Feb 28, 2010

News – Return of Indian Superheroes | HT | Feb ‘10

Those who are passionate about Comics among us would all agree that Comics in India, is largely an industry, which never got its due credit, compared to the ones which its counterparts in Americas, Europe, and Japan enjoyed.

Did we not have the talent, or the interest, or the creativity?, what pushed us in the back corner of the alley, when other industries flourished?

Much was to do with the way the then Indian comics publishers perceived the market, who instead of relying on the wealth which had to be nurtured within, were instead eager to tap to this business medium, by bringing in the foreign content for local publishing. What they did in the process, was to cut out the creativity, and uniqueness of Indian comics creators, who failed to get the necessary backing. And evidently, the success of such publications over test of time, remains the best lesson learnt.

But, not all players followed the suit, as exhibited by a handful of publishers, who stood different and were ready to go any miles to promote local content. Only a handful of them survived the TV and Internet era, and they remain to tell the story.

The Return of Indian Superheroes - Hindustan Times 02152009This month’s Hindustan Times newspaper carried a thought provoking account of the same, with inputs from Comics publishers, who belong to the later category - the legendary Diamond Comics and Raj Comics.

It talks about the survivors from the Dark Ages of Indian Comics, a period highlighted by Diamond’s Gulshan Raj, as between 1997-2003, when TV and Internet medium took over from traditional print runs.

The article talks about the current plans of those surviving publishers, in order to better align with the changing times.

One another interesting reference, in the article, is Raj Comic’s Sanjay Gupta’s acceptance that his creation, Nagraj, created in 1980’s and arguably one of the first and better known Indian Comic heroes, failure from establishing himself in the bigger league. In Gupta’s own words, a stature similar to Superman/Batman.

Superman #1 sells for $1m Batman #1 sells for over $1m Only recently, Superman and Batman’s first ever appearances in Comics, made headlines as they were outbid each other to a tune of $1 million, on comics auction sites.

Eventhough, the real scenario under which these overshot money, could be attributed to the poor economy, and the need for newer investment fronts, the fact remains that the thought of Nagraj breaking grounds with Superman or Batman, cannot be realistic, keeping in mind the difference in the comic market as it was and is available in US, with the one we have/had in India, which are poles apart to say the least.

As much as we could mock the dream for all its ambitions, we couldn’t ignore that the intent was there, when the Nagraj character was envisioned. But was their equal weight of effort in planning to reach the big league? Let’s accept Superman/Batman evolved during time, mainly because that it was born in a language, which had a universal reach, and was contributed by the fact, they were the first of its kind.

On the contrary, Raj Comics concentrated its market only for Hindi speaking sect, thus, apart from the Hindi speaking states in India, it was never popular in the other states, and sometimes even unheard in some among them. If it could not break the Desi language barrier, did it stand any chance at the International stage?

At least, their present focus to reinvent the characterisation, and their increased focus on reprinting the older issues, in better paper quality and print techniques, should bring them into mainstream, and hopefully this time they would do it sans the limited language focus.

The best quote I can draw from the recent media article, was Karan Vir of Vimanika Comics’s assertion on the same quality lines.

..Someday I hope to make Vimanika the DC or Marvel of India. We may not be able to replicate their success in the print runs but I'm sure we'll get there in terms of quality and art.

Comic Punch - Hindustan Times 15022009That isn’t all. Hindustan Times, also carries another Comics article, aptly titled Comic Punch, where it looks in detail the present comics market, and then the future as it is being planned by the new and established players in the field.

Staying with the article, the current comic market in India, is said to be around 300 Crores mark, with an estimated print run 12.5 crores every year. Industry experts also believe that the market is expected to grow by 40% over the next few years, pooling in all those aspiring companies, to join the frenzy.

Diamond Comics, Raj Comics, Amar Chitra Katha (under it’s new ACK Media avatar), all seem to be gung-ho on taking their comics ventures, to the next level, in terms of animated and full-feature films, DVDs, Mobile and eComics.

On a reality check, there is no harm in comics publishers trying to tap into newer mediums, which is the need of the hour. But hopefully, they would realize the importance of staying true to the roots of print medium, which eventually opened up all these frontiers.

For reasons, they can always look back at another promising venture like Virgin Comics (now Liquid Comics), suffered at the hands of dreaming big, and losing their forte. Even though, they keep making news (including this very article in reference), it’s long time since they came out of hibernation, to prove that they still stand a chance in the industry. I hope I am proven wrong, but the Omen is strong enough, considering Virgin’s past track records. All izzz Well or hopefully will be :)

 

I guess this article, did turn out to a pretty serious mode, and to keep the Pran the Man - Hindustan Times 02152009comic spirit up, here is another article in the same newspaper, talking about the Walt Disney of India, Mr. Pran, the legendary creator of Chacha Chaudhary and umpteen other desi cartoon characters, which have been entertaining the kids and teens alike, for near 4 decades.

