Thursday, January 22, 2009

TPH #062 Inspector Azad aur Bagula Bhagat

First it was the article in The Times of India, and then Toonfactory mentioned this fact in his post on Mr. Abid Surti that Inspector Azad was such a popular Indian comic character during seventies that a few filmmakers (including Mr. Raj Kapoor) had planned to make a film based on this character. The project couldn't be realised due to some reason but that gives enough idea of the popularity of the character.

Inspector Azad was a comic strip which was a regular publication in some magazines (notably the famous Hindi crime monthly 'Satyakatha'). But I never came across this strip. Didn't have sightest of clue about the comic book incarnation of the strip either.

As luck would have it, a few months ago, I found this rare comic of Inspector Azad in one old book shop. But unfortunately, it didn't live up to the hype created by the TOI article in my curious mind. I am not only disappointed by this Surti creation but actually disliked it for a number of things. It is a very poor comic from the story point of view.

Notorious thug Cheetu Pindhari is released from the prison after serving 5 years for his crimes. Azad wishes him an honest life here after but Cheetu has some other plans in his mind. He quickly gathers few small time crooks and after training them in various criminal activities, turns them into a gang of killers. The gang works under the deceptive cover of a group of 'Saadhus'. A number of heinous crimes are committed by this criminal team before the police could suspect them. Then, in an encounter the boss Cheetu is killed and most of the gang member are arrested. The story ends.

What is most disturbing is the way the story writer elaborates on the violent sequences. It is hard to believe that it is a comic expected to be read by a majority comprising of children. The cold blooded murders of men and women is illustrated in minute details, something good comic writes always avoid to display. Emphasis is laid more on the acts of the villain as though he is the main public puller. The hero has nothing much to do except for challenging the villain in the climax and finally be saved by the police chief who appears in the scene at the right moment for him.

Mr Surti's obsession with Dacoit stories is well known. If he could make it a bit more pleasant and balanced by bringing few more less bloody incidences and more interesting characters. Sadly it doesn't happen.

The present story once again reminds us of the hapless condition of Indian Comics. Read it yourself and let us know if you have any other impression about this.

Writer: Abid Surti
Illustrator: Ram Mohan or Pratap Mullick (the two worked on Azad stories, don't know who dealt with this one)

(33 pages, 1000 px wide, 7 MB)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Frew Phantom #1490: Dogai - the road to power

The names of Achmed Singh and Kabai Singh are not unfamilier to those who have read the first daily comic strip of Phantom, the Singh Brotherhood. The strip was posted by TCP way back in August 2006 and was contributed by Desiguru.

Claes Reimerthi at Egmont Scandinavia came with a story idea based on those characters. It was republished in Frew in 2007 in it's 1490th issue. This is today's post. I have no hesitation in saying that this story somehow suited my taste. The way it takes shape is interesting and flashback effect has been used quite intelligently. Has all the shades of a good hollywood blockbuster.

On an isolated section of Bengali coast is situated a grand palace, hidden from the eyes of outer world, and from even the natives. Two young teenagers are undergoing a hard training under the watchful eyes of their custodian, Anwar Sahak. These two are the sons of a slain Brotherhood prince. Anxiously waiting to join the league, which they are allowed to only when they turn up 16. The young ones are very excited about it and somewhat fearful also, because of some Ghostly figure (the Phantom), which is of late causing great harm to the brotherhood.

I leave it here. Enjoy yourself.

Download Frew 1490, Dogai - the road to power (10 MB)

I worked on the scan pages and tried to improve the brightness and contrast. Have achieved a certain amount of success.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Moonstone Phantom #26 "Man O' War"

After several unsucceessful attempts, I've finally succeeded in finishing one Moonstone Phantom comic, the latest on net that is, number 26. As usual, a plain story with no mentionable high points. The story presents oceanic adventure of 13th Phantom, told by Old Man Mozz to the now teenagers Kit and Heloise.

The story deals with a pirate attack on the ship which is carrying 13th Phantom, sailing from England to America. The newly wed Walker couple is having a good time aboard when the pirate ship catches the crew by surprise. The pirates are also carrying with them a number of slaves which include prince of Llongo tribe.

Some lifeless dhishum-dhishum and fencing skills demonstration by Phantom ancestor is all that it takes to bring the story to an abrupt end

Scan quality is very good. And let me include another positive note. Mrs Walker does look cool in the outfit selected by the artist.

Download from here: (13 MB)

Friday, January 16, 2009

TPH #061 Registani Lutere - Rip Kirby (Indrajal comics #435, 1982)

A typical Rip Kirby adventure with nice plot with intriguing characters and of course, beautiful ladies drawn by John Prentice. The neatness in drawings is a major feature of Prentice's work with every single wrinkle in the face elaborately drawn. No cluttering, no nonsense style is his positive identity.

How many of you know that Rip Kirby was also created by Alex Raymond (Legendary comic creator and illustrator) along with Flash Gordon way back in thirties in last century?

Enjoy this one.

(29 pages, 1200 px wide, 9.7 MB)
cover courtesy - CW

Thursday, January 8, 2009

TPH #059 Ajeya Vetaal (IJC V20N24) and TPH #060 Superman (DC #421)

I am posting this Superman comic here just because I wanted to see this tag (Superman) in the Labels section in the sidebar. A load of Superman comics are available on net, (free comic books site) that makes them less valuable and probably less appreciated as well, but here it is.

Download TPH #060 Superman (DC #421)

A very old comic, lying with me for several years, without being read. I used to like this character a lot during childhood years, but don't feel enthusiasm within myself to go through it again at this stage of my life. Is anybody interested in Superman here? I don't think so. But posting it.

And this Phantom comics has already been posted by me on the other blog, but a lot many visitors are unaware of that blog, and so it is presented here also. Good story, fine pics by Sy Barry makes it a memorable one. English version is already available on net.

Download TPH #059 Ajeya Vetaal (IJC V20N24)

Planning to post few Mandrake stories from Diamond Comics. Some of these never appeared in Indrajal. From post IJC era (after 1990) or from prior to it (before 1964).