The Comixology-Delcourt team-up to bring some of the finest French language comics to the English speaking world via digital is just the start. Europe Comics is another digital initiative, this one launched by Mediatoons, licensing agent for Média-Participations, publisher of Dargaud, Dupuis and several other imprints, and Izneo, the French Comixology. The website is a bit bare bones at the mo, but according to the PR, “the joint digital initiative will encompass the online distribution of European works in English, the international promotion of European authors and the creation of a European comics online directory” by bringing together work from beyond the Media Participations portfolio:
Behind EUROPE COMICS is a coalition of 13 European comics and graphic novel companies: the publishers Ballon (Belgium), BAO (Italy), Cinebook (UK), Darkwood (Serbia), Dibbuks (Spain), Dargaud (France), Dupuis (Belgium), Le Lombard (Belgium), Tunué (Italy) and Timof (Poland); the Turkish agent Akan Ajans and the French audiovisual company Ellispanime. EUROPE COMICS is coordinated by Mediatoon Licensing and co-funded by the European Union.
The overall objective of the venture is to bring European comics and their authors closer to an international audience of readers and comics professionals. A diverse catalog of mainstream series, fiction and non-fiction graphic novels for adults and children’s titles will be made available in English and in digital format, while European authors will be promoted at live events across Europe and the USA. The www.europecomics.com website will aspire to become a reference for international comics professionals as it will provide useful information regarding European publishers, trade events, academic studies, etc. Also, a number of comics properties will be developed into animated series.
The EUROPE COMICS catalogue will be distributed to all major online retailers and libraries by French digital comics platform izneo.com.
Média-Participations’s annual revenue is 330 million euros, making them the third largest publishing company in France as well as the largest comics publisher and animated series producer in Europe and one of the top 50 largest publishing companies in the world. Izneo is a joint venture of nine Franco-Belgian publishers, and it offers 12,000 titles from 60 publishers.
Among the serie published by Mediatoons: Lucky Luke, Spirou, Titeuf, Blake & Mortimer, XIII, Blacksad, the works of Sfar and Loisel, etc etc etc, and that’s what I found in a 30 second search.
So yeah, more great comics in English! Woo hoo!
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.