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

Nov 23, 2008

Lion Comics #205 - Tex Willer | Nov '08

Lion Comics #205 – Tex Willer 
Lion 205 c1 Yemanin Ellayil [Footsteps of the Demon] - Part 3 of 3
116 Pgs | INR 10 | B6 | B/W | Laminated/Paperback

The 3 months long wait, to the climax of the latest 3 part Tex Willer series, has ended, as Prakash Publishers have landed their Lion Comics #205, on our hands, by the end of the month, which has closely followed last month's Muthu #310.

It's a continuation of Lion #203 & Lion #204, written and drawn by Caludio Nizzi and Fabio Civitelli, respectively, which were covered here at Comicology, when they were released. Explore the links above, if you missed out those posts.

Flash News: To read Editor S.Vijayan’s first-ever response to a debate on Comics blogs, refer to the end of the post.

It was surprising to see a Lion Comics cover-art utilizing the landscape format, as Portrait format had become a de-factor standard or norm since the re-launch of Lion and Muthu Comics. The last time this strategy was adopted was way back - nearly a decade, in the Lion #165: Nijam 1 - Nizhal 2 (நிஜம் 1 - நிழல் 2) exactly on Jan '01. Mr. Vijayan, the editor of Lion Comics, this time has decided to discard the original cover-art of the issue and seems to have utilized a Tex Willer poster from some other source (which is clear from the fact, that the scene doesn't depict the setup of the battle, as described in the inner pages).

I received my subscription copy a day later than the majority, so a delayed post helped me gather requisite materials for a complete coverage, and post with a different style, as they call in Hindi - 'Zara Hatke (ज़रा हटके)'.  So let's took at a little biography of Tex Willer (as it is a trend at Comicology) before we get down to this instalment of Lion Comics.

Created in 30 Sep 1948, in the backdrop of WW II, by writer Giovanni Luigi Bonelli and illustrator Aurelio Galleppini; Tex Willer can be termed as the most successful Italian Comics venture to have known to the world outside.

Giovanni Luigi Bonelli

Originally started for the then famous Bonelli Comics, as a comic strip (just like the other famous European/American classic comic characters), it has far outlived its other compatriots, in terms of longevity.

The story of the Original Italian Comics base and evolution of Bonelli Comics, has its long roots with the World War II.

Aurelio Galleppini

galep_arttexHollywood Movies and American Comics had been embarrassed by many European countries, including Italy, during WW II.  In 1945, when the war finally ended, Italy was among the many European nations anticipating a return to the good life that included great music, fun movies, and excellent comics. But a strange thing happened. When classic American characters like Flash Gordon, Mandrake and Mickey Mouse were returned to their Italian fans, the books proved to be less popular than they had been before the war.

Readers seemed to prefer the smaller-sized magazines that had been published in their absence, and the small print format called "striscia" (strips), that publishers had reverted to when they were hit by a paper shortage. Strips were smaller in size, with more pages and longer stories, and the Bonelli family - owners of a small publishing house in Milan, began printing these for popular distribution.

In 1948, Mrs.Tea Bonelli wished to re-open her publishing house and create new comic series. She therefore called Galleppini, and entrusted the texts to her ex-husband, Bonelli.

texThat's how the character Tex Willer was born.  Bonelli initially planned to name the lead character as "Tex Killer", but due to Tea's strong objection, it was changed to with a 'W' in place of 'K'.  The initial concept of Tex was him as an outlaw, but soon was characterized to be a good Samaritan, as a Ranger (Issue #3).  He is often referred as 'Night Eagle' (இரவுக்கழுகு), due to a costume and mask he wore on one of his earliest adventures.

Kit CarsonTex's closest friend and a part to most of his adventures is Kit Carson, an elderly man (He is older than Tex by about ten years and is drawn in his years of maturity with gray hair).  Actually, even though Tex Willer is a fictional character, Kit Carson is a rendition of the famous American frontiersman of the same name, who had close ties with Navajo's Red Indian Tribe (for which fantasy Tex's character is known for). 

Tamil Comic fans will remember that Kit Carson has regularly featured in the erstwhile
Rani Comics, in many of its cowboy stories.  Well, we can safely say that that Carson and Tex's Carson are two different people, as different comic writers and artists have used Carson in their popular culture in varying roles over the years, and no wonder Bonelli Sr. thought of it to be part in his dream project too.

