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

Jul 1, 2008

CineBook - Lucky Luke #1-10 | 2008

West Land | Price: INR 195 | Color | Pages: 50 | Size: A4 | Laminated/HardCover

The volume of CineBook releases in India by Westland makes it mandatory that I cover there releases in logical groups, and first-up on that list is our favourite Lucky Luke. 

There are no introductions needed for Lucky Luke in India, thanks to Tara Press, who launched a 5 issue set last year, which was covered in detail here at Comicology, along with the respective creator details.  While the Southern Indian Comics Readers are more familiar to the Lucky Luke titles through the Tamil Language Comics giant Lion Comics, which has published Lucky Luke titles for decades, though occasionally.

But, CineBook is the first publisher which has gone on printing Lucky Luke Series in an orderly and regular fashion, and that gave us a bunch of Lucky Luke titles at one shot.  While they are cover-priced at $11.95, they have been brought to sale in India, at a bargain price of INR 195/- by the Westland Publishers (subsidiary of Landmark Store Chain).  Seems they have taken the leaf out of the Tara Press and Euro Books pricing policy to get to the masses.  While the paper quality is not as thick as it was with Tara Press Lucky Luke Editions, they are nonetheless in quality either on prints or the package.

Lucky Luke #1: Billy the Kid Lucky Luke #2: Ghost Town
Lucky Luke 01 Lucky Luke 02
Lucky Luke #3: Dalton City Lucky Luke #5: In the Shadow of the Derricks
Lucky Luke 03 Lucky Luke 05
Lucky Luke #7: Barbed Wire on the Prairie Lucky Luke #8: Calamity Jane
Lucky Luke 07 Lucky Luke 08
Lucky Luke #9: Billy the Kid Lucky Luke #10: Tortillas for the Daltons
Lucky Luke 09 Lucky Luke 10

The Missing Pieces 4: Jesse James and 6: Ma Dalton, have already been released in India by Tara Press, which shows that Westland have taken enough care of not distributing those titles for which rights are held by Tara Press in India.  There were only 5 titles published every by Tara Press, and they promised more, but yet to release any more from their brand.

The future titles which have been advertised by CineBook are:

Lucky Luke 11: Western Circus : Jun '08
Lucky Luke 12: The Rivals of Painful Gulch : Aug '08
Lucky Luke 13: The Tenderfoot : Oct '08
Lucky Luke 14: The Dashing White CowBoy : Dec '08

Lucky Luke Future Titles

3 out of the 4 Issues advertised, have already been printed in India by Tara Press, so it means that we could only be receiving Issue #12: "The Rivals of Painful Gulch in India", through Westland, if they continue to release the CineBook back titles in India, which looks highly probable (we could take the inspiration from the Last Page Ad below). 

Lucky Luke Coming Soon Ad

UPDATE (06/09): There are some new Lucky Luke titles released as part of CineBook’s latest 2009 batch in India. For a list of them, refer to the CineBook 2009 batch list over here.

Jun 10, 2008

CineBook - Backlist Titles | 2008

Marvel Super Heroes DC Super Heroes Indian Comics/Graphic Novels industry has traditionally been dominated by Western genre of Super Hero Comics from the stable of US based Marvel & DC.  The Supermans, Batmans, Spidermans have generated such euphoria in the country over the years that many publishers attempted to bring these titles over the years, with varying degree of success. 

Gotham Comics, for instance, have tried at least thrice so far to have a continuous run, with mixed success.  Their experiment, highlights that the volume of releases, doesn’t guarantee good response among comics enthusiasts, or comikers, as we term them over here at Comicology.

But Graphic Novels aren't only limited to the Golden, Silver, and Bronze Ages of Comics in US alone. There is much more to it, from the other side of the world. While the Superheroes dominated the Comics Biz in the US, a new kind of Comics and Story Art form originated from France & Belgium, starting the Franco-Belgian Comics revolution.  There were many famous characters which came out of this famed line-up, much famous of them and known to Indian Comic Fans with their direct publishing are: Tin-Tin, and Asterix.  But then again, they aren't the only ones available, as it is only a window to the wonderful world of Franco-Belgian Golden Era.

There are famous titles like: Lucky Luke, Biggles, Blueberry, etc. which by and large have been inaccessible to Indian Comic Fans.  Some Southern Indian Publishers like Lion Comics & Muthu Comics have published some of these titles, but they aren't regular and mainstream (as they are only in one southern Indian language).

