Amar Chitra  Katha LogoMe 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 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.

Amar Chita Katha - ParvatiThe website is being positioned as a “hub for everything related to Indian culture and story-telling.”

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.

e-NymphThough the site highlights only one story a week and the others are supposedly inaccesible to the general readers, you can find them here (I just dug out the appropriate links):

* Who is the Greater Devotee?

* The Most Beautiful Child in Agra

* Bhagat Singh

* The Ascetic and His Loin-Cloth

* Gopal Measures the Earth

* Shiva the Fisherman

* Hira the Milkmaid

* The Tiger and the Traveller

* Gajendra

* Rama Earns a Title

* The Man Who Brought Ill Luck

* The Day the Earth Broke into Two

UrvashiACK Media might take off has taken off the content if they realise realised that I’m giving people a sneek free preview of Amar Chitra Katha comics here.

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.

Related posts:
* The Tinkle of Silver
* The Umbilici in Amar Chitra Katha
* The Original Superhero – Supremo

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