Comic award win­ner calls for trust in and sup­port for new gen­er­a­tion of artists

The China Post - - LOCAL -

A pub­lish­ing ex­ec­u­tive said upon re­ceiv­ing a life­time achieve­ment award for his con­tri­bu­tion to the comic book in­dus­try that Tai­wan should help foster a new gen­er­a­tion of comic artists. “Comics are a kind of sub-cul­ture in so­ci­ety, but all sub-cul­ture will turn into main­stream cul­ture in the fu­ture. We should be­lieve in the younger gen­er­a­tion (of comic book artists) and cre­ate a healthy en­vi­ron­ment for them,” said Michael Huang, CEO of Sharp Point Pub­lish­ing Group. Founded in 1982, Sharp Point has earned its rep­u­ta­tion by pub­lish­ing a large num­ber of comics, mag­a­zines and video games.

The Min­istry of Cul­ture ap­plauded Huang’s con­tri­bu­tion by pre­sent­ing him with the Golden Comics Life­time Achieve­ment Award.

“There are sev­eral fac­tors for a comic com­pany to be suc­cess­ful,” Huang said in an in­ter­view af­ter the cer­e­mony. “The most im­por­tant one is cross-in­dus­try co­op­er­a­tion, such as pro­duc­ing TV se­ries and stag­ing shows based on comics sto­ries.” While the whole pub­lish­ing in­dus­try is suf­fer­ing from the im­pact of dig­i­tal­iza­tion, the comic in­dus­try is also strug­gling, Huang went on. Only around 1 per­cent of books are dig­i­tal­ized in Tai­wan. With such a low rate, the pub­lish­ing in­dus­try is un­likely to make a dif­fer­ence in the dig­i­tal age, he con­tin­ued.

Huang said that peo­ple nat­u­rally like to as­sume that Tai­wanese comic com­pa­nies pre­fer to ex­pand their busi­ness to China due to the huge po­ten­tial au­di­ence. Huang chal­lenged that per­cep­tion, say­ing that comic book com­pa­nies should be care­ful when de­cid­ing whether they want to en­ter China. “If you can­not do well in Tai­wan, where the to­tal pop­u­la­tion is only 23 mil­lion, how can you con­quer a far big­ger mar­ket?” he asked.

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