CA Media, the Asian investment arm of Los Angeles-based entertainment and digital media firm The Chernin Group (TCG), has acquired a significant minority stake in Graphic India, a digital comics and animation company focused on creating mythological and superhero characters, comics and stories for the Indian youth market, published across mobile and online platforms.
Graphic India was launched last year by media entrepreneurs Sharad Devarajan, Gotham Chopra and Suresh Seetharaman, as a subsidiary of the US comic book company Liquid Comics. The company will now be jointly owned by Liquid Comics and CA Media. Devarajan will be appointed CEO of Graphic India and will remain the executive chairman of Liquid Comics.
As part of the transaction, Liquid Comics will contribute one of the world's largest and best quality comic book libraries, based on Indian characters, to Graphic India. In addition to CA Media's investment, it will partner with Graphic India to provide industry expertise and create iconic franchises for Graphic's characters through multiple media within the Indian entertainment ecosystem.
Graphic India will provide a new creative voice to the Indian youth marketplace, with more than 500 million consumers under the age of 25 and with more than 850 million mobile phone users in the country.
Through animated shorts, digital comics and associated media content, Graphic India will also launch mythological and superhero characters and storylines that India's youth audience can relate to.
Commenting on the development, Rajesh Kamat, CEO of CA Media (India) said, "Following our entry into the traditional media space, we are very pleased that Graphic India marks our first investment in the digital space. Our aim is to create an ecosystem of diversified assets across media, where each asset not only unlocks its own value, but also adds to the rest of the portfolio. Graphic India is a valuable addition to this mix, especially in the youth segment. We look forward to working with the company to create heroes that inspire the next generation of Indian consumers."
Paul Aiello, CEO of CA Media, said, "CA Media is thrilled to be partnering with the talented Liquid Comics team, headed by Sharad Devarajan. We look forward to building the business with Sharad and his team, an amazingly gifted group of content creators and phenomenal operators."
"India is home to some of the most creative minds in the world, and we believe that the next Batman, Harry Potter, Pokemon or The Avengers, can come from this country," commented Graphic India co-founder & CEO, Sharad Devarajan.
"At Graphic India, we intend to find, nurture and promote a new generation of creators to transform the world with their stories," he added.
Graphic India intends to launch numerous new projects in the upcoming year, showcasing original stories from young talents, as well as established Indian and global icons. The company has partnered with POW! Entertainment and Stan Lee, the legendary co-creator of Spider-Man, X-Men, Hulk, Iron Man, Hulk and The Avengers, to create his first superhero for the Indian market, Chakra The Invincible.
In addition, Graphic India plans to release new digital content around the acclaimed comic books previously published by Liquid Comics. These include Devi (created by film-maker Shekhar Kapur), The Sadhu (created by Gotham Chopra) and Ramayan 3392AD, a futuristic epic inspired by the Indian classic Ramayana.
(Edited by Sanghamitra Mandal)