CineBook - The 9th Art Publisher LogoWell, we finally have some publishing company who have set about to deliver these wonderful titles to English Speaking Countries.  CineBook, a UK based publishers, who call themselves as "The 9th Art Publishers", have come up with a vast array of titles from the Franco-Belgian Genre, translated into English.

Westland Distributors, a Subsidiary of Landmark Multi-Store Chains, partly owned by Tata Group, (read the media briefing about this venture here) have brought these titles at a bargain price to Indian Comic Fans.

The Surprising fact with the CineBook new releases, is that they contains releases dated as new as May 2008, and are available in India for a price as minimum as Rs.195 (an equivalent of little around $5, while they are originally priced as high as $12).  The company does seem to be going great guns with monthly releases (refer, and if the Low Pricing is the marketing strategy to spawn the English Speaking Countries, then it is a master strategy.

For any sales queries you may contact: Westland Books Pvt. Ltd., Tel: 044 42080417/18; Fax: 044 26642794; email:  Thanks to Red for digging up the info, through CBO’s Terry Hooper.

Here is the complete list of CineBook comics available in India:
The Hyperlinks on the series title, will lead to the exclusive review pages for each of them at Comicology

Lucky LukeLucky Luke
INR 195 | Morris & Goscinny | 8 Titles

# 01: Billy the Kid
# 02: Ghost Town
# 03: Dalton City
# 05: In the Shadow of Derricks
# 07: Barbed Wire on the Praire
# 08: Calamity Jane
# 09: The Wagon Train
# 10: Tortilla for the Daltons

CineBook - The 9th Art PublisherThe Rugger Boys
INR 195 | Beka & Poupard | 2 Titles

# 01: Why Are We Here Again
# 02: A Spoonful of Style

BigglesBiggles Recounts
INR 195 | Various Artists | 2 Titles

# 01: The Falklands War
# 02: Battle of Britain

INR 195 | Groot & Macherot | 5 Titles

# 01: My Dear Wilkinson
# 02: The Laughing Thief
# 03: 7 Days to Die
# 04: Black Moon
# 05: Jade

Yakari Yakari
INR 195 | Job & Derib | 3 Titles

# 03: Yakari and the Beavers
# 04: Yakari and the Grizzly
# 05: Yakari and the Stranger

INR 195 | Clarke & Gilson | 2 Titles  

# 01: Hocus Pocus
# 02: Halloween

INR 195 | Gieter | 2 Titles

# 01: The Ramases Revenge
# 02: Imhotep's Transformation

INR 195 | Zidrou & Godi | 2 Titles

# 01: King of the Dunces
# 02: In the Corner

TsunoYoko Tsuno
INR 195 | Leloup | 2 Titles

# 01: On the Edge of Life
# 02: Time of Spiral

Green ManorGreen Manor
INR 195 | Vehlmann & Bodart | 1 Title

# 01: Assasins & Gentlemen 

Scared to DeathScared to Death
INR 195 | Mauricet & Vanholme | 1 Title

# 01: The Vampire from the Marshes

MortimerBlake & Mortimer
INR 250 | Jacobs | 3 Titles

# 01: The Yellow M
# 02: The Mystery of Great Pyramid Part 1
# 03: The Mystery of Great Pyramid Part 2

Thorgal Thorgal
INR 350 | Hamme & Rosinski | 3 Titles

# 01: Child of the Stars
# 02: Three Elders of Aran
# 03: Beyond the Shadows

WinchLargo Winch
INR 350 | Hamme & Francq | 1 Title

#01: The Heir

INR 350 | Desberg & Vrancken | 1 Title

#01: Taxing Trails

MargotQueen Margot
INR 250 | Cadic & Derenne | 2 Titles

# 01: The Age of Innocence
# 02: The Bloody Wedding

TussaudFascinating Madame Tussaud
INR 350 | Duchâteau & Follet | One Shot Title

By referring to the CineBook website, it looks that only one series is not released by CineBook as part of their Backlist issues.  That was a series named The Wind in the Willows, which seems to have been published in UK with a limited run.

