Tuesday, August 28, 2012

My Lucky Luke Collection

My first Lucky Luke comics was an old Madhu Muskan comics version which I bought for Rs. 10/- from a second-hand book shop.  It was translation of  King Smith titled as 'Smith Raja'.  At that time I was unaware about Lucky Luke but bought the book as it was a 'Madhu Muskan' title.  However, later on I came to know about Lucky Luke comics through some comics blogs which raised the curiosity in me about him.  I took out the comics from my heaps of comics and read it.  However, I did not enjoy it. Reason was bad translation.  But as I did not read the LL comics in English and so was under the impression that Lucky Luke comics are not good.  However, later on while browsing 'Comicology' a very fantastic blog about current comics I came to know about the availaibility of Lucky Luke comics in English in India through publishers like Tara Press, Euro Books and Cinebook.  I wanted to read them to know as to whether they would also feel bad to me in English as well or as to whether I shall have a different opinion about them after reading them in English.  However, that curiosity of mine was not strong enough to convince me to buy Lucky Luke comics as all of them was having a price tag of around 200/-.  At that time I was not buying expensive comics and was concentrating more on old gems relating to my childhood.  I did not want to spend a huge sum of just for a chance reading. 
However, as luck would have it on a Saturday evening in Oct. 2010 when I was returning from Delhi Public Library empty-handed as I did not find any good book to borrow on that date on the gate I noticed a teenager who was in the line of returning of books.  He  was having a book with a bright cover. As the cover seemed somewhat fimilar to me, I tried to read the title and found that it was a LL title - The Dalton City - by Cinebook. I thought it would be better to give a chance to LL in English by way of borrowing it from library.   I asked him whether he was returning the book so that I can issue the same. When he responded in positive I waited patintly for him to return the book and grabbed it as soon as it was on the re-issue table. 
However, due to previous experience I could not gather courage to read it and it kept on the shelf of my almirah for 13 days.  Finally, the day came when I had to return the book.  As I had to go to dispensary on that Saturday I also took the book with me so that after finishing my work in dispensary I would return the book to library as library is near to the dispensary.  However, I finished early in the dispensary then expected and as there was still some time in the opening of library for utilizing my time I sat in a park and as I had no other book then  I started reading that LL title.  The rest as they say is history.  I thoroughly enjoyed the comics and became an instant fan of LL. I found and read all the LL cinebook available in the library.
However, I started my collection only from April, 2011 and so far collected 49 comics of Lucky Luke by four publishers - both national and international - in 2 languages (English & Hindi). He is list of my Lucky Luke comics.

Madhu Muskan Comics:-
1. Smith Raja.

Tara Press:-

2.      Ma Dalton.


3.      The Tenderfoot.


4.      Jesse James.


5.      Western Circus.


6.      The Dashing White Cowboy.



7.      The Alibi.


8.      Ghost Hunt.


9.      Kid Lucky.


10.      Oklahoma Jim


11.      The Prophet


12.      Belle Star


13.      The Klondine.


14.      The Pony Express.


15.      Sarah Bernhardt


16.    The Bridge on the Mississippi


17.    The Hanged Man’s Rope and other Stories.


18.    The Ballad of the Daltons and other Stories.


19.    Daisy Twon.


20.    Fingers.


21.    Marcel Dalton. 


22.    The Artist.


23.    The Legend of the West.


24.    The Daily Star.


25.    Lucky Luke’s Fiancee.


26.    Nitrolycerine.


27.    The Cursed Ranch.


28.    The Beautiful Province.


29.    From the Gallows to the Altar.


30.    The Daltons’ Loot.


31.      No. 1:-  Billy the Kid.


32.      No. 2:-  Ghost Town.


33.      No. 3:-  Dalton City.


34.      No. 5:-  In the Shadow of the Derricks.


35.      No. 7:-  Barbed Wire on the Prairie.


36.      No. 8:- Calamity Jane.


37.      No. 9:-  The Wagon Train.


38.      No. 10:- Tortillas for the Daltons.


39.      No. 12:- The Rivals of Painful Gulch.


40.    No. 15:-  The Daltons in the Blizzard.


41.    No. 16:-  The Black Hills.


42.    No. 17:-  Apache Canyon.


43.    No. 18:- The Escort.


44.    No. 19:- On the Daltons’ Trail.


45.    No. 21:- The 20th Cavalry.


46.    No. 22:- Emperor Smith.


47.    No. 23:-  A Cure for the Daltons.


48.    No. 24:- The Judge.


49.    No. 25:- The Stagecoach. 
Considering the fact that in total there are around 70+ LL titles it is a good collection.  As the old distributor of Cinebook titles have stopped distributing the titles of Cinebook in India, it is a littile bit difficult to get new titles of LL published by Cinebook but I am patiently waitingly the another distributor to bring these beautiful titles to India.  I need just one more book to make my LL 'half century'. 
I hope so.
I shall try to post pictures of my Lucky Luke as well  in the near future.
Next:- My Inderjal Comics Collection.
Coming soon:- My write up on Byomkesh Bakshi.
Keep visiting.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Adventures of Daboo