There are many ladies in Tex's life, but only one is closest to his heart, his wife Lilith, who was the daughter of Red Arrow (chief of Navajo), upon which he succeeded as the leader of Navajo's and their official representation to the US Govt.  There are also Tiger Jack, a Red-Indian and Kit Willer, Tex's son who accompany him in his numerous adventures through the Wild-West, which ranges from Voodoo Magic to pre-historic Dinosaurs. 

The strong bond between Jack & Kit, is identically similar to the one shared by Tex & Carson.  In most of the stories, we see that when the team splits it is normally with the same pair.  It's said that Bonelli had thought about having a spin-off with Kit Willer as the lead, but he decided against it, and had him as the understudy of Tex throughout.

Bonelli wrote the stories of all of the Tex adventures published until beyond the mid-1980s.  And his fellow co-creator Galleppini, matched him up, as a continuous artist of Tex series for more than 4 decades.

tex0400tex0001In fact, all the Cover Artworks were done by him right from the Issue #1 (Oct '58), to Issue #400 (Feb '94).

Have a look at the those covers, and a symbolic representation of Artist change (and probably a premonition of his own death, as Galleppini passed away on Mar '94), with Tex shown waving Goodbye to all.

Eventhough Gallepinni was chief artist for the series for a long tLion 140 c1ime, he was ably assisted by a team of artists due to his illness, and volume of work.  But, until 1980's Tex was credited and signed only as "text by G.L.Bonellï and drawings by Galep", as the Editor feared reader reactions to the change in the successful pair.

Long-time Lion Comics fans will remember that the Tex #400 cover was re-used for Lion Comics #140 (1998), although it featured a different story (Yerintha Kaditham - எறிந்த கடிதம்).

Bonelli continued to supervise the production of Tex until he passed away in 2001.  After Bonelli Sr., his son Sergio Bonelli, who is also a comic book writer (he is the creator of Zagor, another popular Italian Comic Character, the costumes and trademark signs closely reminds us of Tex's), then took over the reigns of publishing Tex Willer Series.

The current publishing company which owns Tex and other famous Italian characters is named after Bonelli Jr., Sergio Bonelli Editore (Editore meaning Publisher in Italian).

Tex All Stars, their longest running Comics series has crossed over Issue #550, with a regular monthly release.  There are some other series too where the olden goldies are reprinted from the original Tex Series.

Let's come back to the current month instalment from Lion Comics, the story opens up where the Part 2 was left off.

Carson & Co. approach the shed where the egoist Major Wellman, and his partner in crime, Overend, discuss about their master strategy to ignite a war between Red Indians and US Military, and get benefited out of it in terms of power and money.  But Carson, and Kit intervene, and spoil their evil plans

On the other end, Tex battles a life or death situation, in a Wild Challenge issued by rebel Orso Vellace, who tries to salvage his damaged prestige among their tribe.  By which the premonition of Red Clout in the 1st Part to Tex Willer, about a Fast Bear and Black Eagle battling on top of a Peak, turns out in reality. As usual, Tex Willer comes on top and puts an end to the egoistic maniac, thus bringing the mini series to an end.

The writer doesn't forget to re-emphasize the human touch, by referring to the romantic interlude of Alicia (Sydor), and her untold love to Tex Willer, when the story concludes.

Italian Original: Tex No.477
Sfida selvaggia (Wild Challenge)
Jul 2000


Overall, it's another Tex Willer Classic, and leaves us gasping for more such stories in future.

Kudos to Mr.Vijayan for hand-picking the stories among the huge Tex Series (which does contain some goof-ups, like the one mini series which had a Dinosaur appearing suddenly), and translating them to Tamil without losing the original context

As far as the other main topic, which was highlighted in the Hotline, and has been going through a huge debate on blogs elsewhere, my vote is to the Increasing of Price and retaining the current form of Lion and Muthu Comics.  Which seems to have been the universal choice of 90% of our comics readers.

I don't share Editors view that rising the price to INR 12, will lead to an issue of tendering change at the vendors.  Because, our comics are available mostly in Petty Shops, and Railway Station Book shops, who all are known to have an adequate stock of Coins for change, and do their business on top of it.  As far as the subscribers goes, they wouldn't mind a small change in the prices, as that could easily be adjusted in the subscription amount.

The current format of Hard Cover/Laminated, B6 Size, is the best format which was ever practiced by Muthu or Lion Comics.  It helps protect and safeguard our beloved comics for a very long time in our collection.  So, my request to Editor is to maintain the current format and decide between pricing the future editions in the range of INR 12 to INR 15.  If Editor decides to make it INR 15, then we can hope that he increases current paper quality to be more whiter, thus letting us an option to witness the great artwork in its truest form.  Also an adoption of B5 as the standard size could be practiced, but that looks a distance dream.

