Sunday, April 27, 2008

Pulp Spotlight: Mandrake the Magician

Pulp Spotlight
Hello pulp-friends,

This month spotlight is dedicated to a less famous creation of Lee Falk (yep, the same Lee Falk who created the Phantom) but not less cool in my book: Mandrake the Magician.
An illusionist who I can safely say can beat the Shadow in the hypnotic tecnique, Mandrake travels the world fighting crime and injustice, accompanied by his faithful Lothar (the stronger main in the world). The travel aspect of their adventures gives a nice and cool exotic touch to the stories and adds popularity to this creation.
Such popularity has resulted in a cross media expansion of Mandrake: he went from the comic strips for newspapers, to comics, cartoons, serial, and radio shows. Possibly a movie will be added to this list pretty soon.

Sorry for keep this short, but I have some Zorro pages waiting for me. I promise I will be a little more "eloquent" when we get to the Phantom :)


Pulp Spotlight is the monthly feature where I cover other famous characters that have helped to build the Pulp genre not just on the radio but also in the other media.


Kyle Latino said...

Whoo! Lee Falk characters!

Did you ever catch the Iron Fist: Orson Randall special? They had a team called the Confederated of the Curious on it, in which the Iron Fist was a Phantom type character, along with a Mandrake type character and a dog with googles.

Cunningham said...

Oh dude...



(nuff said)

Francesco Francavilla said...

Hey Kyle, I think I missed that one: is it an old issue? Need to check it out.
Bill: thanks, dude :D


Pez Banana said...

hi Francesco, i just recently discovered your art and your blog and have been browsing madly through it for the past few days and i'm enthralled! i love it!

about Mandrake being less famous than The Phantom... not true where i'm from (Venezuela). Here, Mandrake is more famous and there's even a frequently used saying that mentions him. When a situation is too difficult to overcome or a problem or event is too bad to be fixed or restored, then it is said that:


which means... not even Mandrake The Magician can overcome, solve, or restore this.

This speaks of how Powerful Mandrake was regarded in the first place, how a problem can be so bad that not even the most powerful of magicians can solve it. But alas, many people i'm sure used it without actually knowing Mandrake as a character or reading his stories.

Sadly, it's been quite a while since i heard someone use this phrase, but it still is used now and then, and i'm happy to say that The Phantom and Mandrake are both still printed in the newspaper comic section... at least, they were as of the last time i saw a newspaper.

Keep up the great work and thanks for all the Pulp Goodness!

Dennis said...

Interesting but little known fact about Mandrake the Magician: he was based on a real person, Leon Giglio (1911-1993), better known under his stage name of Leon MANDRAKE. If you Google images for Leon Mandrake, you will find he is a dead ringer for Lee Falk's comic strip hero.

Read more about him on Wikipedia: