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 Comics. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Comics. Show all posts

Feb 19, 2011

Comic Con India – New Delhi - 2011

In another few hours, India will have its first-ever Comic Con, a kind of which have been in existence in Americas, Europas, and Japan, for near 4 decades, but only has been in talk in India up recently. It’s truly a chance for India, to stake its claim in the international arena, with its range of offerings, which aren’t dictated by the Westerners or the Easterners.

We here at Comicology, give you a heads-up on with few know-hows, and about what you could expect from the 2-day event extravaganza, set to showdown at the capital city of New Delhi.

Convention for Comics, what about Book Fairs then?

Books and its related Conventions have happened over the years, since the time it has come into existence. While a general Book Convention brings readers of all genre’s, it doesn’t focus on one particular way of story telling, or that matter an original take. Comics are the one’s which takes the story telling, and keeps it close to the ways in which it was originally been in use from Stone Age, the Graphical way.

Comic Cons (aka Conventions), are the result of that love towards Comics or Graphic Novels. You get to focus on one, you cherish reading the most, and meet fellow like minded people, whom you always wanted to gang up with.

How many Comic Cons are happening around the World?

Well, it seems almost every major city in the West, and the Japan, Korean hemispheres hosting an Comic Con event of its own. But the most famous ones, and the one which every Comic fan cherishes to attend in our life time, can be brought down to

  • San Diego Comic-Con InternationalIt’s the 4th largest Comic Con in the world, but the one which usually pulls all the media and happening crowd among its strength, especially considering that it’s from the American heartland.

  • Japan’s ComiketsIt’s the largest Comic Con in the world, and the only one which is exclusively organized for the Self Publishing creators working on Manga genre.

  • Angoulême International Comics FestivalIt’s the 2nd largest Comic Con in the world, which heralds the world of Comics, away from the impact of American or Manga, promoting the Franco-Belgian goldies.

  • Lucca Comics and GamesEven though considered the oldest (started in 1966), and the second largest, it has never been able to break out of its traditional and geographical mould. But it has its own takers.

New Comic Con Header

Is India ready to host it’s own Comic Con Yet?

I would say it’s long due, even though I must also admit that we haven’t grown to a stage where we have number of players in the business, to have a Comic Con of our own. But, the last couple of years, we have seen a lot of enthusiasm among Comics fans, and it’s ably supported by a new wave of creators working on Comics, who have all geared to make them count in the international arena.

Indian Comic Con, is certainly a one which is much needed to nurture and channel this talent, and make it be heard in a common forum, published internationally.

Who are the Organizers, and how it evolved?

One of the first talks about Comic Con in India, I heard was from a Comic fan based out in Mumbai, who Jatin Verma - Twenty Onwards Mediawanted to have it set for the same 2011, in his city. But an idea, like that needs not only the passion, but  also the able to put their hard earned money in the picture, and more importantly support of a business house which thrives on the media, which matters most for such events and bring the involved companies all under one roof.

That was made possible by Twenty Onwards Media, based out in New Delhi, and it was it’s chief, Jatin Varma, who can now proudly be called as the Founder of the initiative. Much kudos should go to him and his team, to bring this event into fruition.

Why is it in Delhi, and not any other City?

It’s an obvious choice, since the organizers, are based out in the City.  Being the national capital, one can’t question its choice of selection either.

But, what would I like to see is the Comic Con India, being hosted across each metro cities of India, every year. That will help it reach much wider audience. It’s the first one, so let it happen, before we ponder over city loyalty and affections :)

Who all are participating?

You normally expect only Comic Companies or Graphic Novel affiliates, to find in a Comic Con. But, Comics or GNs have become more an enabler for a number of other businesses, like Merchandising through Toys, Movie Features, and more. And considering, that India doesn’t have a number of players in the field yet, to fill an event with only those companies, the organisers have ensured to rope-in companies who can be linked up to Comics in some ways, like Toys and Merchandising shops, Print Media, etc.

CampfireVimanika LogoLevel 10That said, there are still a handful of Comic Companies, who are going to make their presence, and these are three, whom I am looking forward to.

Some of them are going to have their new launch up of titles, while the others would bring their collections, to be bought and signed over from the creators themselves.

