Anant Pai was born in Karkala, Karnataka, India, in 1937. He studied chemistry, physics and chemical technology, but he also had a passion for publishing and comics. In 1954, he started a career in editing and publishing, finally becoming a junior executive in the Times of India Books Division. There he was at the cradle of Indian comics with the creation of 'Inkrajal'. In 1967, the educational comics series Amar Chitra Katha (Immortal Picture Stories) was launched. Each of the comics in this series was devoted to a person or event in Indian history, religion and mythology. Anant Pai conceptualized of all of these, and wrote the scenarios for most of them. The art was done by artists like Ram Waeerkar, Dilip Kadam, Pratap Mulick, Souren Roy, Jeffrey Fowler, H. S. Chavan, Madhu Powle and Chandrakant D. Rane. The books continue to be an international success.
In 1969, Anant Pai founded Rang Rekha Features, India's first comic and cartoon syndicate, and started the children's magazine Tinkle in 1980. Anant Pai, often affectionately called Uncle Pai, is generally considered to be the father of Indian comics.