Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Indian Comic Book Creators Unveil Glimpses of their Upcoming Books thought to dedicate this weekend to the Indian Comic readers and creators by bringing you a preview of the comic books being developed by varied studios.
And here’s what’s happening at Meta Desi Comics, Chariot Comics  Gravity Comics and Orange Radius Arts.
Akshay Dhar, Founder of Meta Desi Comics, Shares, “Awaited 3rd volume of the ground-breaking anthology series “Ground Zero” from Meta Desi Publishing is getting set to hit stores in just six weeks with a planned launch in mid-April. At a monster size of 60 pages of ad-free comics, Ground Zero is a collection of SIX unique stories that will grab you by the collar and fly you to whole new worlds and new ways of seeing the world you know. Exploring a range of styles and genres, each story takes you to its own extraordinary little world filled with the unexpected and the always entertaining.
From a Sci-fi re-imagining of Indian mythology (Raakshas Rising) to manga-inspired action (Super Soldiers Squad) to gut-bustingly funny and irreverent comedy (Holy Hell), Ground Zero #3 is a collection unlike anything done in the Indian market and brings all the continuing stories with these hot new characters to explosive conclusions.
With each story drawn by a different artist and each in their own genre and style, this collection is utterly unique in its approach and works overtime to bring something to suit all kinds of fans and to bring something new to the comic fans in India who crave more comics they can call their own.
The creative pool behind these stories ranges from the fan-favourite and stalwarts of the local industry like Abhijeet Kini (Angry Maushi, UBiMa) and Akshay Dhar (Retrograde, Showcase: Sheshnag) to newcomers like Sudeep Menon and Ahmed Sikander (Once Upon a Time in the North).
With two successful anthologies under their belt in less than one year and a third nearing completion, the excitement for this new release is indeed very high.”
Raveesh Mohan, Founder of Orange Radius Arts shares, “We intend to continue with the ‘Parshu‘ series and will be starting off with the second arc in the series. The second arc will stretch across 2 issues, the first issue of which is scheduled for a Bangalore Comic Con launch in June this year. Across the first arc we had kept the plot pacy and wanted to establish and flesh out the character basically revolving it around him.
The second arc will take the story to a more complex plane where we will introduce several key characters, flesh out ‘Parshu’ the central protagonist even more, explore his capabilities in detail while also fleshing out his weapon-the axe. The axe has a personality of it’s own, it’s more than just a weapon and we delve deeper into that bit across the second arc.
It is going to be a heady mix of some excellent storytelling, very interesting plots and sub-plots and an intriguing array of characters. The second arc brings one of the most vicious and evil characters, his set of adversaries and a weapon.
We have just started work on the second arc; the first issue will be 72 pages and will be launched exclusively at Comic Con.
Aniruddho Chakraborty, Co- Founder and Executive Editor of Chariot Comics, shares, “So this year, it’s the “Year of the Damned for Us”. We’ll be working towards compiling our Damned series into a graphic novel. Through the year we’ll be releasing digital single issues in July, September and finally a compiled graphic novel in December possibly at MFCC. We are currently working on penciling and inking the first segment of the GN
Legend of the Damned (working title: compiles Damned #1-6) and has 70+ pages. Single issue launch in July and September respectively and GN comes out in December – at Mumbai Comic Con
The origin story in the Graphic novel will be slightly inspired from one of my favorite Bengali folk tales growing up, Laalkamal and NeelKamal (from the famous Bengali anthology Thakurmar jhuli/Tales my Grandmother told me).You will see get to see Vampire Monks and some Lovecraftian monsters! Hoorah! And this GN will eventually lead into a shared Chariot Comics universe (Chariotverse!)
Last year a really successful “Year of the Wolf” and a “Winter of Zombies” and this year at Chariot Comics it’s the “Year of the Damned”. We bring to the table the adventures of Anga and Morphuz, sorcerer and shape shifter respectively, in a series of digital single issues and finally a compiled graphic novel which will deal with their motivations, their origins in an all out fantasy, sci-fi adventure tale which dabbles in mythology, horror and action alike. Legend of the Damned is going to be a stepping stone for us in creating a shared universe here at Chariot Comics.
Ajay Mathew, Founder of Gravity Comics shares, We are an upcoming Comic Book Company in India and we will launch our first Comic Book in the month of March 2014.The title of our first Comic book is Mahatma.
Mahatma is the original Character created by me and the Pencilling is done by Tarun Kumar Sahu. After Mahatama we are coming with Another Book with new Character named Avtaar which we will launch in the month of May 2014 or at Comic Con Bangalore along with one more comic book which we will reveal at the launch of Mahatma Plus one or two Graphic Novels at MFCC.
Mahatma is a character originated from the most Non-Violent Man or GOD the world ever seen. He was the part of that great Soul and followed his footsteps till he awakes in 2014. He was discovered by another Pivotal Character known as Rachit and taken to the hospital where he awake. He tried to follow the path of that great soul from whom he originated but after seeing all the devastation and bad things happening in our world he took a stand to stop all the terrorism, external and Internal. The first issue is all about his origin and his first appearance.
And currently we are in the Coloring stages of this 36 pages book.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

