Please say hello to the Count of Champignac

The Bookshelf


Now, readers are in for a treat. A whole set of similar comics, many of them by these very same giants of comic literature, has arrived in India in beautiful, large-size, full-color editions. 

The Lucky Luke series is about a young, handsome, unflappable cowboy named - what else - Lucky Luke. Luke rides a splendid white horse called Jolly Jumper. It's a story, after all, which is why Jolly Jumper can speak and do tricks like no ordinary horse can.

Between rider and horse, the pair strike terror into the hearts of all the villains in the Wild West, from Billy the Kid to the Dalton brothers and Ma Dalton, to boot. The stories are all about the good guys triumphing over the bad guys in the funniest of ways.

The Iznogoud series presents the Grand Vizier Iznogoud who, true to his name, really Is No Good, and up to no good, as well! The wicked fellow is forever plotting and scheming about how to do away with the good Caliph of Baghdad so that he can become Caliph in place of the Caliph.

But, no matter what tricks he tries, manipulating hostile neighbouring kings, and using magic spells, poisoned potions, and roads that go nowhere, he always fails in the most hilarious manner imaginable.

A plus about the Iznogoud comics is the humor; a minus is that, unlike the Asterix comics, the Iznogoud cartoon panes are a little crowded.

The Spirou and Fantasio series is about two young Belgian journalists. Spirou is the hero; he is short but clever. Fantasio, his companion, is tall and somewhat hasty in word and deed.

Between them and their wildly improbable pets, they have a number of extraordinary adventures, meeting quite a lot of curious characters in different parts of the world. Don't miss the stories that include their madcap inventor friend, the Count of Champignac.

The Quick and Flupke series by Herge is about two naughty Belgian boys and their mischievous escapades. Most of the stories are short and last just a couple of pages.

The humor, however, is a little simple and would perhaps appeal most to young readers. In contrast, the Lucky Luke, Spirou and Fantasio, and Iznogoud comics would amuse children of all ages, from 9 to 90!

All these comic books are priced in the region of Rs.150-200 each, depending on whether you want them in hardcover or paperback.

Whereas the Asterix and Tintin comics are worth owning, these are at least worth reading; so persuade your local library to get copies.

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