Illustrated Orchids to launch comics on Bollywood, Santa Banta

Santa, Banta & Trendy will also be developed into a claymation series
One art form and revenue stream closely associated with animation that hasn’t gained much ground in India is that of Comic Books. Things are however looking set to change. Here’s some mind blowing news for all those involved with the art, business and passion for comics. Illustrated Orchids, a subsidiary of Singapore based Arbiter Technologies Pte Ltd which has two creative development studios in India is set to greet the new year with the global launch of not one, not two but four new comic book series! The four new comic book series include Bollywood, Santa Banta & Trendy, Mythology and Hawk. Of these Bollywood and Santa Banta & Trendy have already been launched in Singapore in November and the Asia Pac launch is expected in the new year. The revenue model is going to be part subscription part advertising. null Speaking to Animation ‘xpress, Illustrated Orchids creative director Sudhir Sehgal said,” Our passion for comics turned into serious business idea earlier this year. Focusing on the 25 million strong Indian diaspora Illustarted Orchids started developing the comics based on Indian characters. Ofcourse there is a huge market at home but the Indian staying overseas always want to have some thing which can keep their kids attached to our culture.” Bollywood “As the comics are going to be globally marketed, it is more practical from a business point of view to attract the local population and our first target is South East Asia. For that we have woven Asian elements into the stories to broaden our appeal. In the first set we are using Singapore and in second Australia and so on. Of course every story has India. So while reading these comics (and later when they see the animation) kids will learn a lot about cultures and places” he added. Illustrated Orchids has two Studios in India including one in New Delhi with a strength of 25 artists including illustrators, colouring artists, writers & layout professionals working on comics and other book design & Illustration work. The Studio in Mumbai is repsonsible for animation, multimedia and advertising while the Singapore office is responsible for International Marketing and controlling the rights of the comic book publisher’s products. Also being planned is the launch of e-comics (which will be sold through its website at US$12 for an annual subscription) and mobile comics in Singapore in association with ComiAsia. Now Showing! Animation ‘xpress welcomes its first Advertiser ‘Alias’ on board. Scroll to the top of the page and click on the Alias banner to access free presentations, tutorials and downloads from Alias on their website
Mythology - Unique art style
The publisher has opted for the strategy of having region specific pricing for its comics which will be in proportion to the volume potential. The Singapore edition is priced at Sing$4.95, Malaysian edition at RM3.95. In India, the English edition is to be priced at Rs45/- while the Hindi edition at Rs30. Europe will be priced at‚ – 3.95. In terms of volumes, Illustrated Orchids is beginning with 6,000 copies of each series for Singapore, 10,000 copies of each series for India and 5,000 of each in Malaysia. “Some markets like Malaysia and India do not care about paper Quality but want less price so we are printing special editions for them. At the same time we are also giving them an option to experience good quality paper by releasing special International editions, for example we are selling English Edition in India at Rs 45″ remarked Sehgal. The publisher is in talks with major distributors from India, Singapore, Malaysia and the US and most of the deals are in the process of being finalised. On being asked to comment on the issue of procuring copyrights for featuring characters bearing likeness of Bollywood stars, Sehgal commented,”We have sent our copies to Shah Rukh Khan and Aishwarya Rai for our first edition and to Saif Ali Khan for the second edition. We are finding it hard to get a single point of contact to reach the actors but we definitely are looking for ways to discuss the story with artists before we start the work” “We are developing our own stories and keeping the copyright for future use. Slowly but surely we are reaching the best people in the industry and soon we will have a good pool of experienced and young talent for story development. Of course we understand that as it is a new concept it will take some time for people to appericate and accept it. Once its done in nice way and accepted by public we are sure we will work closely with more profesionals in the industry” he added. Talking about the art style Sehgal remarked,”Santa Banta & Trendy are developed taking into to consideration that there will be a Claymation Series in 2006. Bollywood is semi-realistic. Bascially they are story boards for movies we may produce/direct in years to come. Mythology will be another master-piece. The first edition is due for release in Feb 2006 and we are developing another style to present indian stories in a very unique and creative manner. We are putting our life’s experience into these comics. People have commented that we are working on International Style. But as an artist I am not sure what is this “International Style” we are developing a new style and I hope that in time it will be called “Indian style of making comics”.