The popular traditional publishing houses like Chandamama and Amar Chitra Katha have jumped onto the new media bandwagon and started their own websites.
Chandamama’s web portal, started in late 2007, offers everything from folk tales, mythological stories to the legendary Vikram and Betal series. The site, available in 6 Indian languages, also has a collection of simple, flash-based games and an online shopping space also.
“More and more kids are using the internet, so for us it’s just a natural progression,” says Sowmya Bharadwaj, online content head for Chandamama India Ltd. Chandamama has also plans to make content available on the mobile and television platforms soon.
Amar Chitra Katha too has tied up with Cartoon Network and Pogo to produce two animated films and 26 half-hour episodes of the Amar Chitra Katha stories, which will premiere early next year. In February this year, Amar Chitra Katha struck an exclusive deal with Vodafone, allowing users to listen to folk stories from The Karadi Tales, audio dramas from Charkha and musical tales from Under the Banyan Tree.
There is a massive online marketplace at www.amarchitrakatha.com where you can order any title that you want. There is also an exclusive Tinkle portal where you can play games with legendary Tinkle characters like Shikari Shambu, Kalia the Crow and Suppandi, take quizzes, contribute to the magazine, socialise with other users and earn ‘Tinkle Gold’, which you can exchange for free Tinkle issues.