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Thailand In Comics - Caimans in the Rice Field

Back to Weekblad Kuifje (Tintin Magazine) which was my favorite comic magazine in the late 60s / early 70s.

In 1965 Michel Regnier, alias Greg, was the magazine’s main man, besides being its chief editor he wrote many scripts (*) and became responsible for lots of changes…

He persuaded one of the newer artists, William Vance, to discontinue his western series for a James Bond style character: Bruno Brazil.

As Greg’s name as author appeared already more than a few times on the magazine’s pages he decided to use Louis Albert for the new series.

In 1967 a few short Bruno Brazil stories appeared and were very well received by the magazine’s readers, enough reason to continue with longer ones.

Bruno’s first long adventure was a solo trip, but then Greg became inspired by the Mission Impossible series on TV.

This resulted in Bruno becoming the head of a team: Command Cayman…

At first I wasn’t that interested in Bruno, but after the addition of a few colorful extras it became much more fun!

Also the artwork seemed to be getting better all the time, especially the larger pictures.

In 1973 Bruno and his gang ended up in Thailand, going after a Japanese WW2 missile which supposedly went missing there at the end of the war, classic adventure stuff!

Looking back at it now, a 1970’s Bangkok and floating market is nicely portrayed (& almost destroyed!), but whether Vance actually went there on a holiday or just used a lot of photos for background material I have no idea.

After the first few Bangkok pages the story moves upcountry with lots of generic nature and rice fields which could have been anywhere...

The ending of the story was unexpectedly violent, two of Bruno’s team members were fatally shot, which at the time was unheard of and certainly made an impression on me!

Anyway, this is probably the last post in this series as my focus was really on the past when Thailand seemed incredibly far away and exotic…

Of course there have been several comic stories set in Thailand over the last 20 years, but those somehow are not the same.

Even so, who knows, if any new comic suddenly catches my eye I might change my mind or if you know any, please let me know!

(*) He was a pretty good comic artist as well!

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