By Lucas Shaw
NEW YORK (TheWrap.com) - Peter Chernin wants to the build the Marvel Comics of India. CA Media, the Asian investment arm of his Chernin Group, has acquired a large minority stake in Graphic India, an Indian comic book and animation company.
Graphic India, launched in 2012 as a subsidiary of Liquid Comics, is a prominent American comic book company founded by Richard Branson and Deepak Chopra, among others. CA Media and Liquid Comics will now jointly own the company, and Liquid will contribute a substantial comic book library of Indian characters to Graphic India.
CA Media will try to help Graphic India build franchises around those characters, from new print and digital comics to animated shorts.
"Following our successful entry into the traditional media space, we are very pleased that Graphic India marks our first investment in the digital space," Rajesh Kamat, CEO of CA Media India, said in a statement. Graphic India is a valuable addition to this mix, especially in the youth segment. We look forward to working with the company to create heroes that inspire the next generation of Indian consumers."
Sharad Devarajan, co-founder of Graphic India, will be CEO of the company and remain executive chairman of Liquid Comics. Under his leadership, the company will launch a series of new projects in the coming year. Graphic India has already partnered with former Marvel chief Stan Lee and POW! Entertainment to create Lee's first superhero for the Indian market, Chakra the Invincible.
Chakra is born after teenager Raju Rai develops a technology-enhanced suit that unleashes the "mystical chakras of the body." Lee will collaborate with Indian artists and creators to develop animated clips and comics.
Graphic India will also release new digital content around some of Liquid Comics' existing properties, such as Shekhar Kapur's "Devi," Gotham Chopra's "The Sadhu" and "Ramayan 3392AD."