In order to build Indonesian comic industry as a part of the National Culture Empowerment strategy in the international stage while also building the ecosystem of the industry itself, some Indonesian comic artists founded the Asosiasi Komik Indonesia (AKSI), or the Indonesian Comic Association.

AKSI has been legitimately established in a declaration on Tuesday, 24 April 2018 in Swillhouse SCBD, South Jakarta, Indonesia. The declaration of AKSI was also attended by the Head of BEKRAF (Badan Ekonomi Kreatif / Indonesian Creative Economy Organization), Triawan Munaf.

Triawan Munaf pleasantly welcomed the act. As the head of BEKRAF, Triawan Munaf stated that since 2015, he has known the people in comics industry as a part of the creative economy. For him personally, comics has been a piece of his life.

“I remember when having illness during my childhood time, comics made by Indonesian comic artists at that time became my best friends that always entertain me,” said Triawan Munaf.

Head of BEKRAF, Triawan Munaf

For him, in Indonesian creative economy, comic has a large potential, that’ll the creative economy itself could not be separated from the influence of Indonesian comics to the point of becoming an upstream of the sector.

“Synergy from several sub-sectors in creative economy will strengthen all of us, and comics as its upstream of all of them,” said him.

Faza Meonk as the Chairman of AKSI and Imansyah Lubis as the Secretary General of AKSI admitted that in recent years, Indonesian comics have successfully collaborated with various type of entertainment media. In 2017, the local film industry saw two films adapted from comic books, Valentine and Si Juki the Movie. Furthermore, lately, collaborations between comics and game, shows, and even music have been made as well.

“(Indonesian) Comics is the upstream of all of them (creative economy). Comic is the first character creation which gives birth to characters who are present in several stories. So, the story does start from comics,” Triawan Munaf added..

According to Triawan Munaf, BEKRAF and the government will always actively pushing the growth of creative economy in Indonesia, including comics industry as one of its focus. He then added, as Indonesia was chosen as Country Focus in London Book Fair next year, surely it will be center of attention.

“This year, Indonesian comico has made its name in London Book Fair, he stated.

As a closing of his address on AKSI Declaration, Triawan Munaf believed that creative economy can be new source of economic power and welfare for Indonesia.

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This association was declared by the owner of Indonesian Intellectual Property (IP), whether comic artists or companies which focus on comic as a media, which includes:

  • BumiLangit (IP Owner of local and legendary comic characters such as Si ButaGundalaGodam, etc.)
  • PIONICON (Si Juki)
  • Octopus Garden (Mice Cartoon)
  • Infia (Komikin Ajah)
  • FranKKomik (Setan Jalanan)
  • Skylar Komik (Volt & Valentine)
  • Ciayo Comics (Heartbeat & Blue Serenade)
  • re:ON Comics (Grand Legend Ramayana & Galauman)
  • Kosmik (Manungsa & Wanoja)
  • Padma Pusaka (Nusa Five)

As with the development of Indonesian comics itself, the creation of this association had also gone through a long way. The idea of founding one can be traced back to 2014 where some comics, animation, and game activist brough up the notion. Talks and discussions were made until the point on 24 April 2018, Asosiasi Komik Indonesia (AKSI) was declared.

AKSI was founded with the vision of placing the comic industry as a component of the National Culture Empowerment strategy in international level. Its mission is to install the ecosystem for the Indonesian comic industry.

In his remark, Faza mentioned that comico can be a media to promote a country’s culture, similar to how Japanese comics introduced sushi to many people. Indonesian comics can be medium to introduce the comprehension of Indonesian culture to the world.

“With the creation of this association, hopefully we can build an ecosystem for Indonesian comic industry to further level up and develop while also able to synergize with other sectors of industry,” said Faza Meonk.

The increasing number of readers also affects the increase of comic artists, comic communities, comic publishers, comic events, and also their participation in projects and events of international scale every year.

With the large amount of Indonesian comics whether in print or online form, it has brought Indonesian comics to compete in global stage. Not less of Indonesian comics that have been published in other countries in several languages. Furthermore, Indonesian comic artists have not stopped in receiving global accomplishments.

With its rapid growth recently, Indonesian comics have proved that it has also able to collaborate with other entertainment media. In 2017, The comics Valentine and Si Juki have been adapted into theatrical film. One of the legendary superhero comic of Indonesia, Gundala will follow their lead to Indonesian cinema as well.

This accelerating growth of reader itself becomes an opportunity and threat in the same time. From a creative economy perspective, this growth is potential market to spin the economy, create new jobs, and increase the nation’s revenue. Yet, if it is not being anticipated well, then this potential can be used and utilized by competitors, or in this case, the global community.

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The Indonesian Anime Times | Report and Photo by Ahmad Faisal from KAORI Nusantara

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