Indian comic company ACK Media, known for its mythological graphic books Amar Chitra Katha and children comics such as Tinkle, will be releasing its titles in Hindi and in five regional languages — Marathi, Gujarati, Telugu, Tamil and Malayalam.
The company already has a catalogue of regional language comic books that includes autobiographies of historical figures like Lokmanya Tilak, Veer Savarkar and Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, stories like Birbal The Clever, Raman of Tenali and its mythological comics, and is now looking at expanding it further. Manas Mohan, COO, ACK Media explains the move, “Our target readers are middle class parents and their children. By releasing comic books in regional languages, we have been able to reach out to a larger number of such readers.”
The new addition will include Karadi Tales titles, which will be released with the option for regional languages. Mohan adds that the comic book industry is rapidly changing and the company is doing everything it can to stay up to date with changing technologies. Digitalisation of its various titles and brands is the main focus right now. “Currently, print comics at ACK Media account for 99% of its total revenue, but 80% of our total investment is made towards digitalising our content pool,” he says.
“We are already selling digital copies of our popular comics and a few app-cum-audio comic books of some Karadi Tales titles on popular app stores like iTunes Store, Ovi Store, Google Play and Amazon Kindle store among others, which gives us access to the international digital comics market,” says Shubhadeep Bhattacharya, ACK Media’s business head, Digital.
Although the revenues are very less, at just 1%, Bhattacharya expects it to grow further, especially with larger penetration of smartphones and tablets in India. “We are working at expanding the portfolio. So, readers can expect more titles by the year end,” he adds.
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