10 Questions With Chang Kim, CEO of Tapastic

Tapastic lets you enjoy awesome visual stories and web comics, and publish your own. We’re all about bite-sized, snackable content for your eyes to munch on.

We’re building an open platform and community for indie web comic artists and visual storytellers to connect with fans.

The team behind Tapastic is called Tapas Media, headquartered in Silicon Valley. We’re seed funded and always looking to add great talent.

What stories will you discover? What tales will you tell? We can’t wait to find out with you!

Tapastic_logo

1. Who are you and what are you working on right now? (2 questions in 1, I know!)

I’m Chang Kim, the CEO of Tapas Media and I’m working on the best community platform for indie comics, Tapastic. Part YouTube, part ComiXology, and part XKCD, Tapastic will allow digital comic readers and creators to connect directly with one another.

2. What drew you to digital comics?

The digital world has been my passion throughout my career. I’ve worked for Samsung, had co-founded a blog startup and sold it to Google where I became a product manager on Blogger itself. Digital empowers Independently created content, which has always been inspiring to me. It also doesn’t hurt that in Korea, where I grew up, digital comics are a major industry and almost everyone reads them.

 

3. Webcomics or digital comics?

Visual stories. Is that cheating? Comics have evolved so far beyond their root word, but if I had to choose I’d said “digital comics.” Part of our core belief with Tapastic is that comics are evolving to new forms as digital content continues to move forward far beyond just the web in our consumption habits. We believe that comics should be in sync with these new reader trends.

 

Gamer's Paradise

4. What do you think works with digital comics?

Being conscious of the medium through which your comics are read. So much of digital comics are about just slicing and dicing print comics to fit the size of your screen without much attention to how it affects the storytelling, compositions, or emotional impact of the visuals.

 

5. Can digital comics replace print comics?

Not entirely. There are a lot of reasons to have both; they’re different experiences. Digital isn’t yet a collectors item or a scholarly, almost academic, tome like what Fantagraphics and IDW have done for classic comics in hard bound collections. However as new generation continue to consume and center themselves around their digital devices the digital space has already become the way for new readers to begin discovering content and become avid readers of existing and new media. It’s a trend that will not reverse and we want to make sure that comics stay a part of it.

 

6. How can print comics work with digital comics?

There are options like comiXology which do well enough for now. For the future publishers will continue to need to push their creators to be savvy like some who added bluelines (guidelines) to the templates their artists use that designate the average screen ratio. Someday it will become status quo to create comics for digital and reformat them for books.

 

Crazy.Stupid.Fun

7. What don’t you like about digital comics?

Currently, even creators who create their content for digital first still prioritize their art for old standard book and newspaper formats. It’s good to be conscious of where comics have come from but it’s important to keep your eyes on where comics are going and where the majority of people are already reading your content and making that a good experience.

 

8. What digital comics/webcomics do you read?

Over the past year of getting Tapastic up and running it may sound biased, but it’s our own creators who I read the most. I particularly enjoy The Best of PhD Comics  (so I can understand all my PhD friends’ jokes), Fisheye Placebo (the most amazing art you can find anywhere in the world of webcomics), and Moonlight Hair   (an office favorite). 

Outside of Tapastic I still read The Oatmeal and comics that get shared around.
9. Where do you see digital comics going from here?
Digital comics publication will continue to emerge and take up more of the share of the industry’s market. There will be a lot more experimentation and corresponding failures and success stories. For many young adults mobile devices are becoming the only way they access the internet, ownership of mobile devices is on the rise and so is mobile digital consumption.

10. Who do you think we should look out for in digital comics?

 

Watch out for Matthew Inman (The Oatmeal), Maltair (The Justice Triad), Pary Shah (Falling), Shenanigansen (Owl Turd Comix) and Kelly Angel (Anything About Nothing), and more from Zac Gorman (Magical Game Time).

 

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