National Museum to hold comics workshop on April 12, 13.

Report by India Education bureau, New Delhi: Amid a surge in visitors at ‘The Body in Indian Art’, the National Museum hosting the landmark exhibition is organising a comics workshop this weekend.
The April 12-13 event at the museum premises will provide a platform for drawing a comic around the body. Artists, comics artists, illustrators, cartoonists and anyone with an interest in storytelling or drawing can participate in the limited-entry workshop being organised in collaboration with World Comics India.
The time will be 10 am to 4pm. Those interested to participate can email to Sharad Sharma at by April 10, Thursday, organisers informed.
Workshop material and lunch will be provided by National Museum.


Monday, April 7, 2014

Journey of comics..Yomics..

6:47 pm PDT 29/05/2013 By 
How does it feel when you meet with a sudden thought of kick starting your own studio and then reach a level where you end up dealing with big brands like Yash Raj Films (YRF) and Red Chillies? The answer to this is a group of comic fan boys who got together to build a Studio named ‘Division 91’, way back in 2010. The Studio is spearheaded by CEO Vishvesh Desai along with a team of 12 illustrious team members
Creating Comics is not just a business, but a true joy and delight is what led Vishvesh and his team to work on successful projects like Yomics and comic books and Vishvesh feels that a comic book artist is well recognized in today’s time and this boosts the confidence of Division 91 Studios.
Vishvesh has worked with Gotham Comics and Virgin Comics prior heading Division 91 and believes in creating a self trend rather than following what others do and he considers legacies like DC comics and Marvel Comics as true motivators.
The Studio brings out their creative expertise in the areas of story boarding for animation movies, concept designs, illustrations, game designs and are working in full swing on launching their original IPs revolving around the supernatural, mystery and action genres. The team has planned a series of these comic books, which would be released soon.
Though Vishvesh doesn’t want to spill the beans early by revealing a lot, he still has some crucial points about the books which he happily shares with’s Zeenia Boatwala by saying, “my vision with these upcoming books is to create content in the most appealing way and get best reactions! I must say that the comics do relate very closely to the human psychology and emotions and the design style is heading to match the international look and feel.”
Also the Studio has delivered creative services for Ford Figo, Kellogs, Colgate and many other brands and several movies as well.
One more interesting stand point of Vishvesh is that he wants the readers to get engaged and entertained through these books.
Yomics came as a great achievement for Division 91! The Studio was lucky to get in touch with YRF Studios and Uday Chopra who shared his vision about creating a series of comic books and graphic novels which made up Yomics and then the road was clear for the team! They prepared varied designs and shared it with Uday and in turn received a very good response from YRF and created the designs, illustrations for all the comic books in the Yomics series. These included, Dhoom, Ek Tha Tiger, Hum Tum and Daya Prochu (a new and interesting character created for this space) and interestingly all the illustrations and designs went to Uday Chopra for his final review.
Did challenges come in way in the creation of Yomics? Yes they did and Vishesh shares more on this by saying, “As Dhoom was a celebrity comic book, we had to be very particular in crafting the characteristics of Jai and Ali and our focal point was always that Uday, who loves this medium and is extremely knowledgeable about it, should be happy seeing it.”
Adds more, “The script for Yomics series came from YRF and we had to prepare the illustrations matching the script.
Vishvesh is extremely happy about the extensive support given by YRF throughout the making of Yomics and he expresses this by saying, “We had to keep in mind that we do not divert away from the YRF franchise and feel extremely lucky that Uday and the entire team at YRF believed in us.”
Also, the Dhoom Case Files comics are in making, and even the latest Hum Tum comic book additions are in production and would release soon.
For creating Hum Tum comic book, the team at Division 91 has closely worked with Prakash Nambiar, to get everything right in place, considering he had worked on the animation parts of the original movie and also on the Hum Tum comic strip series which appeared in the Times of India before the movie released in cinemas!
There has to be some motivation behind giving out such creative expertise and yes it is Doremon for Vishvesh Desai and he says, “Incredible characters like Doremon, Batman etc are the drivers behind our creative energies and as a Studio we want to keep in mind the  trends, genres and give new and illustrious design styles.”
Now Coming to comics, which initially made its debut in the Times of India, Division 91 has passed a great challenge by creating this 16 page comic book within a very tight deadline. Red Chillies approached this team with the story of and a few references. Vishvesh asserts,
“We usually take around 30 days to complete a project, but it all turned around when comic came to us. Red Chillies provided us with video bits, images and color combinations, some references and we had to deliver the comic accordingly. We shared the samples of our work and it was appreciated by them.”

