Sep 13, 2008

Chandamama - Collectors Edition | 2008

Tinkle (c) Long before Comics or Graphic Novels made their foray to India, there were some Indian brands which captivated the mind of young and grown alike.  They were the so called Children Magazines, which succeeded in guiding a whole new generation in the paths of finding our roots, and imparted learning to differentiate between the good’s and the bad’s, in every day of life. 

GokulamTo name a few of the most popular children magazines from that genre, would be: Tinkle, Balamitra, Gokulam, Champak, Poonthalir, and Ratnabala, which all had a unique set of followers and readers group.

ChampakEach of them also excelled in a specific way in which they originate their stories from, which was experienced by young and adult, during a period when what we see in TV media were controlled by state-owned TV channels, and there were not much other things to divert upon.

Even though, they could not match up to the stardom and world-fame which DC & Marvel garnered with their releases, they enjoyed a fan-fare of its own for decades, eventually falling out of reckoning as their younger readers grew, and India witnessed the growth and varieties of other Sports and TV Media.  Now only handful of them are still in publication, having adopted to live with a small number of readership and changing their content to match the modern expectations.

Chandamama (Ambulimama) 1st Issue (c) ayyampalayam.blogspot.comOne such Magazine was Chandamama, which followed the stories from Medieval India, which comprised of Kings, Queens, and their bravery and wit.  It was founded on July 1947, by B.Nagi Reddy, who is more famously known as a well known South Indian Film Producer, and the person who owned then Asia’s largest Film Studio, named Vijaya Studios, in Chennai.

The cash-rich backing,and the unique selling point of basing stories based on Indian mythology and folktales, took Chandamama to a wider acceptance and it enjoyed a steady growth in sales, with their magazines being publishing in Multiple Indian Languages (12 + 1 English Edition) concurrently. 

Fellow blogger Venki, recently posted an article about the first ever Ambulimama (Chandamama’s Tamil title) which was released way back in July 1947, even before the Indian Independence.  Those who know to read Tamil, can go to this article, to bring back that nostalgic feeling.

Chandamama went on a uninterrupted publishing run which lasted until 1998, when it was stopped due to some labour disputes.  But, they came back within a year, and continue to publish till this date.

Chandamama 60 Years Issue (c) ayyampalayam.blogspot.comThe fame of Chandamama could be exhibited from the fact that Disney, once was looking to acquire it for foraying into Indian Publishing.  Eventhough that ultimately didn't materialize, it was acquired by a Technology Company called Geodisc in 2007, and since has started to concentrate on digitizing its artefacts and old issues of its publication.  This was originally available to be downloaded for free on their corporate website, but now it is only available to be read online at their site.

Instead, Chandamama English Editions have now started giving out a CD containing 12 issues from any of the past years.  It’s a tempting offer for subscribing to the issue, which I have done now.

Chandamama Collection Edition c1 In the same year 2007, Chandamama also celebrated their 60th Anniversary, and recently have come up with a Collectors Edition - Coffee Book, which takes us back to the inception and various stages of publishing scenarios during the Chandamama's Golden Era.

The Collectors Edition contains some breathtaking artwork from the past and photographs of the publishing house and their erstwhile staff at their prime. Eventhough, Chandamama isn't a much interesting proposition at present, this will be an item the collectors and old fans can possess and cherish to share with the loved ones and nears.

The Books is A4 Format, with waxed papers, in a Neatly Bound package, priced at INR 449/-.  It is currently available on Chandamama's website with a 20% discount, for those who cherish to collect this treasure.

Chandamama Collection Edition art1 Chandamama Collection Edition art2 Chandamama Collection Edition art3

Chandamama Collection Edition c1-1 Chandamama Collection Edition c2-1 The Inner-Cover contains some facts about the Edition and an history about Chandamama in a snapshot.  The only qualms about this Collector Edition is that it doesn’t talk anything about the creators who contributed stories and artwork for the 60 year old publishing giant, which one would have for sure expected to read about.  Ignoring them completely, at the hour of celebration has taken the sheen out of this edition, for sure.

As with the other children magazines of its period, Chandamama also fell out of reckoning due to the change in taste and choices of young and modern India.  They are still continuing their publishing legacy by maintaining the same number of language editions, albeit with a limited print run. They also have another magazine called Junior Chandamama, aimed specifically for kids. 

