September 18, 2007


US comic icons gain an Indian flavor (Indrajit Basu, 9/19/07, Asia Times)

Come December or January, Archie and his gang of iconic comic characters, who have "epitomized positive entertainment for kids and teens" in the US and many parts of the world for 60 years, will no longer live in a purely North American environment; they will be joined by Raj Patel, a new kid of Indian descent, who is moving into the small town of Riverdale with his Indian-born parents. According to New York-based publisher Archie Comics, Raj Patel will not be a one-off character. He is here to stay, and "will be assimilated in the group of Archie people just like any other kind of kid".

"The reason for this action [after 60 years] is that we suddenly realized, quite lately, there is a very large Indian population living in the US," said Michael Silberkleit, chairman and publisher of Archie Comic Publications, "and also because we ship millions and million of comics to India. So it is time now for your Indian readers to see an ethnic-Indian character in the Archie group of characters."

But Archie Comics is not the only one. A slew of global media and entertainment firms are rushing to include Indian content in their product portfolios to grab the attention of the fast-growing tribe of Indian audiences, which according to industry sources is increasingly emerging as one of the most influential market segments today.

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 18, 2007 12:00 AM
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