Comics, an older form of animation, are getting digitized with the growing technological progresses around the world. With no concrete estimates and growth charts to ratify the Indian comics industry, the animation industry is also far from developed. But, the industry is seeing a good inflow of talent from the burgeoning IT-savvy youth which is growing up watching the high-end animations on international channels and the internet.
Rajesh Turakhia, CEO, Maya Entertainment, moderated the session on ‘From Comics to Animation’ and talked about the growing animation industry in the country in his opening remarks. Citing the example of Nagraj, Raj Comics’ animation venture, Manish Gupta, CEO, Raj Comics talked about how the comics industry and animation industry are looking at Indian mythology for story ideas and concepts. Speaking on the downside of this he said, “Nowadays, kids are not interested in mythology and they will be left out if animations or comics are created with those ideas. Instead, they prefer the powerful and fictional heroes.”
Margaret M. Dean, Animation Producer, said, “Comics are an inexpensive way of putting down ideas and is a great story-telling medium.” Suresh Seetharaman, President, Virgin Comics & Animation, observed that comics are a medium of paid research. “The story ideas in a comic may also lead to become a motion picture,” he noted.
Tim Mostert, Creator of comic strip Speedy, South Africa, believes that in a comic strip the constant challenge is to write gags. He pointed out that the Indian animation industry has to get the basics right. Citing examples of Popeye’s creator being involved in the successful transition from a comic strip to animated series he pointed out, “It is necessary for the creator of the property/character to be associated to ensure that the flow of ideas pertaining to the character continues.”
B Vishwanatha Reddy, CEO, Chandamama, talked about the company’s foray into animation and digital space over the years. An interesting point that came up in the session was that we still have to learn to use the kind of stories that we have. An example that came in the audience was that of ‘Lion King’ which is an Indian story but built by Walt Disney.