Taiwanese ‘T-Manga’ makes debut at Japan Expo in Paris

Taiwanese T-Manga
Taiwanese cartoonist Xiaodao (center) displays two French translations of "Crouching Lion in a Bookstore" she authors at the Japan Expo in Paris Sunday.

The Taiwan Creative Content Agent (TAICCA) has teamed up Mangas.io, a French subscription-based digital comic platform, to showcase 18 Taiwanese comics at the Japan Expo in Paris from June 13-16.

The TAICCA had hit upon the idea of having works from Taiwan featured at Mangas.io’s booth in part due to the Japanese influence on Taiwanese “T-Manga,” a spokesperson of the agency said at the expo.

According to the TAICCA, French readers are already familiar with the style of manga, with sales of such works in France already outstripping those of local Franco-Belgium comics (Bande dessinée) in recent years.

The TAICCA, supervised by Taiwan’s Ministry of Culture, is a professional intermediary organization that promotes the development of the country’s cultural industries.

Yun Inada, Manga.io’s director of operations, told CNA that “T-Manga” had an opportunity to thrive in the French market given that the digital rights to Japanese and South Korean comics were relatively difficult for European publishers to obtain.

One of the Taiwanese titles featured at the Mangas.io booth is Xiaodao’s (小島) Golden Comic Awards Comic of the Year winner “Crouching Lion in a Bookstore” (獅子藏匿的書屋), which tells the story of a book store owner and former Go champion who meets a mysterious young man holding a “wish coupon.”

On the opening day of Japan Expo, which is expected to attract 250,000 visitors over four days, Inada praised the ink-wash painting style and eclectic narratives of Taiwanese comics.

Inada said Taiwan could learn from South Korea by creating a comprehensive promotional strategy leveraging the country’s music, movies, TV series, food and comics.