Indrajal Comics is a name that is synonymous with the early years of Indian comics industry. It was first published by The Times Of India way back in March 1964. Its initial issues used to have stories of one of the earliest superheroes of all time, Lee Falk’s The Phantom. After a while, the series started featuring several other superheroes like Mandrake the Magician, Flash Gordon and others. One of the most important characters in Indrajal Comics was an Indian hero, who possessed no super powers, but sheer will and dedication to curb the problem of dacoity (robbery), which was running rampant in India during those times.
As time passed, Indrajal Comics became a popular publication with sales good enough to warrant titles in regional titles. Soon, it started publishing comics in languages like Marathi, Hindi, Bengal and Tamil. It remained in publication for years, finally coming to an end in 1990, with issue #805.
More than 25 years have passed since the company ceased publication. Today, every issue of the cult classic comic series is considered as a collector’s item. Comics featuring The Phantom have are considered more valuable than others and are highly sought out by longtime collectors and fans. The earlier issues are rare to the extent that there are only a handful of copies left for those issues, which can be seen only in the collections of serious and dedicated collectors.
Indrajal Comics featuring The Phantom are, among others, now being sold in thousands to collectors. There are lots of Facebook pages dealing with the sale and exchange of these rare comic books. Long time collectors use these portals to seek out rare comics and agree to pay hefty sums for single issues.
Did people collect Indrajal Comics out of passion for the comic books, did they know at that time that sometime in the future, they would be able to sell these comic books at high prices?
Did they collect those issues so that sometime in the future, they could open comic book shelf of theirs, pick up a bunch of Indrajal Comics dating back to the 70s, and get all nostalgic reading those issues on the comfort of their bed. Longing for their childhood days when they used to spend summer vacations devouring these fine pieces of story and art? Or was it just a smart decision which had nothing to do with the love for comics?
The question remains unanswered.