Well, I must admit, that I have outgrown most of what Diamond Comics throws at us off late, but the fact remains Pranji, is still considered one of the greatest icon in comics medium, as highlighted by the fan following he enjoys among kids, even today.

No wonder Diamond Comics, which still publishes Chacha Chaudhary and other Pran characters, into comics format, is easily the biggest comics publisher until today. But they can’t sit on their laurels, as other players including the newer ones, are going to take the fight to them. Comics readers are in for a treat, for sure.

1970s Lotpot Cover by Pran In keeping with spirit of current times, here is a Pran designed cover art on occasion of Holi, which decorated the cover of yesteryear Lotpot, a magazine in which Pran’s legendary creation Chacha Chaudhary originally appeared in.
(Courtesy: Comic World)

Wish you all a Happy Holi, dear friends. Adios Amigos!!


References:
Hindustan Times, Steve on Superman #1 Sale, Yahoo on Batman #1 Sale, Comic World on Lotpot, Rediff’s Interview with Karan.

23 ComiComments:

இதே போல் நமது லயன் காமிக்ஸ் கதாநாயகர்கள் பலர் மீண்டு வந்தால் நன்றாக இருக்கும்

ரஃபிக்,

நல்லதொரு பதிவு. இந்தியாவில் காமிக்ஸ் துறையின் வளர்ச்சி பல மொழிகளிலும் பரவட்டும். குறிப்பாக தமிழில்.

Good Study Rafiq ...

So good to know there is guy like you keeping up so well with the pulse of this growing industry :)

K.v

@ Lucky Limat: யாருக்குதான் நமது பால்ய வயது லயன் முத்து கதாநாயகர்களை புதிய கதைகளங்களில் பார்க்க ஆசையிருக்காது. ஆனால், அவைகளுக்கு அந்நிய நாட்டு உரிமைகள் உள்ள வரை அது சாத்தியமாகுமா. ஒரு வேளை ராஜ்,டைமண்ட் போல, விஜயனும், சில இந்திய கதாநாயர்களை சர்வதேச தரத்தில் படைத்திருந்தால், இன்றும் அவைகள் நம்மிடையே தங்கியிருந்திருக்கலாமோ என்னவோ... கனவுதான் போங்கள்.

முதன்மை கருத்துக்கு நன்றி நண்பரே.

@ கனவுகளின் காதலன்: காதலரே, ஆங்கில காமிக்ஸ்கள் வளர்ச்சி கண்கூடாக தெரிகிறது... ஆனால் தமிழில் இப்படி முனைவோர் யாரும் இல்லை என்பது தான் சற்று வருந்த கூடிய விடயம்.

உங்கள் வாக்கு பலிக்கும் நாள் வரும் என்று வேண்டுவதை தவிர வேறு என்ன செய்ய முடியும்... நம்புவோமாக.

@ Karan Vir: Same feeling here, as I too feel it's good to have a person like you being in the midst of all the developments happening in the Comics field in India.

Thanks for your visit and comments, my friend. And congrats on your HRD Award Night.

நீண்ட நாட்களுக்கு பின் உங்களுகளுடைய பதிவு.

//It talks about the survivors from the Dark Ages of Indian Comics, a period highlighted by Diamond’s Gulshan Raj, as between 1997-2003, when TV and Internet medium took over from traditional print runs.//
தமிழில் இந்த இருண்ட காலம் இன்னும் முடியவில்லை. இன்றைய தேதிவரை முடிவதற்கான அறிகுறிகளையும் காணவில்லை. இருந்தாலும் இன்னோரு காமிக்ஸ் புரட்சி வரும் என ஆவலுடன் காத்திருப்போம்.

மேலை நாடிகளில் காமிக்ஸ் என்பது தனித்தீவாக இல்லாமல் சினிமா, செய்திதாள், விளம்பரத்துறை, டீ.வீ, பொம்மைகள் என பிற துறைகளிலும் தன்னுடைய presence நிலைநாட்டுவது அவர்களுடைய வெற்றிக்கு ஒரு காரணம் என எண்ணுகிறேன்.

@ Siv: தமிழில் காமிக்ஸ் புரட்சி ஏற்பட வேண்டுமென்றால் அதற்கு கிழக்கு போன்ற பெரிய பதிப்பகங்கள் முனைப்புடன் செயல்பட்டால் மட்டுமே முடியும். புதியதாக கதை சித்திரங்களை உருவாக்குவதற்கு நம்மிடையே தேசதரத்தில் கர்த்தாக்கள் இல்லாமல் இருக்கும் வரை, ஆங்கில மூலங்களில் சிறந்தவற்றை தேர்ந்தெடுத்து பிரசுரிக்கலாம், நமது லயன்,முத்து பாணியில். ஆனால், அத்தகைய எண்ணமோ காரியமோ, இன்று வரை சம்பந்தபட்டவர்களுக்கு இல்லாதது தான் நம்மை ஏங்க வைக்கிறது. விரைவில் மாறும் என்று நம்புவோம்.

