Thanks again for the comments you have posted here and sent to my mail. Your comments are what keeps me going!!! :-)
Not many know about these Muthu Mini(MM) issues. May be because, not many issues were released. And these were not very popular with the comics reading public during those days, I guess. Only in the past few years, I see a lot of search for these issues, of course, among collectors. I'm one among the searching collectors. Still frantically searching for these issues, without much success though!!!
Following the success of Muthu, the publishers would have felt that the Indian characters deserved a comics on their own. The quality of work was as good as overseas publications. Particularly the works of Anand Pai and artists like Ram Waerkar. So they have lauched a new publication called Muthu Mini comics(MM) in Nov'74!!!
See the aim of the publishers about bringing up this new series. This is the forward from the publishers, printed in issue number 1.
To my knowledge only 8 issues were published. I have the cover scans of 7 issues. Eighth issue(titled "Muthal Vedhalanin Kathai") is eluding me for the past many years. None of my friends have the copy of this issue, so no cover scan of this issue in this site. If you have this issue, please send me the cover scan and if possible, first page of the story. And if any one willing to sell this issue, I would be glad to pay a good price for it!!!
I have reasons to believe that these stories have appeared in Tinkle or its sister publications(???), because these were created by the same set of people(that is writer/artist combinaton) who worked/working for Tinkle. Take a look at a page from Tinkle digest, published recently, and the credits for the story. Also take a look at the story published in the MM with the same combination. Recently I have come across the English version of one of the issues published in Tamil in Tinkle Digest.
Main characters used were Vayu Vega Vasu, Puthaga Piriyan Prabhu(Bipin in English), Soorappupli Sundar. Apart from these characters, some standard features of Fleetway were used in MM, like GK/puzzles and Sporty by Reg Wutton(Vichu Kichu in Tamil) as filler pages to make up a uniform 64 pages per issue. It even had a two page story of Micky Mouse, created by Walt Disney. In one issue I saw one Akbar/Birbal text story as well.
Size of these books were sligltly shorter in length compared to the current Muthu/Lion size.
First issue was released in November 1974, titled "Vayu Vega Vasu". This story was based on 1962 war with China.
See the last page and the credit section.
Second story to hit the stand was "Padagu Veedu Marmam" in Dec'74.
Take a look at the Micky Mouse from issue number 2.
Cover of the third issue released in Feb 75.
Cover of the fourth issue released in May 75.
By the time it reached issue 5, there was a huge gap. Issue 5, titled "Kantha Malai Marmam" was released in Oct'75. In fact, by Oct'75 it should be issue number 12. It had all the indications of the impending doom for this series. Cover of issue 5 and the credit pages are below:
Recently when I was in the Chennai airport, I was looking for a children's mag to keep my daughter engaged during the flight. Her favorite is Kapish(Yes, the same Chutti Kurangu Kapish), so I was more than happy to pick up the latest issue of Tinkle Double digest from the Higginbothams outlet, which contained four Kapish stories. After she fell asleep, I have started reading the book and to my surprise found the originals of one of the story published in Muthu Mini. It happens to be this story. The (current)English edition varies to some extent from the Muthu Mini version. The first page of the current English version is actually the fifth page in the Tamil version and the very last panel of the English and Tamil version are different. Anyway is was fun to read this story in full color.
First page in Tamil.
First page in English and the corresponding Tamil pages.
Last page of the English and Tamil versions is below, note the minor variations.
This issue also had an ad in the back inside cover for the forthcoming issue of Muthu. Take a look at this ad.
To my knowledge there was no such issue published from Muthu. However there was a story Kollaikaara Pisasu, which was released after this ad is published. I guess this ad refers to that issue.
Issue # 6 was released in Apr 76, titled "Thapal Thalai Marmam". I had this issue with me for a long time, without cover. So I was under the impression that this is one of the Muthu issues. Only in 2002 when I have started collecting info about Muthu Mini I have realised that this could be one of the MM issues. Only in 2005 I got a chance to see the cover of this issue.
Issue # 7 was released after a gap of three months in Jul'76. The title is "Inspector Vikram".
Soon it folded up, after releasing issue number 8, titled "Mudhal Vedhalanin Kathai".
If you think this is the only off-shoot publication from Muthu(apart from MCV), think again!!! Indeed there are couple of more publications from Muthu. Sakthi Comics and something known as "Sirukathaigal" were also published in the 80's. I'll update you with more details soon. Very recently I have come across couple of books, named "Lion Vidumurai Malar". Don't know how many off shoots are still there, unlisted & unheard of.
Thats all for now. Post your comments or mail me about this article.