Not only catering to the needs of uplifting creativity of India but the Studio has also managed to work on a project for a company based out of Tanzania. This project included a series of 6 comic books, of 10-12 pages each revolved around social messages.
So after a background of such interesting projects, how has the vision developed for Vishesh, and we hear this from him, “If you present something well, it would work very well and at our Studio we have creative talents who strive harder for developing new concepts.”
Adds more, “We develop a character first and then decide which genre it would fit into.”
And now, the goal of the Studio is to target kids and the youth audience as a whole.
“We are planning to do a lot of designs for the kids community and want to support NGO’s by giving out creative services as well as fetch more international projects”, concludes Vishvesh.

Friday, April 4, 2014

An insight into the world of Comics & Graphic Novels

India has a long tradition of comic readership. It gained popularity as themes associated with extensive religious myths and folk-tales in 1960s. Today, we have several foreign superheroes (Superman, Batman, Spiderman, Thor, Hulk, Iron Man, etc) and comic characters (TinTin, Mickey, Donald, etc) as well. Smita Dwivedi in an attempt to explore this dream world met with Gulshan Rai, MD, Diamond Comics; Jason Quinn, creative content head at Campfire Graphic Novels; Jatin Varma founder Comic Con; and Sharad Sharma founder, World Comics India and brings insights for our readers.
Indian kids of 1980s-90s actually grew up reading comics. Summer holidays were spent reading heaps of comics rented from a local book shop for mere Rs 1 or 2 for a day…it was a great fun. The comic industry was at its peak in the late 1980s and early 1990s and during this period popular comics easily sold more than million copies over the course of its shelf life of several weeks. India's once-flourishing comic industry saw sharp decline because of increasing competition from satellite television (children's television channels) and the gaming industry, but again its gaining sheen. India has some of the best artists in the world. Production values are being raised all the time and more and more Indian writers are choosing to write for this genre. According to recent report, the world’s largest players like Walt Disney, Warner Brothers and Dreamworks are in the process of establishing a presence in India, to tap the local market as well as to build a low cost, high quality production base.

There’s no dearth of talent in India to create comics and graphic novels

–says Jatin Varma, founder, Comic Con India
Jatin Varma
Jatin Varma
Comic Con India is dedicated to creating unique events and giving the fans, exhibitors and partners a platform to celebrate their undying love and passion for comics and pop culture. It is dedicated to expanding India's popular culture by creating high profile events that cater to fans of not only comics, but also, gaming, movies, television, merchandise, toys and more.

