Tuesday 29 September 2015

Number Crunching for Rarity!

Hey hey hey Barbarians!
For a long time now Yours trooly have been ranting about rarity of comics interlinked with number of copies produced.
Till now there was no tangible data as it's a black box and scarce info is available online.
However after some digging Yours trooly did come across an archived news report from 1982.
It looks like 1982 was the golden year for comic book publishers as the market grew 500% !
Yes in 1978 the overall comic market in India was 1 Cr which shot up more than 5 times to 5.5 Cr the sharpest in any year !

The data provided also shares the number of copies printed by the major publishers like IJC,ACK and other publishers from Delhi.
By making these a reference point and doing some back calculations a reasonable guestimate can be made about copies printed in 1970's and before.

Yours trooly have taken the liberty to create some charts for collectors so that they can use their reasonable intellect and separate the chaff from the wheat!

For the sake of simplicity and the sheer number of copies being printed we will call them "Big 4" which constitutes ACK, IJC, Chandamama and Diamond.

Also with some more archived reports the printing ratio in languages also gets clearer which on an avg is 5:2:3 i.e 50% of printed copies were in Hindi,20% in regional languages like Bengali,Tamil,Malayalam and the rest 30% in English.

The sprouting of numerous publishers in early 80's establishes a fact that it was a lucrative business. Down the line it lost it's steam due to mismanagement, same goes for IJC as the cancellation of the series is not coz of falling subscriptions but due to mismanagement.

Any comics published before 1978 is much rarer compared to comics published in 1980's unless published by fly-by-operators,simply because the number of printed copies were very less and the chances of their existing till today is pretty less as there was no secondary market for them.

Most of these copies would have got pulped ,lost, torn due to neglect unless coming from private collectors.

obscure publishers before 80's with a far lesser print runs will be that much more difficult to get.

So buckle up barbarians coz the way we know collecting is going to change!

External references-

1. http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/comics-become-money-spinners-of-indian-publishing-world/1/392121.html
2. http://homegrown.co.in/a-complete-timeline-the-evolution-of-comic-books-in-india-1926-present/

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