At Cartoon Springboard, Julien Papelier and Lila Hannou explore the new frontiers of animation and publishing
– The two speakers presented the new editorial strategies of Dupuis Publishing and Média Participations, which go beyond the traditional “edition-animation” paradigm
From left to right: Julien Papelier, Lila Hannou and Christophe Erbes during the event (© Cartoon)
Day 2 of this year Cartoon springboard (October 26-28) in Valencia hosted an opening speech entitled “Animation and Publishing: a New Perspective”. The two main speakers were the chairman of Dupuis editions and Media Participations General manager Julien papelier, and vice-president of creative development at Média Participations, Lila hannou. The conference was moderated by VShristophe Erbes.
In the first part of the keynote, Papelier presented the activities of Média Participations and its primary mission to “create and share quality content for all”. The outfit’s broad creative spectrum includes comics, literature, children’s books, animation and video games as well as a theme park called Parc Spirou, which opened in Provence in 2018. The group controls 85 companies worldwide and is a leader in family entertainment. companies and publishers of comics and graphic novels in Europe, with a catalog of more than 4,000 hours of content and more than 4,000 IPs.
The group has so far animated timeless characters such as Garfield, Marsupilami, Lucky Luke and Gaston, but also serve as licensees for brands created by other studios, like TV Tokyo’s. Naruto.
Its most traditional work practice, argued the two speakers, still follows the “edit-animation” paradigm. Comics are a great market to start with because they are “not that expensive and not that risky,” but the content tends to stay in one market and struggles to gain popularity. Thus, moving to animation becomes essential in order to make a certain intellectual property more recognizable and attractive on an international scale. Hergé‘s Tintin and Peyo‘s The Smurfs are classic examples of this type of strategy.
A recent example that the speakers mentioned is Living with daddy. Described as “very modern content” and “a daring sitcom,” the original comic centers on a father who lives with four daughters born to four different mothers. Despite the fact that this production follows the traditional edit-animation strategy, they pointed out that, compared to the original comic, the series tends to focus more on their relationships, it aims to gain a “new audience.” and careful work on its graphic aspect has been done “to make it easier to see”. Due to the long production process, both speakers stressed that timing is crucial and how, just two years ago, it was too early to embark on such a project.
Meanwhile, another project, titled Belfort & Lupine and created by the audiovisual department of France Televisions, follows the opposite strategy. The initial idea will give birth to a television series by Dupuis and, later, a comic strip by the same artist, J Cunha.
Another new approach has been adopted to Roger and his humans. The animated series followed a new paradigm described as “web-comics-web”. Its primary audience was teenagers and young adults, and the creative team found their type of humor more YouTube-worthy.
Another interesting case study is that of Marsupilami. The character’s merchandising and the attraction of the Spirou park have recently met with great success. “We thought the PI was ready for a new adaptation. So we’re working on a new TV series for Gulli and a new series of comics for Dupuis ”, explain Hannou and Papelier. The 52×11 minute series is currently in development, and a new video game will be released in November. The show will take place in a tropical country and in an urban environment, which will offer creatives the opportunity to “tell a new range of stories”.
Finally, Hannou and Papelier argued that there is no perfect recipe for 360-degree development, but focusing on solid support to begin with is certainly a good move. Then, an extension to a second or a third support can optionally be considered. To ensure consistency, Papelier and Hannou recommended using the same talents for animation and comics, without licensees.