Motion comics on display at the exhibition this year. (Photo/China Times)
Motion comics, digital illustrated stories with limited animation, are just some of the eye-catching innovations being showcased at the 2013 Taipei Comic Exhibition, which opened Thursday.
The new medium aims to take advantage of the popularity of mobile devices to offer a more engrossing way of consuming comic content.
In a one-day-only exhibit at the event, Taiwan's Next Media Animation, a subsidiary of Hong Kong-based Next Media, showed off a motion comic based on Double Hard, a popular manga series by Japanese artist Naoki Konno.
A motion comic based on Sakura Wars, a work by Japanese author Ouji Hiroi, will launch later this year, the company said.
Hiroi, who is also Next Media Animation's chief creative officer, made an appearance at the announcement, where he signed autographs for eager fans.
"We are targeting the next generation, who don't really watch television, but use cell phones and other mobile devices," Winnie Wang, deputy director of marketing at the company, told CNA. She added that the team has so far developed about eight original animations.
Other companies featured at the exhibition are taking different but equally innovative approaches to deal with a decline in comics sales.
"Comic magazine sales have dropped significantly in recent years, so we have to explore more channels to help Taiwanese artists gain exposure and sustain their living," explained Chen Der-lin, executive editor of Ever Glory Publishing Co.
His company took the opportunity to showcase study guides and test prep materials featuring comic book characters in a bid to make the learning materials more appealing to junior high school students.
Chief executive Su Wei-chuan said that adding comic elements helps make the books more interesting while also providing wide exposure for local artists, as many students buy reference books to help with their studies.
Nearly 70 publishers have set up over 450 booths at the annual exhibition, which will run through Aug. 20 at the Exhibition Hall 1 of the Taipei World Trade Center.
In addition to comic books, novels and animations, related products are on display and up for sale at the event, ranging from earphones, purses and pillows to cups, posters and towels.