April 30th, 2012
12:36 PM ET

The Indian comic book industry: Comic Con and beyond

This is the first of a two-part series exploring the Indian comic book industry. Look for the second part of the series about the dilemma of being a geek in India on Tuesday.

By Umika Pidaparthy, Special to CNN

If Batman and Superman ever packed their bags and moved to India, they would find that they have a bit of competition.

The superhero turf already belongs to figures such as Super Kudi and Pavitr Prabhakar.

They're the Indian equivalents of American mainstays Supergirl and Spider-Man’s Peter Parker, but they're just a small part of the growing Indian comic book industry.

That industry is more than mere translations of American comics. It’s a multilingual fantasyland, with themes ranging from mythology to humor to horror. In fact, Indian comic artists and graphic novelists say that there is hardly any room for Western superheroes today. This is clear to anyone who took in the comic offerings at February’s Comic Con India in New Delhi.

[Editor's note: Several of you inquired about the language of these comics in the comments. These comics are published mostly in English, while some are in Hindi and other local languages.]

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