Taiwanese Arts and Culture at NY Comic Con

By Eder Guzman

This year New York Comic-Con collaborated with Anime Expo to host the first-ever Anime Fest @ NYCC at Pier 94 from October 4th to 7th, which was held simultaneously with New York Comic-Con at Javits Center. Sponsored by the Ministry of Culture, and organized by the Taipei Cultural Center in NY and the Chinese Animation and Comic Publishers Association, nine Taiwanese comic publishers and two Taiwanese video game companies participated at a special Taiwan Pavilion. Golden Comic Awards winner Chang Shang was also invited to hold activities and interact with fans.

The Taiwanese Pavilion successfully spotlight Taiwanese comics and video games. The American Audience was exposed to more Taiwanese works, such as comic book artist Chen Uen’s works which include Banzai, The First King, Heroes of the Eastern Chou, and translated editions of Legend of Assassins and A-Bi Sword. His work resembles Manga, which can interest readers already familiar with Japanese media.

There were also games that attendees got to experience. One was a Horror RPG, Detention, is a mystery game with horror elements where the player explores an abandoned school while staying away from the zombies outdoors.The other is an AR-based (Augmented Reality) cell phone game Unforgivable: Eliza. It is similar to Pokemon GO, in that one has to travel around the city to look for clues.

Another Taiwan comic booth was located in the Javits Center’s Artists Alley, with Golden Comic Award winner Chang Shang invited for four consecutive days of signings. There was genuine interest from American fans who were interested in purchasing the work, and were curious to follow up with the official release in the American market.

The 1st day had a panel discussion of Detention with the CEO of Toii (maker of Detention), and editor of New Bloom Brian Hoe. The 2nd penal discussion was held on the 3rd day with editor-in-chief Huang Jian of Dala Publishing about the special exhibition on Chen Uen. His work is based on Taiwanese history, and has special interest from historians interested in East Asian history.

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