I was introduced to comics by my father at a early age mainly to enhance my reading skills. My father would buy me comics on weekends or holidays. Most of the time, I would exchange comics with relatives and school friends. Thanks to the wonderful 1990s. In TV there was only Doordarshan, and we dint have cable connection either. With Doordashan dishing out more and more Hindi programs, a poor tamilian could not do much but to look else where. Comics was just perfect. It offered action, thriller and awe, all in Tamil. Tamil comics world was dominated by “Lion Comics” and “Rani Comics”. I will list my childhood heroes.
Tex Willer is my favorite comics hero. For some strange reasons I like his story line set in west. The stories are linked to native red Indians, fights and mysticism. He has no special powers. He handles rifle with at most precision and rides horse all the time. He and his son Kit, his friend Kit Carson and assistant Tiger solves major native Indians problems.
Another thing I liked most is the ability of native Indians to communicate with the help of smoke. Most of the time, the sequence will be elaborately described in the comic strip.
Very efficient and indigenous. Not to mention the arrows at great speed and a variation “fire arrows”.
The most famous and hilarious comic hero ever, I would always say as, Lucky Luke. He is the Rajnikanth of comics heroes, full of style and action.
He appears with his trademark gun wielding, yellow, black, blue jean and red scarf. His ability to shot gun quicker than his shadow is something un thinkable, and need to be mentioned without forgetting.
And “Jolly Jumper”, his horse. Perhaps, it could be the best comics horse. Jolly Jumper is clever and witty, it passes hilarious comments on Lucky Luke. Most of the times, I would laugh my heart out for the one liners Jolly Jumper would say.
Most of the times, Lucky Luke would be busy fighting Daltons or red Indians.
Phantom – The Ghost Who Walks
Phantom or Mayavee as he is famously known in Tamil, is a crime fighter from an African fictional country – Bengala. He lives in thick jungles. Phantom uses modern gadgets and can fly jet to city to meet police commissioner and his lover. He is always accompanied by his wolf ‘Devil’, which helps him from trouble most of the times.
He too doesn’t have any super power apart from the fact that he can shoot gun precisely and his punches which leave permanent marks. Phantom protects the jungle and fights against smugglers and poachers. Most of the time, the ability of native people to communicate with the help drum beats intrigues me.
An lesser known comic heroes compared to others. Steel claw aka Louis Crandell works for British intelligence (the shadow squad – Tamil ‘nillal padai’) and has a super power, ‘invisibility’. He would wear a claw made of steel and dissolve into air in few mins. His claw would be visible though. The claw has five different weapons on each finger, it can also be remote controlled. Although the claw needs electric power and be plugged for charging. He fights governments and espionage.
Another comedy cowboy comic hero. I have read very few comics of him. But all of them are really hilarious and has a good story. The hero works with an assistant to serif in a town. All of his adventures would involve the chief and his assistants hilarious sidekicks.
My favorite female comics heroine would be without any doubt, “Modesty Blaise”. She and (her boy friend ?!) Willie Garwin double up to solve the most gripping action packed adventures. For some reason, she was like lady James Bond. She had unending streak of villains to tackle.
She is sexy, and there was an untold relation with Willie Garwin. I wished some one could tell me more on them.
And Many More…
There are many others comics heroes I read. The Spider (not Spiderman), Archie robot, Captian Tiger (Blueberry) for wonderful drawings and Rip Kerby for detective skills are few to name.
The comics reading has left a huge impact on me. I could draw, I became interested in books and deteriorated my eye sight. Growing up with comics was really fun, as I see, children of this age are addicted to TV and skip reading.