A Comic Voyage

Inspired by Mwaris history of book reading it brought back my earliest memories of what introduced me to reading and got me hooked. From a very early age I remember getting attracted to comic books in those days I remember there was a small bookshop next to citymarket where an elderly Asian lady used to sell used books and any time I had the opportunity to go into town with my dad we used to make it a point to drop there. At one end there was a big pile of comic books and I ussually used to make a beeline for it straight away and plead with dad to buy as many as possible.

Some of the earliest comic books I fell in love with were the British children comic books of the day such as:

  • Beano: Who can forget Dennis the Menace and his ally Gnasher, Minnie the Minx, Rodger the Dodger and the Bash Street Kids
  • Dandy: Remember Desparate Dan and his apetite for Cowpies, Korky the cat, Desparate Dawg
  • The Beezer & Topper: The Banana Bunch, Colonel Blink the Shortsighted Gink, Pop Dick and Harry, The Hillys and the Billys and my all time favorite – The Numskulls which I believe inspired a Sitcom

While I was enjoying these british comics I also started picking the Disney comics and quickly went through tens of Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Uncle Scrooge and Tweety and Sylvester.

Before long the superhero DC Comics came my way and I discovered Superman, Batman, Spiderman and the Fantastic Four. At this stage I was hooked and it helped that my mum was in UK for a while back then and when she came back she had a full trunk full of Superhero comics. I totally loved Superman and I believe he is the coolest of all superheros and I secretly fantasized that I had the supepowers of superman.

Further along on my voyage I started getting interested in the the Archie and Jughead comics it was at this time that Yaya centre was opening and there was a nice little bookshop called Bookstop where they also sold secondhand books and comics and using the pretext of going to buy comics for my small bro I used to make sure that I put in a number of Archie comics which of course were for me to read first. The Archie characters were priceless, I always enjoyed the tag of war between Veronica and Betty for Archies attention (I always rooted for Betty though), Jughead and his love of food laziness and hate of girls (Ethel was it?) and how was Big Moose despite being rather slow was able to bag such a lovely girl as Midge which caused Reggie alot of pain whenever he tried to slice in.Also not to be forgotten was the Adventures of Tintin many of the breaktimes in school were spent comparing notes on the number of Tintins we had read and by Std 6 I am pretty sure I had read them all, My first was Cigars of the Pharoahs and my favorite was Explorers on the Moon. Again the Characters were unforgetable, Captain Haddock, Bianca Castafiore, Proffesor Calculus, Tompson and Thompson and who could forget Snowy. My favorite character was of course the drunk always swearing Captain Haddock with his “Billions of billious blue blistering barnacles in ten thousand thundering typhoons”

Now the ultimate classic is Asterix and for your information I am not yet over this one and I am capable of snatching it from your baby bro so watch out :-). I find the Asterix strips so creative, humerous and entertaining I clearly remember my first one which is still my all time favorite – Asterix and Cleopatra “That nose!” The naming of the characters was hillarous, Unhygenix the fishmonger and his wife Bacteria, Fulliautomatix the blacksmith, Vitaltatistatistix the chief, A Roman centurion named Poisonus Fungus or Crismus Bonus the sterotypes and puns of the various European Tribes is quite uncanny. It always made me laugh out loud whenever Cacofonix the Bard was tied up during the banquent except in one adventure, The banquets which everyone had a whole wildboar to themselves. Obelix my favorite charactor was never allowed by Getafix the druid to have a sip of Magic potion cos he fell in a cauldron when he was a baby except in one instance in Asterix and Cleopatra.

This Frisky Gaul and his obese friend Obelix in their myriad adventures has kept me entertained for over 20 years and I am sure many more to come.

All pictures from Wikipedia.com


28 Responses

  1. What a trip down memory lane. For me, Tintin was the bomb, talking about the ones written in English.

    I read some Swahili ones like Kazi Bure, Juha Kalulu and Abunwasi and Juha Kalulu has to be the best Swahili comic book.

  2. I loved Asterix. We had a whole bunch of them, and I also remember them circulating in primary school. Somehow they never came back, or I ended up with a different copy all together.

  3. I was coming to the comment section to ask about Juha Kalulu and Bogi Benda coz I started reading those ones them days.

    I try to boast that I have read all Tintin comics.. do you know how much they go for here??? Its damn ridiculous.

    I love reading the Sunday and weekly comic strips. I love Boondocks… dont know if you know about that but its one hilarious strip. [the author [?] is on hiatus right now] *sob* *sob*

  4. I still read Tintin, i absolutely love it..Archie and Sabrina was anaa favourite of mine..still got old tattered collections of those.

  5. Ah, good ol’ comics of back in the day! Tintin and Asterix definitely are way up there. I was so tempted to grab a whole bunch of them from the Nakumatt Junction store while at home, and I just might do so.

    Another Kenyan comic was the Picha Hadithi series that had various folk stories in comic format.

    Today my daily fix is taken care of by The Phantom, Dilbert, XKCD and PhD.

  6. ahaaa, this one took me back, I still believe Tin Tin was the bomb and akina Abunuasi were great too!!!

