Comix Factory, a Singapore-based comic publishing and media company headed up by Johnny Lau, now plans to move into the animation industry and is developing a five-show slate of action-oriented, male teen-skewing projects. MIP Asia marks the seven-year-old company’s first foray into the TV market, where it hopes to leverage series deals for its 20 titles, such as the Kiasu series, which spawned 12 reprints and a promo tie-ins with McDonald’s in Singapore.
Lau is also on the board of directors of AIC Singapore, a subsidiary of Japanese animation company AIC (Anime International Co.), and will be partnering with AIC on a project basis. Lau says AIC series work includes Bubblegum Crisis, for which the company served as creator/production house, as well as Sol Bianca and Armitage 3.
Lau says his company’s comic publishing and character design work means the shop is poised property-wise to take advantage of the growing Western popularity of manga-style animation. ‘We figure we will have a niche in the global market. That is why we are joining forces-one of Singapore’s prime languages is English, and we believe we could compliment Japan’s strength well.’
In addition to 2-D and 3-D joint effort plans with AIC, Comix Factory will be looking for kids claymation partners for projects with a typical per-episode budget of US$300,000. Co-productions are the game plan, with the project mix to be 60% internal titles and the rest from outside sources. Plans are also afoot to expand properties into film, games and multimedia.
Described as ‘Ultraman meets X-Files meets Armageddon,’ King Monk is the furthest developed series, and Lau says this 3-D entry skews to an Antz-age crowd
AIC currently has a rep office in LA.