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Amar Chitra Katha (Hindi: अमर चित्र कथा, amar citra kathā ?, "Immortal Captivating (or Picture) Stories") (Amar Chitra Katha PL) is one of India's largest selling comic book series, with more than 90 million copies sold in 20 Indian languages. Founded in 1967, the imprint has more than 400 titles that retell stories from the great Indian epics, mythology, history, folklore, and fables in a comic book format. It was created by Anant Pai, and published by India Book House. In 2007, the imprint and all its titles were acquired by a new venture called ACK Media. On September 17, 2008, a new website by ACK-media was launched.
The comic series was started by Anant Pai in an attempt to teach Indian children about their cultural heritage. He was shocked that Indian students could answer questions on Greek and Roman mythology, but were ignorant of their own history, mythology and folklore. It so happened that a quiz contest aired on Doordarshan in February 1967, in which participants could easily answer questions pertaining to Greek mythology, but were unable to reply to the question "In the Ramayana, who was Rama's mother?".
The above is an oft-told story of how ACK was founded beginning with ‘Uncle Pai’, in Mumbai in 1967. However, Outlook Magazine has this article about the genesis of this popular comic series: The idea and proposal for Amar Chitra Katha was made by a Bangalore book salesman called G.K. Ananthram which led to the first Amar Chitra Katha comics being produced in 1965—in Kannada, not English. “The English ACK titles begin from number eleven because the first ten were in Kannada,” clarifies Ananthram. To Anathram’s satisfaction, the 1965 Kannada ACK venture was a great commercial success which lead to Mirchandani in the head office in Mumbai pursuing the Amar Chitra Katha idea in English diligently, and the rest is history. “They brought in Anant Pai” says Ananthram. “And he built a wonderful team and a great brand.”
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