Apart from them, the long awaited independent projects like ChitrakathaRavanayanChitrakatha, and Ravanayan, would also be present The chance to sync up with the folks, also offers a chance to barge them with questions on their target date, one you can’t let go, for sure.

What could I expect in the Event?

Everything, what you could normally expect on a Comic fans and creators, get-together. But, most importantly, it’s going to be a chance to interact with niche people, who share your passion towards Comics.

Let’s ask this to ourselves. How many times we wanted to explore and share our readings or new finds on Comics, with anyone other than your usual circle? Why is it so, because we expect to hear and share another person’s perspective, over the ones you loved reading, and discover new items for our reading in the process. And What’s more interesting then syncing up with the people, who have worked on them.

Comic Con Gathering

The introduction of World of Internet in mid 90’s, could have paved the way for more such interactions  happening over the net, and the ages of Web forums, have now only been pushed to a back alley, by the Costume Contestmore faster Websites promoting Social Networking (like Facebook, Orkut), where the like minded can interact with a bunch of people, and share and cherish their reads and finds, all the while not having to know personally.

But, still there is nothing better than the olden ways, of face to face interaction, and here is a chance to do so.

Apart from that, there is a chance to bring the Superhero (or may I dare to say, the Kid) in you, as a series of prizes have been announced by the organizers. So don’t be surprised, if you see Supermans and Batmans, and even some of our homegrown superheroes, eavesdropping on you at the event.

Is there an Agenda to the Event?

Comic Con India 19 Feb 10Comic Con India 20 Feb 10There is a set plan spread over two days, which gives you an option to plan your visits and be engaged with the happenings over time. Here is a Two Pager, sourced from the Organizing team.

There is almost a workshop happening, every half an hour, so the hard choice of picking and choosing the ones you like the most, is upon you.

I guess it’s, going to be tricky :)

So, here we are, to celebrate the most unique passion, among all readers of arts. Let’s be Comical and let our heart out on the event, and get attached to the one we dear the most, Comics. 

Comicology wishes the Indian Comic Con, all the best, and hope we can have some good moments to take out from the event.

For further readings, here are our fellow Bloggers who have blogged their heart-out about the event, which all deserves a look and a read.

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 !!

Nov 11, 2009

Me, Her and Her Only – Love in Comics

Dear Comikers, Tashi delek. Well, I have said it before, and countless time before then, but there is no harm in repeating the reality. Me is Back. As usual, I am not going to hold you with my whereabouts all this time, which is rightly pushed to the end of the post.

But, what we have has a topic for our current post? Well it’s about Love, and this time for a change, in Comics. 

What was the last big news in Comics, you heard about? Disney shooting for Marvel? Obama as a Comic Hero? Asterix turning 50? or Jean Va Hamme’s XIII reappearing the English space? Well, they would have all taken their fair share of the gossips and tête-à-tête’s, but where they able to add up to the personal touch which one news about the famous youth icon in Comics, managed among masses.

Archie's Proposal Yes, I am indeed talking about the American comics icon, Archie Andrews much talked about Marriage Proposal to (one of) his long time girl-friend, Veronica.

THE ARCHIES RETURN Let’s admit it, did anyone foresee that? Archie has been around since 1940’s, and was known for his romantically run-downs with anyone in the opposite sex. So why does this news turned around all the heads, and made the series which was taken for granted, to enjoy a fresh lease of life.

Well, it’s a sheer concept of touching your inner self, and making your emotions to bind into a series. And what better way than exploring the intimate world of true love to add that essence.

But, Archie isn’t the only comic series to evangelize this theme, even if it could be agreed that he was one of the first in doing so. It is a concept which was used almost by all Comics creators, be it the theme of Love, Superhero, or the more serious Graphic Novel types. It was a way for creators to engage the readers, and get their series into their hearts, and leave a memory in their minds.

Most famous example, could be the most celebrated Superhero of all Superman and Louis Lanetime, the Superman. Everyone knows that he is the Man of Steel, and one with enormous strength, and abilities. But, he often Superman-Wonder-Woman-Lane Love Trianglehad a weak point, a more mortal one, in form of Lois Lane, as his lady love.

Superman, aka., Clark Kent, was an alien, and thus a character which may not be dear to the mortals on this planet. Thus creators found that a theme of love towards a human, could add the panache to the storyline, and indeed it did.

