Digitalisation brought vast transformation in every field. People adapted quickly from print to digital media. Many media stalwarts like Marvel, DC, Diamond Comics, Amar Chitra Katha and others are continuing to update their own digital comic library, and many other smaller platforms are also blooming. Likewise, Strippy is an Indian comic’s discovery platform where independent creators can publish their comics as per their convenience while readers can read all of them at one place.
The reads in their library explores different genres like slice of life, comedy, dramas, romance, adventure, action, fiction, fantasy, thriller, political and horror.
There’s no need to search for creators individually on the web. Instead you can just follow them on Strippy and enjoy their work at one place.
Animation Xpress had a chance to speak with Strippy Media and Entertainment co-founder Anant Mohan Sinha to know more about the app’s features and how it works and benefits Indian readers and comic artists.
Sinha launched the app in October and recently, the app garnered 65,000 downloads. Talking about the idea behind why he ventured into digital comic space, Sinha commented, “I used to love reading comics in my childhood. As I grew up and started spending more time on digital platforms, I tried to look for Indian comics and animated content online but was unable to find enough of them. Mostly there were old publishing houses keeping up with hard copies of comics while few offered it behind paywalls. Also, most of the existing Indian comics target kids which is not the case with other countries like Japan, USA, Korea.”
He further added, “While exploring foreign platforms, I realised there are Indian creators too who are making good comics which can be read by adult age groups but are lacking opportunity with viewership and financial support. There was no platform in India which allowed independent self publishing of digital comics. On the user’s side, most of the young generation in India is not aware that such content is being created because the content and creators are much cluttered in small quantities across multiple platforms. That’s when I shared the idea with my partners and we decided to solve this problem with an aim to mainstream comics and animation culture digitally in India. We realised the problem last year in July month and started ideating the product then. We launched the first build of our app on the Android and iOS app store in October and have been constantly iterating the product.”
Strippy helps comic artists generate revenues for their works through a number of views and they regulate the content based on their terms and conditions. Sinha said, “Strippy is a self publishing comic platform for Indian creators with a social touch to it. Creators get to earn money based on views they get on their comics, something like YouTube. Creators can sign up on the app and show interest there if they want to publish their comics. We check some of their work if they actually make comics, upon which we assign them creator access. Post that they are free to publish as per their convenience. However, we regulate the platform so that no irrelevant content is published.”
Listing the key features of Strippy, Sinha expounded, “Strippy is a social platform around comics. Comics are accessible and optimised for vertical scroll which is very user friendly to all users. Users can comment their views and interact with the creator directly on their comics. Creators can segregate their short comics as strips while continuing long stories as series so it’s open for both types of creators. The platform offers two easy to navigate feeds – one where they get to see content from their subscribed creators, while in the other, they get to see the trending content on the platform.”
Talking about the challenges faced while building this app, Sinha explained, “It was the chicken-egg problem. While many creators were happily ready to publish their comics on Strippy and support the cause, some of them had their doubts about how we will bring enough users and the benefits. Now we have a good amount of users who are craving for more content and hence we are constantly working to increase the supply of comics for them.”
Strippy is a completely free platform which provides a wide range of libraries to the readers. Sinha quoted, “The majority of the Indian audience is still not aware of comics. Hence we planned to roll out for free to give a good gist of content to users, build some solid engagement to hook them with the content.”
On asking about the revenue model of the platform, Sinha elaborated, “So far, the app is totally free for users while we pay the creators through our own funds based on views. We have some engagement milestones planned after which we can start monetisation through ads and coin models for premium comics. In terms of marketing, we are focusing on social channels while word of mouth through the community has been working well for us.”
Recently, Strippy crossed 65,000 downloads across Android and iOS App. In India, Strippy is receiving good response from the metro cities so far meanwhile it is also seeing some action from SEA countries like Indonesia and Vietnam.
Commenting about publishers and creators works available on Strippy and how they are approaching the independent creators, Sinha added, “All the content published on Strippy is through independent Indian creators and it includes the likes of Rahul Bhandare, Falah Faisal and Sanid Ali as well. We are looking forward to hosting the comic book publishers as well to make their comics digitally available through Strippy.”
He also added, “We are using social channels to identify and reach out to creators while a lot of creators reach out to us directly through word of mouth.”
Speaking about the competitive comic digital space, Sinha said, “The space is competitive with foreign comics out there which have a completely different style. There’s a huge void of Indian comics in digital space which we plan to fill with Strippy by supporting and promoting the Indian creator community.”
When asked to suggest the top three must read comics on Strippy, Sinha listed, “Gustoso is a very wholesome comic. Secondly, Magma is a good action flick and Intertwined is another beautiful comic which should be read.”
Sinha concluded by revealing the future plans for his venture. He said, “While we are growing at a good pace, now we want to accelerate and scale the platform with more functionalities, content across more Indian languages, add a good library of our own original content, come up with some animated content and a lot more users. We are also exploring ways to raise external funds which can help us achieve this scale.”
Wishing the team of Strippy loads of luck and we hope the Indian comics creators get the visibility they deserve!