Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Lion Super Special!!!

Hi All,

Thanks for your feedbacks!!! That is what keeps me going!!!

In this post, we'll take a look at the fattest Tamil comics book ever released. Yes, it is the Diwali issue of 1987 titled "Lion Super Special", issue no : 42. See what Mr Vijayan has to say about this issue in his article about Tamil comics in the magazine "World Comics" issue 3, published in 2001.

Meanwhile,LION COMICS was going great guns and, in October,1987,published a "DIWALI SPECIAL" [a festival issue],which,to date,remains the thickest comic ever published for children in Tamil with 532 pages [10 stories],several in multi colour and priced at 10 Rs!

Though the editor mentioned that 10 stories were published in this issue, actually 12 stories were published. Yes 12 stories(including Vichu Kichu, which was just one page) were published in this issue. Lucky Luke in color and other stories in B&W.

See the advertisement leaflet for this issue. This advertisement was given to the shops for the promotion of this issue. Note, the advertised Irattai Vettaiyar was not published in this issue, but another story called Tigers was published.

The front cover:

And the back cover:

And the editor's forward is here:

And the ever popular Hot-Line was started in this issue. See the complete first ever Hot Line below:

Story 1 :Lucky Luke - Bayangara Podiyan(Full Color, except last nine pages)Those who have seen and read the MDS, have one grouse, that the last two pages of Lucky Luke were printed in B&W. You can feel better with the knowledge that this was not the first time the editor has published last few pages in B&W. In this issue, the last nine pages were in B&W(Though it was advertised that Lucky Luke would be in full color). Take a look at the page were both color and B&W pages are joined.

This story was published in French as "Billy The Kid". The cover scan and the same page, which was shown above is here:

Story 2 :TigersThis is a six page story from one of the Fleetway issues, I guess.

Story 3 :Captain Prince - Visithira PaadamThis one is also a short story. The original French
story cover in which it was published and the first pages of Tamil and French issues are here:

Story 4 :Lawrence & David - Nadukkadal KollaiI believe this one was published in one of the Lion Annuals. Short and sweet.

Story 5 :Spider - Doctor Agrovin Visithira SavaalThis was published in Fleetway Super Library issue number 18, titled "Dr Argos Challenge". Take look at the cover of this issue and the equivalent pages in the original and in Tamil.
And the cover for this Fleetway issue.

Story 6 :XIII Part 2Nothing much to say about this. XIII was a smash hit straightaway with the Lion readers. The second part is no exception. However I have a complaint about the quality of printing. Take a look at the recently published Alias page and the equivalent in this issue, and you will know what I mean. The very first scene was taking place in a place where the mountains are snow covered. However in the Tamil edition it looks like it was a junk yard. Hmmm!!!!

Story 7 :Robot Archie - Hongkongil ArchieIn a super hit issue, if Spider is there and Archie cannot be far behind. This small story is for Archie lovers.

Story 8 :Modesty Blaise - Kolai ArangamMy favorite comics hero. Original story was published under the title "Killing Ground". Take a look at the Tamil and original equivalent pages.

Story 9 :Karuppu Kizhavi Kadhaigal Kannadi KoonduAnother short story.

Story 10:Reporter Johnny - Oodu SoonyamTypical Johhny story. Complicated plot, clear story line, neat art work, unexpected turns, and the mystery finally unfolds only in the last few pages.
Story 11:Batman - Bayangara ParavaiThe short lived hero from Thihil comics fights Penguin in this story.

Story 12:Vichu Kichu(One Page story)

This issue is in great demand among collectors. Due to its high price(in those days), I guess not many copies were printed. And also it is very difficult to maintain the book in good condition as this book gets damaged very easily if you open it for few times. I heard a mint copy of this issue was sold recently for over Rs 4000!!! Copies in good condition are still going for Rs 500+. Some price!!!

I have written this blog sometime back. But I was not sure whether to go ahead with this article or not, as Mr Vijayan is covering the history of Lion Comics in his "Singaththin Siruvayathil" articles every week and this issue is bound to have a special place in that. Anyway I have decided to go ahead with this, as it would take a long time for him to reach this issue and also his way of narrating would be from the editor's point of view, where as mine is from readers'.

Saleem : Regarding your query about Maalaimathi Comics. I'm not sure whether Coorigan was the first issue of Maalaimathi Comics. A friend of mine mentioned that "Morocco Marmam" was the first Corrigan story in Maalaimathi. This issue was relased some time in Oct'75. Earlier issues(starting from 73) were dominated by the other 3 characters, Rip Kirby, Cisco Kid and Johnny Hazard. We'll soon see about Maalaimathi Comics in this blog. I do have few Ponni issues, just as samples. I do not have the list. Same for Vaasu comics.

Dr Sathish : Yes, If you can find time to write an article I don't have any issues about posting it here under your name. Or if you want to create your own blog and want me to link up from here, thats also fine with me. See which is convenient to you.

Ganesh : I'm not sure about the other Vaandumaama stories. I do have few stories of Vaandumaama, but I don't think they are copied from any other source(i know of).

Thats all for now week friends!!! See you soon with one more issue!!!

Post your comments or drop a line to me.