Long time comics indusry watchers will appreciate the story of Graphic India, an Indian digital content portal that has a familiar face behind it: Sharad Devarajan, the man behind Liquid Comics and, before that, Virgin Comics. This time, it’s an ambitious plan, Tehcrunch reports:
It’s been some time since we wrote about Graphic India, a new media startup that believes India should have its own home-grown answer to cartoon empires like Marvel. The 30-person company been busy developing its IP and bringing its creations to audiences via film and TV since we last covered it in 2015, when it raised $2.5 million from investors, and now it has added to that war chest after pulling in an additional $5 million. The new investment in Liquid Comics, Graphic India’s parent company, comes from existing backers Start Media and Backflip Studios’ co-founder Julian Farrior with 3One4 Capital and Zodius Capital founder Neeraj Bhargava among the others that took part. Previously, the Chernin Group backed the startup via its Asia-focused CA Media fund.
Graphic India has already developed two shows: Astra Force, an animated show that’s on The Disney Channel, and Baahubali: The Lost Legends, which runs on Amazon Prime in India. Plus:
Graphic India also ventured into mobile with two library-based comic book apps, and it snagged a comic book and animation deal for smash-hit Indian film series Baahubali, which has made inroads in the U.S. market and broken Indian box office records.
Davarajan’s Liquid Comics is probably best known in the US for the 18 Days project which was written by Grant Morrison; however, they’re set on developing Indian talent and IP.
You may recall that Virgin Comics was around back in the aughts, and published a bunch of comics by Hollywood types such as John Woo that didn’t go as far as hoped. Liquid has been scaled down a bit, but Graphic India sounds like a much bigger project. You’ve got to give Davaranjan credit for sticking with it; the Indian market is huge, and so is the talent pool.
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.