Saturday, July 7, 2012

#199 - Walking away from posting for a short period till after post #200

Well, this will be my last post on this blog till after Balaji comes out with his 200th post.

If one gets the feeling that some of Mandrake's classic stories got tweaked and repeated, well this is an example that emphasizes that feeling. These kind of stories had been written many a time with Mandrake, Lothar and even the Phantom as the protagonist. The hero goes for a walk, encounters bad guys, saves damsels, children and senior citizens from danger and comes back home in an absolute nonchalant manner, with not even a spec of dust on their clothes. The best adventure I could have during a walk, is trip and fall and save myself from any dangerous injury and come home with some bruises!!

BTW, Lothar has a date with Karen in this story. Who the heck is she?

Thanks are again due to Paulo.



Saturday, June 30, 2012

#198. 7 or 9? Who cares? I've met them all!

This is my penultimate post before Balaji makes his 200th post. Well, in my home state of Kerala, they say that there are seven other people looking exactly similar to anyone in this earth. Hmmm. So there are 7 people looking exactly like me. Wonder if I will ever get to meet even one of them. In some other parts, the number goes up to 9.

I think Mandrake must be the one person who has had the occasion to meet most of his look-alikes. It gives rise to a trivia question - Can any one come up with how many of his duplicates, Mandrake has seen ? And since it is Mandrake, it goes without mentioning that he would have definitely come to their rescue. Of course the story that will come first to anyone's mind will be the story of the ownership of Xanadu.

I have to express my heartfelt thanks to Paulo, for his efforts in editing and even replacing some missing strips with those from DC, India.



Saturday, June 23, 2012

#197 - I have a dream ...

In my last post, I had a story from Falk-Fredericks combo about Narda's dream. How about a post about Mandrake's dream? I can take a bet about one thing - Mandrake is never going to dream of. NARDA!! When he has her alive and well beside him, why would he have to dream of her. So what does he dream? And, in the end,  was it all really a dream?

Thanks to Paulo for extracting the strips and putting them out as a .cbr file for us to enjoy.

There are a few more strips, which we will soon be fixing and posting for all to enjoy. Some of them might come after Balaji comes out with his 200th post. I will be hanging up my gloves after 2 more posts and wait for Balaji to do his 200th post.

Almost all of the stories that succeed this one are available in Lothar's blog.

Read and Enjoy,


Saturday, June 16, 2012

#196 - Narda also dreams? Huh, I thought she only appeared in our dreams!!

3 more posts and then comes the anticipated double century from Balaji. Since it is like a dream come true, what better post to make than the dream of one of the most beautiful female characters in the history of comic strips?

Thanks to Paulo, for extracting and editing this from the PDFs into the cbr format. This was one of the strips that was skipped earlier. I know that this was published by Diamond Comics in India in color.

I am working on getting some dailies from the seventies and eighties. All of them are from microfilms. One of them is the interesting story "The Thieves". Keep ruminating on what is so interesting about that story, while you enjoy Narda's dream. And to think that she was in the dreams of so many young boys of those times!!



Saturday, June 9, 2012

#195. It's not Balaji yet. It's just I, the Clay Camel!!

Five more to go for Balaji's double century post. What better story to post than a Clay Camel one, since I have transformed into Balaji for the last few weeks. It is a short and funny story.

It goes without saying all credits are owed richly to our friend Paulo for all the hard work in extraction and editing of this strip.


Venkitachalam Subramanian

(P.S. The stories preceding and succeeding this one are available in Lothar's blog. Don't forget to grab them if you don't have them)

Saturday, June 2, 2012

#194 - Sikandar, Iskandar or Buffo - I just need to get her!!

There is an old saying in the language of Malayalam (the main language of my home state of Kerala, in the Southern part of India) - Kanakam Moolam Kaamini Moolam - which points out that great men have become little men (I can't use the word dwarf, because of PC), because of the unwarranted attraction to Kanakam (gold or wealth) or Kamini (woman).

