Monday, 8 September 2014

Indrajal Comics : info

                                                         In March 1964, the publisher of The Times of India, Bennet, Coleman & Co., launched a new series called Indrajal Comics.[citation needed] The first 32 issues contained "The Phantom" stories, but thereafter, the title alternated between various King Features characters, including Mandrake, Flash Gordon, Mike Nomad and Buz Sawyer, as well as the Publishers Syndicate character Kerry Drake. In 1976, the distinctly Indian character, Bahadur, joined the rotation. Stories involving "The Phantom," Flash Gordon and Mandrake emphasized their roles as heroes, with special powers, talents or sci-fi tools. The remaining characters in the Indrajal universe played out more conventional detective and crime stories.
                                 Indrajal Comics began publishing self-titled monthly issues in March 1964. Each of the first 10 issues had 16 pages of Phantom comics. The stories had to be edited to fit this short format. The remaining 12 pages were dedicated to other content, similar to Gold Key's style. In the next 19 issues it became 20-24 pages. As the series continued, different characters would share the spotlight. Characters such as Flash Gordon, Mandrake the Magician, Bahadur, Kerry Drake, Rip Kirby, Garth, Mike Nomad and Buz Sawyer appeared - as well as Disney characters Robin Hood and Mickey Mouse along with Goofy, but the majority of the series spotlighted The Phantom. So much so that the series is often erroneously referred to as "The Phantom" instead of the correct "Indrajal Comics".

In due course the publication became fortnightly and then weekly by 1981. The numbering of books which was simply sequential in the beginning then changed to have the typical volume and a number. Indrajal Comics #444 was labeled as Vol.20 and No.1. The front cover design changed with distinct banner containing the title "Indrajal Comics" with a small circle showing the face of the main charracter.

A total of 803 Indrajal Comics were published, excluding #123 and #124 which were not printed due to industrial strike action. More than half of these issues contained Phantom stories. The publishing stopped in 1990.

The cover artwork for the first 50 or so issues of Indrajal Comics was done by B.Govind, with the back cover featuring a pin-up poster. His artwork became very popular and even said to have matched the artwork on the covers of international phantom publications such as Gold key or Frew.

                                                        The first regional version came in Bengali from January,1966 and the Indrajal #23 was #1 in Bengali  - A Search for "Indrajal" Returns the registered publications for different languages (Marathi, Hindi, English, Bengali, Malayalam, Kannada, Gujrati and Tamil). One of the first was Kannada (called Canarese by the English), spoken in the state of Karnataka, in South India. The first Kannada Phantom was published on 1 May 1980 (see below), commencing with a 3-part version of the daily story Return to Tarakimo (D138) retitled as Return of the Ghost. Amusingly, "The Phantom" was called "Bethala" (pronounced as bay-ta-la) ... or "Ghost" in Kannada. After a few issues, the editors at Indrajal must have realised their mistake and thereafter called him "Fantom" for a while before finally settling on "Phantom".

                                        To avoid confusion among Indian readers, there were some minor changes done to the name of the Phantom's location and some characters in stories published in Indrajal Comics. The term " Bengali" or "Bengalla" or "Bengal" was changed to "Denkali" and in some issues "Dangalla" as well. This was since there is a state called "Bengal" in India and this may lead the readers to wonder about the "Pygmy" people that don't exist in Bengal.

                                                                                 The name of the "Singh Brotherhood" was changed to "Singa Brotherhood" and the killer of the father of the current (21st) Phantom was changed from "Rama" to "Ramalu" although the latter too is one of the common names in India.
                                    Starting with #789 on 20 Aug 1989 (Vol 26 No 33)] the series briefly returned to a fortnightly schedule with 36 pages each, before the publishers decided to cancel the series in their 27th year of production. The last issue was #805, published on 16 Apr 1990 (Vol 27 No 8:Dara:The Jaws of Treachery).

All Indrajal Comics Superheros : -

  1. Aditya In English
  2. Bruce Lee In English
  3. Buzz Sawyer In English
  4. Mike Nomad English 
  5. Rip Kirby English 
  6. Kerry Drake In English 
  7. Garth-In-English
  8. Indian War Series In English
  9. Mythology English
  10. Indrajal In Kannada
  11. Others  In Hindi          In English 
  12. Phantom (Mahabali Vetaal)  In Hindi          In English  
  13. Flash Gordon In Hindi          In English   
  14. Mandrake  In Hindi          In English      
  15. Walt Disney  In Hindi          In English  
  16. Bahadur In Hindi          In English

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