Average-Joes-turned-heroes are common power fantasies in the comic world. Nerdy student Peter Parker shot to fame as Spider-Man after being bitten by a radioactive spider. Carefree and klutzy teenager Usagi Tsukino transformed into intergalactic princess Sailor Moon by some decree of destiny. Depressed loner Cha Hyun-Soo battles inner and actual monsters roaming his world in Sweet Home.

A similar fantasy is playing out in Southeast Asia. The region is gaining lustre as a comic playing field, despite representing less than 2% of the US$7 billion global comic market in 2019, according to a report by investment banking firm Mirae Asset Daewoo Co.

AUTHOR

Li Mei Foong

Li Mei Foong is based in Kuala Lumpur, where she seeks to connect the dots between culture and technology in Southeast Asia while keeping an eye on interesting development in its digital creative space. She was previously a freelance features journalist and has reported for regional publications including Channel News Asia (CNA), Southeast Asia Globe, and New Naratif.

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