Creator of 'Indian comics' no more

Born in Karkala

Born in Karkala to Venkataraya and Susheela Pai, he lost his parents at the age of two. At the age of 12, he went to Mumbai, where he studied in Orient School, Mahim. He studied Chemistry, Physics and Chemical Technology at the University of Bombay Department of Chemical Technology and was a dual degree holder from the University of Bombay.

Endowed with a passion for publishing and comics, his failed attempt at creating a children’s magazine (Manav, 1954) was followed by a career as a junior executive in the Times of India books division, putting him in the thick of affairs when Indrajal comics was launched by the Times Group.

In 1967, he left his job and started Amar Chitra Katha, with the help of late G L Mirchandani of India Book House, when most other publishers from Allied Publishers to Jaico had rejected the concept. Later, he took on the role of writer, editor and publisher. The series went on to become a publishing milestone for the Indian comic book scene, selling over 86 million copies of about 440 titles.

In 1969, Anant Pai founded Rang Rekha Features, India’s first comic and cartoon syndicate, and started the children’s magazine Tinkle in 1980. His involvement with the above, and the rapport he shared with his readers earned him the title ‘Uncle Pai’.

Other works

Ramu and Shamu, Kapish, Little Raji, Rekha, Fact Fantasy, Funland and Funtime are some of the comic strips created by Pai, most of which continue to appear in newspapers and magazines. He has written and produced two video films, Ekam Sat (the Vedic Concept of God) and The Secret of Success, in English and Hindi. Pai’s other works include a number of books on personality development for children and teenagers.

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