Friday, February 20, 2009

The golden sands of Keela-Wee!

"If you were a child in India in the 1980s, you worshipped at the altar of Indrajal comics!" - Old jungle saying.

Have you read the adventures of Phantom, the ghost who walks? What about Mandrake the magician? Or Bahadur? Or Flash Gordon (though I never liked that guy very much)? Oh how I miss those weekly editions of Indrajal comics delivered to my house! With fantastic tales of beloved characters, overtones that might be vaguely frowned upon in the PC culture of today, and alluring promises of adventures to expect the next week! I haven't read one in years ...

Or I should say, I hadn't. Until today! A friend of Brick and Rope told me about The Comic Project a few weeks back. TCP is a comics blog where the blogger (bless his soul!) has scanned a couple of hundred old Indrajal comics and made it available freely to all for viewing and download. I downloaded the CDisplay tool (also available on the site), and had a blast reading Phantom's adventure, The Emperor's Dream.

I love this site! What do you think?


  1. Man! This is awesome!

    I was wondering what made you think that parts of the story would have been frowned upon in today's PC culture.

  2. I agree, the site is awesome! When I read the comics now, I sometimes semi-cringe when I see the interaction of Phantom and the 'natives' - it is too much of a white-man's-burden type thing. Black African tribes with strange rituals, and a low price on human life, get saved time and again by a white man in a mask ... I don't know whether such a story could be written and pulished today without getting into trouble. What do you think?

  3. Only I didn't scan all 200+ comics on my own. Got a lot of help from contributors. Yeah, did my bit of scanning too. Almost 4 yrs now, and I am surprised how more and more people run into the blog and how I get to "meet" more people through it. Thanks for dropping by at TCP and letting your readers know about it too.
    @smoke+Mirrors: The story was apparently to be set in India and I think changes were made to fit the Indian market. So it's already PC in some way. But for all of us, it's unadulterated fun.
    @JS: Not possible today. We have turned too delicate. Interestingly, while reading these comics as a kid (and even now), these things don't come to the fore for me. I guess if we all treated art as art, things would be a lot easier.

  4. You are the man TCP! Great work with the site! Love it.

    This stuff is not being published anymore is it? What comics do kids in India read now?