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

Apr 17, 2009

Lee Falk’s Phantom-1: Origins of Ghost Who Walks

Superheroes Lineup One of my foremost thought while starting Comicology, was to base it as a definite place to cover all the comic characters who have appeared in every genres all through the evolution of Comics. It was a highly ambitious thought, but it was a dream too.

So, if you have been following the posts, I tried to base them on different genres and variety of publishers, to fulfil that dream. And I was thinking that I was doing a fair job so far on that account. But, the reality was about to strike.

Phantom Ring Recently, one of the new visitors to Comicology, asked me a Simple Question - ‘Why no articles about Phantom?’. It struck me, and made me ask myself, “why didn’t I think of mentioning about this legendary character so far at Comicology?”. The question made me travel back in time to my first Computer Class, back in school days.

We were all eager to experience our first encounter with a real Computer, but our Teacher had other ideas. “How many of you know Typewriting?”, He asked. After seeing the mum faces, he added “How do you expect to learn something which was invented a decade back, when you haven’t learnt the one invented centuries ago?”. There is no much difference between the question then and now.


In both cases, the fact which comes to fore is that we can’t talk or try to learn about something without exploring its roots. Just like when we talk about costumed superheroes and their impact on Comics on a whole, we can’t skip past the first-ever in their lineage, long before The Shadow, Superman, and the likes, the legendary Phantom.

The No-Show of Phantom on Comicology, could be attributed to many reasons, top of which is that there are no publications which are actively publishing Phantom in India, at present. But, does that really make you forget the legacy of Phantom. Oh No!. I for one, who was mesmerised by this comic character, right from my childhood, can’t think so at the least. So, let me try to make some amends with a series of exclusive posts on the Phantom, as a Tribute to the legendary creator, Lee Falk. I agree it’s ambitious project in its own rights, but let me make an attempt to do it with all its merits.

Lee FalkLee Falk & Pre-Television Era: Lee Falk was the pen name of Leon Harrison Gross, who was born on 28 Apr 1911, in St. Louis, Missouri, USA. His Birth year is still a debated concept, with some claiming it as 1905. But, historians through the years have accepted 1911 as the official birth year, by looking into past records, and the one also confirmed by Lee’s eldest daughter Valerie Falk Falbo. Lee was his nickname right from his childhood, but the reason as to why he chose Falk has his surname, is also not known much, even though his brother also, took the surname later.

Right from his school days Falk is known to have a likening towards writing, as he used contribute stories, articles and poems for his school and college newspapers. His extreme command over English, even let him dream to become an English Professor, something which he never pursued later. After completing the education, he started his career as a copywriter for a local advertising agency in early 1930’s.

The 1920s and 1930s, which is often referred as the pre-television era, saw an enormous amount of newspapers released worldwide. In New York city alone, there were two dozen thriving newspapers – The New York Times, Herald-Tribune, Post, Typical Comics Section (1961)News, Sun, The American, The Journal, and so on. So, it meant that these newspapers were increasingly looking to fill their content, and comic strips had become a norm for the same.

It was such a craze that they even dedicated 36 pages to it on Sundays, which was famously termed as Comics Section. This enormous need meant that these were also lucrative times for syndication companies, who were involved with providing comic strips, cartoons, and special features. These syndicates paved way for many great comic creators to come on the horizon in 1930s, which included legends like - Alex Raymond (Flash Gordon), Al Capp (Li’l Abner), Chester Gold (Dick Tracy), and Chick Young (Blondie).

MandrakeMagician So, it was only matter of time for Lee Falk, also to jump on the horizon, considering that he had the writing talent right from his school days. Along with Phil Davis, whom he met in his Advertising agency job, he went on to create his first comic strip, in form of ‘Mandrake the Magician’ in 1934, in an early age of 24. (We will look into Falk’s first comics character Mandrake, soon on an exclusive post at Comicology)

In the same year, Falk successfully negotiated a deal with King Features Syndicate, and the comic strip featuring an unlikely hero in the form of a magician, went on to become a huge hit, prompting the syndicate to ask Falk into creating another comic series for their line-up. In reply, Falk first proposed a concept featuring King Arthur and his famous knights, but King Features was reluctant to feature a medieval age series that time.

