MENA Is Breeding the Next Comics Franchise
The Egypt and the Uae-based Noongam was named Startup of the Year 2015 by Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority. Since its launch in 2013, it has gone from publishing a couple of webcomic series to launching “Magnoon” the first comic magazine app in the Arab world. Noongam is aiming to be a hybrid of the Behance e-publication solutions and the more traditional print and TV model of Marvel comics, said Hani Ghaith, Noongam co-founder and Managing Director. The startup also published “Magnoon”, a print comic, and was approached by the animation company Toon Studios to license some of its stories and characters to create short animation videos for Youtube. The founders wanted to address two market gaps: “On the one hand we’re faced with a lack of high quality Arabic digital content and comics. And on the other hand, there is a huge untapped pool of comic art talent in the MENA region,” said Ghaith. The focus lies on digital, high quality art and relevance to the Arab and Arab-speaking audiences. In addition to the core team, the company includes over 50 artists and contributors. The operation has been entirely bootstrapped thus far. Income has been secured via ad sales, licensing of characters as well as royalties of characters and stories.