Monday, January 31, 2011

Short Comic And Links Post


You guys feeling hungry? Well, if you head on over to Taco Bell for lunch, they're giving out free Marvel comics with their kids meals for the next few weeks. The first one (X-Men) is already available. The other three are scheduled to be Fantastic Four, The Avengers, and Iron Man. Go pick 'em up; if they end up being valuable in a few years you'll regret it if you don't.
The first comic is 16 pages cover-to-cover, which consists of an 11 page story and this well drawn single page strip.

by Colleen Coover
from TACO BELL X-MEN #1, January 2011


I'm just going to add this in here for those of you who like random panels taken out of context:

Once again, I've collected a handful of bookmarks to share with you nice folks. Some you may have heard of before, some might be new to you, but they all are things that I found interesting.


LOREN COLLINS' COMPLETE LIST - seriously, this is the most complete list you'll find
GOVERNMENT AND EDUCATIONAL COMICS - from the homepage click on "browse by collection", over 200 comics in the special collections library


HYPER DEATH BABIES - done! the archives are still up, tho'


Collection of rare Bill Watterson art
My Damn Channel - cartoons and comedy skits

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Sunday Funnies: GASOLINE ALLEY


Since Gasoline Alley has been published continously since 1918, I'd be somewhat surprised if there was actually any serious comic fan who'd never heard of it. That being said, I presume the majority of fans don't actually read it. It's not the type of strip that has a very vocal fanbase like Peanuts, Calvin And Hobbes, or Little Nemo. That's a little sad, as it is a very charming little strip filled with interesting and believable characters. The humor comes organically out of the situations presented, and it rarely seems forced.
The strip has been drawn only by three different cartoonists in it's entire run, which has helped to preserve it's integrity. Maybe it's just me, but I feel when a strip (or comic) changes creative teams too often, it's the characters that suffer.

by Dick Moores

from COMICS REVUE #13, 1985
original strips 12/16/84 to 1/12/85

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Saturday, January 29, 2011

Weekends At The Walker House


If you're not an only child, you know all about having to share and compromise. If you have more than one sibling, you know more than you ever wanted to.
So what do you think happens when Patsy and her brother Mickey both have to compromise? Well, you don't have to wonder for too long; the story is right here:

by Al Jaffee
from PATSY AND HEDY #8, October 1952

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Not really related to the story in any way, but who thought this guy would be a good pitchman for girls' comix? I wouldn't let this guy anywhere near my daughters. He looks like the kind of guy who'd be selling stolen watches or playing three card monte out on the corner:

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Friday, January 28, 2011


Raj Comics, was started in 1986, right around the same time that Indrajal Comics was going out of business. While the Indrajal Comics line had dominated the market with reprints of western culture heroes like The Phantom and Mandrake The Magician, Raj comics had from the start decided to create original characters specifically designed for the Indian market. Despite this being a risky move, it paid off in the long run, as Raj is now the dominating publisher of comics in India.

Yet, the journey is not over quite yet. The original goal of the early writers and artists has yet to be achieved:

"When I created Nagraj in 1986, I was sure it would become a global comic superhero like Superman or Batman. That hasn't happened." - Sanjay Gupta

Making their most popular characters (Nagraj, Dhruva, and Doga) famous worldwide may be only a few steps away: the publisher has licensed the heroes to Bollywood producers for film adaptations. They might not get widespread release here in the west, but if a devoted cult following arises from DVD sales and rentals, Nagaj and Dhruva may yet become as familiar to the world as Superman and Batman. Stranger things have definitely happened in the entertainment industry: I can remember when a virtually unknown musician named Haim Saban used a bunch of stock footage and old costumes to create a show you probly have heard of: Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers.

If you guys happen to see collections of Raj Comics in your local comic store in a few years, just remember you heard of them here first.


There are no comics code regulations in India, so acts of shocking and extreme violence are common in Raj Comics.
Things like burned eyeballs:


...heads exploding:


...and cold blooded murder:


Use of religious imagery that might be considered blasphemous (and subsequently banned and/or protested) is also fairly common:


Copyright infringement and plagiarism apparently(?) are acceptable as well. These guys are the Fighter Toads. The only thing that makes them different than our own Ninja Turtles is that they don't eat pizza (and, I guess, the fact that they're not turtles or ninjas):


But don't get the wrong idea, Raj has plenty of original characters. On this page (in order) are:
1. Nagraj, who can generate deadly snakes from his body. His body can heal itself when he gets seriously injured.
2. Dhruva, a hero with no powers who uses martial arts and hi-tech weapons to fight criminals.
3. Shakti, who harnesses the power of the goddess Kali to seek vengeance for the oppressed.
4. Parmanu, his powers are derived from the suit he wears.
5. Doga, a vigilante who has a very large arsenal. He also understands the language of dogs.
6. Tiranga (literally: The Flag Of India), a patriotic hero like Captain America.


