Bringing Characters to Life Through a Story There was a time when comics were the only option to escape boredom of a long train journey

By Nidhi Singh

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We all were a huge fan of comics in our childhood days because it featured our favorite superheroes fighting crime and battling superheroes. There was a time when comics were the only option to cure boredom during a long train journey or summer vacation. The comic industry which was ruling the India market in the 80s and 90s boomed suddenly because of increasing competition from satellite television (children's television channels) and the gaming industry.

However, there are few startups that are working bringing back the characters to life through the idea of digital comics:

Change The World Through Their Stories

Bengaluru-based Graphic India is leading India's character entertainment revolution. The digital company uses digital comics and animation to develop new stories targeting the 550 million Indian youth under the age of 25 and the 900 million people mobile market as they leapfrog directly to smartphones. Founded by media entrepreneur Sharad Devarajan, Graphic India is owned by U.S. holding company Liquid Comics, an entertainment company that uses the medium of graphic novel storytelling to develop original content for various media platforms. It aims to create enduring stories and heroes that foster the imaginations and fuel the inspirations of a new globalized generation of youth both in India around the world.

Bringing Stories to Life

Another comic start-up Kokaachi is a publishing house-cum-storytelling studio led by husband wife duo Pratheek Thomas and Tina Thomas. Their focus is on original graphic stories told through comics, illustrated tales, picture books, animation, and movies. Launched in 2014, the Kochi-based startup also partners with filmmakers, brands, NGOs, corporates, magazines, newspapers to bring to life their stories - through comics, illustrations, and animation. The unique name Kokaachi, is inspired by the monster that inhabited one of the first stories the founders heard as children.

Rise of New Age Superheroes

Launched in 2016, Bengaluru-based comic studio TBS (Thought Bubbles Studio ) Planet features a range of comic books across genre from Indian action super heroes to comedies to horror and thriller that is easily available in all leading online and offline bookstores. The start-up is founded by Rajeev Tamhankar, an IIT graduate who decided to work on the idea of comic books soon after he launched his book titled "Get Corporated Before You Get Fired!' in 2015. The start-up has also been official comics partners for Balaji Motion Pictures for the Bollywood Movie - "A Flying Jatt". One of his superhero characters is Varun who fights out mystic sea creatures in epic battles.

Moving More Toward Vintage Art

Bengaluru's Royal Existentials by Falana Dimka Films is a weekly webcomic series that uses Indian vintage art and imagery to tell stories of historical angst. Aarthi Parthasarathy, Filmmaker and Writer, writes and produces the comic whereas Chaitanya Krishnan, Illustrator and Animator does the layout and the additional art. Royal Existentials uses existing Indian paintings, from various sources, which have been credited in each strip.The comic has been inspired by David Malki's webcomic Wondermark, which is a personal favorite of the creators. The idea was to create a political webcomic that addresses social and feminist issues, but with a uniquely Indian viewpoint.

Nidhi Singh

Former Correspondent, Entrepreneur Asia-Pacific

A self confessed Bollywood Lover, Travel junkie and Food Evangelist.I like travelling and I believe it is very important to take ones mind off the daily monotony .

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