Yesterday while browsing through my Diamond Comics collection in my almirah of books (I love to call it my library) for taking out “Pinki” comics for my daughter I came across my collection of “Daboo” comics.  I have a few of them and they are my prized possession. I took out one comic and read it last night.  A lot of memories came with that.  So I think it is proper to share them with you with a little background of “Daboo”.
          Daboo was created by cartoonist Pran.  Unlike his other comic characters (Chacha Choudhary, Billoo, Pinki, Raman, Shrimatiji, Channi Chachi, Soni & Sampat, Ankur, Paltoo, Pikloo, Miku, Chiku, Dipu and other short-lived comic characters for Lot Pot in its early phase who are all humour-based characters, primarily targeted for children or middle-class housewives,  Dabbo was an adventurous strip.  Apart from him Jab is the only other adventurous comic strip of Pran.   
          It was first character created by Pran in the late sixties for Hindi newspaper Daily Milap. It is also different in that sense from other characters of Pran as they were created primarily for comics or magazines. 
          The strips of Daboo tell us the stories of adventure of Daboo who is a teen-age boy along-with his constant companion Professor Adhikari.  Together they face mysteries and solve them. The stories are bizarre, eerie, weird and sometimes have a supernatural element in it.  So in one story they face man-eating trees and in another story a man who is hypnotized by a bad alien lady from another planet to who wants to kidnap Professor Adhikari! 
The artwork like other earlier stories of Pran has dark shade and presents a gloomy scenario which is perfect for such stories.  Stories remind me of same kind of stories by Satyajit Rai the great film-maker of Bengal who also happened to be a prolific story-teller for children.  Though primarily targeted for teen-agers but considering the fact that they were created as newspaper strip even some adults like me still find them interesting.  A perfect bed-time read. 
I came across Daboo (and Jab as well) when they used to publish as comic strips in ‘Parag’ a Hindi magazine for children and teen-agers.  My adolescent  mind was very much impressed by the stories and became of fan of Daboo and I still am his fan.  It is my second-most favourite character of Pran only after ‘Billoo’.  Subsequently, adventures of Daboo were published as comic albums by Diamond Comics, few of which I have in my collection. But still my heart yearns of those Parag issues carrying his stories as strips. In Parag the stories used to be serialized and it was really a wonderful feeling to wait for the next issue of Parag for reading the next instalment of continuing story of Daboo.    Jaane kahan gaye who din.
Post-script:- In an advertisement published in Diamond Comics regarding publication of first comic album of Daboo I read that Daboo also used to be published in South India.  If any reader of this article any more information on this he is requested to share it with me and other readers.  I am also not aware strips of Daboo in Dainik Milap I have not seen them. Any reader who has information whether it was a daily strip or a weekly strip, used to be published in the main paper or in any supplement and whether it was B/W or colour is also requested to share this. 

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Translation of Comics.

“Original is a faithful wife whereas translation is an unfaithful mistress.”

I agree with the above-said quotation. The above quotation is true but you cannot deny the fact that sometimes mistresses behave with you better than a wife. A caring mistress is much much better than a quarrelling wife. Every coin has two faces and it is true also regarding the utility of the translation. A good translation can make you the life-long fan of a foreign author, classic or comic whereas a bad translation can present a distorted image of good foreign author, classic or comic. A good translator never translates text from one language to another mechanically. He always uses his mind and imagination while translating a story or a classic from one language to another. Today I shall discuss with you the good and bad translations in the context of comics and the impact it has on me.

Year: 1986

Month: September or October

Place: Roof of my small ancestral home at Delhi.

Time: Dusk

Events: Father of an eight year boy some minutes ago called him and he quickly descended the stairs as his father while leaving the house in the morning promised him that he would bring a new comic for him in the evening when he would return to the house. His father smiled at him and handed over him a comic which he never saw before. The comic label reads “Gowarsons Comics” and the said comic is larger than the normal size. It had a colourful cover depicting two funny characters – one thin but sharp and another fat but delightful – along-with a cauldron. With curiosity he took the issue the read the name - Astrix Aur Kahade Ka Rasaya.

The boy went back to the roof and sat on a narrow corner of it. Unlike the other boys of his age he used to read the names of creators of a comic before reading the same. The name of author and illustrator were unfamiliar, new and strange to him but when his eyes went further below he found two familiar names – Mr. I.S. Pasha and Mr. Harish M. Sudan – both were big names of Madhu Muskan. Soon it was clear to him that Gowarsons is a sister concern of Madhu Muskan. This raised his hopes. He opened the book and read it in one go. He smiled and laughed many times. He again read it the following day and flipped the pages of it till evening when his father took the same to return it to the renting library. (On those days renting libraries were flourishing in India which used to lent comics and magazines for a day after charging around 10% of the rate of the comic or magazine). Our small boy thereafter tried to search more such issues and read four more such comics and thereafter could not find any more title and the re-read the existing titles many times lastly in 1993 when last of the renting library in his area shut down as most of its visitors were drifted to video game parlor or got busy in watching cable television.