Phantom Closeup So, Falk then decided to alter his concept and changed it into mysterious, costumed crime-fighter, whom Falk decided to name as The Phantom, despite the fact that this name was already being used in pulp fiction stories, like Phantom Detective. The reason Falk termed for the same, was that he couldn’t find any other better name for the character he envisioned.

Phantom & His Early Secret Identity: The Original Idea of Falk, was to portray the character of The Phantom, as an secret identity to a Rich playboy by the name of Jimmy Wells. This is how the character eventually made its debut in “The Singh Brotherhood”, the first-ever Phantom Daily Strip on Feb 17, 1936.

First Phantom Daily Strip open withs DianaPhantom is Introduced to Readers in a few days

Phantom Saves Diana

Jimmy Wells  is introducedThe initial episodes, which were written and drawn by Falk himself, introduces Jimmy Wells and Diana Palmer as childhood friends.

He leaves enough clues for the readers to diffuse the link between the mysterious Phantom and neat-cloth Wells. But Falk took utmost care as to not reveal this openly in any of the strips.

Falk continued to draw Phantom for a couple of weeks from his debut, but then recruited artist Raymond Moore, who was then an assistant to Phil Davis in Mandrake strips, to don the Phantom artist role. But you could still see the style of Falk, as he continued to do the layout for the strip for several weeks, before handing over the complete artistic duties to Moore, deciding to concentrate his fledgling writing career, which had touched further medium like Theatres, and Novels.

Mid-way through the first Phantom comic strip adventure, The Singh Brotherhood, Falk decided that he would like to position Phantom away from a city background. Little did he know that at the time of this thinking, his original concept of running the daily strips for a couple of years, was about to be turned into a legendary character in the comics business.

The fact that he didn’t reveal Jim Wells, as the man behind Phantom’s mask, helped him to concentrate on rewriting the origin, which saw Phantom being moved the African jungles. The character of Jimmy Wells was about to be forgotten for ever.

Phantom's Origin being rewrittenPhantom’s Origin Reboots: Falk introduced a scene in the Sing Brotherhood mid-way, to support the Origin reboot, where the evil maniac Prince Achmed, who during a previous meeting with Phantom showed no fear, now is shown fearing the moment Phantom mouths the words “Oath of the Skull” and “Ghost who Walks”.

Phantom's 1st Letter Phantom's 2nd Letter Next, he went down justifying the presence of Phantom in the city, by calling it as a temporary stay, through the scenes, where the Chief of Police showcases the letters he claims to have been sent by Phantom, with a couple of years gap in between.

Now that he had rebooted the origin, he then explained in the following day’s strips, where Dr. James Dodd, explains his childhood stories having encountered Phantom 70 years back, only to be later ascertained him to have a legacy as old as 400 years. The seeds for a fascinating story was laid in fruition with these scenes of the first Phantom adventure.

Phantom and Devil Skull Cave By the time the Singh Brotherhood came to close, readers were left to witness the appearance of

> Devil - the Mountain wolf, which often accompanies Phantom in many of his missions as a trusted ally,

> The mysterious Skull Cave inside the deep jungle, the Home of Phantom, and

Guran and Pygmies> the unknown tribe of Bandar Pygmies, armed with Poisonous arrows, and among them, Phantom’s closest confidant Guran.

As the Singh Pirates story reaches its Climax, the readers get a glimpse of Phantom’s legacy, as 21st Phantom is shown explaining his origin, for the first time, to Diana Palmer, his lady-love.

First ever Phantom Sunday StripPhantom & his Legacy: The legacy dates back to 1525, in London. It was just 27 years since Vasco Da Gama had discovered the Water route to the India, and there were still many uncharted sea territories, tempting explorers and adventures.

