‘In India the modern graphic novel is radically repositioning the medium.’
Paul Gravett, an expert in the field for over 30 years, tells us in this story for the British Council that runs through a brief history of its most illustrious examples.
How much do you know about India’s ever-growing and diverse graphic novel scene?
Comics have been serious business in India since 1967
Comics in India used to be under-appreciated as cheap, undemanding, throwaway entertainment mainly for kids or the sub-literate. The famous Amar Chitra Katha series of comics launched in 1967 changed this perception somewhat by adapting India’s great legends and history and demonstrating the educational value of comics for children. They are ubiquitous to this day, but their style and approach, similar to America’s Classics Illustrated comic books, have hardly changed in nearly 50 years. It is the modern Indian graphic novel which is radically repositioning the comics medium and bringing it into the 21st century. Significant general literary giants like Hachette, Harper Collins and Penguin have published them, as have smaller picture-book companies like Tara Books and the political press Navayana, as well as comics-only specialists like Blaft, Phantomville and Manta Ray. Read more
Illustration: Detail from an illustration from Hyderabad: A Graphic Novel
by Jai Undurti and Harsho Mohan Chattoraj.
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