Forbes India profiles comics collector Aalok Joshi

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

We were surprised and pleased to see this article in Forbes India on constant Collected Editions commenter Aalok Joshi, whom the article describes as one of Mumbai's three biggest comic book collectors.


The article describes Aalok's visit to a local comic book auction, and tells how he built up his collection:
The years through which Aalok nurtured that patch, from which the pile would eventually take over his entire house, saw him scavenge for good buys at second-hand book sellers along the pavements of Matunga’s King’s Circle or the innumerable scrap dealers he would haunt. “I got some of the Sandman issues at King’s Circle for less than Rs. 200 each three years ago. I had to bargain. That place is amazing. You just don’t know what you can get.” The pavements have thrown up some of his best buys, including Neil Gaimans and Alan Moores.

On the other end of the spectrum are wholesalers and comic book dealers around the world. His network, along which he is constantly exchanging notes, stretches within India from Mumbai to Kolkata.

Outside India, he has set up his contacts in the US, where he deals with wholesalers who are overstocked. The orders are mailed to a friend in the US who passes the books along with Indian friends visiting home. Some of Aalok’s best graphic novels have come from these wholesalers.

But buying comic books and graphic novels from Mumbai’s pavements is not as easy as it was three years ago. The number of people looking for the same issues is rising and it is tough to strike a deal when the demand is high. But this simply adds to Aalok’s edge: The value of his collection rises a little more.
You can read the full article at the Forbes India website (image courtesy Forbes India).

Congratulations to Aalok on this great profile. Happy collecting!
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4 comments:

  1. Well done, Aalok! Your passion for comics is amazing, particularly when the channels of availability are very different to what I take for granted in Australia.

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  2. The channels are good enough for the new titles, but the old ones & back issues are simply non existent. Whatever is in print with an ISBN no is simply available to me.

    I think you have it good there in Oz due to a select B&W Phantom Magazine from Frew publishing. I have no idea whether you frequently buy it but for a comic book reader in India like myself who grew up on the local comic featuring the King's Features Syndicate characters like Phantom, Mandrake, Flash Gordon & Rip Kirby among others also featuring the first popular Indian hero Bahadur, it's like the Holy Grail-I chanced upon a few Frews in India with great difficulty. Great stuff going on there mate!

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  3. Phantom comics are much beloved in Australia, but I've always seen them as an interest of the generation before me. Phantom collectors are prevalent and passionate, but they are not so much a part of the comic shop scene.

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  4. Same here in India. We had a local publication called Indrajal Comics that featured among others Phantom, Mandrake, Flash Gordon, Rip Kirby, Phil Corrigan, Garth, Kerry Drake, Mike Nomad & Buz Sawyer. I own most of these, they are pretty rare nowadays (circa 1964-1989) but the people who I find chasing them belong to the earlier generation as well (I'm 24, 1986 born) plus that's what would comprise their reading habit. These Guys here would rather go all out to buy a copy of Indrajal than venture into anything different, even the standard DC/Marvel. No comic shop scene people here too you're right. Of course we don't get singles here so we have to depend on trades.

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