A young noble, Sir Christopher Standish (which was later changed to Christopher Walker, the name which has remained ever-after, and said to have been born in 1516), charters on a ship down the Old Thames, in search of far more lands.  He is accompanied by his old father, Christopher Sr.. In later stories, the origin was rewritten, which said that the Christopher Jr. was the ship-boy (to make him look younger), and Christopher Standish/Walker. was the Captain of the ship.

After many months of hard-ship and adventures their ships gets attacked by Oriental Chinese pirates (which was later changed to Singh Brotherhood) somewhere in the Bay of Bengal. Christopher sees his old father slain before his eyes, but their misery is put to rest, as a typhoon strikes and destroys both the ships. Christopher the sole survivor of the ships, then manages to sail with a make-shift raft travelling weeks and weeks to reach a remote shore. Which is what later known to readers, as Bengala.

He is then saved by the Bandars, a secret tribe of Pygmies, who had never seen a white man before. Christopher later discovers the body of a pirate being washed ashore, wearing his fathers attire. He then takes an Oath on the Skull of the pirate that he and his descendants will fight the Singh in particular, and Crime in general. Pygmies had an Prophecy, which stated that a White from the seas will free them of slavery, and believed that it was Christopher himself. The one which Christopher did accomplish, in the process teaching Pygmies the art of Poisonous Arrows, and the entire tribe and the men from the jungle, began referring him as ‘The Phantom’.

21st Phantom Takes OverPhantom replaces Phantom The present Phantom is the 21st of that lineage, which was being passed on from generation to generation, to the eldest male of the family. Most of these change-over’s always happens when the current Phantom is mortally wounded, and he is shown breathing his last inside the Skull Cave, with the next Phantom at his side.

As this change-over happens in secrecy, the world outside sees and fears Phantom, as the single person who has wandered the world for all 400+ years, thus bringing him the famous nick-name “The Ghost Who Walks”. This centuries of fantasized living, earns Phantom a lot of Old saying or prophecies, one of which terms that anyone who sees the face of Phantom without mask, will suffer a terrible death. Something, which helps the Phantom to maintain his secrecy in in numerous battles.

One of the first Comic Books of Phantom featuring Complete Singh Brotherhood Daily Strips (1938)Phantom further reveals that they are bound by oath to not share the secrets of the Phantom, in order to make the people believe and uphold Phantom’s myth. The rule is exempted only to two people who will ever be close to Phantom: is supposed to be wife, and the son who is to carry the tradition. By this he indirectly proposes to Diana for a marriage, which Diana quickly accepts. No wonder that Phantom reveals that none of the Phantom were ever rejected. Doesn’t it sound great, only if this was true with all of us in reality :).

The Singh Brotherhood, the first-ever Phantom comic strip, ran until November 07, 1936, a total of 38 weeks, thus easily making it one of the longest comic strip adventures of Phantom, ever. By the end of the first adventure Falk had taken the legacy of Phantom to a great level among comic fans.

Lee Falk and His trusty Typewriter in 1940s The Making of Phantom: So, what caused Falk to change his original concept of New York playboy playing double life in secret as the Phantom? Falk remained evasive about the real reasons for the story changes, but it must surely have been inner instincts and his love of mythology, the epic (like Shakesphere’s), poetry and real life adventure’s.

He also confesses that he bought in some of the ideas of the Edgar Rice Burroughs’s Tarzan, which talks about a white-man of English origin living among the African natives, and learning their customs and mastery, by being one among them. But Falk had denied that he used the later Tarzan comic strips, to base his character, as he termed them as not the best adaptation to the legendary Tarzan novels. A fact I acknowledge to till date, after having witnessed many comics series, not being impressed of it so far.

Scandinavian Artist depiction of Lee Falk being inspired by Shakesphere and other Artists The Phantom had to has its roots placed somewhere else, which is more exotic and mysterious then the straight look cosmopolitan New York.  It took Falk more than 3 months into his daily strip to base his real origin change of Phantom. The result was what we described in Phantom’s Origins Reboots, earlier.