Recently, Chandamama have ventured onto Graphic Novels, a field which they never really concentrated in the past, by tying up with the publishers of The 99 Comics series from Middle-East.  Read more about them, in our The 99 exclusive review at Comicology.

On a late check, I found out that this review of Chandamama Collector’s Edition was indeed the 25th Comics Post at Comicology. I am surprised at my own self, that an otherwise sombre, lazy person in me, was able to continue a passion for this long. Let me enjoy my moment of glory, while you can expect some more great posts in the years to come at Comicology.

33 ComiComments:

Viswa Nathan.D,
Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India.

Dear Rafiq,

Wonderful Posting on Chandamama. I stil have the old copies of AmbuliMama (As chanda Mama is published in Tamil).

Your post has revoked memories of My childhood days. At that time we used to Live in Hyderabad and i still remember when my brother goes to shop in Bi-Cycle, i used to wait eagerly outside the home so that i can grab the Ambuli mama Magazine.

They used to compete with Balamithra. Both of them were of Amazing quality at that time.

Nice memories. Thanks for evoking them,Rafiq.

Thanks & Regards,
Viswa Nathan.D,
Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India.

Hi Rafiq
nice article on Chandamama.Once thing that's come to my mind whenever someone mention this chandamama book is the featuring of king vikramathian with a devil on his back .

Hey Rafiq, Have bought this Collector's Edition almost a month back..but was disappointed a lot... thanks for the great post :) I remember there was this magazine called Gudiya that used to come from south. I dnt know what was it called in Tamil...

I really loved Shankar's Illustrations in old Chandamamas :)

3rd part of texwiller story is still not released from lion comics. Vijayan sir - dont make us to wait too long

dear toonfactory,

maybe the 'gudiya' u refer 2 could b 'bommai' a children's magazine on the lines of chandamama

Viswa: Yeap, it was a wonderful feeling to have the Chandamama/Ambulimama every month. I always liked the Coverarts which used to depict a scene from Epic stories like Mahabaratha, Garuda, etc. I liked Balamithra too during those days.

Arun: I too remember Vikram n Vetal stories. Infact, I was intrigued to watch the famous serial in Doordarshan during my childhood days, because I read about that in Chandamama first.

TF: I too obtained the Collectors Edition a long time back. But, only now found time to review it :).

Sathish: I too remember the Bommai magazine, but never got attached to it much.

Very disappointing for me. I wish it had more content on biographies of great talent which made chandamama possible. Great artists like Chitra, Shankar, MTV Acharya, Vapa and writers such as Dasari really made what Chandamama was at his golden age.

Ramana: Thanks for your comment. Why not leave your comment about the edition too, if you had bought or seen that so far.

Krishna: I too agree with your view point. The collector editions did miss out on mentioning the talented writers and artists who made it's golden genre all the more famous. Obviously, this is the reason why this edtion is not cherished among comic fans and collectors. A lesson to be learnt by other publishers, if they ever decide to release a collectors item. Hope someone is taking it into account.

hello Mr.Rafiq this was relly good i used read comic book in my grandpa's home and those were very precious days if anybody can send soft copies of those old great books plz do send to

Ram: Thanks for your visit and comment. I hope yo do scrouge for the comics/children magazines listed here. in the old book shops... as all the ones listed over here are still in publication, and no one would be willing to get into any legal tangle with the publishers :)

Rafiq, I remember I was the one who gave you the news that the Collector Edition was available for Chandamama. I should say that I did not like the book too.

Heah, you are yet to review the Ramayan published by Chandamama. Your copy is with me for a long time.

@ ERB: Yes I still remember the day. At first, I wasn't pretty impressed, but talking to you, you made me not only buy the Cofee Book edition, but also to subscribe for Chandamama.... hmm... I should start avoiding calls from you hereon.... :)

I will soon collect my long pending Ramayan copy from you. I am hopeful to follow that, with a review post on that will follow once I read through it.