In this story we have Buffo, who has a lot of Kanakam, falls for a Kamini by the name of Narda. And then we have his downfall, because he did not reckon with Narda's two meddlesome friends going by the names of Mandrake and Lothar.

Lee Falk seems to be bringing out bits and pieces of his own older stories involving not only Mandrake but also  his other creation, the Phantom.

Once again, Paulo deserves all credits and thanks for extracting the story and putting it into a .cbr format. He also deserves all the credit for having paid the full amount to get into the paid archives to get these stories.Balaji and  I just piled on to help him download the newspapers, as they were just too many. We had to download the complete daily newspaper and at times they were more than 50 MB in size for a day.

(We hit a snag and so there are a few gaps. We hope to overcome the difficulties soon and bring you the remaining stories as soon as possible.)


Venkitachalam Subramanian

Sunday, May 27, 2012

#193. Diamonds are there just to be stolen?!

Six more to go before the double century. Once gain I had to skip a number. I am presenting D216 here about some diamond thieves.

We have seen and read about attempted robbery within the College of Magic. The one of the CUBE by Lucifer of course was the big one. Here an outsider gains entry into the College and gets away with robbery! Of course he and his gang have to encounter the meddlesome Mandrake and Lothar.

Thanks are again due to Paulo, who did the extraction and editing. I helped with a few missing strips.



Sunday, May 20, 2012

#192. What can one say when the Creator fumbles?

Hello friends,

7 more to go before Balaji gets to the double century. While my aim was to post the Mandrake dailies in a chronological order, we hit a slight snag in that we have not been able to edit 212 & 213. In my last post of D211, we had seen how Falk joined two of Mandrake's greatest adversaries into just one.

In this story, he fumbles on the first ever meeting of Mandrake and Lothar. Fans who had grown with these characters had the story of Mad Dog Dill and the hunt for him which led to the first meeting of Mandrake and Lothar. In this story we have a new first meeting. I will leave it to Mr.Falk to tell you all about it.

Thanks are again owed to Paulo for extracting these strips from full newspaper downloads of 30-50 MB per day. I helped with a few missing strips.

Daily Ink has just today started S013 The Theater Mysteries in color.It will be 10 more weeks before it completes. I am waiting to replace my B/W version with this colored one when it ends.



(Still posting temporarily permanent or permanently temporary for Balaji till he returns to posting)

PS. While talking about the Creator's fumble, looks like I goofed up on my previous post where I posted the links for the complete S186 strip first posted in #190. Here is the correct link. Let me hope that I got it correct this time. Third time is a charm as they say. Sorry for the confusion and trouble.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

#191. Two is better than one ! Or is it not?

We have always enjoyed reading the stories where Mandrake takes on vicious foes like the Octon, Saki, Lucifer and many others. And then in D211, we were told that the Octon and the Cobra were one and the same person. It did come as an anti-climax. Not that Lee Falk did not give us hints about the impending unification of these two arch enemies of Mandrake.

Thanks are again owed to Paulo, who edited this strip (one of the few strips that ran for more than 32 weeks) and replaced some of the bad strips with colored ones from Diamond Comics. I recall that Ajay had posted the complete Diamond Comics version in his blog



(By mistake, I had missed a panel from the S186 strip. I posted new links. So if you had downloaded previous links, please download the new ones from post #190. Thanks to Paulo for catching the missing strip. I am enclosing the correct links here too. Prabhat and some others mentioned that they were not able to download from post #190: )

Saturday, May 12, 2012

#190 - Can I have some Tuttu Frutti ice cream?

We first came across this Tourist in the Daily strip D080, which ran from 01-03-55 thru 04-02-55. I don't know if this was published in any blog. But not to worry. I have been able to collect the whole strip and will soon be posting that, once I finish cropping and "cleaning" the strips.

Here I am presenting "The Return Of The Tourist", which was incidentally the penultimate (second to last) Sunday strip published.

