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Comic Con India – New Delhi - 2011

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Lion Comics Jumbo Special - XIII Collector's Edition

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Showing posts with label Pran. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pran. Show all posts

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!!

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

Jun 30, 2009

News - Comics Bloggers making Waves | Jun '09

World is mourning the loss of an icon, famously known among his fans as the “King of Pop”, Michael Jackson. Even though I have reservations over his life at large, the fact remains that no one can deny the popularity and respect he enjoyed among music fans world over, whom he inspired and commanded for decades through his famed blockbuster albums. With that said, I hope he finds his joy in his afterlife.

In the World of Comics, the month of June was a pleasant surprise, as some of our fellow comics bloggers achieved important milestones in their respective means, garnering media attention too. This post is to highlight some of them, in the process honouring their efforts towards our unique passion shared towards The 9th Art.

Pran with his Creations#1: Toonfactory’s Chitrakathaa Rolls-On

Good friend and fellow comiker Alok Sharma, who is famously known on blogosphere, under his nickname Toonfactory, has finally restarted his most ambitious and dream project, Chitrakathaa. Chitrakathaa is a documentary which hopes to map the evolution of comics medium in India, with enough spotlight thrown on the creators who revolutionized this art form, which often is deprived of its fair share of accolades.

Chacha Choudhary As part of this great project, Alok has scheduled a line-up of interviews for days to come, in the process meeting up with some of the famous creators Indian comics scene has ever seen.

The first-up from his side, was the news that he indeed met Mr. Pran Kumar SharmaBilloo, known simply as Pran among Comics World. Pran was instrumental in creating a series of locally drawn and inspired comic characters, who looked at the day-to-day lifestyle of typical Indians, with a jolly-good humour attached to them. Some of his legendary creations include Chacha Chaudhary, Pinki, Billoo, which still continue to be syndicated and serialized on a variety of Indian languages.

Pinky There was a time (even now) when Diamond Comics wholly relied on Pran, for their in numerous titles, which still continues to find the reprints quite often, along with newly drawn series, which Pran continues to create for Diamond.

Pran was decorated with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Indian Institute of Cartoonists in 2001, It was my childhood dream to meet up this famous icon, who was once named even as the Walt Disney of India.

Good that Alok was able to achieve that feat for all of us. Alok has promised a big write-up and news about other creators whom he would be meeting for his project. Makes for an interesting wait. 

You can learn more about Pran, and the art institution he runs on his official website.

Comic World #2: Comic World on Press

Nobody is a stranger to the fact that comics blogs in India, are mostly dominated by fans of erstwhile brand Indrajal Comics (IJC).  People found their happiness in sharing what they have in their collection, in the process introducing these wealth of titles to new comics readers, as well for the older ones to cherish their childhood passion.

Even though, I have my reservations over releasing a comic in toto on net, I had to appreciate this bloggers enthusiasm in keeping up the comics reading passion alive.

Recently, the speed of these blogs had reduced significantly, as the number of IJC issues which are left un-scanned have reduced to a meager numbers. Many of the blogs have switched over to provide different content to enthuse the visiting readers. One such blogger, is long time friend, and fellow IJC blogger Zaheer, more famously known under his nick-name Comic World.

Recently, he started to venture on newer avenues, by discussing the pulp fictions of India, when Pocket Books based Novels ruled the roost. Many Comic friends would remember that, it was the publications which were publishing pocket books, who eventually started publishing Comics too. Most famous of among them are Raj Comics and Diamond Comics.

Comic World on News One such post at Comic World, which ignited this novel topic, was considered the best ever by many who commented on the topic.

Eventually, Comic World made its way to be featured in an article on a National Daily Newspaper called Hindustan Times.

The article talks about the childhood habit of many who have drooled over these pocket book novels, and comics in general, and their impact on modern society, and literary world. Kudos to Zaheer, for achieving this wonderful feat. Keep Rocking, Bro.

ComicBitsOnline #3: Comicology draws Attention

Well, I generally try not to blow up my own trumpet. But, it’s a matter of honour to mention that our blog was referred over at ComicBitsOnline, during one of the Interviews with CineBook’s
Olivier Cadic.

Comicology on CBO Interview CBO’s Terry Hooper, a comic creator himself, and the Keeper of the Black Tower, has always been a good old friend and staunch supporter of Comicology, which is highlighted by the fact that he used to feature posts now and then about our blog in his most visited website (Ref. these pages). I am grateful, to Terry for his support towards this long journey through our favourite Genre.

Bear Alley Not only that, everyone who is fan of British Genre of Comics, would remember the name Steve Holland. A comics historian on his own rights, who has a host of comics titles credited to him, runs a Rolling News section on his official blog, Bear Alley.

Comicology on Bear AlleyRecently our Lucky Luke post has found its mention among the list, which is generally reserved for comic creators and visionaries. I am thankful to Steve for giving this great recognition to our blog.

For me, these two references in blogs, rate over and above any media article published in newspapers, for the sheer reason that they are written by someone who share the same passion towards Comics, like us Comikers.

Vikatan 04 By saying that, I don’t decree the occasion, when Comicology was featured in a Tamil Weekly magazine, Ananda Vikatan. I am thankful for them to have allotted a space for us in the esteemed magazine. For other language friends, the article is part of the series, where each week a new blog is introduced to the readers, and this one talked about the various faces of Comics as available in our blog. (Scan Courtesy: Arun S)

Deccan Chronicle 28th July Chennai Edition Undoubtedly, when you talk about comics bloggers making news, there is no way we can forget that the evergreen Muthufan was the first to feature on a Newspaper article, which was syndicated in a handful of newspapers, including Deccan Chronicle and Asian Age.

The only problem that time was that the content left much to be desired, starting from the title (The title starts with the word Kitsch, can you believe it?). You can read more about it in Viswa’s blog post over here. A sheer case of how a reporter could conceive a topic, without knowing head and tail about the subject. (Scan Courtesy: Viswa)

Wasn’t I right in saying that a mention in comic blogs, rate over and above the media articles written by some unknown faces. Well you be the judge :).


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