Archie Comics Going to Print and Digital in India in Hindi, Malayalam and English Languages
Archie and the gang are headed for India this year with the release of 12 prominent titles -- including its Archie Marries Betty/Veronica saga -- through publisher The Variety Book Debut, which has been distributing Archie titles since 1974. Printed languages will include Hindi, Malayalam and English -- three of the most prominent languages of India's some 22 official languages.
Each single issue will cost 30 rupees (about $0.67 USD), which is intended to help make the comics an affordable form of entertainment in Indian markets like magazine stands. What's more, the titles are planned to be distributed digitally following their print releases, although pricing and platform details are forthcoming.
Provided the releases are successful in India, The Variety Book Debut has plans to triple output with 36 titles over the course of the next year.Indian culture might also find its way into Archie's stories according to an early press release:
For the first time, 70 years after his first appearance as a comic strip in 1941, Archie comes to India in Hindi and Malayalam along with English. So, get ready to see Archie and Veronica dance on the popular "Aakhon ki gustakhiyan" or see "The Archies sing some popular songs like the college classic "Purani Jeans" and the classic oldie "Kankariya maar ke jagaya" among others.
In 2007 Archie introduced Raj Patel, a film-loving character of Indian ancestry, to Riverdale. As with last year's introduction of gay character Kevin Keller, Raj's inclusion in stories tends to have more to do with his youthful nature and interests than anything else.
Here's the full list of titles The Variety Book Debut is bringing to India:
-Archie Marries Veronica : The Proposal Part 1 of 7
-Archie Marries Veronica : The Wedding Part 2 of 7
-Archie Marries Veronica : It's Twins Part 3 of 7
-Archie Marries Betty : Will you Marry Me? Part 4 of 7
-Archie Marries Betty : The Wedding Part 5 of 7
-Archie Marries Betty : Happily Ever After Part 6 of 7
-Will You Marry Me? - Epilogue Part 7
-The Big Flip
-A Typical Day
-Return To Riverstock
Here in the United States, Archie's been something of a leader adapting to modern digital strategies with comics released on the same day as their print counterparts at a $0.99 price point on essentially every digital distribution network and device. Archie recently expanded its digital offerings in North America to include Spanish language comics. No word on how digital distribution will work in Indian markets, but judging from the print price point, they could likely remain in the same range.