Lion 205 Backcover featuring XIII TeaserLion 205 Editor's HotlineIn short, increase the price to INR 12, if editor decides to maintain the current format; or rise it by INR 15, to improve the size (to B5 preferably) and paper quality if he decides to up it by INR 15 (which looks highly impossible going by the choices Mr.Vijayan's normal preference over the years)

With the inflation, and global economical change, this isn't a price-rise which is going to make much of an uproar, among our comic fans.  Hope the good sense prevails on this topic. 

By talking about the price and other issues, Editor has given a miss for Singathin Siruvayadhil (சிங்கத்தின் சிறுவயதில்), his famous article for a second consecutive issue (பத்த வச்சிட்டியே பரட்டே...).  And, the earlier announced list of Comicologists who have booked for the XIII Special is also missing (பின்ன, என் பேரேல்லாம் எப்படி பாக்குறதாம் !!).

Editor Mr. S.Vijayan's response:

"Hi folks,
This is quite an awesome blog ! The kind of time & efforts that have been put into this website deserves the richest of accolades ! Hats off !
I'd have loved to post in Tamil too..but its no secret that my skills with the computer are pretty much akin to Sheriff Dog Bull's skills at maintaining law & order in Woodcity. So I'll stick to posting in English for awhile..
The interest and passion that you guys show towards comics in general & our Lion Comics in particular, is the tonic that I need quite a lot of times to revive flagging spirits. With a little bit more time I promise I'll have our Lion Comics website up & running again.
As for the dilemma that we are currently faced with regarding the price hike - one thing I've decided for sure is that we are NOT changing the size. Almost all our readers have advised us to continue with the existing size. So the option now is to contemplate : Either a price jump or a cut in pages. I will look at the length of the stories we have planned for the next 6 issues and take a call based on that. You will read about it in the next Hotline for sure.
And yes, "Singathin Siru Vayathil" will be back in business from the coming issue of Corrigan - "Maandavan Meendan". Not too sure if that's good news or bad..!
Have fun guys..I'll drop in again sometime soon."

As advertised earlier, the next issue will be Agent Phil Corrigan or Secret Agent X-9 extravaganza, titled
Maandavan Meendaan (மாண்டவன் மீண்டான்), who last featured in Lion Comics, back in 1995, in the Lion #112, Top 10 Special.  So, it's good that Editor is bringing back one of his popular characters, from the past.

Well, this turned out to be another big post, so let me put a stop to it, and meet you all in the next post.  Adios Amigos !

References: ubcfumetti

Oct 29, 2008

Muthu Comics #310 - Martin Mystery | Oct '08

Muthu #310 – Martin Mystery
Muthu 310 - Martin Mystery Cover  
100 Pgs | INR 10 | B6 | B/W Laminated/Paperback

Muthu Comics makes its comeback after 3 months, with the edition of Martin Mystery (christened in Tamil as Marma Manidhan Martin-மர்ம மனிதன் மார்ட்டின்) starring, Ponnil Oru Pinam (பொன்னில் ஒரு பிணம்), 'Golden Carcass'. This time the delay is for all the valid reasons.

The compulsory power shedding for residential and commercial establishments, by the state governing body, has hit the Towns and Villages to the worst, which has resulted in delay (this time around).

Coupled with torrential rains, Prakash Publishers have indeed waged war to get this edition on our hands, and they should be commended for that incredible work.

Editor's Comics Time is testament to the fact that this was a comic which was planned before Diwali, as there is no mention about the biggest Indian festival.  Obviously, editor would have reserved his greeting for the Lion Comics, which could have been planned as Diwali release.

Prakash Publishers should be commended for their new-found commitment to get monthly releases for the Tamil Comics Fans, who are now left with only one choice to pick from, with the other publishers doing a No-Show.

But, the delay in the Martin Mystery extravaganza, is sure to have pushed Lion Comics instalment to the end of next month.  Coming back to the Martin Mystery feature, I should say that, Martin, off late has become one of the promising characters among those which were introduced by Muthu/Lion in the last decade. He himself makes a comeback in Muthu Comics, after nearly 2 years.  Since, this is the first time we are covering a Martin story on Comicology, here is a brief about this comics franchise.

