When we started Virgin in the 1970s, we wanted to create a company that looked towards the bigger picture – that crossed over a number of industries, with distinct simplicity and purpose. Virgin was never going to be just about music records; it was always to be a way-of-life brand.
So, from music we moved into air travel, and then onto telecommunications, health and wellness, financial services, train travel, hotels and much more. While many of our businesses have become very well-known, others haven’t achieved as much fame – like, for example, Virgin Comics.
Did you know that Virgin was in the comic industry? And, no, it wasn’t just me doodling about my adventures! Together with author Deepak Chopra, filmmaker Shekhar Kapur, and entrepreneurs Sharad Devarajan, Suresh Seetharaman and Gotham Chopra we set up Virgin Comics in 2006 to start a creative renaissance in India.
Virgin Comics embodied what Virgin stands for – innovation and launching, developing and opening up markets, for the benefit of the consumer. At the time, Asia was becoming one of the world’s largest producers and consumers of entertainment products. We’d already experienced great success working within the incredibly vibrant Indian market – with Virgin Atlantic flying to Delhi – so we were excited to discover and develop new talent in Bangalore and further afield, to give a whole generation of young, creative thinkers a voice.
Collaborating with sketch artists, filmmakers, writers, musicians, and other artists, we crafted original stories and characters – tapping into the vast library of mythology and re-inventing rich indigenous narratives – to produce comics, graphic novels, films, television, animation, gaming, wireless content, online and more. You might recall or have come across titles like: John Woo's 7 Brothers, Guy Ritchie's Gamekeeper and Ramayan 3392 A.D. etc – they were just some of the projects Virgin Comics produced and worked on.
But not everything always goes to plan in business, and often you need to know when it’s time to let go. In 2008 we made the decision to sell the company. But happily it still lives on today, under the name of Liquid Comics, with many of Virgin Comics’ founders still running the show.
We learned a lot in our time running Virgin Comics, particularly around effective storytelling and the spirit of animation, which we have been able to infuse into other areas of the Virgin Group. For example our safety videos on our airlines, and within our Virgin.com content – check our latest animated series, 3 in 1.
Do you remember Virgin Comics, or another Virgin company that no longer exists? I’d love to hear about your memories or experiences in the comments below.