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Building a 'creative ecology' for Chinese comics

By Ma Si | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2022-03-29 17:12

The poster for Comics Forever, a Chinese documentary that focuses on local comics creators and people involved in the comics industry. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

More efforts are needed to cultivate a robust ecosystem for China's burgeoning comics industry, as local enthusiasts are growing rapidly, experts said.

The comments came as market research company iResearch found China now has more than 400 million lovers of animation and comics, surging significantly from more than 100 million in 2015.

Fan Jian, director of Comics Forever, a Chinese documentary that focuses on local creators and people involved in the comics industry, said comic authors have one thing in common: great creative enthusiasm.

Chen Anni, CEO and founder of Chinese e-comics platform Kuaikan and the producer of Comics Forever, said as a former comic creator she is aware of the real lives behind each work, their pain, confusion and happiness.

In the Chinese comic industry, often neglected by mainstream society, thousands are working to explore and expand the value of comics, experts said.

More efforts are needed to support a creative ecology for China's comics industry, where cartoonists, editors, platforms, intellectual property marketers and other parties coexist and prosper together, they added.

Though the Chinese comics industry has made great progress in recent years, it still has a gap compared with the United States, Japan and South Korea. "We lack a systematic mechanism to nurture comics authors and encourage content production," said an industry insider who declined to be named.

Kuaikan said in 2021 it would invest 1 billion yuan ($157 million) over the next three years to boost the development of original comics, and another 1 billion to team up with partners for the production of adaptations for film, television and theater.

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