Alfredo Castelli

Martin Mystery (or Martin Mystère) is an Italian Comic Series, which was created by writer Alfredo Castelli and artist Giancarlo Alessandrini.  It was first published in the famous Italian Comics Magazine, Sergio Bonelli Editore, in 1982.  Publishers Sergio is a legendary Comics publishing company from Italy, which has some of the famous Comic characters introduced by Lion/Muthu Comics Editor S.Vijayan, including Diabolik, Tex Willer and Nick Raider (christened as Detective Robin in Muthu Comics).

Giancarlo Alessandrini

Have a look at their Official Website to see their vast list of Comics characters

Castelli originally conceived the concept of a New York based explorer in 1978, named Allan Quatermain (named after another famous fictional adventurer), in the weekly magazine Supergulp.  It was the lead character of the magazine from 1978 to 1981, before it closed shops.  Castelli then suggested this idea to Bonelli, which subsequently was approved, and renamed as Martin Mystery thereafter.  Castelli roped in Alessandrini, with whom he worked earlier in the Italian edition of Cosmopolitan, to design the character and draw the stories. In April of 1982, Martin Mysterty (or Mystère) was born, and Alessandrini went on to produce all the covers and many of the specials.

The original character Allan Quatermain, on which Castelli initially developed the concept, is much famous, as he was the lead character in King Solomon's Mines novel.  Many writers adopted this character to their works, quite famously Alan Moore adopted it in his The League of Extraordinary Gentleman, which was later filmed in 2003, with Sean Connery reprising the role.

MartinComing back to our hero, Martin Mystery is said to be the forerunner in Italian Comics, which revolutionized the usage of modern and complex themes, over the traditional adventures type.  Martin is a man of many professions, ranging from Historian, Archaeologist, Anthropologist, Adventurer, Writer, TV producer and collector of Rare objects.

With this kind of passion, the author has a wide array of stories and plot, in which he could wove Martin around. 

Thus, you get to see Martin adventuring his way into some of the famous legends, like who really built Stonehenge (Muthu #304), the identity of the Santa Clause, the man behind the Iron Mask, and also has met King Arthur.  These wide array of adventures combined with a gripping storyline, is what makes Martin Mystery stand out from the other regular comic characters.  Armed with a Unique Ray Gun, he is partnered in his adventures by his confident Java, who himself is a strange Neanderthal man from a hidden kingdom in Mongolian mountains.

Muthu 310 Comics Time I remember those initial days, when Mr.Vijayan introduced the character with back-to-back titles, in Muthu #292:Amaanushya Alaivarisai (அமானுஷ்ய அலைவரிசை) and Muthu #293: Sarithirathai Saagadippom (சரித்திரத்தை சாகடிப்போம்) in 2003. The backlash he received from the regular fans of Cowboy storylines, prompted him to shelve his ideas for nearly 3 years, before he brought back the series again in 2006, with Muthu #303: Pezhayil Oru Vaal (பேழையில் ஒரு வாள்) and #304: Kaalathirkoru Baalam (காலத்திற்கொரு பாலம்).

He literally pleaded with readers in his Editorials to try and observe the new trend, and switch over from the traditional and most liked Cowboy stories. That showed the confidence he bestowed upon the series, and I am thankful for him to have shown the doors to a completely new genre.

There are over 300 monthly titles of Martin Mystery which is available with the original publisher, so Vijayan has tapped onto a market which he could very well print for eons to come.  But, as "Muthufan" Dhayalan pointed out in his comment, it is very clear that Vijayan has so far printed and advertised only the English Versions released by Dark Horse Comics, in 1998-99, serialized as 1 to 6.  You could see a comparison of that at the end of this post.

For the others who still despise the character, my sincere advise is to read the instalments again, and you will see how advanced the thinking of the creator is, who was able to imagine Sci-Fi fantasies even during the early 80's.  Cartoon Network used to feature an animated series of Martin Mystery, which is loosely based on Martin Mystery Comics, Eventhough Martin is depicted in that as a Teenager.

This Martin Mystery extravaganza, is themed around the real-life mystery surrounding the construction Sagrada Família and its architect Antoni Gaudi.  For the starters, the construction of this Catholic Church was started in 1882 and it is still unfinished.  The story starts with Martin's villa which is being refurnished.  Disturbed by his probing interventions to work, his companion Diana devises a plan to keep him occupied with a false note.  But, little does she know that her false note really turns out to be related to a mystery surrounding Sagrada Familia, which takes Martin to Barcelona to explore and find the facts about the incidents surrounding it. 