But that was not all, Falk was still not convinced with the origin stories, even after a couple of years into the Phantom Daily strip, as he went about changing them one by one slowly. As per his early stories, The first Phantom was English, as was the 21st Phantom, obviously. He also says that he was educated in Oxford, further claiming his English origins. There were references to Bay of Bengal in many places, meaning that the remote land he referred to was most likely India.

Phantom in Jungle He changed his English Origin to American, possibly to make him look close the American readers, which could have been a demand from King Syndicates. The Home base of the Phantom was also changed to Africa. Which is understood, as he earlier referred the place as Bengal (which was later changed further as Bengali), and was politically Incorrect. The reason, Bengal was actually state in India, and certainly does not have any African tribes living in there :).

Phantom with Sharks and Dolphins But then again Africa, was also not having all the animal species Falk had described on his Phantom comic strips, which was quickly pointed out by many fans. Falk decided to introduce a story in his daily strip, where he shown a ship carrying wide assortment of animals bound for an overseas zoo, being wrecked on the Bengali coast. Falk’s mastery in writing on show, in there, heavily adopting from the Noah’s Ark legend.

Phantom Pistols (1911) Even though, Falk envisioned 21st Phantom, and his predecessors as armed with guns and weapons, he never wanted to show them as a means to shoot for a kill, even the enemies.  Phantom generally uses his weapons, to disarm his enemies, or shock them during duals. Thus, a legend was born, unlike any of the costumed superheroes who were created during his time or later.

The legend also meant that unlike other caped crusaders of his time, Phantom was not linked to one generation, thus giving the writers the freedom to base their stories with either the current 21st Phantom in the modern era, or choose to feature stories on the earlier Phantoms, who are often shown walking or being part of the historical events in the past.

The earliest success to the series also owes much to the art of Ray Moore, who had a classic touch of drawing the Phantom strips, which to date remains the best example for defining the Phantom to all the later artists, till date. Phantom comic strip, grew from strength to strength, even managing to appear in few collected comic book formats, albeit a few. But, the series success eventually managed to land it on the first colored strip on Sunday newspapers starting from May 1939.

Batman Detective27But there was also another comic character which made its debut the same month and year, in the form of Detective Comic’s Batman.

What relations did Batman have with Phantom? What was the impact of Phantom Sunday Strips over the legacy of Phantom? Did Ray Moore continue to handle the artistic work for Phantom all the years single-handed?

Answers to them will be continued in our next review post of Phantom soon on Comicology:  Lee Falk’s Phantom–2: The Colored Years, and the Competition.

Apr 6, 2009

Mehta Comics #20 – Monster | Nov 1985

After the Celebrity Comics run-down, which enthralled the Comicologists, we are back with our main theme of Comics Review. And what we have for this post is another yesteryear classic review for Tamil Comic fans, as we debut Mehta Comics (மேத்தா காமிக்ஸ்) in the Blogosphere. 

Mehta Comics LogoLong time fans will remember that Mehta Comics was started in 1984, the very same year, when the much famous Lion Comics and yesteryear Rani Comics started their venture in Tamil Comics Industry.  Eventhough, I won’t rate Mehta Comics, with more seasoned performers like Lion & Rani, the fact remains that they had their fair share of quality titles, which captivated Tamil Comic fans for a couple of years when it had its continuous publishing run, totalling up to 30 issues. (They had numerous re-runs, all with reprints of these line-up time in and again, but for obvious reason they don’t count towards the main lot.)

Indrajal Comics Tamil Logo Muthu Comics Logo Until 1984, there were only two recognised players in the Tamil Comics arena.  The first being the venture backed up by the Times of India Group, erstwhile Indrajal Comics, with their regional edition in Tamil language.  The second was none other than our very own and the ever-green Muthu Comics.  History of Indrajal Comics is well known in Blog-O-Sphere. Ref. Comix Planet

On the other hand, Muthu Comics was started by M Soundrapandian, and initially had Mullai Thangarasan as its Editor.  In 1984, S Vijayan, the elder son of Soundrapandian, joined his father, and started working on launching his own dream project, in form of Lion Comics.  Around the same time, Thangarasan left Muthu Comics, leaving Mr.Soundrapandian himself donning the Editors role for Muthu Comics.