On asking about the response and demand of comics and graphic novels in India, he added, “In my opinion, it’s certainly on the rise. I feel the boost given by films and popular television series around international characters, has certainly increased the readers’ curiosity to reconnect with comics. This provides a great opportunity for Indian content creators to push their books as well. Sales of comics at all our events are great, however, on the flipside, the not so efficient distribution system in India lets down a lot of upcoming publishers to get their books to readers. That is a major stumbling block to all publishers out there. Online retail has certainly helped, but I hope we are able to find a solution to fixing this distribution setup in the near future.”

Comic Con mainly publish their own titles, mostly in English with the average print run between 3,000-5,000 copies. “Our publishing label essentially complements our events and we re-publish out-of-print Indian comics titles, for example the Timpa series, which used be published in Indrajal comics,” he added.

Jatin is really positive about the comics’ industry talent pool, “We certainly have no dearth of talent. Our quality has certainly come up, but there is certainly scope of improvement.” While talking about digitization, he added, “The Indian digital reading market is quite small, it’s certainly something that holds a lot of promise in the future, we'll certainly have our digital editions. However, right now the impact of this space in India is limited.”

As a message to readers, he says, “Let children read comics, you can obviously monitor the content, and comics really help foster a reading habit in children. I am living proof of that, I wouldn’t organize Comic Cons or publishing comics, if my parents hadn't introduced me to the wonderful world of Tintin, Asterix and Tinkle, early on. And because of that I obviously am hooked on to comics but I love books in general as well.”

Graphic novels are a perfect way of engaging young minds and conveying ideas and messages

–says Jason Quinn, creative content head at Campfire Graphic Novels
Jason Quinn
Jason Quinn
Campfire has been in operation since 2007. The company was the brainchild of Keshav Thirani, a successful engineer, who wanted to produce books that his own grandchildren could enjoy and get something out of. He saw immediately that graphic novels are a perfect way of engaging young minds and conveying ideas and messages. They always bring best of Shakespeare, Dickens, Austen, and many other timeless favourites. Not only that, their mythology line delivers the best in Greek and Indian mythology, bringing these ancient stories bursting into life and transporting you to a world of magic, mystery and fantasy.

Accordin to Jason, the market is growing all the time. Over the last four years, interest in the whole genre of graphic novels has really opened up in India. Adding more to it, he said, “In fact, I would say over the last twelve months we have seen a big change and graphic novels are now well on the way from being a niche market in India to being a mainstay within the mainstream publishing industry.”

Having all the titles available in English, they have produced a small selection in Hindi too, and he shared that the interest is growing and we are planning more Hindi translations of our books. As far as other international languages are concerned, many of their books are also available in French, Portuguese, Italian, Korean and others.

So how’s the response to which he happily added, “The demand for our books has definitely increased. There are lots of reasons for this. The likes of Comic Con India has helped to publicise the comic book scene across the country and media interest has shown people that comic books don’t have to be silly, but can be very serious, that they can hold even a reluctant reader’s attention and that they can convey messages and ideas in a way that will remain with the reader long after they have finished reading.”

They mainly aim at readers from 10 or 11 years upwards and recently released a brand new genre of Campfire Junior graphic novels aimed at the pre-school market. And discussing about pricing, he added, “This can depend on each title and the length of each book with prices ranging from Rs 195-399. Some of our books have print runs of 4,000 to 5,000 while a few titles go upto 10,000 copies or more. Gandhi: My Life is My Message is a recent release and is doing very well, along with Steve Jobs: Genius by Design, our adaptations of The Jungle Book, Alice in Wonderland and Pride & Prejudice and our graphic biography of Nelson Mandela.”

India being a best market for them, they do export around two thirds of their books abroad to the likes of the US, the UK, Europe, SE Asia, Australia and New Zealand. And talking about digitization, he shared, “Our books are also available now in digital. There can be no turning back the tide as far as the digital revolution goes. Publishers have to embrace it and welcome; we are exploring ways of making the most out of all the new technological advances that are available to us.”