What we see next is a whirlwind tour back and forth from the past to present, where the plot takes it root from the pre-Christianity era, and the other religions and beliefs, and even touches the Chemical Explorations, which were termed as Black-Magic then.   The creator's unique knack of basing his storyline and plot with the real history interlaced, is evident throughout the story.  Overall, the readers are in for a big treat, and is surely another Martin Mystery classic.

Two of the glimpses from the storyline, where I could relate myself, are:

1. When Martin goes over rearranging his collections, and Diana jokes around with Java on his interest and passion towards those artefacts.  This is what happens at my home, whenever I try to rearrange my Comics/Graphic Novels collection.  My home people are the one who take the role of Java and Diana in real-life.  But then, I don't blame them; Different People, Different Perceptions.

2. When Diana, in order to get rid of Martin's interventions in renovation work, gets down to create a false document on his computer, which she intends to make it written by Martin in 1987.  She achieves it by changing the system date to 14 years back, which makes Martin to fall in the trap, when he verifies the authenticity of the write-up.  In our real life, Many of times people related to Muthu 310 - Buck Ryan - Norungiya Naanal MarmamComputers, adopt this strategy to make their documents relate to a past date, including myself.  But the punch is at the end of the Martin issue, when he reveals to Diana that he was aware of her supposed work all-along, in typical Martin style.

Editor Vijayan, had mentioned that the Story has to be read twice for understanding the plot, but I traditionally have a practice of reading through panels twice for observing the dialogues and relating it to the art panels, so I was able to understand the plot first-up.  But, even then, I couldn't stop myself from reading the story again, which is one of the mysterious plots I have read in a Comics format for a very long time.

Enjoy the cover scans, Editors Comics-Time, and a preview of the next Muthu Comics edition, which also features a comeback hero Detective Julian.  Also as a bonus, are the XIII Teaser Advertisement, with the back-cover featuring the Garfield like Mr. Meow (Original: Mowser - The Priceless Puss).

Lion Comics's XIII Teaser Mowser (Mr. மியாவ்) (BackCover)
Muthu 310 next2 Muthu 310 c2

Here is the Back-list of all Muthu Comics and Lion Comics which featured the Martin Mystery series. I have also provided the respective original cover scans and details. Courtesy, where they are still available for back-order.

Muthu #292 - Sep'03
அமானுஷ்ய அலைவரிசை

Muthu 292 c1
Muthu #293 - Oct '03
சரித்திரத்தை சாகடிப்போம்

Muthu 293 c1
Muthu #303 - Apr '06
பேழையில் ஒரு வாள்

Muthu 303 c1
Muthu #304 - Jul '06
காலத்திற்கொரு பாலம்

Muthu 304 c1_v2
Original: Dark Horse
Martin Mystery # 4 of 6

Original: Dark Horse
Martin Mystery # 1 of 6

Original: Dark Horse
Martin Mystery # 2 of 6

Original: Dark Horse
Martin Mystery # 3 of 6

Lion #195 - Jolly Special
May '06
- பழி வாங்கும் "ரா"

Lion 195 - RAA
Original: Dark Horse
Martin Mystery # 5 of 6

Muthu #310 - Oct '08
பொன்னில் ஒரு பிணம்

Muthu 310 c1
Original: Dark Horse
Martin Mystery # 6 of 6


As you could see Editor Vijayan has maintained an order in the series, except the Muthu's first Martin issue, which was originally #4 of the series.  All of these Lion/Muthu Editions are still available with Prakash Publishers, as listed in their backorder list. So grab them before they run out of stock.

One another hallmark of Prakash Publishers, is that the amount of cover art rework they do on the comics they release, even though they had a freehand in choosing the original ones. The cover-arts are improved with better coloring and even some minute modifications, like  the removal of controversial Swastika symbol in Muthu #303, and lately the addition of the Golden Carcass in Muthu #310 (which almost made me to construe this as the new title out from the English series, when I was first searching for the Original cover scan to accompany this blog post.  Thanks to Muthufan and his prying eyes, for pointing me to the website again).

The other website mentioned by Muthufan (, is the Official website of Martin Mystery's creator, Alfredo Castelli.  but predominantly in his native language.

Muthufan pointed out in his comment that there is only one more English edition pending to be released by Prakash Publishers.  But, as you would have seen from the list that even that has been released as part of Lion #195 Jolly Special, as Pazhi Vaangum Raa, which was then overshadowed by the other prolific stars, so no wonder it was missed out.  Also the popularity of Martin Mystery prompted Editor to ignore him on the cover-arts, thus we were missed out from seeing the reworked cover-art from #5 of the original series.