The creators behind the series also found it worthwhile to mix-up another Superheroine, in a Love triangle, when Wonder Woman rose to fame. It is  still a untold love story, which is intimate, and comes to fore when both meet in any of their adventures (obviously, other than DC’s Elseworlds series). But, Superman was always shown to stay true to Louis Lane (no matter what was in offer elsewhere).

As many of us know, Superman, isn’t the only DC superhero, to have a love Batman and Catwomanangle in his story-arcs. His most famous counterpart Batman, has many to add too. Unlike Superman, who in his alter-ego Clark Kent, leads a normally subdued lifestyle, Batman’s alter-ego was of the billionaire playboy Bruce Wayne. This  gave the creators a freehand in portraying love on the air, so Talia between Ra Al Ghul and Batmanoften in the Batman series.

Most notable of them was his romance with the villainesses Catwoman and Talia al Ghul, daughter of the Ra’s al Ghul, one of the greatest enemies of Batman. While Catwoman and Batman romance was uncontrollable at times, Talia was often torn between the love towards Batman, and his father’s rage towards him. Batman certainly had a free ride when choosing his love interest, in all his adventures :).

The Love wasn’t restricted to the DC Universe, it was most famously used in their rival camp MarvelFantastic Fourwhich produced some of the best comic superheroes of all time, going toe-to-Mr.Fantastic and Invisible Womantoe with the former. Most notable out of them was the Fantastic Four and Spiderman.

Fantastic Four, was obviously the first superhero family, to have been introduced in the 9th Art. It was also eventually the first superhero title introduced by Marvel, and went a long way in establishing their brand of comic characters, and showing to the world that a Superheroes could have a family, and still can collectively fight the evil-doers.

The love between Mr.Fantastic (Reed Richards) and Invisible Woman (Sue Thing and one of his Love InterestStorm), was foremost in all the titles, right from the time they were introduced. It eventually turned into a successful marriage, which also encompassed Invisible Woman’s younger brother, the Human Torch (Johnny Storm), into the family fold. It didn’t stop there, as the team also brought into the family, their most trusted friend, in the form of the Thing (Ben Grimm).

The love wasn’t only restricted to Reed and Sue in the family. Johnny, is known for his playboy type, while Ben had his fair share of love trials too. Truly a Superhero family united by love from all corners :).

But, when it came to Spiderman it was a totally different ball game altogether. A series which was  introduced just an year after “Fantastic Four family” made their debut, took Spidermanlove to a different level. Spiderman, aka Peter Parker, was portrayed as a young adult, who was torn between his past, his present, and doubts over his future, with an unwelcome responsibility added by power, which he never wanted, at the first place.

Enter Mary Jane Watson, to add some spice to his life, and the series Spiderman and Mary Janewas an  instant hit. As Peter and Mary went about different phases of life, where their love turned multiple dimensions, to an extent of hate and separation, and finally a wed-lock.

Often Peter Parker and Mary Jane’s love was cited as an example, as their love was something which was more common you could find in day-to-day life. They were mortals and their emotions human.

Let’s steer past the current direction which the series has taken where the so called creators invented a concept of erasing their memories, and leaving them as just two separate individuals. Well the creators have their own reasons, but I am not getting into them. For me, it’s a sheer insult to those who followed the series for this long.

The Love in Comics, was not only restricted to full-fledged comics, as the Comic Daily strips which  predates even the creation of this art medium, called Comics, also utilized the Love to the fullest, in their storylines.

Phantom and FamilyPhantom and DianaWho could forget the twin classic creations of Lee Falk, The Mandrake, and The Phantom.

While the Phantom was portrayed as a masked crusader, who doesn’t reveal his face to general crowd, the only ones who witnessed him in his humanly avatar, was none other than his favorite charming wife, Diana. There were countless stories which were woven by the pen of Falk, where he put Diana and Phantom’s love in different dimensions, often culiminating in their reunion at the end of the Phantom Weddingstory.

As far as it goes, one of the daily strips which was titled The Wedding of the Phantom (Daily Strip #136), even described Mandrake  and Nardain detail the wedding ceremony of Phantom and Diana, in the Deep woods, attended by the famous celebrities, including an unnamed Mandrake. Have a preview of that extravaganza over here.

