Calls for crowdfunding for a local comic have been enthusiastically received by Vietnamese locally and abroad in hopes of helping to create a worthy book.
In response to online requests in late April to raise VND300 million (US$14,151) for the first installment of the fictionalized Vietnamese historical comic “Long Than Tuong” (Marshal Long), Vietnamese at home and abroad have raised almost half of the needed sum in just two weeks.
With the project launched early last month, the first installment of the series is expected to finish within three months after enough money is raised.
The next installments will be issued every three months.
The comic depicts the adventures of a teenager named Long fighting against the Chinese invaders during Vietnam’s Tran Dynasty (1225-1400).
According to the creators, who are only between 18 and 23 years of age, the setting for the comic is from 1282 to 1284, when Vietnam’s Tran Dynasty faced the threat of imminent invasion of the Chinese and was thus engaged in a remarkable battle of the wits.
This is the first time that a locally created comic has been given so much attention and support from the general public.
Nguyen Thanh Phong, a young artist who has gained fame with his well-loved “Sat Thu Dau Mung Mu” (The Killer with a Festering Head) comic, is considered the “soul” of “Long Than Tuong.”
Eighteen-year-old Nguyen My Anh, who won a competition held by Shonen Jump, Japan’s best-selling “manga” (comic) magazine, when she was only 15, is also working on the project.
The website for the comic, longthantuong.com, and its creators’ Facebook page have attracted a huge number of visitors in the past several weeks.
No crowdfunded art subject has ever been so enthusiastically embraced or developed so quickly, which may be thanks to the group’s talent, zeal, and meticulous preparation.
Though crowdfunding in cultural and art projects, which includes independent fund raising and the gathering of supporters, has long been common in other countries, the form remains in its infancy in Vietnam.
According to scriptwriter Khanh Duong and artist Thanh Phong, they enjoy a considerable advantage because the series was well received some ten years ago when it was first published in Truyen Tranh Tre (Young Comics) Magazine.
Upon learning about the new crowdfunded comic, the series’ original fans, who are now adults, have been hugely supportive.
Older readers have also offered generous donations to support the dedicated youths behind the well-devised project.
“Though a local publisher has offered to sponsor the entire project, we’re set on crowdfunding, as that gives us independence in raising funds and full control of the comic’s content and quality,” Phong shared.
“Crowdfunding is a great way to bridge the gap between artists and the public, allowing members of the public to join the project right from its infancy, which they often find appealing. Moreover, this form of raising funds allows us to produce publications to accompany the comic,” Duong added.