Now that Editor Vijayan has wiped-off the English Series from his tray, let's see whether he will tap onto the original Italian versions.  The series is promising enough for him to take up that job. But that depends on the plans he has over Lion/Muthu Comics for the future. Let's stay Optimistic, even though the absence of Martin future story advertisements over the years is a worrying factor.

Aug 9, 2008

Lion Comics #204 - Tex Willer | Aug '08

Prakash Publishers | Price: INR 10 | Pages: 116 | B/W | Size: B6 | Tamil | Laminated/HardCover

After a long time we have back-to-back releases from Prakash Publishers. As promised in last month, Lion #204 surprisingly has landed in the hands of the readers in time. The last time this happened in Lion Comics, was way back in 2005, when Lion #189 and Lion #190, were released on Dec '04 and Jan '05

Lion 204 c1
Kaatril Karaintha Kazhugu
[Vanishing Eagle]
Part 2 of 3:
(காற்றில் கரைந்த கழுகு)

Tex Willer stars in the story titled "Kaatril Karaintha Kazhugu" (காற்றில் கரைந்த கழுகு) , 'Vanishing Eagle'. 

It's the 2nd Part to the 3 Part Series, which started with Lion #203.

It's the second part to the three part series written by Caludio Nizzi and drawn by Fabio Civitelli. Coverart again is inspired by its original counterpart, again drawn by Caludio Villa, which has been revamped by our own Lion Comics artist, as usual.

Tex Willer continues his struggle, escaping from certain death.  He saves a White family by getting into a hand-combat with break-away Navajo group, despite not in a shape to do it, and yet comes out winner with his intellect. 

On the other hand, Carson and Kit go in search for Tex Willer, as they come to know of his supposed death news.

The story is nicely setup for the concluding part, with Carson & Co. zeroing in on the master-brain behind the chaos.

As per the Editor's Hotline, the next part Yemanin Yellayil, 'At the Footstep of the Demon', the 3rd concluding part to this mini series, will be available sooner.  So, we can expect the next release in the coming months.

A preview for that is featured in the back-cover.  It's interesting to see our editor utilizing the back-cover to feature the next issue, as it gives a completeness for those who cherish collecting them.

Editor has previewed a Line-up consisting, long- forgotten Agent Corrigan, the evergreen Chick Bill & Co. as the future issues. 

Due to the space constraints, we couldn't get a preview of those titles.  Singathin Siru Vayadhil (சிங்கத்தின் சிறு வயதில்), Editors own Flashback, also gets missed out due to this reason.

And for those who would like their name to be featured in the upcoming issue, you have a golden chance by booking in advance the XIII Special, as the list of those Early-Birds will be featured in the next Lion Comics edition.

Italian Original: Tex No.476
L'uomo venuto dal fiume
(The Man who came from the River
Jun 2000

Enjoy the Covers, Hotline and a preview of the next issue. As usual, please do leave your comments in the section below.

Lion 204 Hotline Lion 204 c2

Jul 18, 2008

Muthu Comics #309 - Nick Raider | Jul '08

Prakash Publishers | Price: INR 10 | Pages: 100 | B/W | Size: B6 | Tamil | Laminated/HardCover 

Muthu 309 c1

Muthu #309: Sithiramum Kolluthadi
(சித்திரமும் கொல்லுதடி)

[The Picture that Kills]

Muthu #309 featuring Nick Raider, aka., Detective Robin (as he is christened in Tamil Comics), titled "Sithiram Kolluthadi" (சித்திரமும் கொல்லுதடி) has closely followed the Lion release this month, which is an encouraging sign from the Prakash Publishers.

Nick Raider Stories are known for their plot-work, coupled with eye-catching artwork.  This issue doesn't disappoint us on that account.  Mr. Vijayan should be credited for choosing the title for the stories, which he weaves around the main plot of the storyline.

The story revolves around the murder of a Prom-Queen, and the mysteries surrounding it.   Nick and his partner gets down in finding the real killer, on the way interrogating different persons involved with the life of the deceased, and their link to the incident.  With the help of the Physically challenged kid next door, and his extraordinary skill in drawing the future, Nick successfully nabs the culprit.  As usual, the killer at the end turns out to be an unexpected person, as it is common on the Nick Raider / Detective Robin stories.

The exchanges of Nick and his ever-angry chief sums up the humour part to the storyline.

In Comics Time Editor acknowledges that the last edition of Muthu #308, indeed carried the Old Cover Art of Johny Nero, despite the issue featuring the John Steel exploits.  Remember that you read about it first on Comicology. :)

The next Muthu Edition will see the back of Martin Mystery.  I always liked the science and magic mixed story plots of his, something unique among the other stars.  A Visual treat to one's imagination.  That makes "Ponnil Oru Pinam", an eagerly awaited edition.