If that was Phantom, Mandrake had a love interest of his own (and even his best companion, Lothar), in the form of the lovely princess, Narda.

Clearly, Love in Comics had no barrier, either in full blown comics or in newspaper strips.

[Phantom and Mandrake feature inset to this post, was added, as per the request from Comikers through comments]

Coming back to our love concept, it wasn’t only the American Genre, which utilized this to the fullest level. Examples can be found on their other counter-parts in British, Franco-Belgian, Italian, Indian and to a large extent, even in Manga.

In British Genre, unlike their American counterparts, the authors used Love as a subtle reference in their storyline. They made it into a whole new concept, where people could be together bound by a common  link, but may not turn into the typical hand-in-hand lovers type. It was left to the readers to diffuse them and consider their relationship, in ways they want.

Modesty and GarvinA best example could be the acclaimed Modesty Blaise series, where the relationship between Willy Garvin and Blaise is often touches a thin line which differentiates, love and friendship. Peter O’ Donnell the writer, took utmost care James Bond and his Bond Girlthat he never compromised that concept in any of his  works.

And it is still considered one of the best ways of portraying a man and woman relationship in Comics, without going over the line, as treaded by other comic series.

While, James Bond, an another popular series from British Genre, cannot be played in the same yard-stick, it is pretty clear that all his adventures are filled with romance and love with the women who shares the screen space with him, which went over to a level to be them termed as the Bond Girls.

Well, let’s not damage our love concept by discussing Bond’s romantical adventures. Since we are here to talk about true love, and not puppy love :).

Johny Nero and Stella Another Blaise-like love link could be found, in not so famous, British comic series of yester-years which featured Johny Nero and his favourite secretary Stella. Stella accompanies Johny, often in many of his adventures, without him being interested about her involvements. But, it was evident that Stella had a soft corner over the leading man of the series, and it was also reciprocated by Johny, without being too open about it.

But, again it was left to be contemplated in the minds of readers, with the writer never revealing their true nature of relationship. Such was the subtle love adopted in British Genre, on more classical notes.

A look at Franco-Belgian Genre, gives us a plenty of examples of true love. But, unlike their most illustrious counter-parts, France which is known as a Lovers paradise, used the concept of love only in one-off cases or during some rare titles, in a long running series.

Asterix and ObelixPanaceaTake the most famous comic series from that stable, in the form of Asterix and Obelix. Even when, they don’t have a concrete love interest through the series, often finding solace among themselves with their friendship, Obelix had on and off untold love towards Panacea, which was instrumental in devising few of the remarkable titles of the series, which has continued to charm the readers for over 50 years.

Lucky Luke's Fiancee Blueberry Arizona LoveOr take the case of Lucky Luke. An often lone ranger wandering around the deserted counties, with his trusted ally Jolly Jumper (with all due respects to the talents of Jumper, which incidentally is a Horse), was also involved in some romantical run-downs, most famously portrayed in the Lucky Luke’s Fiancee title.

Even the most unlikeliest of heroes, comics has ever seen, Blueberry, also had a love life of his own. Arizona Love, is a title, in which Blueberry disowns whatever he has strived for all his life, to secure the love of his life.

One of the recent examples of a Franco-Belgian product, which is making its rounds in Indian comics Largo Winch - Takeover Bidspace, (thanks to CineBook), on the love lines, is Largo Winch. Another masterpiece from Van Hamme, where Winch is a Playboy millionaire, who Thorgal and Aariciaplays the game at the highest level to stay competitive among the corporate politics. Winch has romantical run-downs with anyone who crosses his lifestyle, much like the Bond way. :)

But, where Franco-Belgian comic series, scores heavily on the love part, is with Thorgal series. It goes over with tagline saying that ‘God has put a man to Test’.

But, through this testing times, who gives him support is none other than his love of life, Aaricia. Thorgal is often shown as thinking of a more calm life, with his wife and son in a secluded place.

Tex Willer and his Love

On Italian Genre, we have a strong case of the most famous character
Tex Willer and his love towards his diseased wife, portrayed in all its true essence.