Update: Our Friend Paulo noticed that there was a missing week in my previous upload. I have now put out the complete story. Please download from these new links.

Thanks are owed to Magnus Magnusson for the color strips. I was able to search out and get English strips to replace the non-English ones.

(For those of you who are wondering where you could get the last ever Sunday strip, that strip is available in Prabhat's blog in various sizes and colors. You could also download the B/W version here:
This is one of those rare stories in which the Phantom joins Mandrake and Lothar in a real adventure, instead of just showing up at one another's wedding.)



Tuesday, May 8, 2012

#189. Mirror Mirror on the dressing table!

I present here the third story in the Mirror series. The first story - D033_TheMirrorPeople_(10-09-1944_to_12-16-1944) - can be found in this blog itself, though not in a strip format. The second story - D126_ReturnOfTheMirrorPeople_(08-24-1964_to_01-02-1965) - can be found in Lothar's blog as his 100th  upload.

Paulo needs to be thanked for the editing of this strip too. A few of the original strips were really bad and he used some DC strips to complete the story.



Saturday, May 5, 2012

#188 - Gigantic Insects and what not?

Lee Falk has written many stories involving scientists and gigantic animals running around. Here is one of them. The story happens when Mandrake and Lothar are on their way to Harrison University, to perform. There is mention of what happened to them on an earlier journey to that University.

Thanks to Paulo, who has been most instrumental in getting all these dailies for us. I am trying to post these in a chronological order. Of course I skipped the order just for D220, since it was a COBRA story.



Wednesday, May 2, 2012

#187 - Dream come true?

Hello everyone,

Here is another Mandrake daily for you to enjoy. Could something you see in a dream turn out to be true? Well, read it to find out.

P.S. Don't forget to enjoy Narda in and out of Mandrake's dream

Of course I committed a major booboo while posting this. How could I not have acknowledged the efforts of Paulo to extract the strips from about 60 MB of data downloaded for this strory alone and the even replaced some of the bad strips with colored ones from Diamond Comics? My apologies and thanks, Paulo.



Saturday, April 28, 2012

#186 - A Mandrake daily that has Clay Camel and 8 in it.

Hopefully, all of you enjoyed the two previous dailies posted. This post contains a Mandrake story that has the Clay Camel and 8.

Some of the strips including the opening strip were really bad. Paulo, our new friend (but a very old Mandrake fan) never ceases to amaze me with his resourcefulness. He replaced those bad strips with strips taken from Diamond Comics!!

Thanks are due to Paulo and Balaji.



Tuesday, April 24, 2012

#185 - A Mandrake Daily as promised earlier

During the course of posting the daily D220 earlier, I had mentioned briefly about how Balaji, Paulo Marques and I had teamed together to download a few rare Mandrake dailies.

Here is one of the earliest dailies. This is D-206 (The Other Side Of Nowhere). This had come out in Diamond Comics in India in color. Here it is in the original newspaper format.

Expressing thanks to Paulo, Balaji and myself(ha.. ha..)  for this



Saturday, April 21, 2012

#184 - 3 more Mandrake Sunday strips

Still in my role of guest host for Balaji. I am presenting two of the most popular episodes of the Indrajal era and another Sunday strip. These may have already been posted else where in an incomplete fashion or a mixture of English and non-English pages. But here you get it fully in English.

The first story is about the meeting of Mandrake and Lothar. Not a new one for IJC fans, but here it is in its original Sunday format.

The second story is "The Galactic Rumble". As you can see from the various sizes and shades, I have culled it from various sources.

The third story is of course the story of how Mandrake came to be the owner of Xanadu. The scene where Mandrake sees himself in the mirror, thus knowing that he was the owner, is still fresh in my mind.

Credits are owed to Magnus for most of the color strips.

Enjoy these. There will a flood of Mandrake strips coming up soon for your enjoyment. Balaji too will be back soon 

Adios amigos.


