Saturday, July 28, 2007

Bahadur -The Indian Super Hero

Bahadur... this one name was a huge sensation among the Indrajal comics readers in the late '70s to '90. Yes! I'm talking about the brave Indian lad Bahadur, the founder of CSF [Citizen Security Force] at Jaigarh in the Chambal valley.
His creator was the famous artist and painter Aabid Surti and later this series was continued by Jagjit Uppal. There were 75 Bahadur comics published in Indrajal Comics(1964 - 1990) and among them first 12 were written by Mr.Surti while rest 63 by Mr.Uppal. Except a few last comics, all were illustrated by Govind Brahmania,later done by his son, Promod Brahamania.
First Bahadur comics published in Indrajal was 'The Red bricks house' (on Dec '76 ;IJC No.267).
The story begins when a dacoit,namely Vairab Singh, who has been terrorising villages and people is shot dead by the Chief of Police Vishal. The dacoit's teenager son swears revenge on the policeman who caused the death of his father. However, Vishal convinces the young lad the folly of his ways, and helps him turn over a new leaf. The boy was Bahadur, and he grows up to enforce law and order in the little bustling town of Jaigarh.

Bela,daughter of seth Shivram of Pipli,is his love-interest. Their first meeting was very dramatic,in the 4th story of Bahadur,'The white ghost's den' (IJC No.284),where Bahadur saved her father from a group of dacoits and since then they were inseparable couple eventhough till the very LAST story,(The snake Charmer’s Bait ;Vol.27 No.5 ; 1990) they were not married.However, at the end of this story,Bahadur proposed her,and for the obvious reason, she agreed. So, one can say, if Bahadur comics were still continued (as after sudden cancellation of Indrajal ,there was no further publication of this true Indian Action-Hero ),we would see them as spouse in later comics like Phantom-Diana and Mandrake-Narda. :-)

Now, there are something special about two creators of this hero.In the initial Bahadur comics, Surti introduced several characters & most of them became integral part of this series.
First introduction was with the village-head Mukhia,inspector Vishal & old man Sukhia, whose son Dina was killed mercilessly by Saitan Singh & his gang (eventually Sukhia initially was Saitan's spy, but his son joined in CSF and went against Saitan). Later another ex-dacoit Lakhan and Bela were introduced as well.
After wrote 12 comics Surti quited for reason unknown (LAST comic was 'The Gang of Imposters' :IJC No.326; 1979).Then after one year Bahadur reappeared under Jagjit Uppal (who continued it till the end),though illustrator was the same:G.Brahmania. In this reappearance Bahadur visited Mumbai to protect some costly jewels to Delhi (a very good story indeed)[The Secret Assignment:IJC No. 352; 1980] and from then once again his comics regularly featured in Indrajals along with other heroes. In the very 4th comic of this reappearance,a fabulous story was released,titled 'The Mystery of the Headless Ghost' (No.370) i.e like Surti ,J.Uppal also delivered thrillers from the very beginning.
Now,here's the MOST debatable question appeared: who's the better.... A.Surti or J.Uppal??Many comic fans have their share of choice and reason behind that....but, for me BOTH were great in their own field. While Abid Surti was the pioneer, the ORIGINAL creator of Bahadur, Jagjit Uppal was no less!

Why ? is it for the reason he (Uppal) continued this series, otherwise which would met an very early end & as a result among many comic-lovers (including me!) Bahadur would be an unheard name? [The credit of last 10 years of Bahadur's 14-year glorious run goes to J.Uppal]
Frankly, it's true for to some extent, BUT THAT'S NOT ALL!
It had seen several times in comics script, that, when one writer took the charge from the original one, he drifted away from the real essence created by the original creator and develop own stories ,may be good or bad,but obviously real-touch was missing. A classic example is our favorite Henry comics, where new-generation comic-lovers see him as a silent kid,completely unaware the fact this 'silent' kid was 'very talkative' one under his original creator Carl Anderson.... after his death several cartoonist took the charge.
Another & most obvious example is PHANTOM comics. Besides the original creator great Lee Falk,there are several non-Falk phantom comics (eg. FREW,Egmont,GOLD KEY,Charlton and many more) which are not match an iota with the original Phantom stories, mostly 'cos while scripting those creators never keep the original essence/facts intact, never try to realise the mood of these stories and hence failed miserably!
Those who are readers of BOTH creations definitely agree with me.

And here's the excellence and credit of Mr. Uppal. While scripting, not only he kept all those original characters but also the basic essence,the almost same thrill and action sequences .... the CSF's main activity based on Jaigarh and it's surrounding villages ,which were present in Uppal's creations as well.Like Surti's era , here also sometimes Bahadur leave Jaigarh and visit Mumbai & in later comics ,Bahadur even went aboard & that's quite natural .
Still there are few additions/change made by Mr.Uppal during his own creation & needless to mention ,we loved those very much!
Here's some .....
[1]Chamiya: The Himalayan-dog who gave a new twist in adventures of Bahadur, accompany him in almost all missions.

[2]Mukhia:Being the head of Jaigarh there was a little distance between him and Bahadur, also he was not a member of CSF [in early (Surti) Bahadur stories].But, from very beginning of the reappearance ,he became very close friend of Bahadur and also an active member of CSF.