Of course, heroes need villains, and they have quite a motley crew of rogues that they face on a regular basis. I don't know all of their names, but just look at these guys; they all look pretty shady to me:


Unlike American comics, women have much larger roles. Very rarely do you see the cliché of the 'damsel in distress'. This female hero saves Nagraj:


This is Shakti rescuing survivors of an earthquake:


Finally, here's "Liza" (Lizard Woman) who almost always fights against male villains with stronger powers. And she always wins.

I'll be the first to admit that some of these characters and stories aren't worth the time or trouble of importing to English speaking markets (Bhokal and Bheriya seem uninteresting to me anyway). But I can definitely see a market for the top three: Nagraj, Dhruva, and Doga. From all I've seen of them, they seriously have a potential here.
Good luck, Raj Comics.


Thursday, January 27, 2011



Bhokal is one of Raj Comics' mythological/historical characters. I guess if I had to stretch it a little and compare him to one of our U.S. characters, he'd have to fit somewhere into a category with Conan or Red Sonja.
But let there be no mistake; despite the time period he lives in, his stories are just as inexplicable as any of the modern characters that Raj Comics publishes.

The people were just trying to live their life. Then one day, it rained rocks, and a giant foot stomped on them all:


The people never despaired, however; because they knew that Samson Hercules Jackie Chan Bhokal would come to save them:


Bhokal tried to reason with it and come to a compromise, but it put it's foot down:


Bhokal used his magic headband to dig his way out of the dirt. Now, you might wonder what kind of giant it is he's fighting; it's not a giant at all, just an old dude with a really big foot:


Fortunately, Bhokal's headband does more than dig; it also projects a giant hand that grabs giant feet:


You might think that pounding on that foot would make it swell up. You'd be wrong. Not only does it shrink the malicious foot, it sets the guy up for some hardcore bondage:

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Older men aren't Bhokal's type :

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Later that day, giant bugs attack the city:

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Bhokal tries to smack them with some trees:

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It is not effective. The bugs eat the trees and continue with their assault:


When they begin to throw the trees back at Bhokal, he decides to use his sword:

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He fights them valiantly. The onlookers remark that Bhokal "enjoys killing things!"

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Wednesday, January 26, 2011



Dracula is one of those characters you can never get away from. Hollywood digs him up every several years, writers use him for horror stories on a regular basis, and just about every comic company has their own version of the character.
Raj Comics is no exception. In this story, it's up to Nagraj and several other of the Raj Comics heroes to stop him from world domination. Will they succeed?

Nagraj stumbles into the situation when he rescues a child from a vampire woman:


But she seems to have an immunity to his magic snakes:


After a they exchange blows for a few pages, she decides to recruit herself some backup:




The battle continues with no end in sight until one of Nagraj's friends shows up and blasts her with some kind of sunbeam ray.


Nagraj and the other hero split up (bad idea) to investigate in different areas of the city. It's not very long until Nagraj runs across another vampirized victim wreaking havoc:


He manages to get the guy under control somewhat swiftly:


Or does he?:


Despite how bleak things looked for Nagraj in that last panel, he soon turns the tables on the Solomon Grundy lookalike and continues to patrol the city. At about this time, he comes across a flying vampire wolf. Yeah, that's right a flying vampire wolf.


This battle, however, doesn't go quite as smoothly as the others. Before Nagraj can manage to kill the beast, it bites him:


Another one of the heroes (who, for some reason, looks like he might be a vampire himself) shows up to assist Nagraj. Talk about your bad timing. This encounter leads to another long fight sequence:


While the good guys are busy fighting each other, Dracula keeps himself busy by increasing the numbers of his legion of the undead. A legion that includes vampire wolves, vampire bats, and....




Nagraj and Morbius the other guy still occupied, it's up to the white guy to face Dracula:


And it's not too hard to see why this guy isn't on Raj Comics' A-list:


Nagraj gets cured of his vampirism just in time for him and his partner to join in the battle with the main villain themselves:


Ol' Dracula doesn't seem too fond of three to one odds, so he raises himself up an army of zombies to help:


Now this guy is supposed to be reviving the fallen superhero that's lying there in a coma. Fortunately, he takes a break at just the right moment and checks in on the battle royale with his crystal ball (which is still a better source for current events than FoxNews):


Pretty soon, they arrive to join in:


At this point, even a hundred superheroes aren't going to make a difference:


Now backed by thousands of zombies, wolves, bats, maggots, octopuses, and any number of other vampirized creatures, Dracula is looking fairly unstoppable. That is until this old dude shows up on the scene....:


...and casts a spell that turns Dracula into a pile of dust:


Y'know, I could complain, but I'll just stay contented knowing that I actually got to read a comic that had a vampire octopus in it. You just don't see those everyday.

A short review of a different Nagraj comic HERE