1984's Mehta Comics #3 with John Havoc Whatever may be the reason for his departure, it was very clear that Mr.Thangarasan wanted to give a cut-throat competition to his former employers, by coming up with his own title before the impending launch of Vijayan’s Lion Comics.  He found an able ally in form of Ashok Mehta of Mehta Publications, in the same Southern Indian city of Sivakasi. Together they launched Mehta Comics in July 1984, with Mullai Thangarasan returning to don the Editor role.

John Havoc Unlike its competitors Muthu & Lion, Mehta & Thangarasan decided to base their titles on a titular character, in the form of John Havoc; an estranged pilot who lost his license, due to an accident, and wants to win it back at any cost. 

In the process, he is manipulated by the the British Intelligence Agency ‘Q Branch’, who promise to get his license back, in return for his help in their secret missions. 

The missions meant that he had to fight the crime lords in different parts of the world, but he did it with the sole aim of regaining his license.  Much of the stories of John Havoc always ends with him walking away in disgust from the Q Branch authorities, who would find some reason or the other at the end of the story to convey him that they couldn’t restore his pilot license. Havoc even though knowing that they are just buying their time to retain him in their service, would still continue to let himself be played as a pawn, hoping that he attains his goal someday in the future.

Top Secret Library with John Havoc (c) Top Secret Album 1 featuring John Havoc (c) Havoc is another story arc from UK’s IPC Magazines Ltd, in their comics brand of Top Secret Picture Library.  Surprisingly, not much is known on the creator details for this wonderful story arc featuring John Havoc’s adventures.  The only references I could find on the web for the same were:.

1. British comics historian, Steve Holland’s Bear Alley comics post, and;

2. Fellow comics enthusiast Sunshines Weblog, from a fan’s account.

As much as like discussing John Havoc’s titles here at Comicology, it’s a long list, as other than Mehta Comics, he is said to have been featured in Muthu Comics as John Silver. I do have them in my collection, so can cross-reference it, once I get the reference to the original series, for a exclusive John Havoc post at Comicology.

But today’s post more importantly discusses about another Comic series, which was featured in limited issues in Mehta Comics, one of which was in in November 1985, priced at INR 2.  It was Mehta’s #20 Issue, by which they had changed their Comics title as Ashok Comics (they eventually changed to Mehta again). The first on the list, which is said to have covered the initial episodes of this series, is not in my collection, so I will add it later with this post, when I grab the same. (Thanks to Chezhi, for the reminder).

Mehta 20 Cover featuring MonsterThe Mehta #20 issue, was titled Iratha Bootham (இரத்த பூதம்), and it spoke about the life and troubles of a ill-fated living being, named Terry, who is cursed in this world to live with a defaced figure, and as a semi-minded powerhouse, much in the lines of the character made famous by Marvel’s Hulk persona.  The only difference being that while Hulk is an alter-ego, Terry was born with the god-cursed persona, to live a life of his own.

Kenny-Terry IntroThe disfigured and frightening physique, leads him to live a life away from the common men, lurking in the shadows and abandoned sites. But there was one person who loved him the most, his nephew and 12 year old Kenny. 

Kenny finds one day that Uncle Terry was kept locked up all his life, in the secluded place at their home.  He had just now killed Kenny’s father, who had been torturing him all along. But, despite these circumstances, Kenny understands that Terry has done them only in the act of defending himself, and also understands that he still is a small child at his mind and heart.  So, he decides to escape along with Terry, now his only living relation, to fly away from the crime scene.

Police start their Search for TerryThis Mehta Comics Monster issue starts with this scenario, where Kenny and his Uncle Terry flee from their home, in order to avoid a police patrol, who have come to know of the deaths caused by Terry, albeit unintentionally.

