Hollywood doesn’t really want to take creative risks anymore. So they are going back almost 100 years to find tested and trusted IP to create and monetize with new communities. There is a reason there are spin-offs or restarts of any successful movies or show IP (LOTR Rings of Power, Fear the Walking Dead, Gen V, House of Dragons, LOKI et al). Little Mermaid (originally released in 1989), Mario (IP originally released in 1985), and Barbie (originally released in 1989). Not to mention that the most important DC characters Superman (1938), Batman (1939), Wonderwoman (1941) and the Flash (1940) or MCU characters Ironman (1963), Spiderman (1962), Thor (1962), Captain America (1940) and Hulk (1962). The global streamers Netflix, Amazon, Apple and Disney have over-indexed on content that comes with installed communities to limit failure costs. I can’t think of much new 13+ IP coming out of North America over the last 20 years. By far, the biggest of the few has to be George RR Martin’s Game of Thrones. I’m happy to be wrong, but it definitely feels like the South Koreans and Japanese have essentially muscled away the new 100 years of IP generation.

Over the last 18 months, I have had the opportunity to embark on a product, market and partnership development tours across Southeast Asia (Vietnam, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea and Japan) and North America (Ottawa, New York, Atlanta, Bay Area and Los Angeles); the conversations help me form a very strong opinion and thus really helped have narrowed the initial scope of building Raptures in 2024 and beyond. Comics, Manga, and Manhwa are the foundational IP upon which a sizeable share of the current global entertainment industry is being built. We believe we can create an additional block and thus ignite a black and African storytelling renaissance. Because right now. Unfortunately, us people of colour are NOT even in the game. Adding Black characters to popular IP in the name of Woke(ism) is failing Disney and others. The backlash has been clear. For me, it’s a call to arms to tell our own stories and build our own global communities, which, like everything awesome about Black culture, will eventually amplify to end up owning urban and popular culture. Think HipHop, think Afrobeats et al.

The US, the leading entertainment market, hasn’t developed any new mass-adopted comics IP over the last few decades. Japan’s Manga and South Korean Manwah have wrestled away that dominant position. This is why the APAC region is the most dynamic, vibrant, and fastest-growing global entertainment region. Almost all of my HNI Nigerian actual and prospective investors (Ngozi Dozie, hat tip for the image above) who have teenage kids almost ALL read Manga.