Back Cover carries the Teaser to XIII Special, which should take the accolades for the longest thought project ever made by Prakash Publishers. 

Hopefully that should be out by the end of this year.

Editor's ComicsTime
Muthu 309 Comics Time

Muthu's Next Issue Lion's XIII Special Teaser

Jul 2, 2008

Lion Comics #203 - Tex Willer | Jul '08

Prakash Publishers | Price: INR 10 | Pages: 120 | B/W | Size: B6 | Tamil | Laminated/HardCover

Lion 203 c1
Maranathin Munnodi

(மரணத்தின் முன்னோடி)
[The Omen] : Part 1 of 3

Lion Comics Issue #203 finally gets released, nearly 6 months after its last issue. As advertised in the last issue, it features the start to a 3 part Tex Willer Series, titled "Maranthin Munnodi" (மரணத்தின் முன்னோடி), "The Omen".

It may look like a long time since Tex Willer last featured in Lion Comics, which was in fact the same month last year, but thanks to Prakash Publishers ever famous "Procrastination", we have received only two issues between them.

In the Hotline, the Editor S.Vijayan coins a new idea of getting away with the monthly releases (as if it ever existed), and provides an alternative suggestion of releasing a set of books every 3 months.  I don't know how many takers would be there for this idea.  But the way their distribution cycle goes, I am not too optimistic for them to keep up their promise. 

Especially, considering that many subscribers and non-subscribers are wary of receiving their titles without any postal loss, unless they strengthen their distribution, possibly by courier, and get away with their delay, I don't see this initiative succeeding to a great level.

Coming back to this month edition, it's a Tex Willer series originally written by Caludio Nizzi and drawn by Fabio Civitelli, who has a different contemporary style from the earlier artists, glimpses of which you could see all over the series.

The Cover-art is inspired by the Original of Tex's Italian Series, which was drawn by Caludio Villa.  Mr. Vijayan's trusted artist, has done a fabulous work in bringing the colours to a more vibrant style for our local version.  Compare the covers and see it for yourself.

As of the plot, it circles around a gripping storyline, where Tex & Co battle time and will to prevent a potential war between the Navajo's and US Military forces.  It's a clash between Emotions and Egos of Individuals between both groups, for personal glory, with Tex and his friends trying hard to clear out the cloud between the warring parties.  The story is interestingly setup at the end, with US Military at the doorsteps of Navajo territory, and that makes us to wait for the next part eagerly.

As noted in the Editor's Hotline, the release of XIII Special has been now pushed further back to Jan 2009. Only our beloved editor, in the entire publishing industry could think that their readers would get along with announcements materializing after more than a year.  He has to thank his comic fans for possessing this extraordinary patience not to be seen anywhere else.

Editor's Hotline
Lion 203 Hotline
Italian Original: Tex No.475 : Il Presagio (The Omen) : May 2000

The Only good news we hear from this release is that the next 2 parts of Tex Willer Series is also ready, and would be published soon. Lion #204 would be "Kaatril Karaintha Kazhugu" (காற்றில் கரைந்த கழுகு), 'Vanishing Eagle'.

By the way did anyone notice that site which was pending renewal for long by Prakash Publishers, now seems to have been bought over by some other franchise?  Pity that Mr.Vijayan, has lost the only Official presence of Lion Comics on the Net too.

As per the norm we get to see the upcoming issue (this time in the Back Cover), and a XIII Special teaser.

Lion's XIII Special Teaser
Lion 203 next
Lion's Next Issue: Kaatril Karaintha Kazhugu
Lion 203 c2

Aug 2, 2007

Lion Comics #200 - Cowboy Special | Jul '07

Prakash Publishers | Price: INR 100 | Pages: 388 (A4 in B/W) + 16 (B6 in Color) | Tamil | Laminated/HardCover

The long awaited Lion Comics Cowboy Special was released on July '07, also marking the Lion #200 landmark issue. This special issue marks the third time a Lion Comics edition was priced at INR 100/-, and the first time a special issue was fully devoted to the Wild-West Heroes. Witness the Front and Back Covers of Lion #200, which is a double bonanza with wonderfully coloured artwork.

