Suruchi Gupta

Archive for September, 2011

Comics in 3D, Again!

by on Sep.01, 2011, under Experiences

Action still from Fearless Four, which one may experience in 3D soon!

Perhaps, one can never get bored with comics, but when the 3D medium is added to it, expectations and excitement are added to the fun. India’s oldest comics publication, Chandamama, loved by children for its comics on Jataka Tales, Arabian Nights and characters like Bheem Boy and Dushtu Dattu, is working on launching 3D comics within this year. “We are trying to marry the comic’s content with technology. We will begin with the 3D book, and if the experience is good, then move on to make 3D films,” says Prashant Mulekar, editor, Chandamama.

For those not in the knowing, this is the second outing for 3D comics in India, with the first time being somewhere in the 1980s. But the former failed for want of good quality production, poor 3D glass quality and price factor. This is perhaps the reason why, currently, no popular comic in the world offers a 3D platform to its readers on print.

Another endearing Fearless Four still

“It is not an easily masterable technology. I believe two or three more Indian companies are trying to work on the 3D format. I hope we have more people coming out with it, as India has so much content… it’s time we started exporting comics from India, instead of importing, in various versions,” says Mulekar.

Chandamama, owned by Geodesic, is working on the 3D format internally, since the latter provides higher-technology solutions. But Mulekar is not ready to divulge which characters will come alive on the 3D books. “We are trying with three to four characters. 3D works best with action, so one can expect that.”

Graphic novelist Harsho Mohan Chattoraj points out, “3D Comic books came out in late 1980’s were shoddy works, with poor quality glasses and print quality of the book being such, that without the glasses the images and text looked blurred. If a brand like Chandamama is working on the 3D format, if successful at all, will be of high-end technology. Pricing will be important here, as comics are for everybody, not just for the rich.”

Mulekar confirms, that the magazines, to begin with, will have the options of being read with and without the glasses, but will cater to a select audience only. “At the end of the day, children will read them, and we cannot compromise on quality. The glasses will be imported. But since one will expectedly have the glass after first purchase, we are working on the option of not buying the glasses always.”

A scene from Friends Forever

Mulekar informs the price of the magazine, with glasses, can be expected to be in the range of Rs200-250.

And that is not all. Comic lovers can expect to see their favourite characters move, dance, sing and perform stunts on their gadgets. Mulekar informs, Chandamama is independently working on a regular (meaning: 2D) animation series for Internet, mobile phones and television. “The Net and mobile animation series will kick off with mythological characters and stories, moving on to contemporary ones. While the mobile and Web series should be ready for launch within this year, two television series will broadcast in April next year.”

Another action still from Chandamama comics, but not sure from which comic book

In 2009, Reliance Big Animation had announced plans to bring out an animation series for television based on Chandamama’s content, within about three years time, and is yet to surface.  Will India lead the comic revolution? We have to wait and watch!

Copyright @ HT Media Ltd.

Above story was published on Hindustan Times, HT City, Kolkata/Ranchi/Patna editions on August 21, 2011 in an edited version. Thanks to Mr. Prashant Mulekar for sharing the news and details.

The story, when published, first announced the re-coming of 3D comics. However, it is yet to happen as of Oct 2013.

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