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