As a message to readers, he says, “I would like to remind parents and teachers that children aren’t a separate species, they are people too. They need good, exciting and interesting books just as much as anyone else. Also, don’t be quick to shoot down people for reading comic books. On the contrary we should encourage our young to read. Just remember that pictures really can paint a thousand words and these books will remain with your child or your student a lifetime.”

Comics are not just for fun…
there’s lot to learn as well

–says Gulshan Rai, MD, Diamond Comics
Gulshan Rai
Gulshan Rai
Diamond Comics, India's largest selling comics is being published in almost all Indian languages, it has attained an unmatched reach to every corner of India. It is providing the best comic literature to Indian children for the last four decades. Its unmatched quality, uniqueness, affordability, availability and credibility has made it an undisputed leader with loving characters including Chacha Chaudhary, Billoo, Channi Chachi, Chhotu Lambu, Pinki, etc.

According to Gulshan, the trade comic and graphic book publishing market in India is really big for them and on asking about the status of English language vs other Indian languages, he replied “English, Bengali and Hindi are having maximum sale in the ratio of 30%, 10%, 50%, while 10% sales account for other regional language comics.”

On asking about the response and demand of comics and graphic novels in India, he replied with affirmation, “Diamond Comics have maintained the accelerating sale and still we are maintaining it by selling over 2.5 lac comics every month and MRP varies from Rs 30 to Rs 250.”

Diamond comics are also being exported to Bangladesh. And he feels that Indian comics have much bigger sale than the foreign comic sales in India. The production quality of Indian comics is equivalent to the overseas publishers, he feels. On talking about digitization, he added, “We have digitized over 2,000 comics in all languages and are available on all the platform of e-sellers and m-sellers.”

As a message to readers, he says, “Choose the comics/books based on not only fun but also on education and Indian culture, religion and heritage.”

Comics are all joy…no attitude

–says Sharad Sharma, founder, World Comics Network
Sharad Sharma
Sharad Sharma
World Comics India (WCI) is a collective of grassroots activists, cartoonists, artists, development journalists, students, using comics as a communication tool as well as medium of self expression. These grassroots comics are drawn by common people reflecting their understanding of the social world (and not by artists). People living away from power centers rarely have their voices reflected in the mainstream. WCI parallels with the mainstream approach, and conducts several workshops aiming at empowering these voices and bringing out their own wall newspapers. The rich stories nurtured in the workshop are a reflection of the multi-cultural outlook of the society and this inspires them to adopt visual story format in the most cost effective manner possible.

Sharad started this as a movement and today, they have around 10 titles in English and around same number in Hindi. Most of the stuff World Comics produce from the ground is in local/regional language. According to him, “All the creators are common people of the country.”

Commenting on the response and demand of comics and graphic novels in India, he added, “There is less support to Indian comics’ artists. English language publishers are publishing the same auroras or same style of stories, and they are not ready to experiment Indian stories, forget about the Hindi and regional languages.”

Digital publishing being a crucial area in coming years, he seems sure that this will encourage self publishing.

BPI marches on

Publishing houses around the world are constantly absorbing the changes occurring in the publishing world and are discovering new horizons and looking for new vistas to expand their business. It will not be wrong to say that the publishing scenario today has undergone a sea-change. Not to be left behind, BPI India Pvt Ltd (an S. Chand Group company) has accepted the changes with open arms and has grasped all opportunities to reach to the zenith of success. Apart from books, puzzles, board games and stationery, BPI has taken a giant leap and has launched itself as client service providers in the form of content creators and art developers. Slowly but steadily, the company is uncovering the trends that are essentially shaping the content creation industry.

Starting with planning and strategising to development and execution, the dynamic and efficacious creative and editorial teams at BPI aim to create content that connect clients with the target audience and establish them as market leaders. Based on its credibility in the market, BPI combines its core assets—quality editorial, dazzling design and production efficiencies—to deliver compelling content that not only serve the purpose of the clients but also cater to the requirements of the target audience. The process involves planning the content to be developed for a book or premium product and finalising the illustrations or artworks that complement the product. With inputs from the clients, the product is designed and packaged to give it a unique look. Thus, the ultimate aim of the company is to strike a balance between the demands of the clients and the needs of the readers and offer value-based content at a premium price. Over a period of time, the company has built a solid client base not only in India but abroad as well.

