Friday, September 30, 2016

The Twilight Zone - Walking Distance

There is a fifth dimension, beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man's fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination,. It is an area which we call Twilight Zone.

America between the 1950s and early 1960s, was itself in a sort of "twilight zone." Following the victories of World War II and the attending economic boom -- but before the Civil Rights marches; the assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Martin Luthar King. Jr., and Robert F. Kennedy; and the Vietnam War -- we were wrapped in a gleaming package of shining chrome, white picket fences, and Hollywood glamour. But beneath this shimmering facade lay a turbulent core of racial inequality, sexual inequality, and the Cold War threat of nuclear attacks from the Soviet Union. We'd never been more affluent -- or more frightened.

Rod Serling's Twilight Zone

One of the most ground-breaking shows in the history of television, The Twilight Zone has become a permanent fixture in pop culture. This new graphic novel series re-imagines the show's most enduring episodes, in all their original uncut glory, originally written by Rod Serling himself, and now adapted for a new generation―a generation that has ridden Disney's Twilight Zone Tower of TerrorTM ride, studied old episodes in school, watched the annual marathons, and paid homage to the show through the many random take-offs that show up in movies and TV shows everywhere.

‘Walking Distance’ is about a businessman. He’s almost 40, he’s got a suit, and he hates his life. He’s miserable. The stress of work is just getting him down. And his car breaks down in the middle-of-nowhere countryside. He goes to the gas station to get his car fixed and he realizes that he grew up very close to where they are. It’s walking distance.

“So he says, ‘I’m just going to take a walk back to the town I grew up in.’ He gets there and he soon realizes he’s walked back not just to where he grew up, but when he grew up. He’s back in the time when he was a kid. And it’s just this beautiful story of a guy who, as an adult, wants to go back to his young self, and tell himself to be aware of what it is to be alive, to be young, and to enjoy that. And of course, you can never go back and tell yourself that. It’s a beautiful demonstration of the burden of adulthood, told in The Twilight Zone, which everyone thinks is a scary story, but it’s actually a beautiful one..”

Read here the 3-part series of the timeless and suspense graphic novel  ---  Happy Puja...

   >> 1st Part (Size: 16.3 MB)

Thursday, September 15, 2016

ACK - The Acrobat - Buddhist Tales

Back in 80s we grew up on "Amar Chitra Katha" comics (in both Bengali and English). These old Indian comics were one of the four pillars of my childhood reading, the other three being Indrajaal, ChandaMama and Tintin's adventires. The popular  Asterix came much later in my life. Like most of the kids in 70/80s decade, my childhood life was also made immensely colorful by the umpteen stories revolving around invincible Gods and Godesses, Devas, Asuras, Rishis, National/Historical heroes, and brave warriors. My favorite was Jataka Tales & Birbal. They’re still very much available though and even have a website where they ship their comics worldwide. Everything’s exactly the same, except they don’t run ads anymore and print on better paper, even have hardcover editions. 

Indrajal comics brought us "Mandrake the Magician" and the "Phantom". Amar Chitra Katha was Anant Pai / Mohandas team’s answer to Western comics, to teach Indian children their own heritage through a familiar medium, dealing mostly with Indian history, mythology and legends: even though the art and narration sucked in the beginning, it soon became much more professional.

The amazing story of Amar Chitra Katha started in 1967-68 when an attempt to translate the myriad tales from Indian history and culture into comics was made to cover a wide spectrum of titles. It was the creative genius and foresight of the legendary editor, Anant Pai and the entrepreneurial zeal and courage of the publisher G.L. Mirchandani, that gave birth to a brand which delighted generations of children as well as their parents, since then.

Through the medium of comics, Amar Chitra Katha brought to life the colourful mythologies and legends of India. "The Route to your Roots" was the catch phrase coined to describe the efforts of Amar Chitra Katha to tell tales of heroes and heroines from Indian mythology, history and folklore.

"ACK - The Acrobat - Buddhist Tales"
These comics enriched my storehouse of stories manifold. I still feel that my knowledge of folk tales, tales from Buddhist Jatakas, Jainism, Panchtantra, classics of various Indian languages and Hindu myths is much more than most others. All thanks to Amar Chitra Katha which made me associate each story with beautiful illustrations and well chosen dialogues.

Amar Chitra Katha touches the roots of our hearts because we identify and relate ourselves to it in a more natural way which does not happen with Phantom and/or Mandrake comics even though they too make interesting reading.

Nowadays we live in bay area where there is a large Asian population. Time to time I buy these comics books from my kid's School's 'Book Sale' event. Most of these books are based on famous historical figures or on Hindu or Buddhist religious stories. Some of the interior art is not of as high quality, but the covers are great. 

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In today's post we have a set of Buddhist Tales - "The Acrobat". The first, 'The Acrobat', is about Ugrasena's transforming from the royal treasurer's son to an acrobat to a follower of Buddha. In the second story, 'The Harvest', Buddha teaches a farmer about the benefits of detachment. Buddha explains the ills of desire to the young Prince Kumara in the third story, 'The Golden Maiden', and finally, 'Buddha and Krisha Gautami', is one of the more famous stories, wherein Buddha teaches the distraught Gautami about the inevitability of death. 

The Acrobat
(Size: 13.5 MB)

Saturday, September 3, 2016

The Smurfs and the Egg

The Smurfs are strange creatures, about three apples high, who live in a hidden village, love sarsaparilla and speak an extremely annoying language known as 'Smurf'. They have terrible singing voices, too. 

Imagine an egg that can make your wishes come true! That's just what the Smurfs find when gathering the ingredients to make a cake! But it all leads to no good, when all the Smurfs become consumed with greed! 

The Smurfs Graphic Novels (Book# 5 - June, 2013)

Yvan Delporte was a writer often credited with helping to usher in the "Golden Age" of Franco-Belgian comics. Best known for his work on "Smurfs," Delporte also served as Editor-In-Chief for the comics magazine "Spirou," helping to create the memorable comics character "Gaston Lagaffe."

Peyo created The Smurfs in his comic strip "Johan and Peewit". Peyo wrote and drew over 8 extremely popular titles in Europe throughout his storied career. In 2008 the country of Belgium celebrated what would have been his 80th birthday by issuing a 5 Euro coin featuring his creation, The Smurfs.

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So what are you waiting for? Say 'Thanks', and start reading here one of the funniest Smurfs stories: "Smurfs and the Egg

Smurfs and The Egg
(Size: 7.6 MB)