© D.C. Thomson & Co. Ltd.

The boy hunter.

A strip from The Victor. (A work in progress).

See The Victor -

Note - the Shiwa stories originally appeared as text stories in The Rover and Wizard comic.

Writer:- The Victor editorial team. Artist:- Matias Alonso (unless otherwise stated).

Main cast:- Shiwa Sands (son of Saul Sands); Tipu - a native tracker.

Time period:- late 20th century Africa.

Shiwa Sands appeared in one series, a Summer Special and a handful of annuals. Yet for all of that he was a popular character. (At least for me he was). This fourteen year old boy, wise beyond his years roams the deserts and jungles of Africa, hiring out his services as a tracker. (Although in the 1971 annual he is aged fifteen and by the 1985 annual he is aged sixteen). Tipu, his loyal bushman is his only companion. (In the text stories, he is a wizened old man, in the picture stories he appears to be much younger). Shiwa is a serious boy, who doesn't understand the white man's fascination with money and wealth. But he does understand that it can be the downfall of those men who are greedy. And that is essentially what this series is about. Stories about Man's (white and native's), trying to plunder the country through use of violence to gain wealth. They usually end up coming to a sticky end.

At the end of the story below, Shiwa says, "I understand about life-that it's more important than money. Mr. Yeobright may have been a thief but he knew life was more important than money. He gave his life to save mine."

Throw in some African mysticism, several stories with a different theme and the result is an exciting series.

But what of Shiwa's character? It is the opposite to his father's Saul Sands, who is a very laid back character whose main priority in life is hunting and ensuring that he is well paid for it. (Saul Sands appeared in at least four series in The Victor, so he too must have been a popular character). So how did the young Shiwa end up the way he did? Was there some rift between father and son? Did his father's wealth destroy Saul and disgust his son? None of these questions are answered in the picture stories. However, the Shiwa stories originally appeared as text adventures in The Rover and the Wizard comic. And maybe the answer lies in one of those stories. We do know though that one of these text stories states that Saul was killed on the horn of a Rhinoceros. Not a pleasant way to go!

With beautifully drawn artwork by the Spanish artist Matias Alonso, this series with its stories of the downfall of men through greed is a classic.

The following adventure of Shiwa Sands is from issue ?

Artist Alonso. © D.C. Thomson Co. Ltd Artist Alonso. © D.C. Thomson Co. Ltd Artist Alonso. © D.C. Thomson Co. Ltd

For another Shiwa Sands picture and text story please click here.

© Adrian Banfield, 2009.