7:00am PT by Graeme McMillan
Popular Chinese Comics Coming to America for First Time
A number of popular Chinese comics are making their North American debut, thanks to a new deal between Tapas Media and one of the country's largest producers of original comics and animated content.
The partnership between the digital comics company and China's Tencent AC will see the launch of a number of comics and animated properties in the North American market, starting Thursday. Launch titles include Fox Spirit Matchmaker, Tencent's best-selling supernatural romance series, and monsters vs. humans series Book of Yaoguai.
Other titles releasing this month include the action-adventure Zombie Brother, and romance Cupid's Chocolate-ing. The first chapters of each series, downloadable from the Tapas app or website, will be available for free preview.
The San Francisco-based Tapas Media was founded in 2012, and has published more than 23,000 creators through its comics platform tapas.io, which boasts more than 2 million users and upwards of 2 billion page views. Unusually, much of its creator-base, skews female — 63 of the top 30 comics on the platform are from female creators, according to the company. This new deal is the first of its kind for the company, as it moves from self-published material to licensing deals with international content suppliers.
"As Tapas grows its portfolio of content with leading entertainment brands and rising creators, it is with great excitement to be the platform that introduces Tencent AC’s highly popular animated and comic franchises to North America, and other English speaking countries around the world," Tapas Media CEO Chang Kim said in a statement.
Zou Zhengyu, GM of animation and comics department of Tencent Interactive Entertainment Group added, "Tapas is one of our most important overseas partnerships. The cooperation between Tapas and Tencent AC will be key in helping to connect the global marketplace to the freshest and most popular comic IP from China's growing content industry."