Tex Willer’s whole storyline or the status he enjoys among Navajos, his adopted tribe, is based on his marriage to his Red Indian wife. There was even one mini series, in which Tex goes over on a revenge path, to punish the miscreants who caused her death.

Marting Mystere Or take the example, of Martin Mystere, a comic series which has now been made famous by the TV animation series.

Martin is often accompanied in his adventures, by not only the muscular Neanderthal man - Java, but also by his long-time fiancée, and his later wife, the beautiful, Diana Lombard. Whether Martin stayed true to his wife, all the times, is a big question, but there is no doubt she adds up the woman factor in all of adventures. Beauty and Beast seem to co-exist in there. :)

It was essential, or often the most needed interlude, to otherwise serious plot-work which was witnessed in all of the above series.

When we talk about love, can we miss the Indian subcontinent, which is known to have gifted the world Kamasutra, the eternal love reference guide :). When we come to the Desi reference, to the Indian Genre can you forget the love intrigued in many of our famous myths, and legends.

Ram SitaDraupadiThe best example is the Ramayana and Mahabharata epic which has always been a resourceful concept for Comics to be drawn against.

The love of Sita and Rama, or the love of Draupadi, could they have been drafted any different in the umpteen number of comics which were influenced by them.

Well, it all foretells that Love in Comics, are here to stay. And its a true essence around which the plots are interwoven, if not every time, at least on special occasions, when the writers decide to touch that personal cord with the readers.

Archie 600So, it was no different with Archie turning his relationship into a long standing commitment. At least, that’s how it has been portrayed, which we will get to see for real, only at the end of the mini series, which has kick started the story arc.

Surprisingly, the story got so much attention, that for the very first time I see Archie Comics being sold directly in Indian stores. Obviously, the titles released are of this mini series, and are priced at around INR 35. A bit costly, but the series marketing was no cheap task.

Well, I have started collecting them, and it’s your call whether you get one for yourself. I obviously, don’t want to miss out on a path-breaking series, even if it was invented for the sake of marketing a product :)


MarriageWell, now to our personal blah… blah…. My recent long absence, and why I took this topic to make my comeback are interlinked. Yes, I am no more single. I have lost my bachelor degree, as I got tied to my lady love (not the adventurous type as portrayed by our comic heroes, as it was strictly an Arranged Marriage) on September 27, 2009, in my hometown Chennai, India.

It was a fun-filled event, a connection of two hearts into one, where I also got to meet some of our comics friends, who took a time out of their precious commitments, to grace the occasion.

Even, some of our Comics bloggers and cherished friends, like Kanavukalin Kathalan, Prabhat, Siv, Comic World, and Terry Hooper all decided to take part in my celebrations, by dedicating/crediting a post on my name. Thanks guys, I am overwhelmed by your love.

Not only them, even during the two months time when I went into hibernation, the average user visit to our site, has always remained, steadily the same (as seen through site statistics). I see that people have taken hear no see no speak no - blog OKthis time out, to explore the archived posts, and get their fill-in. Something, for which I have always strived to keep old posts up-to-date, with the latest happenings on the topic.

And what did I pay them off with, a total absence, a seclusion from the blogging world. Let me admit, I never saw it coming. I never thought that a relationship could take such precious time out of your day-to-day work. A commitment which needs to be showered, with your utmost love. A relationship which needs to be nourished, with time.

Well, I am learning how to be so, and now feel that it could be time when I can get to spend some time on my hobby or passion, while balancing the work and personal life. Surprisingly, my better half shares the feeling, and whole-heartedly let me continue my passion, with a simple advice to watch over the hour clock. It’s a different experience, but something I enjoy at the moment, and believe I can for an eternity.

Back on BloggingSo here I am again, to bug you with my comics posts, like I have been doing ever. I would try to maintain my regular flow, but excuse me if I default a week or two. But, rest assured, I will always be lurking around, here and our friends blog space. You can’t escape from me :).

B'day with Wife This day, 11/11 also marks my birth on this Planet of Love. And I thank everyone of those, who wished me personally, and through emails and SMS’s. It’s good to have a feeling that there are people who love your existence. Thanks a lot guys.

As an end note to this post, I will leave you all, with the famous quote uttered by Arthur Rubinstein: -

“Love life and life will love you back. Love people and they will love you back.”

Let the Party Begin !! :)


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