Lion #200: Cowboy Special Cover-1Lion 200 c1

Even though, they are inspired by the originals (have a look at them at the end of the post), the fact remains that the cover artist for Lion/Muthu editions, has an uncanny knack of picking up the right colours to bring pictures into life. Especially, the Tex Cover Art.  I don't remember seeing a cover this quality in recent times with either Lion or Muthu.

There are 5 Cowboy stories in this edition.

1. Thalaiku Oru Vilai (தலைக்கு ஒரு விலை)- Lucky Luke
2. Panikadal Padalam (பனிகடல் படலம்)- Tex Willer
3. Paraloga Paanam (பரலோக பானம்)- Cisco Kid
4. Kaadhalika Neramillai (காதலிக்க நேரமில்லை)- Steve
5. Ilamayil Kol (இளமையில் கொல்) - Captain Tiger (Blueberry)

And there is a surprise guest appearance of Irumbu Kai Maayavi (Steel Claw), in Minsaara Thirudargal (மின்சார திருடர்கள்).   And if that is not enough, Irumbu Manidhan Archie's Joo Joo Padalam (ஜூ ஜூ படலம்) also is given as 16 page supplement.

Even though both Maayavi and Archie's were small adventures, there is no more pleasure than seeing your all time favourites in new stories.  Don’t they ?  In total there are 7 Stories in Cowboy Special, thus maintaining the same number of stories in all INR 100 special editions, released so far.

Lion #200: Cowboy Special Cover-2Lion 200 c2

Talking about stories, Undoubtedly Lucky Luke's Thalaiku Oru Vilai was the star attraction in CowBoy Special. I don't remember reading a Lucky Luke story this hilarious in recent times. The Bounty Hunters were pictured in the most funny way.

Second should be no other than our Tex Willer in Paniyil Oru Padalam. Different Showdown of Snowy scenario, from the traditional heat waves of Texas, and new artwork and the twist filled storylines are the perfect plot.  Surely, another Tex Willer Classic.

Tiger (Blueberry) storyline wasn't that impressive compared to his old saga's. But it is understandable since at this time in his life, he was none known than a young rooky.  Before the release, myself and fellow comickers were debating on how our Editor would write down the scene where Mike finds the name of Blueberry by looking at the flowers nearby, since Muthu had already christened him as Captain Tiger.

Editor finally found a way to reveal the truth, and yet to justify his naming and promotion.  Way to go Sir.

Other two cowboy stories didn't make much good showing.  It looks Steve and Cisco Kid don't impress much as they used to do in old days. Chick Bill could have been a good addition instead of all of them, but obviously Editor would have liked to have as many stories so as to boost up the sales of this special edition, and to also be the first to publish all stories of young Blueberry, before Iceberg (who were about to release them).  Killing the Competition, in literal terms.

Overall, a best extravaganza, even though this is not up to the mark as the Last two INR 100 Special editions. Nevertheless, a landmark issue of Lion Comics.

And, what's more there is a blockbuster announcement of our long pending XIII edition, which is now scheduled for release on 2008 (tactically dated -month, thus allowing our editor a time period from January to December, poor us). Take a look at the teasers for the Mega-Issue priced at INR 200. Go ahead and register if you want own a piece of the history in making.

Lion XIII Special Advertisement-1Lion 200 next1 Lion XIII Special Advertisement-2Lion 200 next2

And as per the tradition we get to see a preview of the upcoming Lion titles.

Have a look at this, while the Lucky Luke's next action adventure is great to hear, does the second one ring any bells. Well, this was the original title scheduled to be released as Muthu #300, which was announced way back in Muthu #298, on Jan 2005, Nearly 2 and half years back. Now, it is scheduled to be released on Lion, a more suitable brand for the Sci-Fi storyline which it boasts. Makes for a nice little wait.

But before that, we have our next lion featuring Modesty Blaise on our 23rd Annual Edition. But, for that to happen it should have got released on July, and we are on August, and yet no signs for that yet.

TRIVIA: Talking about Annual Editions, can anyone say when were the only two times, when we didn't have our regular Annual Edition of Lion Comics?

If you know the answer, leave them in your comments below.

Lion Issues Coming SoonLion 200 next3

Update (11/08) - The Originals:

Tex No.415: Delitto nel porto (Crime in the Port)
Tex Tre Stelle (Tex Three Stars) : Sep 1998

Tutto Tex (All Tex) : Oct 2005
Writer: Claudio Nizzi | Artist: Fabio Civitelli
Cover Art: Claudio Villa
Lieutenant Blueberry No.22
Le bout de la piste (1986)

The End of the Trail (1990)
Writer : Jean-Michel Charlier | Artist : Jean Giraud


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