It was clearly evident from the massive attendance at the Comic Con 2013, held in Delhi, the immense popularity of Manga comics in India. About 70% of the cosplayers at the event were dressed up as Manga (Naruto) characters. Yet, one may wonder, Manga comics are not sold by anyone in India, officially.
Ed Chavez, Director Marketing of Vertical Inc, one of the leading manga publishers in the world, was present at the Comic Con 2013, to talk about the Japanese art style in India. Taking the stage, Chavez spoke about bringing the comics to its large Indian audience.
“We will be here in India with Manga comics very soon, initial talks are on between different publishers,” said Chavez. “In Japan, comics are popular as movies do their business in the US. The essence of Indian comics has originated from Indian mythology. But Japanese comics are related mainly with day to day activities of people. It can be innovations or science fiction,” Chavez says.
Vertical Inc, the company behind this venture, was set-up in 2003, and launched its first graphic novel series, Buddha. Since then, the company rose eventually to become America’s premier publisher for seinen manga (men’s comics). The company now is moving to achieve similar status for josei manga (women’s comics).
India is being looked upon not only as a mere opportunity by companies such as Vertical Inc, but as a long term strategic investment, considering the country’s new found empowered middle class.