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Amar Chitra Katha
Amar Chitra Katha (Hindi: "Immortal Captivating (or Picture) Stories") is one of India\'s largest selling comic book series, with more than 90 million copies sold in 20 Indian languages. Founded in 1967, the imprint has more than 400 titles that retell stories from the great Indian epics, mythology, history, folklore, and fables in a comic book format. It was created by Anant Pai, and published by India Book House. In 2007, the imprint and all its titles were acquired by a new venture called ACK Media
Creation and creators
The comic series was started by Anant Pai in an attempt to teach Indian children about their cultural heritage. He was shocked that Indian students could answer questions on Greek and Roman mythology, but were ignorant of their own history, mythology and folklore. Writers like Kamala Chandrakant, Margie Sastry, Subba Rao, Debrani Mitra and C.R Sharma joined the creative team of Amar Chitra Katha, with Anant Pai taking on the role of editor and co-writer on most scripts. The notable illustrators, other than Ram Waeerkar, were Dilip Kadam, Sanjeev Waeerkar, Souren Roy, C.D Rane, Geoffrey Fowler and Pratap Mullick.
The original printings of Amar Chitra were not in full colour—because of budgetary constraints, the panels were printed using yellow, blue and green. Subsequent issues, however, changed to full colour. All Amar Chitra Katha books stuck to a monthly (later fortnightly) 30-page format, with emphasis on lucid, entertaining storylines. In addition to the \'singles\' format the stories are also available as hardcover 3-in-1 and 5-in-1 bundles. There are special editions of the Epics like the Mahabharata which is available in a 3 volume 1300+ pages set.
Occasionally there were "bumper" issues with 90 pages, most collecting stories of a similar type from individual issues( Example: Monkey Stories From The Hitopadesha, Tales of Birbal) and some being longer stories ( Example: Jesus Christ, The Story of Rama). As the epic stories became more popular, the team began to publish stories based on Indian history, of men and women belonging to different regions and religions and also on stories based on Sanskrit as well as regional classics. The continuous popularity of the comics led to reprints being issued frequently, which ensured that the back-issues remained in print throughout the seventies and the eighties. At the height of its popularity, in the mid-eighties, it had been translated into Bengali, Marathi, Assamese, Gujarati, Punjabi, Kannada, Telugu, Tamil, Sanskrit and Urdu and selling half a million copies a month. Some titles were also translated into French, Spanish, German, Swahili, Fijian, Indonesian, and Serbo-Croat.
Towards the mid-nineties, the original comics were reprinted in sleeker and more durable editions, with thick cardstock covers and better colour separations. Today, Amar Chitra Katha has a national footprint across all major book retailers, hundreds of small bookstores, and tens of thousands of vendors. It is the best-selling children\'s publication in most large format stores.
In 2007, the publisher created a new online store that offers all the titles with shipping worldwide. The titles are divided in following categories
1. Fables & Folktales (e.g. Panchatantra)
2. History (e.g. Akbar)
3. Mythology (e.g. The Ramayana)
4. The Epics (e.g. The Ramayana)
5. Humour & wit
6. Biographies (e.g. Mahatma Gandhi)
7. Literary Classics
8. 3 in 1 Titles
9. 5 in 1 Titles
10. Special Issues
The official Amar Chitra Katha website
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