Monday, September 12, 2011


Above scan is of a panel from the 8th installement of 'Vatan İçin [For the Homeland]' from the back cover o no. 36 (dated Mar. 11th, 1940) of Turkey's 1001 Roman weekly comics magazine. 'Vatan İçin', serialized between no.'s 29-54 of 1001 Roman, is the Turkish edition of 'Jean-Jacques Ardent à la Guerre ['Jean-Jacques Ardent at the War]' serialized in the French magazine Junior in 1939-40. Ardent was originally an athlete character created by René Pellos in 1938; Pellos (1900-1998) is better known for his 'Futuropolis', the first non-juvenile French sci-fi comics saga. 'Vatan İçin' was the only comics series published in 1001 Roman credited to its original source, with the tag "Fransızca Junior gazetesinden alınmıştır [taken from the French Junior gazette]" in its title caption. This was probably due to an intent to show sympathy for France in the newly erupted 2nd World War (Turkey had officially signed an alliance with Britain and France soon after the war had erupted, even though this alliance would in effect remain only on paper). Ironically, the German invasion of France would be initiated a few months after 'Vatan İçin' began to serialized in 1001 Roman and France would surrender before the serialization ended. The Turkish edition ends with Ardent being shot and falling down from a bridge which he had planted explosives, and sinking down into the waters below, with his last words as "Oh.! I am happy!.. I am dying for the sake of the independence of my homeland":
UPDATE: I've updated my below posts on Sept. 5th, Sept. 9th and Sept. 10th with the identifications of the original sources of the covered comics. However, comics covered in the posts on Sept. 8th and Sept. 11th still remain unidentified.

Sunday, September 11, 2011


Above scan of a panel from 'Dünya Düşmanı [Enemy of the World]', an obscure science fiction comics of French origin serialized in the back covers of the first 28 issues of Turkey's 1001 Roman is from the no. 3 (dated July 24th, 1939) of this weekly comics magazine. The original title of 'Dünya Düşmanı' was 'L'Ennemi du monde' and it had originally commenced in  L'Epatant, the leading French comics magazine of the pre-war era, but continued in L'As when the former magazine folded in 1939; the artist was Pierre Duteurtre (1911-1989).
The plot of 'Dünya Düşmanı' kicks off with an attack of giant insects on colonial Africa accompanied with a wireless ultimatum coming from a mysterious voice calling for total submission of world nations. Lieutenant Nelson volunteers on a rescue mission to a camp on the outskirts of Mount Kilimanjaro which has been raided by the giant insects. The camp is also being threatened by over-size lions, as seen in the below scan from no. 4:

Upon arriving at the camp, Nelson and his compatriots detain a suspicious young woman who is soon set free by over-size natives which then empower Nelson and co. (scan from no. 17):
Nelson and co. are taken to the hideout of the main villain (scan from no. 20):
They learn that the culprit is a scientist named Bravona who has developed a serum which he calls "serum B.K." that causes abnormal growth in the size of living beings. Meanwhile, airforce attacks the hideout of the mad scientist, but meets devastating defence by the giant insects (scan from no. 23):

The comics ends with Nelson shutting down an electric shield, allowing for missiles to hit the hideout.
I think this is a very interesting comics because it is probably the earliest manifestation of giant insects in the comics medium, predating the giant insect boom of the 1950s by more than a decade. The idea of a scientifically developed chemical substance causing abormal size growth of living beings might have been inspired by H.G. Wells' novel Food of the Gods (1905), but utilizing that idea within the context of a mad scientist bent on conquering the world is pretty original for the pre-war era as far as I am aware.
Artist Duteurtre's post-war credits include the second volume of the sci-fi saga 'Guerre a la Terre' and the long running series 'Sitting Bull', both from Coq Hardi.

Saturday, September 10, 2011


Above scan is from the no.1 (dated July 10th, 1939) of Turkey's 1001 Roman, featuring a shark scene from the first installement of 'Korkusuz Adam [The Fearless Man]', serialized in the first 22 issues of this weekly comics magazine. 'Korkusuz Adam' is the Turkish edition of 'Metropoli Distrutta' by the Italian artist Ferdinando Vichi (1901-1944), originally serialized in the Italian comics weekly L'Avventuroso in 1938. The original Italian version is said to be anti-communisy and fascistic (*), but these sentiments are not as evident in the Turkish edition. During the course of the Turkish translation, the protagonist has been given a Turkish name and nationality. He is an "engineer" (=inventor?) who has made a valuable invention and hence is being sought after by a band of "international spies", seen in the below scan from no. 3:
In order to evade capture by the spies, the hero seeks shelter in an exotic island inhabited by "savages". Towards the finale, an elderly white man who commands apes appears, as seen in this scan from no. 18:

(*) Claudio Carabba, Il fasciso a fumetti, p. 273.

Friday, September 9, 2011


Above scans are from the no. 19 (dated Nov. 13th, 1939) of Turkey's 1001 Roman, featuring an installement of 'Gizli Ülke [Secret Country]' serialized in the first 22 issues of this comics weekly magazine on a two half pages per issue basis. This marvelous episode turns out to be part of a series of nightmarish hallucinations induced on a pair of adventurous American millionaires who were kidnapped and drugged by independence-seeking rebels of India.
'Gizli Ülke' is the Turkish edition of 'La Regina d'Atalanta', originally serialized in the Italian weekly comics magazine L'Avventuroso in 1936. While the art by Giove Toppi is highly imaginative, the underbelly of the script by Paolo Lorenzini, the director of L'Avventuroso, is shamelessly colonialist; for instance, the Indian rebels are aided by a Chinese villain!.. Below panel depicts the resistance of the rebels against the colonial troops who raid the temple where the Americans are being kept, the ringleader exclaiming "We shall not be captives."

You can view some sample pages from the original color edition of 'La Regina d'Atalanta' here (scroll down a little bit to reach 'La Regina d'Atalanta' scans):

Thursday, September 8, 2011


Above scan is from the no. 100 (dated June 2nd, 1941) of Turkey's comics weekly 1001 Roman, featuring the 13th installement of an obscure comics titled 'Denizlerin Dibinde [At the Depths of the Seas]' serialized between no.'s 88-119. The plot is about the search in a sunken ship for some lost documents involving a military invention. I believe it is an early war-time Italian product as the protagonists are Italian (the hero is named "Kolombo") and the antagonists are French (the illain is named "Jan"). Below is a scan of the signature of the artist that I spotted in one of the panels:

As always, any help in identifying the artist's name, the original title and source would be much welcome.

Monday, September 5, 2011


Above scans are from the 13th and 14th installements of 'Denizaltı Tüneli [Undersea Tunnel]', an pre-war comics serialized in the Turkish comics weekly 1001 Roman, beginning with no. 23 (dated Dec. 11th, 1939) and lasting for 27 issues. 'Denizaltı Tüneli' is the Turkish edition of 'Il tunnel sottomariono', adapted from Luigi Motta's 1912 novel with the same title by comics artist Ferdinando Vichi and originally serialized in the Italian comics weekly Giungla in 1938 and published as an album in 1939. The plot concerns the building of an undersea tunnel across the atlantic from America to Ireland. Admittedly, it is a rather dull comics with the only exciting episode being this encounter with the giant octopus.