BPI believes in forging cordial relationship with its clients and delivering the best to maintain long-term success, both for the clients and itself. Keeping this in mind, the company is fast marching ahead in the client services zone and discovering new opportunities globally.

Purple Turtle to publish book on “Financial Literacy”

Financial Literacy is the ability to understand how money works in this world. The whole system of earning, managing, investment and donation of money combines the financial literacy education. More specifically, it refers to the set of skills and knowledge that allows an individual to make informed and effective decisions with their financial resources.

Knowing the importance and requirement of Financial Literacy in today’s world, Purple Turtle is now set to publish Financial Literacy book by Insurance broker - Investment advisor, children’s author and educator Lucas Remmerswaal.

Purple Turtle, licensed by Aadarsh Pvt Ltd, is world’s cutest Turtle loved by children all over the world. According to N K Krishnanand, head- licensing and publishing, Purple Turtle, “With our focus to educate children in a fun manner, Purple Turtle also feels that it’s his responsibility to educate people more on Financial Literacy. With today’s growing modernization and globalization, people should be competent enough to understand their own finances and ways to deal with it. With our association with the author Lucas Remmerswaal, we intent to spread knowledge about this vast growing need.” “Book by Lucas Remmerswaal, will empower and equip young people with the knowledge, skills and confidence to take charge of their lives and build a more secure future for themselves and their families”, added Krishnanand.

AMITY University Press fascinates kids at NDWBF ’14

Attractively crafted stand of AMITY University Press at the New Delhi World Book Fair 2014 drew attention of young visitors during the nine-day exhibition organised strategically including two Sundays and two Saturdays in the show schedule to eventually pull crowds of school children on those four special days. “Of course, the fair schedule which includes weekend holidays really gives school children an opportunity to deeply explore the fair,” said Rupa Gupta, senior editor, AMITY University Press. She added that such mega fair helps them a lot to interact with kids and gain a way to figure out what children want to read.

AMITY University Press showcased a huge range of children’s books for pre-primary classes. “Our target group comprises children of I-V classes and for them we present a series of books on analytical skill development, question recalls and others,” mentioned Rupa. She further asserted that it was delighting to see young visitors around their stand picking up books to browse and enjoy the contents on the spot. Children’s books published by AMITY University Press are designed pertinently in terms of contents and print quality as per the needs of young readers.

Frankfurt Fellowship Programme 2014:
Focus on children's and YA books

For the last 15 years, the Frankfurt Book Fair’s international Frankfurt Fellowship Programme has been supporting information exchanges and networking, while enhancing the professionalism of international publishers, editors, agents and licensing personnel. This year, the programme has a new focus on fellows from the children’s and young adult book segment.

With the new orientation of the Fellowship Programme, the Frankfurt Book Fair is sending a global signal about its commitment to the children’s and young adult book market. For several years now, the Book Fair has been engaged in this growing market with a range of activities and products. These include the Children’s Books Centre in Hall 3.0, the role as a supporter of the German Children's Literature Award, and the concentration on children’s books in last year’s international Invitation Programme. At the same time, this year the Book Fair is expanding the circle of applicants to the Fellowship Programme to include people involved in the digital preparation and distribution of content for children’s books, such as product managers and developers.

“The process of internationalisation in the publishing industry is constantly on the advance,” says Juergen Boos, director of the Frankfurt Book Fair. “To reflect this fact, in 1998 we founded the Fellowship Programme. Every year, this aims to provide 16 different talented and highly qualified publishing employees with insights into the German publishing industry, and at the same time to familiarise them with the special characteristics of the international markets. We are delighted with the long-term success of this programme, and we are very grateful that so many prominent publishers and agencies allow their staff the time to participate in the Fellowship Programme.”

The deadline to apply for this programme is April 30, 2014. For more info, email