Panel 3


The Power of Comics Across Sectors

  • Time: 10-11 a.m., October 2
  • Speaker: Huang Jian-he Managing Editor, Dala Publishing
  • Panelists:
    Zhang Yong-chang, Founder, Kent Animation Digital Independent Production,
    Chen Jia-yi, Managing Editor, Sharp Point Productions
    Ah-tui (Jiang Chen-tai), Comic Artist

Panel summary

From paper to screen, from Taiwan to the world!

Huang Jian-ru started the discussion by outlining how Taiwan’s comics have begun a slow recovery from a low point. This could be for one of two reasons, he shared. Firstly, loyal fans are supporting the medium. Secondly, cross-sectoral promotions are coming of age.

Zhang Yong-chang shared that he first came across the comic Scrolls of a Northern City in 2013. He was captivated by its telling of the early Showa period, and determined at that moment to transform it into a film. The worldview conveyed in the story is that the things of the world are all imbued with spirits, and that ground spirits protect cities. The process of transforming the comic into a film meant creating scenes reflective of the time in which the story was set. Also important was the music, to immerse viewers in the music of the times. He shared his hope that this film would be infused with Taiwan’s DNA. As fantasy films are rare in Taiwan, Zhang says it was critical to keep a global audience in mind so that this film could be enjoyed all over the world.

Turning words into pictures to maximize value

Chen Jia-yi, Managing Editor at Sharp Point Productions, shared his experience bringing light novel derivatives into the market. My Love Story Is Doomed to Failure Because of My Five Sisters, by Ya Ming, for example, had a very attractive premise: a run of the mill high-school student struggles to keep a girlfriend because his sisters continually set him up for failure. This likeable story caught the attention of director Angie Chai, who thought it would make a fun film.

At the same time, a comic was planned, as the original work was that rarest of birds, a dialogue-heavy comic. In addition to creating a TV animation and a theme song, the creators also released a Line sticker that proved very popular. Chen Jia-yi said he believes that cross-sectoral cooperation will help more people come in contact with Taiwan’s original creations, and help maximize value.

The sky’s the limit for cross-sectoral cooperation

Ah-tui, the nickname of experienced Taiwan comic creator Jiang Zhen-tai, is the creator of popular comics Nine Lives Man and Balezo. An illustrator since childhood, he began experimenting with cross-sectoral creations in 1985, when in cooperation with singer Jonathan Lee and Rolling Stone, he introduced illustrations interwoven into the magazine’s text. In 2003, he partnered with French fashion firm agnes b. to release silicone figurines, just at the time when it became a fad for adults to collect such toys. In 2007, he became art director at UFO Records, where he combined music, design, and literature in the magazine Joy of Comics. This magazine opened a door for Ah-tui to work with athletics brand Nike on the Nike Air Force 1 Change, No Change event. In 2014, he ventured into public art, transforming the fantasy transportation tools he envisioned in Nine Lives Man into installations at the Liujia and Jiuzantou train stations in Hsinchu County in a bid to bring comics into real life.

In 2015, he made another bold move creating mega comics to give audiences a clearer perspective on penstrokes, on lines, and on inks. This year, he is working with four other artists on a new rendition of Nine Lives Man. Changing times bring new waves of thought, Ah-tui shared, and allow more creators to try out new things.

Innovation and breakthrough right before our eyes

Huang Jian-he then asked the three panelists to consider what might be most important from the perspective of a director, an editor, and a comic artist. Zhang Yong-chang said that respecting the spirit of a creation is paramount, and that no adaptation should challenge the basic worldview set out in the original piece. Chen Jia-yi echoed this, sharing that while a story can be a door into a thousand markets, the challenge for cross-sectoral creation is to go through these doors without losing the original feel. Ah-tui stressed that original comic artists must become better at not turning their backs on their original ideas, even as they authorize others to use their creations to come up with innovative works.

Huang Jian-he wrapped up the forum by saying that Taiwan’s comics are moving out into the world and are being developed into derivative works, but whether this becomes a new industry or marks the future of comics remains to be seen.

Panel - speaker


Aho HUANG / Editor in Chief of Dala Publishing Company

Aho Huang is an adjunct assistant professor with the Department of Communications Design at the Shih Chien University, and is currently teaching the course The World of Comics. He is also known for his bicycle travel writings.
Huang has been working in the Taiwan comics industry for over 20 years, and is intimately familiar with the development and current status of the industry, having edited hundreds of publications in the genre, served on multiple comic award judging panels, and served as the convener of judging panels for the 2nd and 4th Golden Comic Awards. Huang possess a passion for comics, as demonstrated by his participations in various comic exhibitions, large or small, with destinations ranging from China, Hong Kong, to the US, Germany and France. He has previously spent three years residing in France, and participated in the Angouleme International Comics Festival for more than ten times, and served as the exhibition planner for the Taiwan Pavilion in the Festival from 2012 to 2017.
Huang also took part in holding A Parallel Tale: Taipei in 80s X Hong Kong in 90s comic exhibition in 2013 along with the New Taipei City Fuzhong 15 Animation & Story Gallery and the Hong Kong Arts Centre. The exhibition was further extended and moved to the Hong Kong Comix Home Base in 2014. From November, 2015 to February, 2016, Huang collaborated with the Museum of National Taipei University of Education (MoNTUE) and the Louvre Museum on the BD Louvre exhibition, with the associated publication of Sept reves du Louvre. Huang also facilitated the sale of the right to the French language version, which culminated in the three-way collaborative work Les reveurs du Louvre between Taiwan, Japan and France in 2017. Huang has made significant effort in cultivating domestic talents in comics ,promoting Taiwanese works of comics on the international stage, and facilitating international collaboration.


Kent CHANG / Founder of Kent Animation Digital Independent Production, Inc.

Maka Chen / Editor in Chef of Sharp Point Media Group

Push Comic / Comics Artist