Friends no prize for guessing that who that small boy is. Yes it is yours truly Silly Boy.

Yes you are right I am not telling you my life story. What! you want to know more about me. Oh! I am flattered. But my story somewhere later. Now move on the main topic – importance of translation.

Those translations of ‘Astrix’ series by Mr. H.M. Sudan( creator of Daddyji of Madhu Muskan) and I.S. Pasha( creator of Kalamdas & Babloo of the same great magazine called Madhu Muskan) made me the life-time fan of ‘Astrix’ series. After 2000 onwards I read many ‘Astrix’ comics by issuing them from library. All of them were in English. But still I miss those Hindi ones. But when you read them you nowhere felt that they are translated version. I was surprised to know when it was revealed to me that originally Astrix comics were created in French. Full marks to English translators who translated comics in such a manner that it never misses a punch but highest marks to Harish M. Sudan and I.S. Pasha who translated these comics in such a manner for a general Hindi comic reader that it would be difficult for him to believe that these comics belong to an alien land. Now Astrix seems to me an old friend of mine. All because of those good translations. They did not translate Astrix mechanically but put their imagination and punches into it and Astrix Indian. After 24 years when with the help of some enthusiast contributors and bloggers (read Anurag Dixit and Prabhat) and another friend of mine who downloaded these classics for me I read these comics I can assure you friends they still made me laugh. Though till I have read only two and waiting for others.

I also read a comic of Isnogoud in Hindi (Murakhta Diwas) published by Gowarsons as well. Previously, I read an Isnogoud comic in English (Return of Isnogoud) and I had enjoyed it greatly but when I read it in Hindi I was very disappointed. Though the credit for translation was not given but I am sure it was not by Mr. Harish M. Sudan or Mr. I.S. Pasha. The translation was so mechanical that I felt I was reading a government white paper in Hindi. No doubt if somebody reads it as his first Isnogoud comic he would not go for another Isnogoud comics. No wonder Murakhta Diwas is so far the only comic of Isnogoud published in Hindi. Even if I did not read any Isnogoud comic before reading a Hindi version I would not definitely read Isnogoud comics further. Interestingly, the writer of both Astrix and Isnogoud is the same person.

I think I have proved my point what effect a good translation or bad translation can make.

Some more illustrations:-

In the late 80s Hindi magazine Nanhe Samrat published Hindi translations of Sherlock Homes. An example of excellent translation by Ms. Meera(if I remember the name of the translator correctly). Those excellent translations coupled with the fantastic colour illustrations published with the stories (though I don’t remember now but I think the illustrations were by Anupam Sinha as he was associated with the magazine at that time. Can somebody help me with the information on this aspect) made me a life-long fan of Sherlock Homes.

Ms. Meera after completion of Sherlock Homes continued to translate other classics like Tom Sawyer and David Copperfield. It is due to these translations that I became aware of English classics and enjoyed them as it was not possible for me to read them in English for two reasons – due to my limited knowledge of English and due to my inaccessibility of the originals in English. Those translations not only made me aware about the wonderful world of English classics but also inspired me to read many more once I acquired proficiency in English and was able to collect some of them. During that period and subsequently also I tried to read some more classics in translated Hindi version. Some impressed me due to good translation but others dejected me.

One more excellent example of good translation was Inderjal Comics. The translators of Phantom and Mandrake translated those classics of Lee Falk in such a manner that both these characters particularly Phantom never seemed alien to an average Indian reader. Here also the translators did not work mechanically but put their mind and imagination into translation and so they were able to put Indian soul into Phantom. They also changed the name from Phantom to Betal. I was not aware about the original name till 1990 when Diamond Comics introduced Phantom and carried on with his original name in Hindi as well. On the contrast to IJC Diamond Comics’ translation was not up to the mark. You enjoy the same comic in English more than its Hindi version. The same is the case with their other comics which are original written in Hindi. You enjoy them in Hindi but you miss the pinch in English. It is true for every character whether it is cartoonist Pran’s character or other characters. Worst effected are Motu-Patlu and Chhotu-Lambu. These characters are of humour genre and in the English version you miss the humour. You miss soul of those comics.

I think I have done enough bak-bak. I hope you must have enjoyed my second article. My first article was also published on Comic World. That was regarding my most favorite comic characters Motu-Patlu. You can read it on the following fantastic comic blog:-
In the end please let me know whether you like this article or not. Your feedback will motivate to write many more such articles.

Thank you.

Thursday, July 29, 2010


In this blog I shall discuss about my dreams, my passions, comics, music & cinema and will like to hear comments from like minded persons.