Today we had a press release event by MnC Comics. They’re comic publisher, part of the Kompas Gramedia media group, who specialized in comic publishing.
The press event today is for launching of a new label called Koloni Komik. This label will specialize in publishing works by Indonesian artists.
From explanation of the GM during the event, the group with highest volume of sales in most book stores in Indonesia is the children book group, including comic, especially licensed comics from Japan. Yes, I do aware that most are originally targeted towards teen and young adult, but in this country all comic are categorized as child book, either stereotypically, or in the business side such as when making product group placement. But the point is, the whole market is dominated by imported book and works by local authors are close to less than 10%.
There are two major (official) publishers of Japanese comics here, Elex Media Komputindo and MnC comics. There are some others, although I also heard of names who unable to cope with the licensing cost and turn into piracy (publishing without license). Both had experience in publishing local comics, but under the same label as Japanese/Korean comics, so it’s difficult to see from distance. In book store, these books are also mixed so there are no differentiation, local comics fight on the same shelf as foreign titles.
So, one of the publisher started a new label.
For now, there’s in total 8 titles launched together. Originally there’s 10, but two can’t made it by the deadline. I left all the books in the office, so can’t scan it to attach here.
The flagship is of course, IMO, Garudayana by Is Yuniarto. Other than the drawing style, I think he had the ability to communicate with the community, generating buzz for his works just like for his previous works. When the title is published, many had already known it like it’s “made by my friend”.
Hasn’t had time to check the others, but there’s at least two titles I’m personally interested in.
There’s a high expectation made when starting this label. It’s not merely to increase the presence of local comics. In the future (of course if this project is successful), they plan on licensing the titles to foreign publishers. Even more ambitious is character licensing, selling license for adaptation works such as movies or games for example.
In any case, I really admire the publisher’s effort in pushing out this kind of marketing campaign.
As far as I know, the book publishing group is very tight in budgets. Other thing is… perhaps because they used to be in the magazine publishing group (now in book publishing group), the nuances are more varied and they had less corporate aura compared to the place I’m in. Such as, there’s still fun from the staff rather than plain and tired, that shows from the designs. But maybe I’m just talking as an insider :P