Friday, April 20, 2012

#183 - 4 Adventures of Mandrake and Lothar on the way to Moxley University

Still holding the fort for Balaji, I am providing below links for about 4 stories that happened during the course of a journey to Moxley University. Mandrake and Lothar encounter the wierdest of adventures before performing and helping the students. That story will come later. Some of these stories are available on the Net in non-English versions (thanks to people like the one and only Magnus Magnusson).

I have tried to replace the non-English versions by searching out the strips from paid and non-paid archives including AWW and Steve Cottle's collection. Ofcourse there was the always dependable Magnus to help with quite a few of the English strips also.

S127 - The Ghost Town -

S128 - The Plane Hijackers -

S129 - The Man From Europa -

S130 - The Giant Head -

I had posted D220 earlier. Look out for more daily strips of the 90s in this space.



Wednesday, April 18, 2012

#182 - Two more Mandrake Sunday strips

Here are two more Sunday strips for you all to enjoy. As you will see by the various sizes of the strips, I have culled these from various newspapers over the Net.

S093_TheDouble_(09-08-63_to_01-19-64) - This is a theme which Lee Falk has used more than a couple of times in his illustrious career

S098_TheUnderWorldVsInterIntel_(04-10-66_to_08-07-66) - Is this  the first reference to Inter-Intel?


Monday, April 16, 2012

#181 - Three Mandrake Sunday strips - Unseen?

I am back again, in my avatar as a guest host. Without much ado, I am presenting 3 Sunday strips, I have collected from various sources on the Net - paid archives and free - and shared with some of my friends on various comics groups.

The first story is S090 (The Task Test)

The second story is S091 (The Trade Commission or Blue Planet)

The third story is S092 (The Ghost Lover) involving Magnon.

I have not tried any magic with PS. Many of these were scans from microfilm and so some blackness is there. If someone amongst you can clean them, it is always welcome.

Friday, April 13, 2012

#180: Double encounter between Mandrake and his arch enemy the COBRA

Today is April 14, which means it is Vishu or Bihu or Baisakhi or Bisu or Naba Barsha or Tamil Puthandu or Pana Sankranti depending on which part of India you live. It is also Songkran or Pee Mai Lao or Chaul Chnam Thmey or Thingyan based on which part of South East Asia. For people in all these areas, it is Happy New Year today.

Here is a picture of a usual Vishu Kani:

Happy Vishu to one and all.

What better way to celebrate the New Year than lay back and read 2 comic strips featuring Mandrake and his greatest enemy - the COBRA.

The first strip is a Sunday strip - S097 (The COBRA Returns).
The color strips are from the one and only Magnus, while I procured the B/W strips to replace the Swedish strips. So we do have the whole story in English. The last panel was a heavily edited one from AWW.

The second strip is a daily strip D220 (Pursuit of the COBRA).
This strip was from a new friend but an old Mandrake enthusiast Paulo.

Keep watching this space for a lot more surprises and some never before seen Mandrake strips.


Sunday, April 8, 2012

#179: S124 Return To X From Feb 10, 1974 To June 30, 1974

Happy Easter to All.

Back after some time with another colorful Sunday. This time it is Mandrake and Lothar who go in search of Fran in the dimension X. Another exciting adventure. Love the fiction and the way it is portrayed in an unknown dimension.

Found the missing Strips and updated the archive.

Thanks a lot again to Magnus and Venkit for making this story available to us. Amazing efforts indeed for their relentless pursuit to complete Mandrake comic strips.

Download the Strip here.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

#178: MEGA Mandrake Flame Pearls Sundays Post

How are you all doing? Here is a mega mega Mandrake post that I always wanted to read all of the stories at one stretch. It is one of my biggest posts covering a period of almost 2 years.

Happy Ugadhi/GudiPadwa (Happy New Year) and Shri RamaNavami (Lord Rama's birthday) to all.