Terry's Intro SceneReaders get to witness the terrifying face of Terry, during this scene, and also there is a hint of his innocence, where he is shown to be unaware of the words "Dogs", even.  Highlighting the fact that the secluded life of his has made him unaware of any external lifestyle.

During their stay, through a newspaper, Kenny becomes aware of a Scotland based doctor who is said to have cured the over-tempered people from their violent ways. Kenny decides to make the journey to cure his beloved uncle.

Terry controlled by Kenny Terrys Incredible Power on Show Kenny and Terry escape the town by hiding in a load truck, and manage to get away from the following police patrol.

But, they are attacked by some goons, who try take advantage of them for a ransom, as their faces are now more known through a Police Vigilants on Run advertisement being continuously flashed on State Television Channels.

During their escapade, readers get to see the Incredible power of Terry, as at one stage he even manages to roll a police wagon over the mountain’s cliff, as they try to stop them from their search of a new life.

Kenny despite being wary of these violent activities of Terry, understands that he couldn’t do anything less, as the aggression was always started from the other end, and Terry just responds to shield them away from harms ways. He is determined to lead his Uncle to the Scotland based doctor, for a possible cure to his running rage.

Closing  ChapterPolice arrives at the SceneAll through these scenes we are able to witness the love shared between these unlikely duo, and Kenny somehow controls the anger and tempered Terry, at times.

In return Terry finds his lovable friend Kenny, as his only trusted ally, and silently follows on his quest to mend the ways of his beloved Uncle. 

This one shot title spanning 64 pages, finally ends with the police officials arriving at the scene, and wondering how many more casualties would this fearsome creature lay on their paths before they get him under long-hands of law.

Readers are left to wonder, what happens next, as the final scene closes.

Terry Coming Back ? Even though, in the end page Mehta Comics had promised that there will be more stories on escapade of Uncle Terry and Kenny.  They were never released, as far as my memory serves, and the abrupt ending of the story might have fused this title as a not so impressive one, for the first-time readers back then, which includes myself.

But recently I came to know about the original of this series, and after reading through it, I understood how good the whole storyline was which was shown in poor light by this venture of Mehta Comics. A clear lesson that, you shouldn’t zero in on the series, without having a dedicated mind to continue it for long. 

Eventhough, the translation was well within standards, an area for which Thangarasan was known for during his stint with Muthu Comics, the story was mishandled starting with the very title of the issue (Blood Demon, if translated in its entirety).

By which they had put a wrong image over the character of Uncle Terry, which was to have been shown with a proper limelight. The Coupled with the chasing scenes, and gore action, many would construe to think him as what the title suggested.

Well, one of the good thing out of the whole scenario, was that we were exposed to a wonderful series, the Original of which is now available for the aspiring readers. And it is certain to put our thinking's and presumptions to a back-burner, when we meet a physically deprived person next in our life.

The Original for this Mehta Comics title was a Weekly series called Monster which debuted in the British Horror Comics Monster LogoScream! in its first edition, released on March 24, 1984.  Much like the Thirteenth Floor series reviewed at Comicology, this was also a weekly series which ran for 15 episodes in Scream.  The story was abruptly ended, with the closure of Scream magazine on 30 June 1984, which was mainly due to a strike at the parent company IPC Media (International Publishing Company).

Scream was then merged with Eagle.  Later, Monster along with Thirteenth Floor became the only series from Scream, which began their weekly run in Eagle magazine.  Monster was continuously featured then on weekly episode which spanned more than a couple of years.

The 1st episode of the series was originally credited to Alan Moore (the man behind the recent “Supposed-to-be” blockbuster movie Watchmen, as it was adopted from his graphic novel by the same name), with an artist named Heintl.  But from the very second episode the credits page started featuring Rick Clark as the scripter.  Rick Clark is actually a pseudonym of John Wagner, who is more known to the comics world as the creator of Judge Dredd in 2000 AD Comic series.

