Land of the Fakirs

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Land of the Fakirs
Start date: June 2, 1935
End date: October 6, 1935
# of strips: 19 (19 weeks)
Writer: Lee Falk
Artist: Phil Davis
Preceded by: "The Hidden Kingdom of Murderers"
Followed by: "Land of the Little People"

"Land of the Fakirs" is the 2nd Mandrake Sunday story. The story was written by Lee Falk and drawn by Phil Davis.

Plot Summary

Rajah Indus tries to capture Jehol Kahn's Kingdom by kidnapping his beautiful daughter, Jana. After having placed her in his harem, he wanted to force her to marry him. However Capitan Jorga, the sweetheart of Jana, attempts to rescue her but he fails. Then Mandrake shows up. At the end, our friends manage to escape on a flying carpet (!). Jehol Kahn said his daughter Jana could not marry an ordinary commoner as Jorga. He said wealth is more important than love... so Mandrake decides to teach him a lesson.

In this way, Mandrake made a trick: every thing Jehol Kahn touched turns into gold, even the water. Hours later Jehol Kahn found that he could not eat or drink gold. He retains this lesson and give Jana his blessing for the marriage with Jorga.


Recurring characters

One-time characters

  • Jehol Kahn.
  • Jana, daughter of Jehol Khan.
  • Jorga, Captain and in love with Jana.
  • Indus, Rajah of Lapore.
  • Dupo, a fakire in Lapore.
  • Melior, a girl in the harem of Rajah Indus.


  • India
  • Lapore, walled city of Rajah Indus.

Behind the scenes


  • The title for the story taken from the strip of May 26th, 1935 (Next week: Mandrake in the Land of Fakirs).


It is not an uncommon practice amongst comic strip and comic book artists to "borrow" (swipe) layouts and drawing styles from other artists. In an interview published in King Comic Heroes (James Van Hise, Pioneer Books, 1988), Lee Falk tells an amusing anecdote from the early days of his Mandrake strip:

 "When I was working with Phil Davis doing layouts very early in the game, we had a Sunday page which had some rearing horses. Now these are illustrative artists and they use photo references and whole files of other artists' material. When I indicated a rifle or a gun or a tank, he had a model or something to copy from. They didn't copy it -- they used the file to get something for a model and they sketched from it. They didn't trace it or anything like that. They had to have a model just like they'd have a model for a woman. At that very moment, in I think it was Flash Gordon, they had some rearing horses. We used that as inspiration, but we didn't copy it. About a year later I moved to New York, and I went up and I had dinner with Alex Raymond up in Stamford where I'd moved to in Connecticut and he was showing me through his studio in his beautiful house and there on his drawing board was the Flash Gordon he was working on and next to it was the Sunday page of Mandrake with the rearing horses -- he was using it as a model. I said, 'But Alex, we copied that from you!' He said "Oh, for Christ's sake!' He'd forgotten."

As seen below Phil Davis used several element from the Flash Gordon Sundays in this story. The horses mentione are from Flash Gordon Sundays of January 6 and 13, 1935. Interesting these horses are not reused by Alex Raymond later, but Phil Davis reused them in "The Return of the Clay Camel", the daily story from 1936.


The horses by Alex Raymond are also used in the story "La città favolosa" by Umberto Nava. The story was first published in the Italian magazine "Il Giornale di Cino e Franco" issues 69 (November 29 1936) to 90 (April, 25 1937). In February 1938 the story was released as an album.

Signifiant covers


This story has been published in the following publications:

Mini brazil.gif Brazil

  • "No País dos Faquíres", Mandrake (1974)

Mini france.gif France

Mini india.gif India

  • "കൊലയാളി രാജാവും" (romanized as "Kolayali Rajavum"), Mandrake (#1) (2019)

Mini italy.gif Italy

Mini portugal.gif Portugal

  • "No País dos Faquires", Mandrake (1979)

Mini spainunderfranco.gif Mini spain.gif Spain

Mini sweden.gif Sweden

Mini turkey.gif Turkey

Mini uk.gif United Kingdom

Mini usa.gif USA

Mini kingdomyugoslavia.png Mini yugoslavia.png Yugoslavia

  • "Нове авантуре са махараџом од Лапора" (romanized as "Nove avanture sa maharadžom od Lapora"), Mika Miš #33 – #51 (1936)
  • "Краљ мађионичара и махараџа од Лапоре" (romanized as "Kralj mađioničara i maharadža od Lapore"), Zabavnik #4 (1937)
  • (no given title), Super EKS Almanah #4 (1980)
  • "U zemlji magije", Biblioteka Nostalgija #1 (1981)