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 17, 2008

CineBook – Clifton #1-5 | 2008

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

Our first set review about CineBook’s Lucky Luke series is now followed by another Comic character, named Clifton, which is another product from the famed Franco-Belgian Genre.

The main character of this series is "Colonel Sir Harold Wilberforce Clifton", who is a former MI5 Agent, the UK Secret Service, and the plot revolves around his humorous exploits.  The character was originally created by Raymond Macherot in 1959, through the famous Tintin Comics Magazine.  The initial stories were penned and drawn by Macherot himself, until he was replaced by Turk and Bob De Groot  who took the series to stardom.  It had a regular run until 1995, when it was canceled.

Clifton #1: My Dear Wilkinson
ISBN: 1-905460-06-6 | Published: 2005
Clifton #2: The Laughing Thief
ISBN: 1-905460-07-4 | | Published: 2005
Cliffton 01

Turk & De Groot

Cliffton 02

Turk & De Groot

Clifton sports a complete English Gentlemen Attires, and most often seen with his trademark Smoking Pipe, and his trusty red MG T, which all mangles up in his adventures one way or other.  De Groot and Turk did exemplary work even on the minute details like the reaction of pet cats, the expressions on the character faces, the witty dialogues in between the frames, which all keeps you intrigued to the plot.  

There are around 20+ original editions of Clifton available, so Cinebook has tapped onto a long series, which will only be lengthened with the attempt by De Groot to reboot the series by launching two new editions post 2003.  Both of which are printed by Cinebook already, titled as Jade and Black Moon.

Clifton #3: 7 Days To Die
ISBN: 1-905460-08-2 | Published: 2006
Clifton #4: Black Moon
ISBN: 1-905460-30-4 | Published: 2007
Cliffton 03

Turk & De Groot

Cliffton 04

Roderigue & De Groot

The Print, Translation, and Packaging is in line with the Cinebook's Quality Standard, for which they are known for.  Overall, a must have for all the Franco-Belgian Comic Genre Fans. 

Clifton #5: Jade
ISBN: 1-905460-52-6 | Published: 2008
Clifton #5: BackCover
Lists all titles released by CineBook
Cliffton 05

Roderigue & De Groot

Cliffton 05 (Cover2)

Also features Advt. of Clifton #6

Min Lion #30 - Comedy Colonel (காமெடி கர்னல்) Eventhough Clifton is a new character to much of Indian Comics Fans, those who follow Lion/Muthu Comics from South India (publishes Euro-Franco Genre for Tamil Speaking States), would remember that they once published stories featuring Clifton, where he was christened "Comedy Colonel (காமெடி கர்னல்)". He was featured in one single issue, which was published under the Mini-Lion brand, in its issue #30, titled as Comedy Colonel.  The translation and Art was considered A-Class when it was released, but surprisingly since the cancellation of Mini Lion, it was never mentioned or featured again in their Lion brand, which brought back some famous stories which were earlier published in Mini Lion, like Chick Bill, and Lucky Luke.  That will remain a mystery.

But nevertheless, we have Cinebook to thank for bringing these titles to India, which makes us to eagerly look forward for the future titles featuring Clifton.

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

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.


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