a Place for Indonesian Comic Lovers

Mon 26 March 2012 16:00, Vitto Christaldi a Place for Indonesian Comic Lovers

Asians love reading comics; that is the truth! Growing up in Indonesia, I was raised with Japanese comic lovers around me. Yet I am not a comic lover myself, I only read some easy-to-read-childish Japanese comics like Doraemon. Due to the high interest in comics, many young Indonesians are also inspired to be comic artists. Aware of the opportunity, three Indonesian guys: Wisnu Manupraba, Bayu Hendra Winata, and Indra Sakti, created a website that connects talented comic artists and comic lovers in Indonesia., according to the founders, is a Digital Comic Publishing Platform where reading and publishing comics can be easier and fun. The website is targeted to three main audiences: comic artists, comic readers, and publishers. Comics are categorized into 2 parts: free and premium (must pay).  Whether the comic is free or premium is decided by the comic artists. 

After analyzing the website, I found some uniqueness of compared to other comic publishing platform sites.

  • has a mobile app, available for Blackberry and Android users. With Ngomik App, users can read comics and communicate with other members from their mobile. Too bad the app is not available for iPhone users, but I guess it is because they are adjusting their apps to smart phone markets in Indonesia (Blackberry accounted 23%, followed by Android with 7%. Nokia’s Symbian still dominates the country, however. Source: The Jakarta Globe, July 2011)
  • The payment for premium comics can also be done through mobile credits. For the price of the comics are relatively cheap (around IDR 5000 – IDR 10.000/ € 40cent - € 80 cent), paying using mobile credits is a simple way for Indonesian users to access the premium comics, rather than credit cards. Besides mobile credits, users can also pay using a local online pay system called UNIK.
  • The layout of the website is pretty neat and nice. The display of the comic content is clear and shown as slideshows, so visitors can read the comics easily on the website, without even having to download the content. 
  • Localized contents, good for local audiences.

However, also has some low points:

  • The website has an English version. However, after I click the “British flag” button, nothing changes: the content is still in Indonesian.
  • All the comics are in Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian languages). Yet, it could be either a good thing or bad thing. I call it an advantage because the target audiences are Indonesians (local), so it is good to localize the whole content in Bahasa Indonesia (Relating to the statement I just made, I will say there is no use of having an English version!) However, it is bad if they are thinking to expand internationally (though I do not think they are planning to. Or are they?), according to the blog of the Wisnu Manupraba (in Bahasa Indonesia), at the moment has not profited much, but it is growing and more investors are coming to invest in the website. I believe this website has a good chance to succeed, seeing that comic interests in Indonesia are pretty high. Besides, it always takes time for starters to grow their products. Good luck,!

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