Bollywood forays into the charming world of comics

smart strategy

Comics have always been an integral part of our lives – be it Chacha Chaudhary, Lot Pot or even the international names like Spiderman, Superman, The Avengers, X Men, Iron Man or The Incredible Hulk.

With beautiful illustrations and action sequences, these comics have attracted readers from all age groups. From tiny-tots to 40-years-old everyone has their own favourite experience to recall about these comics.

But, now a new wave of innovation is sweeping across Bollywood wherein film-based comic books are being launched as part of the promotional strategy ahead of
the film’s release.

In these comic strips or graphic novels, characters from films are getting a new lease of life – letting them attract more eyeballs and helping the filmmakers in their film promotions. Though film-based comics have been a success formula in Hollywood, back home in Bollywood, it hasn’t quite got its due and has uptil now been unable to cash in the fad.

Talking about these ‘film-based’ comics, Aniruddho Chakraborty, founder of Chariot Comics, who will soon launch a graphic novel Zombie Rising, on India’s first zombie-origin feature film Rise of the Zombie featuring Luke Kenny and Benjamin Gilani, says, “These comics are actually a prequel to the films. People read the comics which helps to build their excitement and anticipation. As these comic books are a visual
medium and is like a storyboard, they do help in film promotion.”

When asked whether these books have enough readers, Aniruddho, adds, “Distribution and reach is a major issue in terms of comics. If these are taken care of, then we can find more readers for these film-based comics.”

In the day and age of stiff competition, the film industry is experimenting with various promotional strategies and innovative ideas. Although, films like Agent Vinod, R Rajkumar... and Bullett Raja have launched their comics, but these unfortunately have not been a major success. Except grabbing some eyeballs, these comics were unable to create the kind of wave one would expect from a superhero comic book.

Abhijeet Kini, a comic artist who is working with Twinkle comics and coming out with his own book Angry Mousi, too lists distribution and marketing as a major challenge for comics in India.

“In India, the irony is that people think comics are only for children, but it is absolutely not true. Comics are also written for young adults. Also if you see, Agent Vinod comic book was not actually for children, but they were found in the children’s section too. These are the basic things that need to be kept in mind if you want to expand the comics’ market.

Complaining about the illustration in one of the much-talked-about film-based comics, Krrish 3, Abhijeet, adds, “All the villains in the comics were totally copied from the X-Men series. Even if the content is good, the reader will definitely be disappointed after looking at the illustrations.”

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