Origin of Amar Chitra Katha
Amar Chitra Katha was founded by Anant Pai, popularly known as Uncle Pai, with the objective of educating the younger generation about the cultural heritage of India. Anant Pai, one of the most popular Indian comics creators, was amazed by the fact that Indian children were well versed with Roman and Greek mythology, but were rather ignorant about Indian mythology. He realized this fact at a quiz contest that was conducted by Doordarshan in February 1967. Thus Anant Pai decided to spread awareness about Indian mythology, folklore and history and gradually established Amar Chitra Katha comics magazine in Mumbai, to fulfill his objective.
It is also believed that Amar Chitra Katha was created by G.K. Ananthram, a book salesman from Bengaluru. The first Amar Chitra Katha comic book was published in Kannada, instead of English, in the year 1965. Although the Kannada version of Amar Chitra Katha became much popular and commercially successful, the head office in Mumbai decided to release the magazine in English from that point. Anant Pai entered the scene and formed a team of skilled writers and artists who further improved and developed Amar Chitra Katha. Some of the popular writers include Margie Sastry, C.R Sharma, Kamala Chandrakant, Debrani Mitra and Subba Rao. Some of the noteworthy artists were Dilip Kadam, Ram Waeerkar, Ashok Dongre, Pratap Mullick, Sanjeev Waeerkar, V.B. Halbe, Souren Roy, Geoffrey Fowler and C.D Rane. Anant Pai joined the creative team of Amar Chitra Katha as the editor and co-writer of most stories.
History of Amar Chitra Katha
The initial issues of Amar Chitra Katha were no printed in full colour due to financial restrictions. Each panel were printed with green, blue and yellow colours. Eventually the issues started to be printed full colour. Originally the comics magazine was published monthly, which later became fortnightly, with a total number of 30 pages that stressed on simple yet interesting and appealing storylines. Other than the stand alone issues, the various stories were also released as hardcover 3-in-1 and 5-in-1 collections. Moreover, special editions of the epics like Mahabharata was also made available in a 3 volume set of more than 1300 pages.
Amar Chitra Katha also released Bumper issues that contained 90 pages, which was a collection of similar stories from stand alone issues. After the huge success of mythology based stories, the creative team published stories on Indian history, particularly related to different religions and regions and stories based on regional classics and Sanskrit. The popularity of the magazine assured repeated reprints being issued and as a result early issues remained in print throughout the 1970s and 1980s. Later Amar Chitra Katha was translated into many regional languages like Punjabi, Gujarati, Tamil, Kannada, Bengali, Urdu, Sanskrit, Assamese, Marathiand Telugu.
During the mid-1990s, the original issues were reprinted in more stylish and durable editions, with enhanced colour separations and cardstock covers. Amar Chitra Katha has become the largest selling children's magazine in the country.
Development of Amar Chitra Katha
The Amar Chitra Katha comics magazine has improved a lot in the last few years. Other than improving the quality of the comics, it is also in the digital media. Amar Chitra Katha has launched their official website, from where the readers can get new and earlier issues from the Online Store section. Amar Chitra Katha has also been launched on the iPhone platform in 2009. Moreover, it has launched an animated television series that is broadcasted on Cartoon Network India.