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Make your own comic

books Updated: Apr 15, 2010 16:29 IST
Sneha Mahale
Sneha Mahale
Hindustan Times
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Ever had a social service message, real-life incident or an imaginative story that you felt deserved space in a comic book? This is your chance.Comix India is on the lookout for people with complete comics that can be featured as short comics.If the story is chosen, the author is paid and his story will be published in a book comprising other short comics. Intrigued?

Comix India is a self-published black and white comic magazine in print that began in October 2009. The magazine is currently sold through a single online shop, www.pothi.com which is a print-on-demand website. Print-on-demand means that books are printed digitally, and single copy printing is possible. So whenever someone places an order and pays for it, one copy can be printed and couriered.

What’s the motive?
The motivation to start this venture came after it was felt that there was no outlet for comics creators to publish short comics independently. “I wanted to find a way where comic creators can publish short works in book format,” says Bharath Murthy, editor, Comix India.

The other reason was to create awareness about short comics as a form of creative expression. “There are many, many untold stories in India, and I hope at least a few find a place in this medium,” says Murthy.

The website, www.comixindia.com , is created and financed by Murthy.Self-published means there is zero investment. When a comic is sold, the profit is shared equally by all contributors.This is the only income for everyone. “In this way, we are our own publishers. There is no publisher doing it for us. All contributors are like stakeholders in the magazine,” says Murthy.

Nothing random about it.What is interesting about this magazine is that everything is done over the Internet. Murthy hasn't met most of the contributors of the magazine. He hasn't even met the graphic designer. It is just a bunch of people interested in the medium who are doing this because they love it.

Comix India published its first book in March 2010. Costing Rs 399 and named Random Selections, the book features 13 contributors and addresses adult themes and issues. The narratives range from historical fantasy to autobiography, crime drama, non-fiction essay and even personal narratives. Originality is preferred to rehashing.

For instance, Dr L Prakash’s Ear Rings is a true-life account of his fellow prisoner’s journey to jail. Also finding space is Sudeep Menon’s crime noir about a gangster in Mumbai called Just Another Job.But not all stories are dark. Meenakshi’s Kinnari is a mythology-inspired story about a young man’s travels in an ancient world.

“I don't really know the response. People are buying it, but it is still an underground project, and not many people in the mainstream know about it,” says Murthy.

A few years later, Murthy hopes to turn Comix India into a proper magazine with ads. “But that is very far into the future,” he says.

How it works?
A theme is decided, and an announcement is made on the website, Facebook and Twitter.
People create complete comics (read with full storylines) and send them for consideration.
The submissions are read and changes, if required, are made.
The graphic designer compiles everything.
Pothi.com puts it up for sale.
The comic authors whose entries are featured in the booklet receive Rs 1,500 each.

Next up:
The theme for the next comic book is Girl Power. The comics need to be based around women, or have to be created by them.The idea is to create comics for girls in India, as most comic books cater to the male reader.

To participate, just make a comic following the guidelines and send it editor@comixindia.com . After the deadline (April 30 but might be extended), Murthy will go through all the contributions, select the best and publish them.

Minimum requirement is 20 pages, maximum 40 pages. If you submit less than 20 pages, you won’t be eligible for the profit sharing, and will be considered a guest contributor.