Sunday, October 24, 2010


Proabably the rarest piece in my collection of war-era Turkish comics is this issue of the bi-weekly 1001 Macera magazine which features a Turkish-made Phantom comics. Simply titled as 'Kızıl Maske [The Red Mask]' (the Phantom had come to be known under this name in Turkey), it is credited to "Ş. Ayhan E.", the joint pseudonym for penciller Şahap Ayhan and inker Ayhan Erer, for its "story and illustrations."
The story begins with a prologue stating that Diana, the Phantom's lover, had been captivated by white slavers:
The vessel of the white slavers encounter a patrol ship which they manage to evade. However the signal from the patrolmen reach mainland and eventually the Phantom. Meanwhile, the slavers have also boarded Africa:

Diana sends a message in a bottle, informing of the location they are being held. This message also eventually reaches the Phantom who storms the slavers' hideout:

In the ensuing fight, the Phantom falls into a river, from which he finds out an underwater opening to the cave where Diana and other captives are being held:

After delivering the dames in distress to safety, he blows up the slavers' hideout:
If anyone recognizes any of the images as originating from a foreign (ie. non-Turkish) source, please let us know.
In addition to this 8-pages long comics, the publication also carries 16 pages of text. The number of this issue is printed as "14-1". I cannot see any date in the tattered copy I have, but it carries ads for other publications known to be published in 1944. It has been published by Kemal Özcan Kitabevi [Kemal Özcan Bookhouse] "established by" Kemal Özcan and directed by Melih Yener. Kemal Özcan may be the same person as Kemal Uzcan who published a long-running comics magazine titled 1001 Özel in the 1950s as the adresses for the offices of 1001 Macera and 1001 Özel are same.
The collaborative works of Şahap Ayhan (1926-2005) and Ayhan Erer (1929-1998) would begin to appear in the children's weekly magazine Çocuk Haftası in 1946 with the highly-acclaimed historical epic comics 'Gültekin'. The duo would work together for a few more comics in the coming years and then part ways with only Ayhan pursuing a career in comics.
ADDENDA ON OCT. 31ST: A post-war Turkish-made Phantom comics is the 8-pages long 'Arizona Soyguncuları [The Robbers of Arizona]' by Ferdi Sayışman published in no. 134 (dated March, 1955) of 1001 Özel weekly comics magazine. It tells the story of Phantom in the wild west where he has traveled to help Diana's sister against robbers.

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