And what’s more, they seem to be going great guns with the following series scheduled for 2008 & beyond.


by Tabari & Goscinny

by Cauvin & Lambil
by Cauvin & Laudec

by Leo

by Renard & Jigounov
ScorpionThe Scorpion
by Desberg & Marini
LadySLady S
by Hamme & Aymond

by F.Bergése 
Much of the Biggles series by Bergese and others have been published by Euro Books India in 2007. Read more about them here.

So, we are in for a lot more of Franco-Belgian Era, then we ever hoped for. I am much more interested in Iznogoud and Van Hamme titles, but won’t say NO for the others.

As it turns out that our old friend Terry Hooper has been covering the CineBook titles right from their inception on his ComicBitsOnline blog.  And he has some wonderful blog posts on the same with his reviews.  Here are some:

Enjoy those articles, and be back with Comicology, as we are going to go down reviewing each of these wonderful titles one by one here, in the months to come. Strap On, as we zoom past though the Wonderful world filled with Comics.

Apr 5, 2008

Muthu Comics #308 - John Steel | Apr '08

Prakash Publishers | Price: INR 10 | Pages: 108 | B/W | Size: B6 | Tamil | Laminated/HardCover

Prakash Publishers shook me out of my own imposed hibernation, and surprised me (and I believe everyone) with the next release of Muthu Comics #308, featuring John Steel in a mystery filled two stories titled "Kathai Sollum Kolaigal" (கதை சொல்லும் கொலைகள்) and "Karuppu Vattam" (கருப்பு வட்டம்).  It's been a long time I read two quality detective comics, and what more when you get classics from 1960's.  The Cover Art seems to have been shooed away from a Johny Nero story, I wonder aren't there any Original Cover arts for John Steel, which could have been more suitable for a first issue devoted completely to him?  But, the cover art is real stunning, so the oddity is acceptable.

Muthu #308 Cover
Muthu 308 c1
Comics Time (Editors Column)
Muthu 308 Comics Time 

This edition marks a come back for Muthu, with the last issue (#307) releasing way back in September last year.  Editor easily didn't even mention about the delay this time, as it seem to have become a tradition with the publication, and he seems to take pride in continuing the saga.  This time around, there are announcements for more than 5 detective stories in the line-up this year, but I am not hopeful enough for Mr. Vijayan keeping up the promise.

I am trying not to post any spoilers for this detective stories, so you could enjoy reading them at your leisure.  As always, here are the Comics-Time, and some Teasers for the forthcoming Muthu Comics issues.

Muthu 308 c2 Muthu Coming Soon-1Muthu Coming Soon-2

Jan 29, 2008

Lion Comics #202 - Lucky Luke | Jan '08

Prakash Publishers | Price: INR 10 | Pages: 68 | Color | Size: B6 | Tamil | Laminated/HardCover

Merke Oru Maamannar
(மேற்கே ஒரு மாமன்னர்)

Lion 202 c1

Lion Comics, another flagship brand of Prakash Publishers, makes it return with Issue #202 this month. 

Featuring our favorite cowboy Lucky Luke in "Merke Oru Maamannar" (மேற்கே ஒரு மாமன்னர்), Multi-color saga promises to be another classic Lucky Luke stories, where Lucky tries to save an American city from a puppet millionaire, calling himself as the King of USA. A hilarious tale for which the Man who shoots faster than his own Shadow, is known for.

Release of Lion Comics and Comics Classics from Prakash Publishers at the same month, shows a promising start to the new year for the legendary publishing house from South India.

The paper quality though is a worrying factor.  I don't remember a Lucky Luke issue being printed in a sub-standard paper for a long time.  That has discredited the usually stunning artwork in color. 

Seems, editor has used the same paper which is used for printing the black and white stories.

After witnessing the high quality Lucky Luke series released by Tara Press recently, this brings us back to the sub-standard at which Tamil Comics Industry still lingers at.  Hope it changes for better.

Lion 202 Hotline The Hotline of this edition touches upon the modern day threat to general media, the piracy. Editor Vijayan, has expressed his concerns over a reader who has found a way to make some big money by scanning and illegally selling our vintage Lion-Muthu issues.  Editor ends his hotline by requesting the other readers not to support these piracy, and reveals his plans to launch a legal action against the mischief-maker.

Piracy has been a hotly debated topic up recently, with publishers all over the world concerned about the industry as a whole affected by what's called as digital preservation and Free Internet, by those who are involved with scanning and distributing Comics through Internet.

