Indian comic Amar Chitra Katha creator Anant Pai dies

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Amar Chitra Katha comics have been a hit with generations of Indians

Anant Pai, who helped launch India's comic book industry in the 1960s with a series on mythology, history and Indian legends, has died.

Mr Pai, 81, was the creator of the hugely popular Amar Chitra Katha series which told tales from the ancient Hindu epics, the Mahabharata and Ramayana.

Called "Uncle Pai" by fans, his series sold more than 100 million copies.

He received a lifetime achievement award at India's first comic convention held in Delhi last weekend.

His publishers said he died from a heart attack unexpectedly on Thursday. He had undergone surgery on Saturday for a fractured foot.

Beautifully illustrated and written in simple language, the comics have been a hit with generations of Indians.

Amar Chitra Katha sells about 3 million comic books a year.