Sunday, June 14, 2015

#300 - Happy 81 years, Mandrake !! How do I go about it? Probably by saying a huge THANKS to all contributors

This incidentally is the 300th post in this blog. When Balaji started this blog on June 26, 2007, this was one of the very few blogs entirely devoted to the first ever Superhero in comics history - Mandrake the Magician. Incidentally this month is 81 years since the first strip of Mandrake appeared in newspapers. Here is a tribute to that from ComicsAlliance. Enjoy.

When I started substituting for Balaji, one fine Vishu day in 2012, there was less than one third of all Mandrake Sunday strips available on the Net. Due to contributions from Magnus Magnusson, Steve Cottle, Tom Williams, Richard Hy, Paulo Marques, we now have been able to get to a point that we have less than 5 Sunday strips to post before we have all the Mandrake Sunday strips available for everyone to enjoy. And here is one of those remaining strips for your enjoyment. The story is called "The Devil's Stage Coach" and it ran for 24 Sundays from October 01, 2000 thru March 11, 2001. The first panel looked like this:

The color strips are courtesy Magnus Magnusson. Download the story here and shower your thanks on Magnus.

With all the activity on the Sunday strips, the Daily strips till proved elusive. The main reason being that we were not able to get full strips from American newspapers of the late seventies thru the nineties. Paulo, Balaji and I were able to get most of the strips from D203 thru D226 from a paid archive. All strips after D226 were posted by Lothar in his wonderful blog.

That still left a few classic daily strips and a whole lot of strips from the seventies thru the nineties. I have been able to download most of the classic daily strips. I also have a whole lot of strips from the seventies. It was when I almost hit the end of the road, with strips from the 80s & 90s, that a knight in shining armor appeared from Down Under. Despite his health issues including a surgery, Donald Ladhams was able to get me all strips that were available in his local library from microfilm. This amounted to nearly 95% of the daily strips from D160 thru D202. I also have some very good Spanish scans from Lothar's friend Teo, from my E-mule days. Recently Paulo introduced me to a Spanish Mandrake fan, who goes by the name of Mapanare, who is doing yeoman service with his posting of Mandrake strips in both English and Spanish. I have been honored to present a couple of strips from him earlier. We are working together to compare strips and bring out some strips as a joint venture. I am presenting here two classic strips from Mapanare.

Download story here.

Download story here.

A general complaint from bloggers is that people flock to the blogs to download stuff, but can't find time to pen just a few lines thanking the efforts of all involved. When you download these stories and enjoy, please do give some thought to all those contributors who have selflessly worked to bring forth these for your enjoyment. And please remember that this is not their day jobs. They are finding time out of their schedule to bring us these strips. Keep that in mind while "demanding" strips of your choice.

Happy 81st Mandrake.