Indian Comics/Graphic Novels industry has traditionally been dominated by Western genre of Super Hero Comics from the stable of US based Marvel & DC. The Supermans, Batmans, Spidermans have generated such euphoria in the country over the years that many publishers attempted to bring these titles over the years, with varying degree of success.
Gotham Comics, for instance, have tried at least thrice so far to have a continuous run, with mixed success. Their experiment, highlights that the volume of releases, doesn’t guarantee good response among comics enthusiasts, or comikers, as we term them over here at Comicology.
But Graphic Novels aren't only limited to the Golden, Silver, and Bronze Ages of Comics in US alone. There is much more to it, from the other side of the world. While the Superheroes dominated the Comics Biz in the US, a new kind of Comics and Story Art form originated from France & Belgium, starting the Franco-Belgian Comics revolution. There were many famous characters which came out of this famed line-up, much famous of them and known to Indian Comic Fans with their direct publishing are: Tin-Tin, and Asterix. But then again, they aren't the only ones available, as it is only a window to the wonderful world of Franco-Belgian Golden Era.
There are famous titles like: Lucky Luke, Biggles, Blueberry, etc. which by and large have been inaccessible to Indian Comic Fans. Some Southern Indian Publishers like Lion Comics & Muthu Comics have published some of these titles, but they aren't regular and mainstream (as they are only in one southern Indian language).
Well, we finally have some publishing company who have set about to deliver these wonderful titles to English Speaking Countries. CineBook, a UK based publishers, who call themselves as "The 9th Art Publishers", have come up with a vast array of titles from the Franco-Belgian Genre, translated into English.
Westland Distributors, a Subsidiary of Landmark Multi-Store Chains, partly owned by Tata Group, (read the media briefing about this venture here) have brought these titles at a bargain price to Indian Comic Fans.
The Surprising fact with the CineBook new releases, is that they contains releases dated as new as May 2008, and are available in India for a price as minimum as Rs.195 (an equivalent of little around $5, while they are originally priced as high as $12). The company does seem to be going great guns with monthly releases (refer www.cinebook.com), and if the Low Pricing is the marketing strategy to spawn the English Speaking Countries, then it is a master strategy.
For any sales queries you may contact: Westland Books Pvt. Ltd., Tel: 044 42080417/18; Fax: 044 26642794; email: email@example.com. Thanks to Red for digging up the info, through CBO’s Terry Hooper.
Here is the complete list of CineBook comics available in India:
The Hyperlinks on the series title, will lead to the exclusive review pages for each of them at Comicology
# 01: Billy the Kid
The Rugger Boys
# 01: Why Are We Here Again
|Biggles Recounts |
INR 195 | Various Artists | 2 Titles
# 01: The Falklands War
INR 195 | Groot & Macherot | 5 Titles
# 01: My Dear Wilkinson
| Yakari |
INR 195 | Job & Derib | 3 Titles
# 03: Yakari and the Beavers
# 01: Hocus Pocus
# 01: The Ramases Revenge
# 01: King of the Dunces
# 01: On the Edge of Life
# 01: Assasins & Gentlemen
Scared to Death
# 01: The Vampire from the Marshes
Blake & Mortimer
# 01: The Yellow M
# 01: Child of the Stars
#01: The Heir
#01: Taxing Trails
# 01: The Age of Innocence
|Fascinating Madame Tussaud |
INR 350 | Duchâteau & Follet | One Shot Title
By referring to the CineBook website, it looks that only one series is not released by CineBook as part of their Backlist issues. That was a series named The Wind in the Willows, which seems to have been published in UK with a limited run.
And what’s more, they seem to be going great guns with the following series scheduled for 2008 & beyond.
by Tabari & Goscinny
by Cauvin & Lambil
by Cauvin & Laudec
by Renard & Jigounov
|The Scorpion |
by Desberg & Marini
|Lady S |
by Hamme & Aymond
So, we are in for a lot more of Franco-Belgian Era, then we ever hoped for. I am much more interested in Iznogoud and Van Hamme titles, but won’t say NO for the others.
As it turns out that our old friend Terry Hooper has been covering the CineBook titles right from their inception on his ComicBitsOnline blog. And he has some wonderful blog posts on the same with his reviews. Here are some:
- A Great Weekend For Cinebook -The 9th Art!
- Cinebook -Lucky Luke,Margot & Ducoboo
- Cinebook Take India By Storm!
- CINEBOOK Reviews part 1
- Cinebook Part 2
Enjoy those articles, and be back with Comicology, as we are going to go down reviewing each of these wonderful titles one by one here, in the months to come. Strap On, as we zoom past though the Wonderful world filled with Comics.