Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Mandrake Sunday Strip 072 - The Casino (year 1957) cleaned and coloured

First an announcement. I have joined twitter and my tweets are now available at

And here comes a Mandrake Sunday strip illustrated by original artist Phil Davis. This is sunday strip No. 72 - "The Casino" from 1957. It's not a very long story but I found the story interesting enough to be taken for colouring.

I had downloaded the black and white strip pages from Lothar's blog, which is a fine blog dedicated to Mandrake strips. It seems that he had downloaded it from some newspaper archive and hence the quality of print was not good. A lot of black spots appeared on the pages which required treatment before the strip could aquire some presentable form. Out of eight pages, four were cleaned by somebody (most probably Lothar himself) when I downloaded it. But the remaining four were still in quite a bad condition.

I faced a lot of trouble in removing those black spots. In fact it took more time and effort than colouring itself to clean the pages. another truoble with the pics was that the pages were having some folding lines of newspaper. It required clone brush to correct them. In some balloons, the dialogues were not legible. So those were written again.

Now, after colouring, the final result is quite satisfactory. It is completely transformed into a beautiful story. You can compare the black and white page with the coloured one here to see yourself the transformation.

In Original Downloaded Form
After Cleaning and Colouring

The story is quite interesting. A new casino is announced to be opened in the city. Police chief is furious about the casino owner "Honest" John's defying act to openly advertise the illegal casino. Actually the crook has devised a foolproof plan to decieve the police and the legal authorities. Police chief finds himself in a helpless condition. Time for Mandrake to act and manage the situation, a job which he executes to perfection.

One more thing, this is NOT the post I was talking about in my previous post. That surprise is coming shortly on this blog. Till then, enjoy this classic Mandrake tale.

"The Casino"

18 comment(s):

  1. Ha Ha !!!!! First to comment !!!!
    Fantabulous !!!!!!( fantastic + fabulous ).
    What a treat to have such a blogger with us !!!!!!
    Thanks many many tonnes !!!!!

  2. Thanks for this lovely post.
    I greatly enjoyed "The Casino". The cleaning and colouring are indeed lovely and I say thanks again for that.

    And I'm still waiting for your surprise.

  3. @praveen: most welcome. more to follow soon.

  4. @BIC: I also liked this story. The composure of "honest" John looked amusing. And it is one of those rare strips where no other team member of mandrake appeared on scene. He tackled the crook single handedly.

    Thanks and welcome.

  5. Fantastic work TPH. Yes, I didn´t get to clean that one. I downloaded it from the Newspaper Archive. I actually downloaded a complete set of Mandrake Sundays covering the years 1944-48 and 1954-1960. They are in the queue waiting to be edited, before I upload them to my blog. So if you want any Mandrake Sunday from this period to meddle, with feel free to tell me and I'l send it to you.

  6. Thanks for another amazing release!

    Cleaning & especially colouring such issues are really tough & time taking task.

    Only one suggestion: If you keep colour of the police dresses like USA colour or Indrajal versions, would be better. Rest are perfect.

  7. Thanks for producing yet another spectacular work right from the house of quality production -"TPH" ! I have also started to learn this wonderful art of coloring b/w strips. Still i have learnt how to prepare strip to color, use of lasso and airbrush tools. I will learn every aspect of coloring b/w strips and only then i will start coloring "TARZAN" b/w strips (as you are coloring Phantom/Mandrake, I will opt for Tarzan - my all time great and evergreen hero !)Only one thing which hinder to learn this art quickly is my eyes as almost all official work is to be done on computer, return back home with fatigue eyes, again start working on pc at night and next day i can't start working without using eye drops ! Once master this art , then everything will be fine.Could you please tell me, how much time you took when you finished your first ever coloring project and how much time you take now to color one project ? Meanwhile looking forward for your SURPRISE !

  8. Very well done. As good as ever. Thanks.

  9. @Lothar: Thanks. While cleaning this one, I got clear idea of the difficult work you are doing so efficiently in improving the strips. I did only four pages and it took a hell lot of a time.

    Am also thankful for your offer. I'll contact you whenever required.

  10. @PBC: Welcome. Thanks for valuable suggestion on Police Chief's outfit. Can you please direct me to a sample of what exact colour you would like him to wear? I'll change it to that immediately.

  11. @Pret: I have no doubt that you'll learn it rapidly. Your enthusiasm in comic posting (and anything related to comic, in general) is a matter of astonishment for me.

    I saw the samples you sent and they are extremely good. I would love to help you in any way to achieve your desired goal.

    Tarzan strips coloured by a fellow blogger, seems very exciting. I will eagerly wait for them.

    After spending so many hours on pc, you still feel urge to work on strips and scans, that speaks volumes about your love for the comics. I wish you every success.

  12. @Jai: Most welcome. No need to say thanks, pleasure is all mine.

  13. Hey Phantom Head.. After coloring, it looks stunning.. very well done.. keep it up mate.

  14. TPH: Just was looking at your recent coloring, and was amazed. Your impecible and improving quality in coloring is well known, but the effort taken to painfully restoring the original to its glory, before getting on the coloring, is mind-boggling.

    How much effort you have taken in making the inking stand true, is shown by the sample you have shared. Great work, dude. I once tried restoring the ink of black and white clasical piece of Phantom, and stopped it after 2 pages, as it was overwhelming my personal time, which has now become scarce.

    Keep going great. Would love to see small episodes by various artists involved with Lee Falk continue to be colored your way. What Phil Davis enjoyed with his work in this post, needs to be shared by other legendary artists too... Won't they ? :)

  15. @Rafiq: I tell you the real story. When I selected this particular strip for colouring, had no idea that the latter half would be so difficult to deal. I took this one because - 1) just eight pages, thought it would be over in no time. 2) Read first two pages and story made me interested in it. 3) High resolution pages were available, which is essential for good colouring work.

    But when I reached fourth page, realised that there are few pages which are not cleaned yet. The project went into cold storage. (two months ago). Then I started cleaning the pages. Took one full month. Cleaning was done simultaneously with the clouring of Phantom strips (presented in previous posts). It helped me in breaking the monotony of only one kind of work, i.e., colouring.

    Only a week ago completed cleaning those four pages and then coloured it. Cleaning was "very difficult" indeed and had I know it beforehand, I would have chosen some other strip.

    Now Sy Barry, Ray Moore, Wilson McCoy and Phil Davis are done, only Fred Fredricks and Bill Lignante remains. But most of Fred's work was published in IJC. So will have to find an unpublished one (You can suggest one). Bill Lignante had solitary story (Samaris).

  16. Regarding colour of dresses of chief & staffs, it's just suggestion only.

    I feel, one of 3 options would be better. Try one panel, you might find most suitable with your colouring style.

    1. Just check colour versions of USA strips of that period. My hard disk was crashed, need to fix. Otherwise provided you some numbers or links.
    2. IJC colours: check any IJC featuring chief, e.g #90.
    3. Real colour of USA dresses: Since 1950 blue colour is being used. (

  17. @PBC: Any suggestion regarding colours is always welcome. I am thankful for this.

    1. Yes, checked it in some US comic books. It is different but not impressive enough. Will check more books.

    2. IJC made him wear Indian police colour, i.e., 'Khaki'. Not sure it suits him or not. But it may.

    3. Blue colour looks good but is it worn by higher officers too? Again not sure.

    Your given link us quite useful. It gives me hint to select the right colour. I'll send you a mail to further discuss it.

    Thanks a lot for showing interest in such small (but important) issue.