There’s an app for everything. And while you might have a shelf boasting an entire dog-eared, well-thumbed collection of them, it doesn’t hurt to have an app for the iconic Amar Chitra Katha comics too.
Recently launched, the ACK Comics app is just another, and perhaps a quicker way to access the over 300 titles of the comics many of us grew up on. The app is free, and while it was already available for Windows 8, it can now be downloaded on the iOS and Android platforms. Launched on the second edition of Free Comic Book Day, ACK also celebrated the event by enabling the app's users to download 10 free titles over the two day celebration.
While the pleasure of a physical copy is irrefutable, and the numbers show a resurge in their sales, with ACK’s COO Manas Mohan stating that the company has witnessed an annual growth of 30-40 per cent over the last few years, this step into the digital world is bound to attract even more readers.
Redesigned and renewed to ensure that their digital format is both easy to read and well-formatted, the comics can be accessed in both the flip-book mode as well as the panel by panel mode. The reading experience, complete with the touch screen facility, is bound to change, and for the better.
Of course, this is a move that seeks to bring a new crop of readers to ACK, and targets a generation that is comfortable with Kindles, Smart-phones and tablets. With more and more books being printed across platforms and mediums, ACK has entered the fray slightly late, but with the titles both affordable and easily accessible, should be making up for lost time soon enough.
Developed by App9 Digital Studio, the digital division of Ninestars Information Technologies Pvt. Ltd., the app will connect the user with the ACK editorial team, as well as bring together a forum for the ACK readers' community.
Perhaps one of the biggest benefits of the app comes in the form of accessibility, and makes these legendary comics available for a global readership. The content, already loved by many, has also been the source of some of the earliest education in Indian values, ethos, mythologies and history, with engaging titles on everything from Chanakya, Ashoka and Akbar to Jawaharlal Nehru Birbal, JRD Tata, Subbulakshmi and Ganesha. The re-mastered comics, complete with the bright colours and an attractive layout, have always been a gateway into India’s heritage and culture, sometimes sparking deeper interest and serving as a launch-pad to further research. ACK has been, over the years, widening its reach by publishing the comics in a number of regional languages including Marathi, Gujarati, Bengali and Tamil. This push into the digital medium serves as yet another way to increase readership.
The times are changing, and while nostalgia makes us reach out for what's familiar, it can also spell an end, thus making change and adaptability both important and necessary. After all, these comics, with their wonderful art and stories, are too good to become just relics from the past.