[3] Bahadur seems completely unbeatable in later comics, partly obvious as in Surti's era he learned Kung-fu in Mumbai (The Kung-fu kings:IJC No.312) after Karate and this is obvious that, even in real-life such double-belters are almost unbeatable, but still for sake of more twist it'd be better if Bahadur sometimes lost the battle between thugs before he won the war.
But ,in reality,there's hardly any difference between these two writers and it's tough for readers to distinguish ,if their names aren't mentioned in the first page of the comics.

In some last 9-10 adventures [roughly from 2nd half of 1988; vol.25] Bahadur became more stylist, stories were more gripping and also finishing was true dramatic like initial days.

Besides these, the modern and neat look of Bahadur (from 'long-hair-kurta' appearance he became a 'short-hair-T-shirt-jeans' modern guy) in the late '80s was also a huge hit among the IJC readers .
(here's some modern Bahadur pics from a 1987 Indrajal)
In short, Bahadur rocks from his very beginning upto the end (I still can remember the craze between us for the Bahadur comics published in late '80s) and for this we should thankful to the BOTH creators.
P.S.-  Bahadur comics publication has stopped around two decades ago,still this true Indian hero will always remain our favorite amidst the modern cartoon and video games era. :-)

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Adventures Of TIMPA

After Lucky Luke let's  introduce with hamara desi hero.... a teenager-detective, TIMPA, created by J.P.Karewala & illustrated by Abhijit Chatterji. Those who read Indrajal Comics btween '88-'89 are already aware about his adventures used to publish as 'side story' with the regular heroes.
Timpa's comics were full of adventures & comic-relief at the same time. Where Timpa was generally busy in finding some clue or nab those thugs, his grandpa (OR fondly called as 'dadu') was responsible for all those comic-reliefs! :-)) who read Timpa will definitely agree with me...actually, I read his comics mostly for presence of his 'dadu', who being a lazy n easily-get-scared old man, always with Timpa, be in under the daylight or in the very late night adventures ....
 In the VERY LAST STORY [T-36,ran in three parts;Indrajal Vol.26 No.31-33], he even accompanied Timpa to Mumbai (from Kolkata) to nab some international smugglers!
There were total 36 Timpa stroies, averagely 8-pages , though last few were 16 & 24 pagers.
Being a very late-entry in Indrajal-pinup categories, Timpa was an instant hit among us & we read these comics as eagerly as the Phantom/Mandrake etc...
Sadly, after sudden cancellation of IJC in '90 we lost this kid-hero. However,Phantom/Mandrake/Flash were regularly published in the various news-papers/books even after Indrajal stopped,but we do really miss Bahadur,Dara & Timpa comics as they all were buried with this series...

[Here's an early four-page Timpa comic(T- 4),published in Indrajal on 1988]

(courtesy TCP)

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Some Covers of Luke comics

Here i represent some covers of Luke comics (get this idea from our Indrajal blogs)....hope you will like it & this'll increase the curiosity about the funny 'n' thrilling wild-west-character :Lucky Luke
Friends,let me know your interest,on that basis i will seriously search & post some comics.
UPDATE:post three new covers....there'll b more within few days .

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


Hi friends, there's a something for all of you beside Indrajals.
Actually, we read comics in India mostly published in WEST & among them most Indrajal heroes,Bat-man,Super-man,Tin tin,Archie etc. are very familiar with most of the comic lovers.

But, there are some Comic-heroes as well,those very popular in their home-land but not so in the other countries/continents.
Among them, my most favorite is LUCKY LUKE..... the famous hero of wild west....."Who is quicker than his own shadow" (can you beat it!)
I first read a Luke comic in 1994 [Calamity Jane] and from then i'm an ardent fan of him & my fondness towards Luke forced me to share some info.s with other comic fans around the world.
I am also planning to start a 'comic-blog' entirely dedicate to that i'm looking for collect some/all (if possible) scans of Luke comics...

There's some 70-75 Luke comics in French (1946 - 2006)... among them around 25 were published in English from 1962.

Here's some info. from wikipedia:

Lucky Luke is a
Franco-Belgian comics series created by Morris, and over period written by René Goscinny. Set in the American Old West, it stars the titular character, Lucky Luke, the cowboy known to shoot faster than his shadow.
Along with
The Adventures of Tintin and Asterix, Lucky Luke is one of the most popular and best-selling comic-book series in continental Europe but unlike Tintin and Astérix, despite its popularity in Canada, only a handful of the series' adventures have been translated into English.

Morris drew Lucky Luke from 1946 until his death in 2001. The first Lucky Luke adventure named 'Arizona 1880' published on 7th December,1946.
I wish, one day there will be some Luke comics on NET among that many comic-lovers will get the real test of wild west .

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Indrajal & other Mandrake/Phantom Comics ON-LINE Links

Hi friends, i'm planning to post links of some of my very much favorite comics links those you can read on-line & download from my blog...

Just within a day or two, i'll start regular comic-link posting... BUT, i'll give those only real hit & not all hit 'n' flop.... so keep frequent visiting & will see all favotite comics in one place!