Expecting the review of Ramayan.... THe Aug Chandamama had a CD with Jan - Jun 2007 archives of Chandamama

Dear Chandamama Fans,

It is indeed a joy to talk with Chandamama Fans, I used to read Kannada CHANDAMAMA from 1970 to 1985 and enjoyed every bit of it! During those days, CHANDAMAMA competed with Balamitra (in Kannada and Telugu)and Bombemane(kannada)-Bommarillu(Telugu)-Bommai(Tamil). Of course CHANDAMAMA was way ahead in the race!

I wanted to buy the back issues of CHANDAMAMA from the very first issue. but when I contacted the publishers in Chennai, They said they didn't have the back issues in Kannada - which I found strange!
I request if any of you fans have back issues of Kannada CHANDAMAMA in any state or shape and willing to sell them, please contact me on my mail. I would be grateful to you if I can get them!


@ Keshav: Good to meet another Chandamama fan, which we never have a dearth among all the 80's and 90's generation.

It's true, Chandamama had such a good competition among many other magazines, but it's true form of individuality coupled with wonderful illustrations, made it a whirlwind success.

I pretty much would have liked their existence to continue, but at present, the quality of their editions are such lowly that we couldn't compare it with their golden genre. For that fact, isn't all the present day long running magazines suffering from a similar fate ??

It should be appreciated that they are able to keep their business floating even today, despite it being restricted for a reduced audience.

I wish you all the best for your Kannada collection. Hopefully you will find a good soul who can share his stuff with you. It's true that Chandmama chennai office doesn't have any backissue collection, as they have mostly pushed them out on a regular basis, and at present are converting them to digital archives, which are distributed in CDs now and then along with their monthly editions.

If not the original issues, you can try subscribing for their monthly editions to own them at least on soft copies.

Happy reading dude, and welcome to Comicology.

Dear All
Very happy to meet all chandamama fans and well wishers, Please see my blog on entire Chandamama History and memories of Chandamama in Telugu only..

pls forward this blog link your telugu friends anywhare in the world.. I think Chandamama is creating it's own blogs in all online languages it is starting (six languges till now) for contacting and communicating with the chandamama fans.

please canvey your openions on chandamam to these links mentioned below'' (English) (Telugu) (hindi) ( online editor) (Chandamama Editor)

I will tell Tamil, Kannada, Marathi languages feedback link tomorow

K.Raja Sekhara Raju
Associate Editor
Online Chandamama (Telugu)

@ Raju: So good to have an official face of Chandamama on our humble blog. Nobody can deny the fact and joy they enjoyed during their childhood reading one of the best Childrens' magazines that time. So, it's good to see that they are coming up with multiple language blogs to connect with all those cherished readers.

I only wish that this increased focus also pushes them to realign their efforts in bringing back the past glory to their current line-up. It's so sorry to see the poor worked editorial efforts which is felt all through the pages, even thought in a better format available at present. Hope good sense prevails finally.

I can't read Telugu, but I can visualize the amount of information your blog has on the history of Chandamama by browsing through the posts. Would love to read them in a translated manner, for which I will use some of Telugu friends. Keep the great work going.

Hello friends,
I am a fan of Chandamama. I was wondering if any of you know if one could access editions from 1947 onwards. Is there any archive of there is an archive in the book form.

@ Joe: Good to meet another Chandamama fan, Joe (who is not :)). The archives of all Chandamama from the past were available ordered sequentially on chandamama official website itself, some months back. Even I was astonished to see their willingness to share their precious collection in such an open forum.

But, it seemed that the idea was too much for them, and it was taken offline. Now only a handful of collection is online in protected format, on their website, and they promise to keep adding to the list as time progresses.

And when you buy Chandamama monthly edition, sometimes they used to give you an archive cd of past issues as a gift. It used to be a regular feature a year back, but now that is reserved only for occassions. Poor we :) :(.

Really wonderfull service you are doing. this is the best place for the people who fond of comics and children stories. chandamama's website has been updated and included with lot of attractive features. the address is

And the good news for Tamil அம்புலிமாமா reades is, all the issues (from 1947) and old advts from

keep up the great work

Ambulimama team

@ அம்புலிமாமா: Dear Ambulimama Team,

It's so good to have the presence of Admins behind our childhood favorite magazine, Chandamama, on Comicology. I have been closely watching the developments which are going on in the website, and I am amazed by the amount of detail by which it is getting updated on a regular basis. In particular, the ARCHIVES section of old magazines.

