2022 has been full of activity for Indian comic publishers, like Applause Entertainment acquiring Amar Chitra Katha (ACK) titles and Amazon Prime adapting Yali Dream Creations’ (YDC) The Village into a live-action web series. Although a good year for most of the publications in terms of readership and distribution, one major issue came to the fore was the unavailability and price hike of papers along with the ink which created a major barrier for publishers and readers of printed copies.
Let’s read what other publications have to say about 2022:
Abhijeet Kini Studios
2022 has been a busy year for Abhijeet Kini Studios too as per its founder Abhijeet Kini. They worked on several advertising-related projects along with commissioned comic and animation works due to which they couldn’t add anything new to the catalogue apart from Bombay Rhymes which was launched at Delhi Comic Con. Since theirs is not a subscription-based model, the pandemic didn’t create a hindrance in the readership. The readers kept coming back to their favourite characters and comics through the steady pre-order sales model. In 2022, Abhijeet Kini Studios created comic art for Britannia’s ad campaign and the studio also worked on NFT-based projects among other things.
Working on the webcomics, the publisher has seen constant growth in the readership and feedback from the audience has made Raj Comics to now release more comics per month. In 2022 Raj Comics released Nagranth (Nagraj) series, Shaktiroopa (Super Commando Dhruva) series, Sarvnayak (Multi starrer) series, Rakht Katha (Doga) series and Shuddhikaran (Bhediya) series.
According to Raj Comics owner Sanjay Gupta, there’s new talent entering the comic industry who share their work on a regular basis and Raj Comics has also provided an opportunity to the new artists to start working on new stories for them.
For Meta Desi comics the year 2022 was a bit of a restocking/rebuilding year. They didn’t release any fresh titles but with Comic Con coming back they surely attracted new fans/readers. The publication sold more comics in this year’s Comic Con than any convention year and Mumbai Comic Con is yet to happen. To expand their reader base, Meta Desi is in talks with a couple of distributors for physical retail of their comics. Their partnership with Chariot Comics under common label – ICBM didn’t quite work out and they parted ways, but Meta Desi is still hoping to do a crossover of their Super Soldiers Squad with Chariot Comic’s VRICA series.
If provided an opportunity from Netflix or Amazon, Meta Desi is ready to partner with them for their fan-favourite title Holy Hell.
Commenting on new talent, Meta Desi staff writer Zafar Khurshid said, “Every year we get to see or meet new creators. Some last, some don’t and every year we have people who ask us about how to start writing or making their own comics. However, being talented isn’t enough as at the end of the day not many people get to make a full-time living as comic creators. The infrastructure isn’t there to support the burgeoning Indian comic industry, Comic Con does a good job, but we need more such platforms.”
Yali Dream Creations (YDC)
2022 has been an eventful year for Yali Dream Creations. They have introduced a brand new superhero three-part comic series, Codename Alpha, which marked the debut of Bijoy Raveendran as the writer. Tadam Gyadu has provided sequential art for the new comic. Being their biggest release for 2022, they launched the first book in February and for the first time, they released the book both in English and Hindi simultaneously. The other big release for them was in the form of a reprint of The Village. Amazon Prime made an official announcement of YDC’s The Village into a live-action web series. The shooting for the same started in February and ended in mid-November, and is slated to release sometime in 2023.
According to Yali Dream Creations founder Asvin Srivatsangam, one of the biggest challenges they faced in 2022 was with their previous publisher as they had to figure out a way ‘to stop the monies they were bleeding and get someone who is a team player as a publisher.’ The reason behind it was that the publisher brokered some heavy discount deals without YDC and Srivatsangam’s consent. They also had to keep their website closed for almost 10 weeks as YDC’s books were with their old publisher in Mumbai and they couldn’t get a hold of him to get them sent to their new publisher Ravi Ahuja in Delhi.
To bring some of YDC’s books into the market, they also partnered with Comics Adda and Comic Haveli in 2022. Although Srivatsangam enjoys reasonable success in terms of online readership through YDC’s website, Kindle and Google books, he feels that Indian readers are largely habitual of reading physical comic books.
Vimanika launched Aryan Vol. 1 and Ramayana – Balakand Vol. 1 in 2022. The publisher will be subsequently launching two more volumes for each of those titles. Vimanika also launched its NFTs on platforms such as Open Sea and Rarible apart from launching merchandise and apparel in 2022. They’ve also launched their first 3D-printed statue of Shiva and Ram and are planning to launch more such statues in future. The publisher was also conferred with an Award in Excellence in Education at one of the summits in Delhi.
“2022 was just the post-pandemic year and we took some time to gain momentum. We faced a lot of distribution and funding challenges. Because of the pandemic, there’s nervousness and anxiety among investors in terms of reinvestment in the market overall. We didn’t face the challenge for long as we partnered with The Write Order at the right time. We’ll both synergise and take the comics in India to another level,” mentioned Vimanika Comics founder Karan Vir Arora.
Arora also feels that there needs to be a connection between comics and cinema in India just like Hollywood – DC and Marvel, that’s the way forward in his opinion.
Overall 2022 has been an action-packed year for most comic publishers and artists. Comic Con India has been a cherry on the cake as it gave a boost to the creators and readers of the comics to come back on-ground and meet each other after a break of two years.
Read: How the year 2022 has been for other Indian comic publishers.