  7. Awww TIN TIN, I loved this comic and Tin Tin the movie is in the works… I will be such a big kid when it premiers LOL..

  8. ai imenirudisha far! kwaza tin tin na Asterix….nilisoma kitambo na ka watch DvD juzi juzi tu!

  9. Wonderful round up! I still read comics when I can esp Superman, Spiderman and co….

  10. I still do read astrix,archie and sabrina and tintin. It seems like one is still a child at heart in some things.

    Ps thanks for the “hug”

  11. Tin Tin still one of my favourite comics!

  12. Tin tin and Archie I can still read. Does Andy Capp count as a comic strip couz I could sell someone for Andy Capp. That is the sort of husband I would want! LOL

  13. Interesting! I seem to have missed out on comics. Even though i remember reading afew, I cannot recall details of any!

  14. I love all comic books and comic strips. The Politician is another one i love, grab the daily paper, flip to page read, guffaw, hand back paper to bewildered colleague and walk away laughing. Tinting is way up there! I do own an Asterix which i bought a short while ago, thinking of buying the whole collection one at a time…

  15. archie & sabrina, tintin and bogi benda were my favorites…i could reread them bila getting bored 🙂

  16. was about to ask about the pichadithi series but egm beat me to it. Those were classics, I remember telling those stories during English lessons in high school. That’s the way to teach kids how to read.

    wouldn’t mind getting an asterix collection now that there are those 5 in ones.

  17. Kirima thank u for this post..hehee

    Am a comic fan and Archie, tintin ws gd. Read abt on Spidey 2….

    Nice post.

  18. Great Post!
    Have only read that Cleopatra one, am no big fun..

  19. @Bomseh, I still remember Juha Kalulu very well the true kenyan smartass hehehe!
    @Phassie, That used to happen to all comics we almost had the whole collection at home and I wonder where they all went.
    @Moviebuff, There was eve a Bogi Benda complation book which I had deadly stuff – We nicknamed our Headie Bogi Benda in his honour 🙂
    @ Betty, Hang on to them they may become collectors items one day.
    @EGM, Read all the Pichahadithi series from the Kenyatta Prophesy, Greedy Hyena, Abunwasi, etc I wonder why they didn’t continue.
    @Kenyonly, Tintin was the total bomb.
    @Irena, Somehow the cartoons made from comics never really jazzed me but I will be on the look out I wonder who will play captain Haddock.
    @Inexes, Iko wapi hiyo DVD? I must have it.
    @Aco, So whose pyjamas are you wearing now? hehehe
    @KIPUSA, I would still read Asterix and Archie anytime, You’re most welcome
    @Hakeembig, Still is? So you have also refused to grow up – keep it that way.
    @Mwari, Comics were a great way of introducing kids to the written word and some of them are actually quite witty and even grown ups can enjoy
    @Aegus, When you buy that collection I shall want to see it
    @Chatterly, How did I forget Sabrina the teenage witch, good one too.
    @Gituma, So small bro now you know we werent buying the comics for you.
    @Unyc,You’re welcome, Archie was a great read especially if you could get one of the special issue digests.
    @Klara, Thanx, You should try the rest of Asterix they are quite funny.

  20. lakini Tintin and Asterix rocked when I was in primo!
    Deno the menace was good on tv for me.

  21. deadly daddi. deadly!

    ah the memories. asterix, tintin…classics. would do anything to get my hands on the full collection. beano, dandy, topper, beezer were tight. lakini siku hizi they’ve lost the flavour of good humour. ama tulikuwa watoto saaaana.

    walt’s my man. loved his comix. as for archie, jughead was my toi role model. cool and easy not bothered and anti-chix. kukula was polite though.

    i just love comics so much so that i’ve subscribed to kina calvin and hobbes, andy capp, blondie, garfield, peanuts…and a host of other comics.

    HnH, imagine a husband like andy and a toi like calvin…KIFO!

    thanks homs

  22. @HnH, I loved Andy capp and his lazy ways, Yaani you envy Flo. LOL you must be one patient chick.
    @Farmgal, never caught Denis the Menace on TV but we had one bully in school who was actually called Dennis talk of life imitating Art
    @Modo, How could I forget Garfield the ultimate laid back dude thanks for reminding me hehehe!

  23. oh asterix and obelix and cacofonix…a moment please…and then kbc started bringin this cartoon

    archie comics and betty and veronica and jughead-i used to buy them second hand…tsk tsk and swap till y hearts content

    damn ebu post on hardy boys and nany drew next…heh…im reliving y childhood already

  24. Holy Flashbacks!

    Man, seeing that picture of Beano… Thanks, now I want to go to eBay and buy some comic books. 🙂

  25. Good times, good times.

  26. @ Kirima
    patience? how can anyone get annoyed with Andy Capp? he is too hilarious!

  27. Lovely blog…..

  28. @Spidey- Swapping comics was an art in primo even for me. I might just do that.
    @Hash, Youre welcome
    @Gishungwa, Yes indeed
    @HnH, even if he spend all his days at the pub or lounging on the sofa? wow!
    @Yazmar, Thanx.

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