உங்கள் தனி தீவு வாதம் சரியே. மேலை நாடுகளில் காமிக்ஸை அவர்கள் கலையாக மட்டுமல்ல, தங்கள் சிறுவயது நினைவுகளை திரும்ப வாழும் ஒரு வாழ்வின் அங்கமாக கருதுகிறார்கள். காமிக்ஸ் அங்கு வளர்வதற்கு, அதே முதல் காரணம். காமிக் கான்கள் இந்திய நகரங்களிலும் நடைபெறும் நாளை நான் எதிர்நோக்கி உள்ளேன்.

வேலைப்பளு வாரநாட்களையும், புதிய உறவுகள் வார இறுதிகளையும் சுவாகா செய்து விடுகிறது, இனிமையான முறையில்தான். அதனால் தான் பதிவுடுவதில் தாமதங்கள். நேரத்தை நமது கைக்குள் அடக்கிவிட்டு, விரைவில் சீரான இடைவேளையில் பதிவிட முயல்கிறேன். உங்கள் அன்புக்கு நன்றி நண்பரே.

A good news indeed friend.But, I'm sorry to say a bad news. I have posted a new post. :)
Be there at your own risk. :)
By the by,I liked your comic quote.It was a great dialog.Remember the scene? :)

Does anyone have the working Contact no of Gotham Comics Mumbai.

I would like to purchase some special giant titles

Something to get you really excited. :)
http://www.zeenews.com/news614198.html

@ Illuminati: You are certainly regular with your posts, more than I can wish to be off late. Keep going strong, dude.

@ Anony: There is no working contact number of Gotham Comics Bangalore itself, which was supposed to be their HQ :). But if it's just for procuring some Gian Specials, you need not take that trouble, as you are only intended to head for a nearest Landmark store chain at your city.

They have some huge stock piles of back issues, and they are available for 25% discount too. I wasn't so lucky, when they were originally released :(. Grab them, before they run out of stock.

@ KK: Dear KK, 18 days is really much awaited venture. And I was hoping to see that concept materializing in some sort of Graphic Novel format, ever since I heard about it. Mukesh's art, coupled with Morrison's pen, is an irresistable combination. It's good to see that atleast an illustrated feature is coming out of the venture.

If you haven't checked out a awe-inspiring preview, have a look over here.

Thanks Rafiq Raja for visiting my blog. I also enjoy your wonderful and interesting topics.

You are right about language barrier, It is one of the main problem. As you said Indian comics has less chance to making business not only in other country but inside India also. Quality must be another factor.

Many thanks for this post.

My email ID is : iamranjandutta@gmail.com

please mail me.

@ Bengali Indrajal Comics: Hi Betal, Thanks for marking your first visit to Comicology. Language is a key to success, and that concept is shared by all of us comic fans. But, it seems the publishers aren't too keen in spreading their wings to a wider audience, and often seem to be happy with their own crowd. Our favorite IJC excelled in the field, and since its demise there is no one publisher able to fill the vacant slot. Hope the times changes, for better.

Sent you a mail on your id, and good to be in touch with another IJC fan.

Now I know that, many great comics people are their. I like vimanika comics very much.

Now I know that, many great comics people are their. I like vimanika comics very much.

@ கனவுகளின் காதலன்: காதலரே, ஆங்கில காமிக்ஸ்கள் வளர்ச்சி கண்கூடாக தெரிகிறது... ஆனால் தமிழில் இப்படி முனைவோர் யாரும் இல்லை என்பது தான் சற்று வருந்த கூடிய விடயம்.

உங்கள் வாக்கு பலிக்கும் நாள் வரும் என்று வேண்டுவதை தவிர வேறு என்ன செய்ய முடியும்... நம்புவோமாக.

ரஃபிக்,

நல்லதொரு பதிவு. இந்தியாவில் காமிக்ஸ் துறையின் வளர்ச்சி பல மொழிகளிலும் பரவட்டும். குறிப்பாக தமிழில்.

இதே போல் நமது லயன் காமிக்ஸ் கதாநாயகர்கள் பலர் மீண்டு வந்தால் நன்றாக இருக்கும்

Most individuals think of welding when they hear steel fabrication, however welding simply one|is only one} course of steel fabricators use. We use several of} techniques to form sheet steel into a component or good. Although steel fabrication can be utilized to mass produce products, it Panties additionally be|may additionally be|can be} used to create giant runs of customized fabricated steel products.

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