Me and so many like me learnt their history, mythology and biographies with quite an avidness, thanks to a publication called Amar Chitra Katha.
Now that venerable institution has relaunched the comic magazine in an online avatar. Though the people at ACK-Media are terming it as a ‘launch’, the domain amarchitrakatha.com existed for quite a while. It is only that the place has been refurbished.
Amar Chitra Katha used be be a property of India Book House but late last year ACK Media acquired it (alongwith another landmark publication – Tinkle). Anant Pai (better known as Uncle Pai) is the Editor Emeritus and Chief Story Teller in the new entity.
The site allows users to create stories and art, lists cultural events (powered by Asklaila), and the ambitious ACK Pedia that seeks to be a combo of Wikipedia, Google Knol and Citizendium but limited to India and its culture.
But I am more interested in the comics. There’s one story of the week that is available for free (but not for the readers of Cutting the Chai), to access the rest you need to pay $0.99 (Rs 40) per issue. I find the pricing a bit too high to be able generate widespread interest. In this digital age premium pricing often backfires.
It will indeed be a ‘pleasure’ to see characters (read nubile nymphets) that we grew up with in a digital avatar.
In this online world, you either show all or know how to hide it proper. There’s always someone lurking around the corner.
By the logic that if it is viewable it is downloadable, you can download for free Amar Chitra Katha.
But then I wouldn’t like to delve into that. Free online reading is fine for now.
But ACK Media should lower the prices, else people would do just that.
The music industry hasn’t yet learnt its lesson, the comics industry should.
* The Tinkle of Silver
* The Umbilici in Amar Chitra Katha
* The Original Superhero – Supremo