New Horizon Media (NHM), have also joined the bandwagon in the Comics field, by releasing their Prodigy Comix series, starting with the pictorial representation of the life of, Dr. Abdul Kalam, a living legend, and former President of India.

Prodigy Comix  Kalam (Tamil)It’s a 32 page, A4 Sized feature, priced INR 35, which is also available in the regional language, Tamil.

The artwork is quite sub-standard, with the saving grace being the coloring work, which adds some semblance to the overall effort.

Badri, the cheif convenor of NHM, explains in his comment on Siv’s blog that, it has been drawn manually, and digitally colored for publishing. He further adds that it currently on a trial run, with the expectation of improving the quality with the forthcoming issues.

Prodigy Comix  Kalam 01Comics business in India, and especially South India, have always faltered in recognising the true stature of Comics medium. They often restrain themselves from instigating an international standard in their artwork or script writing, by calling it as a Children magazine. What they fail to understand is that, even if it is for targeted for younger audience, the westerners never fail or compromise on the quality of the work. For example, see Yakari, Yoko Tsuno, etc. Such was the professionalism on the display.

"Comics business in India, and especially South India, have always faltered in recognising the true stature of Comics medium... Unless, we ape the success factor of Westerners, Tamil comics will always live in the substandard quality."

That’s the reason those supposedly ‘Children’ Comics, were able to live upto the test of time, to be classified as a Classic, and be rated with the greats of the Comics from those golden age.

Unless, we ape that success factor, Tamil comics will always live in the substandard quality. Given the financial backing NHM enjoys, and a serious management which looks into their publications with pride, I sincerely hope that they would be able to bridge that gap in near future.

Mathi’s Adade CartoonsNew Horizon Media (கிழக்கு பதிப்பகம்)

Mathi's Adade Cartoon CollectionNew Horizon Media, did not stop with their Prodigy Comix venture alone. Under their most famous Kizhaku Pathipagam imprint, they have collated Artist Mathi’s cartoons, which was originally published in 2003. Mathi is most famously known for his witty political and social cartoon strips on Dina Mani (தின மணி), a regional Mathi's Cartoonnewspaper.

The last I remember of such an effort, was when Vikatan group of publications, collated such type of cartoons, with the work of their chief cartoonist Madan.

This volume consists of 176 pages in B6 size, and carries one cartoon per page, with a price of INR 80. I don’t know how many parts in which these books are segregated into, but I picked up one for the collection, which was Part 3.

I also saw that there was a jumbo collection available, collating Mathi’s cartoon in a bigger hardcover sized edition, which is priced at INR 450. 

Mathi Cartoon Jumbo Collection (Inside)Mathi Cartoon Jumbo CollectionQuite frankly, I don’t know whether such a market exists in India. Such ventures which are mostly adopted by the English Newspaper giants in our country, remain largely a marketing failure.

I would personally not shell out such a huge price for a collection, but then everyone have their own opinions and choices, and I presume Badri, would have gambled on with a plan.

Russian Revolution ComicsNew Century Book House

Also was on sale in the Book Fair was New Century Book House’s comics based on Russian RevolutionRussian Revolution Comics, published in early 2008. The book was by a team of Russian artists and script writers, which was originally published by Progressive Publishers.

The artwork quite frankly resembles the one which was used by the old Ponni Russian Revolution Comics 01 Russian Revolution Comics 02 Comics, but the credit pages says that they are of a Russian artist, by the name of Anatoli Vasileov (I hope I spelled it correct).

But, even then the style quite frankly fits the old school thought way of retelling the historical significance of Russian revolution.

There are no credits given for the Tamil translation, but it looks of a top quality work, at phases.

The issue which is titled in Tamil as Rushiya Puratchi (ருஷ்ய புரட்சி) is of B6 size, with 150 odd pages, priced at INR 75. ISBN: 81-234-1238-X 

Definitely, a comic worth to be in Tamil comics fan’s collection. And I hope that this comic venture by New Century Book House, will turn out a successful affair, so that we see such international comics be translated to our language, for the coming years. Thanks to Siv, for introducing this comic venture.

Somu in B.C. (கி.மு.வில் சோமு)Narmada Publications நர்மதா பதிப்பகம்

Kimoovil SomuLastly, I picked up, present Tamil movies director Simbu Devan’s 1999 humour comics, titled Keemuvil Somu. This was a 2004 reprint of the original edition, which collected the series which ran in Ananda Vikatan, a Weekly magazine, for a total of 25 weeks.

The series was drawn and scripted by Simbu, who has Kimoovil Somu 01a uncanny knack of a cartoonist, in his art style, which quite adds up the uniqueness of this venture. 

It’s a hilarious account of a character named Somu, who finds himself in the pre-historical era, with the aid of his Time Machine. He befriends a Jr. Dinosaur, enroute his adventures and misadventures, which are a total laughter package, for sure. 

It was good to know that the series which I enjoyed during its weekly run, was also available in a complete comics format. It’s in a B6 size, consisting of 100 odd pages, priced at INR 40. Surely, a comic for keeps.

Surely, Simbu Devan’s loss to comics field, is a quite noteworthy, but considering that he is able to weave his comic magic in his Silver screen ventures, it does bodes well.

Apart from these, the old Gotham Comics issues, and the back issue titles of The 99 Series, could be found on many stalls. I hope that this Book Fair provided all those book readers in general, and comics geeks in particular a well deserved shopping experience. Happy Reading, Comikers. Adios Amigos !!


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