Kids in India don’t read comics either.
Or so says this story on the just concluded second annual Comic Con India:
Children were once the biggest patrons of comic books but their absence from the ongoing second Comic Con India paints a sorry state of affairs.
The Comic Con opened with much fanfare at the capital’s Dilli Haat on Friday showcasing a huge range of heroes, both new and old, from Chacha Chaudhary to Munkeeman.
Despite the popularity of SuperKudi, the Indian Supergirl, (above) the guests at this con were, HOLD ON TO YOUR HATS, indie icons R. Crumb and Aline Kominsky-Crumb and publishers Gary Groth and Chris Oliveros. Perhaps that is why the kiddies weren’t out in force? Sounds like it was a good time though:
Launched last year by New Delhi-based publishing and content company 20 Onwards Media, Comic Con India saw over 35,000 visitors with sales of Rupees 5 million ($100,000), double from its first year, according to organizers. Held in the open air environs of the popular Dilli Haat market known for its traditional handicrafts stalls, Comic Con India featured about 50 exhibitors including event co-sponsors such as Walt Disney/Marvel who showcased their upcoming titles, The Avengers and John Carter. The Walt Disney Company recently strengthened its India presence followings its acquisiton of diversified entertainment conglomerate UTV Group. “There was a need for a platform like Comic Con India to promote titles like The Avengers and John Carter which cater to a target audience that is rapidly growing,” said UTV Motion Pictures CEO Siddharth Roy Kapur.
We’ve never had a very good grasp of what the Indian comics industry is really like—tons of stories about comics come over our transom since they are included in our English-language news feed, but the comics industry in India always seems to be “emerging.” The THR story linked above gives an intriguing snapshot of what’s rolling out though, from zombies to sexual abuse.
However, based on the first story linked, the Indian comics fans could easily make their own “Comic Book Men” spin-off:
However, despite the huge number of new books, the old favorites, Amar Chitra Katha and Raj comics titles such as Chacha Chaudhary, Billu and Pinki still drew a lot of connoisseurs.
“I love Tinkle and Chacha Chaudhary. I plan to buy several new titles,” said Shilpa Lal, a 19-year-old self-proclaimed Pinki fan.
“I grew up reading Nagraj, Super Commando Dhruv and many other Indian superheroes. No new superheroes can replace them,” said Sanyam Kaushik (26) a management professional.
Same story, different sub-continent.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.