Tuesday, October 23, 2007

During my recent India trip, one of my comics friend has presented a set of Phantom comics published in Tamil. I thought I have seen all the Phantom comics that were published in Tamil, but the sighting of these issues made a big dent to that confidence. I have three books with me now and I have seen the fourth issue as well. Also from the ad in the third issue, I could figure out that the publishers have also relased some Tarzan comics as well, in Tamil. Take a look at the damaged back cover.

Just like many other Tamil/Comics/Indian publishers, no forward from the editor or dates in these issues. In the absence of the publishing dates, I have to rely upon something else to guess the dates. In the back cover of the first issue, someone has written the date(9/8/75). And the stories that appear in these issues were created and published between Jul 1972 and Aug 74, so these issues were definitely release after this dates. So I guess it is safe to assume that this is the actual release date(9/8/75). The book looks old enough to have come from this period. Take a look at the back cover with the date scribbled.

This series was published from Kottayam, Kerala. Take a look at the credits page.

First story in this series is titled "Raththa Pei". Here is the cover and the first page of this issued.

This story was originally published as "Vampires of Koqania". This Daily story(No:121 originally titled "The Things") was written by Lee Falk and art work by Sy Barry. Looks like the story was edited heavily to fit into this format. Take a look at the first page of this story and the original pages below which makes this first page. Almost five pages from the original story was compressed into one page.

And one sample page from the middle.

The second story was titled "Kappal Killadigal". This daily story (No:117, titled "The Tanker Jackers") was also created and drawn by the same team. And once again the first page of this issue and the original page.

This issue is reproduced at its best. Pages were used as it is. And last page from this issue and the equivalent from the original story.

The third story was titled "Uyir Vangum Silai". This daily story (No:124, titled "Llongo Luck" a.k.a. "The curse of the Sacred Image") was also created and drawn by the same team. And once again the first page of this issue and the original pages that make up this first page. Contents of almost nine pages were compressed into one page in this issue.

And last page from this issue.

I did see the fourth issue with my friend. However it was damaged so badly, I did not want to take it with me. I really do not know how many more issues were published by Vidyarthi Mithram. In any case, it does not deserve to be in circulation for long for the atrocious translation and editing. Refer back how the rank "Colonel" is pronounced in the first page of the first issue.

All the issues are of 24 pages long and A4 size, like Indrajals, except that these are in Black and White.

If the cover scans are looking good, it is thanks to the technology. I have done a bit of digital restoration. Particularly the third issue was damaged very badly. First issue cover is given as it is.

As usual post your comments below my signature using the "Comments" link or by mail to muthufan@yahoo.com.

Happy reading!!!