Tuesday 7 July 2015

Indrajal Comics Key issues and some lesser known facts!

This is a Maxipost

Hey hey hey barbarians! This post is dedicated to would be and wannabe collectors! "Blast from the past" is a popular phrase in urban dictionary when something returns after an absence,mostly used with a satirical undertone.
Over a few years yours truly have been observing a pattern in the Indian comic scene,Collectors have mushroomed up with commercial interests in Indrajal comics and making it the holy grail of Indian comics.This is not at all that bad but always have conflict of interest.
Internet has somehow helped these commercial collectors to spread their wings and milking Indrajal comics which is the fad off late ,hence it's more important to as they say "getting the basics right"!
Indrajal's fan are aware of these facts however new collector's might not be aware and may get duped in this sudden surge of commercial activity!
Comics in general  give a lot of importance to first prints/First issue and First appearances,trending with the same here are a few pointers on the same for people who are kick-starting their collection or looking to expand their existing ones.
A definitive guide to First appearances and prints in the IJC Universe!

Note: This post is not going to blurt out the same things about IJC's history which might have been beaten to death in wiki and general blogs.
this post has no intention of being a commercial exploit but only academic in nature.

Of Super - Heroes and Lesser Mortals!

In the beginning there was The Phantom,IJC gave him a self styled title since this character was widely subscribed through a monthly magazine called  "The illustrated weekly of India" and quite popular with the readers.

IJC #1 and Phantom's self styled title is "The Phantom's belt" in 1964.Which also means that IJC #1 is not the first appearance of Phantom in India! Reprinted from the Sunday strip #37 originally printed in the Sunday strips in US.

IJC #47 is the first appearance of Julie Walker the Girl Phantom, reprinted from King Comics #20.King Comics introduced Julie Walker to be spun off into another line of comics however this project got shelved.

IJC #46 is the first appearance of Mandrake the magician in India and IJC both.This is a reprint from King Comics Mandrake #3.

IJC #50 "The Secrets Of the Phantom" this is a bumper issue having 5 stories which covers Phantom's Origin and other important stories in Phantom's timeline.

IJC #72 "The Tournament of Death" is the second appearance of Flash Gordon however it's the first full self titled issue of Flash Gordon in India.

IJC #75 "The Disturber" is the first Lee Falk story of mandrake in India.I guess it can be considered as a minor key.

IJC #267 "The Red Brick House" First appearance and Origin of Bahadur.

IJC #277 "The First Phantom" All mysteries of Phantom from his strange suite to his friendship with Bandar tribe it all haapens here.

IJC #284 "The White Ghost's Den" First appearance Bela

IJC #377 "The Monster Boys" First appearance of Buz Sawyer in India

IJC #379 "The Sting of Venom" First appearance of Lt.Drake in India.

IJC #383 "The Devils Domain" First appearance of Mike Nomad in India,Only 7 comics were printed

IJC #399 "The Wax Trap" First appearance of Rip Kirby,Desmond and Honey in India

IJC #420 "The Feindish Mission" First appearance of Garth

IJC Vol21 #14 "The Fury of the Sea Goddess" First appearance of Bruce Lee in comic format in India,In all only 4 comics were printed with Bruce Lee as the protagonist.

Other Key Issues

True Indian War stories -

IJC #197 To each his own

IJC #199 The Bridge Busters

IJC #202 The Tank Battle at Sukha Nallah

IJC #201 Treasure from No Man's Land

IJC #206 Operation JIG-3

True Indian Independence struggle stories-
IJC #212 On the sands of time

IJC #219 Kunhali Marakkar

IJC #223 Komagata Maru

IJC #247 The Indian Robinhood Sultana

Indian History and Folklore stories-

IJC #209 Ramcharit Manas Part 1

IJC #228 Ramcharit Manas Part 2

IJC #215 The City of Goddess
IJC #221 The King of Kausambhi
IJC #242 Bahubali (Being made into a major Movie with the same title)
IJC #261 The Ten Days
IJC #272 Mahabharata Part 1

IJC #278 Mahabharata Part 2

IJC #368 Bharat Bahubali

My 2 cents on Rarity of books/comics:
How do we come to a conclusion that a particular book is "Rare"? Internationallly there has been a few accepted parameters to claim rarity of a book.
A. The print run of a particular edition/Issue
B. The Condition in which the book has been found in usually like a good bad ugly on a 10 pointer.
C. The Year in which the book was printed.

There are organizations whose sole purpose is to grade books and do some research and catalogue them which is basically a matrix saying an X book was printed in the Year xxxx with a print run of Y numbers and this co. has only found Z no. of books in this condition.
So there is a possibility that only Z/2 no of copies would have existed from the year xxxx out of Y in "this" condition. (stats of extrapolation)
Although the bottom line is "One man's junk is another man's gold" but you still have some data to back up.
Nevertheless few other factors will also be that reprints can not out price originals which is a thumb rule but also subjective in nature.
Sadly all these parameters have been thrown out the window in the Indian context and rarity has been hijacked to "Word of Mouth" observations!

A certain hard bound Indrajal ,a set of 12 Comics has come into your truly's possession at this time information is scant whether it's a genuine book or not! Readers please share if you have any info on the same!
The look and feel seems genuine, perhaps an experiment  for selected markets?

Supply and Demand drives a market, Indian comics is in it's nascent stage of being called an investment vehicle!

Note : Many covers displayed are from free sources and hence have not been watermarked. Some Characters have been omitted from being considered based on popularity derived from independent sources.


  1. I had same hardbound digest it was three hardbound comics each had around 12 comics I think. never counted but it was enjoyble, got it from friend in exchange of comics, but I dont have now.

  2. Replies
    1. I had three of those hard bound and around 30 original Indrajaal comics, which some kids took withou telling me from my house when we had my dads retirment function. All I left with 5 IJC and 3 raj comics :(