John Wagner (c) John Wagner was born in Pennsylvania, United States in 1949, but he was moved to Scotland when his family shifted location.  He started his publishing career when he joined DC Thompson as a Sub-Editor in 1960’s, and met his eventual long time friend Pat Mills in there.  In 1971, they both left DC Thompson, and started doing freelance jobs in UK.  During this freelance period, they also worked on a a handful of projects for IPC Media.  Monster was one such series which Wagner went on to script during its entire run. 

During his tenure with IPC, he is often credited along with Mills for their successful Battle Picture Weekly’s launch. Tamil Comics fan will remember that many of the wartime stories featured in Rani Comics and Lion Comics, during those yearly years all came from this IPC magazine.  Ironically, Battle Picture was a direct competitor to Warlod Magazine, which was from the stable of Wagner & Mill’s former employer DC Thompson.

Judge DreddMills, who is often credited as the Godfather of British Comics, then gave Wagner a chance to script stories for his new  comics magazine 2000 AD started for IPC Media in 1977. Wagner went on to create Judge Dredd, his more popular creation till date, which also remains the titular character for the entire 2000 AD Comic series.

In 1980s, Wagner was one of the members who were famously touted as the British Invasion of American Comics, which was often dated to Alan Moore’s work on Swamp Thing & Watchmen.  The so called Invasion, saw a number of writers from the 2000 AD Series, working for the US comics giant DC, and later with Marvel.

In 1997, Wagner wrote his first graphic novel, A History of Violence, which many critics consider as a good work even though it was a commercial failure.  I recently acquired this title, and found it impressive enough for an exclusive review at Comicology, very shortly.

Wagner till date remains a prolific writer for 2000 AD Series, still working on majority of Judge Dredd series every year.  He is said to be interested in retiring sooner, if we finds a suitable replacement to pen Dredd’s future series.

There is not much known about the Artists for the Monster series, which was Heintl for the 1st episode, but later was handled by Redonodo for its entire run.  In all possibilities this could have been the pseudonyms of artists, much like how different creators worked during the Scream and Eagles Horror series run, to give their pseudonyms an Imaginary feeling.

There was a significant difference between the artworks of Heintl and Redondo, as the later’s work brought the seriousness of the comic series in display.  Have a look yourself and take the judgement. (Pics Courtesy: BackfromDepths)

Monster v1 01-1 Monster v1 01-2 Monster v1 02-1 Monster v1 02-2

Overall it’s an issue, which certainly deserves its place in your collection, if you are a Tamil Comics fan, with a different taste.  Looking at the relative recent past this issue was released, I hope everyone do have this already in your cherished possession.  The English Originals can be found on BackfromDepths weblog.  So enjoy reading, while the content lasts over there, and get to know of another golden series from the Golden age of British Comics Genre.

Quasimodo (c) Origins of Uncle Terry: Staying on with the Uncle Terry or the Monster character, I was under the impression that the more famous Frankenstein character might have been the inspiration of this characterization too. But fellow Comicologist ShankarV shared an interesting fact that he shared much in common with the Quasimodo, a hunch-back character from the French novel Notre-Dame de Paris. After reading through the archives, it looks this character was the real inspiration for this comic series itself. Have a look at the image from a Movie, which was made on the Novel, and judge yourself.

But that doesn’t hide the fact that Quasimodo itself could have been inspired by the Frankenstein character. As the novel featuring Frankenstein was released in 1818, while Quasimodo made his appearance in Notre-Dame novel in 1830.

Thanks to Shankar, and his wide knowledge on every media. Without whom I wouldn’t have even known about the existence of this classic work.

And that brings us to the close of to our first ever Mehta Comics review at Comicology.  Hopefully, you would have found it useful and fun reading, just like I felt while working on it.  If so, then why not leave your comments to let others know, for which you could use the Comment section below.

Wish you all a Happy Week ahead.  Have Fun & nJoY, while I will be back with another post shortly (to go with April Fool’s Day concept, which should have taken place in this post, but needed a little more preparation). Adios Amigos !


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