Media is global. Hollywood, Bollywood, K-Pop are considered native vocabulary for billions of people worldwide. Movies and television shows can expand to any market with the simple addition of subtitles. People enthusiastically bob their heads and do the horse-riding dance to Gangnam Style knowing only those two words because catchy music is catchy music; beats, melodies, and voices transcend language.
But with comics ... it’s not so easy. With comics, the printed words are inseparable from the art; they are in fact, part of the art. To translate a comic volume, each panel is painstakingly reworked to ensure both that the translated words make sense and that the word design blends seamlessly in with the art as the original artist had intended. The iterations between the translator and publisher are costly and time-consuming, so the leading publishers today only place bets on their most popular titles for the overseas market and in doing so, deny millions of global fans access to a treasure trove of millions of titles. And if you’re a fan sitting in a niche market, your only option is probably a low-quality, scanned, fan-made version (a “scanlation”) that’s likely broken a few copyright laws getting to you. It is not ideal for fans and is a lost revenue opportunity for publishers.
INKR is changing all that. What started as a passion project for three university friends to build the best manga reading experience for themselves ten years ago has turned into a fanatic desire to revolutionize how comics are localized, distributed, and consumed worldwide.
To widen the limited supply of translated titles, they built a one-of-a-kind localization and publishing platform that connects and streamlines interactions between the world's biggest content producers and a legion of on-demand global comic translators.
To increase readership, they built a best-in-class reader, made by comic fans, for comic fans. Does your Kindle know that manga panels are ordered from right to left, but manhwa panels are left to right? INKR does. Navigating up/down left/right zooming in/out to read? No need. Just continuous scroll as you’re accustomed to and the reader intelligently flows between panels, beautifully presenting the art, while seamlessly making text legible along the way. Need a change of pace? No problem. INKR’s mountain of labeled reading data and great AI-feed algorithm will find you your next story. Try it here for yourself: https://inkr.com/.
And this is just the beginning. I could go on and on about what’s next, but I’ll let Ken, Hieu, and Khoa close in their own words, “Every comic creator, regardless of the size of their team, prestige, nationality, or funding should be empowered to create, spread their work, and engage with their fans.”