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Future Group To Digitize Amar Chitra Katha Series: Report

Future Group CEO, Kishore Biyani plans to take Amar Chitra Katha comics to the digital platform in the form of animation, short films or e-books, according to a report by The Economic Times.
 ACK Media, the Future Group backed company that owns the brand Amar Chitra Katha, plans to release short films for tablets, smartphones, and also release a movie in theatre, as per the report. It plans to release 3-4 films in two years.

Apart from movies, Future Group also plans to introduce merchandise products: print comic strips or pictures of popular characters on bedsheets, pillow-covers, T-shirts and even packs of chyawanprash, honey and incense sticks. It plans to sell these branded products at stores such as Big Bazar and other offline and online retail stores. The company claims that it sells 90 million copies of Amar Chitra Katha, in about 20 languages, in a year . For the uninitiated, Amar Chitra Katha is a comic book series created by Anant Pai in 1967. The series included stories from Indian mythology and history.

In April 2012, Future Ventures India Ltd. (Future Group), the investment and business management firm, had upped its holding to 65.84% from an earlier 56% in its subsidiary, edutainment company, ACK Media, after a buyback offer of 70,457 equity shares was accepted by its shareholders. Other investors in the privately owned ACK Media includes Elephant Capital that owns 26.1% stake worth Rs. 27-28 crores of investment in the company. Recently, ACK Media had announced a partnership with National Geographic Society to publish Indian editions of National Geographic (NGM), National Geographic Traveler (NGT) and National Geographic Kids magazines since the international editions of NGM and NGT were already being distributed in India by India Book House, an acquisition of ACK.

Other Players

Geodesic, which acquired children’s magazine Chandamama in 2007, had gone digital by launching its website between 2008-2009 in in 5 Indian languages – Marathi (named Chandoba), Kannada ,Tamil (Ambulimama),  Hindi and Telugu versions. In 2011, Chandamama also launched its magazine on the iOS platform, with a universal (iPad/iPhone) app, that lets users buy and download the magazine’s monthly issue, and read it on their tablets, mobile phones or iPods.

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In March 2011,  Indian War Comics had released their comic series in the ebook format, for the iPad. Priced at $1.99, the books available include “Braveheart of Mumbai – 26/11″, based on Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan, a Major in the Indian Army and a part of the NSG; “The True Maratha”, based on the story of Col. N. J Nair, and “Yeh Dil Maange More” based on Kargil war hero Capt. Vikram Batra.

More recently, in July 2012, Mogae Digital launched Talking Comics on Tata Sky’s DTH (Direct to home) service. The Talking Comics were made available via Tata Sky’s Active Wizkids service and  promoted by the DTH operator on its Channel no. 100, the default channel that viewers see when they switch on their Tata Sky set top box.

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