But, rather than pin-pointing who is wrong, what matters is to find why do these problems arise.  For instance, what has caused this habit to spread over to the unfamiliar territory of Tamil Comics? where Comics reading habit is cherished and the select few who run business are considered to be scarce.

To that extent, Prakash Publishers and Mr. Vijayan have themselves to blame for this predicament.  Eventhough, time and again Editor reiterates that regional comics business is not that profitable one to continue uninterrupted, but the fact remains that it isn't a loss making business either.

By what I hear from the reliable sources, every comics issue printed by Prakash Publishers are made in a sizeable number, much bigger than the 10k which editor claims. Then what makes him not produce titles more regularly, when there is a clear fan-following for their comics and a wide spread interest towards seeing the new releases from the publication?

The fact remains, that much of it is due to the Editors interest towards his other businesses, like Printing and publishing newsprint's and textbooks, coupled with him being involved in importing and selling the Print machines in South India.  Obviously, the bucks made there are far superior and instant, then what's made of Comics publishing.  So Editor only releases a comic when he finds time to lighten up his old hobby, and the readers are left with uncertainty over the period releases.  This is what has resulted in the situation Prakash Publishers find themselves in.

Lion's Next Issue: Tex Willer 3 Part SagaLet's hope the moment of reality would make Mr. Vijayan to think of being more regular, thus avoiding the die-hard fans from diverting into other modes to keep alive their passion.

Lion 202 Back Cover: Lion XIII Special TeaserTo bring us back to the current happenings, as per the norm, we get to see a preview of upcoming 3 part Tex Willer Saga, which promises to be a sure hit.  Seeing the color advertisement, I wonder how it would be to see Tex Willer in full color. It may never happen, but no harm in living in a fantasy world :). 

The next big special featuring XIII is the other advertisement taking its share in the back cover.

As always would be eager to see your views about this post, and the Lion Comics edition we have received in it, through the comment section below. Adios Amigos!!

Jan 28, 2008

Comics Classics #22 - Steel Claw | The Spider | Jan '08

Prakash Publishers | Price: INR 10 | Total Pages: 244 (122+122) |B/W | Size: Pocket | Tamil | SoftCover

Hope, everyone had a fun-filled start to the new year.  2007 was one of the better years to the Indian Comics Industry, with seasoned campaigners like Gotham Comics reasserting their supremacy, and new entrants like Euro Books and Tara Press making their presence felt with some series of Graphic Novels never published before in India.  The New Year 2008 promises to live up to the expectations generated by these players.

The South Indian comics giant, Prakash Publishers seems to have taken a note from the other comics publishers, and have started the new year with a bang by releasing two of there own comics brands (Click here, for the Other).  The first is the Comics Classics #22, featuring the Irumbukkai Maayavi (இரும்புக்கை மாயாவி) aka Steel Claw starring "Naasa Alaigal", and The Spider starring "Ethanukku Etthan".  Two vintage stories from the past, republished in a pocket size format.

Naasa Alaigal (நாச அலைகள்)
CC 22 01
Ethanuku Etthan (எத்தனுக்கு எத்தன்)
CC 22 02

I recollect reading both of these stories when they were reprinted in the same format earlier.  Nevertheless, its good to see the Fleetway Publications erstwhile flagship heroes back in action.  Hope the old time readers would be able to share their first look experience of these stories from their childhood days.  For those who are new to these two European comic heroes, they could check their history through Wikipedia's, Spider & Steel Claw pages.

But, the latest edition doesn't seem to be the one which was advertised as Comics Classics #22 back in August '07.  If you had missed the post, here it is.  Don't know what was the reason for the change, but it certainly showcases that, contrary to general perception, Editor Mr.S Vijayan seem to have a repository of releases - at least partially ready, but only reluctant to complete and release them on time.  I hope the new year gets them the expected results to be more regular with their prints.

While “googling” to collect few facts about this post, I stumbled upon an info that the majority of Spider titles were written by Jerry Siegel, the co-creator of Superman.  This was news to me, maybe our senior comics pals might know them already.

And before I close, as BN pointed out in his comment, with this release, Comics Classics makes it return after nearly two years. With my records it indicates that the last Comics Classics (#21) should have got published in mid of 2006, a correction from my earlier fact in the preview.


Labels Cloud