Wish you many more entertaining days with Chandamama, and thanks much for those sweet comments about our blog.

Dear Chandamama Readers and well wishers

We are collecting the life history and art drawing detals of the greatest artists of Chandamama - chitra, MTV Acharya, Sankar, Vapa etc- We have already collected 100 pages data on Chitra, Sankar, Vapa with their photos. but we are having very little info on MTV Acharya till now. We dont know about his biodata and other details in brief.

Can you pleace send the information on Sri MTV Acharya in English and Kannada langugaes for chandamama history sake? Pleace send any data,links, urls, websites which reveals the legend artist of Chandamama -MTV Acharya gaaru- to my below mentioned email ids. (personal) (offcial)

K.Raja Sekhara Raju.

Associate Editor
Chandamama -Telugu-

NB: Old copies of Chandamama -from 1947 to 2000- are avilble in Chandamama online now. pls see this link and select your language, year, month for see your respective languages.

Thank you Rafiq Raja ji for providing best flatform to share with Chandamama readers

@ Chandamama: Dear Chandamama Team, I hope that your noble venture of honoring the creators behind those classic stories. Something, which our Indian publishers, generaly feel finicky about.

Wish you all the best on your search, and looking forward to read their history.

By the way, the archive pages of Chandamama... are well maintained. Congrats on the same.

@ Priya: Who cannot admit that their childhood was made more fun and richer, by Chandamama, among many others. Art works were down right in line with our culture, and the stories were such moral boosting, and path showing.

As you pointed out, the current version is a poor shadow of it's former glorious self. It's quite ironic, that when the print and presentation medium has improved for betterment, the quality of the artwork and stories have nosedived to oblivion. The paper quality is shining, but too thin, that it spoils the moment you start flipping them while reading. Overall, a total disappointment, to say the least.

But, I doubt about the comic not coming in market on time. I have been seeing the Monthly editions on stands right by the 1st week of the month, and since I subscribe, I get it a couple of days earlier to that even. This I refer to, as experience from Chennai. Is it differing in any way in other cities ?

And thanks much for alerting me on the availability of a look-a-like Chandamama, by name of Chandrabala. I went through the site, and was impressed that Shaktidas is still active in reviving the old Chandamama ways in his new magazine. I am planning to subscribe for the English edition, and would reserve an article for the same over here at Comicology, in near future.

Thanks for your visit and informational comment. Looking forward for your presence among us, more than ever.

Hello Co-visitors.
Happy to revisit the good old childhood memories. I have seen lot of people appreciating the chandamama series and their archives.. I too enjoy reading them from the archives. But I used to like Balamitra equally. I request you (any one who is visiting or the author) to provide any kind of links or source to find some mid 90's balamitra magazines (atleast a scanned copy of yours uploaded).

Waiting for links...from all the comic lovers...
Once again..good contribution...

@ Anony: Who can forget Balamitra, which went toe to toe with Chandamama, during its golden run. I actually liked Balamitra more than Chandamama, in it's later days.

Unfortunately, I had to shed my Chandamama and Balamitra collection, in order to safeguard other relics from its time. Partly due to space constraint. I would try to source some Balamitra edition, and would plan for a post with the same.

Keep visiting dude, and by the way do consider leaving a nickname at least in your next visit. It does help to recognize your revisits.

Expecting the review of Ramayan.... THe Aug Chandamama had a CD with Jan - Jun 2007 archives of Chandamama

3rd part of texwiller story is still not released from lion comics. Vijayan sir - dont make us to wait too long

where can i find older editions of chandamama magazines in chennai , i am searching them for my nephew, i want editions of some 1 year back. if anybody know , pls share

One can download Chandamam Archives using below "Chandamam Archive Link Generator". It works with Mozilla Firefox:

Hi Gud afternoon sir,

i have saw the pictures of comics of chandamama and i am interested to work with your publishers. My qualification is Intermediate discontinued. Typing known in English, Hindi, and Telugu, Known laguages are Telugu, Hindi, English and Tamil. and Hobbies are painting. sir if you having any opertunity for any job. please send me mail sir

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