Thanks a lot to all these fabulous people (in no particular order): Paulo Marques, Lothar, Magnus Magnusson, Venkitachalam, Steve Cottle (Ilovecomix) for their priceless contributions and efforts.

They have been very instrumental in searching for these stories, scanning them, cleaning them, organizing them and making it available to all of us who do not have access and resources to these stories.

Thanks also to Australian Women's weekly for publishing Mandrake Sundays and making it available.

If some publisher were to publish all these stories in full color, I will be very glad to buy it. Hope that day comes around soon. Enjoy reading them.

It will take a while to read them all in one stretch and is worth your time.

Here are the Flame Pearls adventure stories:

S014 The Flame Pearls Pt.1: Attempted Assassination From 21 Apr 1940 to 26 May 1940
6 Weeks

S015 The Flame Pearls Pt.2: Magnetic Island From 2 Jun 1940 to 11 Aug 1940 11 Weeks

S016 The Flame Pearls Pt.3: The Three Cows From 18 Aug 1940 to 22 Sep 1940 6 Weeks

S017 The Flame Pearls Pt.4: The Amazons From 13 Oct 1940 to 22 Dec 1940 11 Weeks

S018 The Flame Pearls Pt.5: The Ghost Ship From 29 Dec 1940 to 20 Apr 1941 17 Weeks

S019 The Flame Pearls Pt.6: The Witch of Tago From 27 Apr 1941 to 22 Jun 1941 9 Weeks

S020 The Flame Pearls Pt.7: Land of the Giants From 29 Jun 1941 to 2 Nov 1941 19 Weeks

S021 The Flame Pearls Pt.8: The Hungry Isles From 9 Nov 1941 to 12 Apr 1942 23 Weeks

Thursday, March 8, 2012

#177: D049_TheBigTyme From October 04, 1948 to December 25, 1948

Happy International Women's Day to all Women!!!

To commemorate this International Day decided to post a daily where women have a key role.

Thanks a lot to Venkit again for providing me this daily, for taking the efforts to procure the scans, clean it up and make it available for all of us to have a great time enjoying reading this daily strip.

Mandrake's magic really comes in handy in this strip and using his hypnotic power outsmarts the thugs. His ability to read a mind is incredible. Enjoy.

Download the Strip Here

Friday, February 24, 2012

Do You all use ImageShack? Read this email!!!

I was wondering if any of you still use Imageshack for viewing comic strips? It appears they are now going to enforce a limit to the free users.

Since I have 5918 images...most of the images will get deleted which is not an issue for me, but I wanted to let you all know about this in advance. As you all know, I do not make any money by posting these strips so I do not see any advantage to pay them for hosting the images.

Appreciate your feedback. Have a great weekend.

Here is the email I have received.

Dear User,

We noticed that your ImageShack account has reached or close to reaching maximum number of images allowed for free accounts.

We wanted to notify you in advance that free accounts now have a limit of 500 images. After you reach this limit, older images above 500 will expire within a month and will be subject to deletion. You can increase the capacity of your account by subscribing to our basic subscription plan. It is only $2 per month. There are multiple benefits of using our premium service. Some include: unlimited number of uploads, uploads of files of up to 10MB, automatic image backup, high availability and uptime of 99.9%.

Please protect your images by purchasing a subscription at this link:

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

#176: S022 Pacifica From 19 Apr 1942 to 1 Nov 1942

Happy Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday) to all.

Also Happy Shivarathri to all Shiva devotees.

Surprised to see updates on this blog? I am too.

A very good friend of mine passed me some strips and wanted to share with you all. This one especially is very hard to come across.

It is a 1942 Sunday strip which is complete and in COLOR!!! Rarely one comes across such a Mandrake The Magician strip.

Thanks a lot Venkit for getting me these stories and for all the efforts taken to clean the scans.
A ton of thanks to Paulo Marques for sharing this strip. I hope to see you visit the blog someday.

Download the strip here.