No Hero Without A Mask

Aslan Şükür, the master cover painter of the comic book series that entered our lives in the early 70’s, from Zagor to Mister No, from Kızılmaske (The Phantom) to Martin Mystere, from Teks to Tom Braks. The famous pocket size comics by Tay Yayinlari, the gouache paint-colored covers he made for his tiny black and white comic books, sometimes he was producing work from his own imagination regardless of the content within, and put it on the cover. For example, Mandrake sometimes drew Abdullah, the assistant of the master magician.

In fact, at least three or four generations have a place in the memory of the legendary cartoon characters of Aslan Şükür, a life dedicated to comics. He took his bread out of his brush for years. Works embellished on the cover of thousands of comic book, Aslan Şükür, who has put his mark on the covers of American and Italian comic books, has been in service for 25 years.

The Lord Of Covers

These comic books, which were published weekly, were known to sell over 50 thousand. These comic books, which are the first projections of the heroic cult in the world, pushing the limits of imagination, are still published today, albeit in different times. Old pressures are priceless in the antiquarian market. Both young comic book enthusiasts who are new to these heroes, and older collectors are still chasing these rare works. A book has been written about Aslan Şükür and a documentary has been shot recently. In other words, they don’t call him ‘the lord of the caps’ for nothing.

Last week, Aslan Şükür shared one of this works of Kızılmaske that he posted on social media (as seen above). Kızılmaske had adapted to the period we are in, took precautions and added a surgical mask to his mysterious outfit. He covers his mouth and nose nicely and took precautions against coronavirus.

Hero Doctors

In fact, Aslan gave a nice message to all of us via a hero of Şükür’s. Şükür’s poet friend Gürsel Ileri also attached a note with the title of “Our exemplary hero Kızılmaske” to this surgical mask Kızılmaske:

“Let’s not go without mask, not act without caution! Even when our hero Kızılmaske is wearing a mask to protect from corona, let us be cheap heroes. Let’s be smart. Moreover, Kizilmaske’s job is more difficult. He is wearing a mask on his mask”.

Well, heroism is not an easy job, of course.

As such, it was necessary to call and talk to Aslan Şükür. Thank God, like many of us, he is not leaving his house nowadays. “As a painter, we are not used to staying at home for hours and days, but because I am over the age of 65, I can not go out even if I want to at the moment.

So why did Kızılmaske wear a surgical mask? Şükür explains: “Actually, we wanted to give a message to ourselves. I drew heroes for many years. Although, for a period, comics actually developed the imagination world of many of us. They were the combination of novels and cinemas. Imagine the world of today. Those heroes would not raise a hand to woman, or ever stand next to evil. Their feats were to be good. They actually wrote the book of the young man years ago, hen it comes to Kızılmaske with surgical mask!

In these epidemic days, we see that today’s real heroes are science, doctors and healthcare workers, in fact, they always were. Our cartoon heroes would also stand by healthcare workers if they were actually living. At least they would follow the rules, put on their masks, and they wouldn’t go out on the streets unless needed. It’s actually very easy to be a hero nowadays.

If we think of each other, let us all follow the rules that are stated to us. If we do this anyway, we automatically become heroes. We protect both ourselves and others. Moreover, we also contribute to the cessation and decline of this outbreak as soon as possible. Is there a great heroism from this! Kızılmaske, Zagor, Mister No. All of them are in my dream world with surgical masks these days. If I was still drawing them today, I would draw it.

Most Loved – Zagor & Kizilmaske

“I can say that my favorite heroes are Zagor and Kızılmaske. The owner of Tay Yayinlari, Sezen Yalçıner Bey had agreed with the Americans for Kızılmaske. Comics from Italy were also many, but Kızılmaske, Gordon and Bonanza came from America. In the early 1970’s his original name was the Phantom and he was actually in a purple outfit. We sat and thought. ‘It is not nice, the purple, on a cover and this color spoils the man!’ I said, and we decided to draw red. I also named him Kizilmask. The Americans didn’t make any comments either. (Laughs) “

Article written by Goksan Goktas.

Read the original article HERE.