Sunday, August 7, 2011

MANDRAKE IN ATEŞ (1937-38)

In an earlier post in this blog, I had covered the debut of Mandrake the Magician strips in Turkey in 1935 in an actuality magazine for grown-ups. This post will cover Mandrake's second appearance in Turkey which marks its first appearance in a Turkish publication designed for children. The publication in question was the weekly Ateş [Fire] published by Türkiye Yayınevi, a leading publisher of popular magazines in Turkey in the pre-war era. Mandrake the Magician began to be serialized as 'Mandrake - Şimşek Adam [Mandrake - The Lighting Man]' in two pages each issue format in Ateş with no. 14 (dated Feb. 2nd, 1937), joining two other comics series:The Mandrake adventure serialized in this first series of Ateş was his first-ever daily strip continuity originally from 1934, where he meets his arch-nemesis Cobra, which had already been serialized in Turkey in Büyük Gazete in 1935. However, while the former publication had began its Mandrake series with a perfect reprint (I don't have all the issues of BG with Mandrake, so I can not confirm if it continued that way to the end), Ateş presented it in an abridged form, omitting several panels, even entire strips.
Mandrake also appeared in the cover of no. 36, the first-ever appearance of the character on the cover of a Turkish publication:
The cover art is by Ercümend Kalmuk (1909-1971), a staff illustrator for Türkiye Yayınları.
Mandrake's first adventure ended in no. 52 which was also the last issue of the first series of Ateş. The magazine enlarged its size and started new enumeration soon afterwards. Mandrake was the only comics in this new series of Ateş and it was serialized on the back covers. The Mandrake adventures serialized in the second series of Ateş are 'Gizli Oyun Yeri [The Secret Game Place]', the 2nd daily strip continuity from its original run, where Mandrake meets his future-lover Narda, 'Kızıl Geçitteki Dev [The Giant At The Red Pass]', the 3rd daily strip continuity, and 'Kurtadam [The Werewolf]', the 5th daily strip continuity. For some reason, Ateş had skipped the 4th daily strip continuity where Mandrake meets the Clay Camel, who would be one of the recurrant villains, and is also temporarily re-united with Narda.
Following Ateş, Mandrake's next appearance in Turkey would be in Türkiye Yayınevi's full-fledged comics weekly 1001 Roman, but that will be covered in the next post in this blog.

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