CA Media, the Asian investment arm of The Chernin Group, has acquired a significant minority stake in Graphic India, a comic book and animation company focused on creating mythological and superhero characters, comics and stories for the Indian youth market, published across digital platforms including mobile and online.
CA Media, headed in India by Rajesh Kamat as its India CEO, has been acquiring stakes in different companies in the media landscape to create a ecosystem where it can leverage the strengths of these companies. Earlier it had acquired 49% stake in production major Endemol India and minority stake in OML (Only Much Louder) an event management company. This is the third company where CA Media has invested.
Graphic India was launched last year by Sharad Devarajan, Gotham Chopra and Suresh Seetharaman as a subsidiary of US comic book company Liquid Comics. After the new arrangement, Graphic India will be jointly owned by Liquid Comics and CA Media. Devarajan will oversee the operations as CEO of Graphic India and remain Executive Chairman of Liquid Comics.
As part of the transaction, Liquid Comics will contribute one of the largest and high-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.
“Our We are creating portfolio of assets. In every field, we are selecting one partner and giving our full backing,” Kamat said. “Graphic India marks our first investment in the digital space. We want 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.”
Graphic India will target the youth population that is one of the largest and fastest growing demographics in the world, with more than 500 million consumers under the age of 25 and with more than 850 million mobile phone users in the country.
Devarajan believes that the company is uniquely positioned to meet the increasing demand of this connected and sophisticated youth population for multi-platform entertainment content that respects India’s creative traditions and the global ambitions of the Indian people today. Through animated shorts, digital comics, and associated media content, Graphic India will launch mythological and superhero characters and storylines that India’s youth audience can celebrate.
“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,” Devarajan added. “We intend to find, nurture and promote a new generation of creators to transform the world with their stories. We have got very good partners in the Chernin Group and CA Media, who bring in vast experience in entertainment.”
Graphic India will start with five main characters and intends to launch many new projects in the upcoming year showcasing original stories from young breakthrough talent as well as established Indian and global icons. The company has partnered with POW! Entertainment and Stan Lee, the 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.
It will also release new digital content around the acclaimed comic books previously published by Liquid Comics, including Devi (created by filmmaker Shekhar Kapur), The Sadhu (created by Gotham Chopra) and Ramayan 3392AD (a futuristic epic inspired by the classical Ramayana).