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Buster Keaton in Sherlock Jr., 1924

June 12, 2010

Drona, Karna and Abhimanyu

Amar Chitra Katha—which translates into Immortal Picture Stories—remains India's most favourite and largest-selling comic book series 43 years after it was launched in 1967. ACK has since sold over 90 million copies in nearly two-dozen Indian languages. Collectively, the 400-odd titles serve as a fine pictorial encyclopedia of all things India—from epics and mythologies, fables and folklores to histories and mysteries.

The ACK adventures begin with No.11 Krishna—the boy who lived—depicting the life of the eighth avatar or incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Since then it has been one long, enchanting and unforgettable journey. There probably isn't a kid in India whose life hasn't been touched by Amar Chitra Katha.

It's difficult to pick your best-loved ACK comic book. The sheer range and depth of colourful stories and myriad characters make it nearly impossible to do so. In comparison, putting a finger on your favourite Marvel or DC superhero is a cinch.

My own top-of-the-shelf Amar Chitra Kathas will almost always include three titles from the great war of Mahabharata—Drona, the royal sage and master of warfare; Karna, a great warrior equal in prowess to Arjuna, one of the five Pandava princes; and Abhimanyu, the son of Arjuna, the brave and tragic hero who wielded a mean bow and arrow.

To know more about ACKs, go to http://www.amarchitrakatha.com/ and http://www.ack-media.com/