Spreading the gospel: Christian comics truly go global

Published: Wednesday, Sept. 4 2013 6:00 a.m. MDT

Christian-themed Kingstone Comics has expanded its reach all over the world through smartphone apps and licensing agreements.

Kingstone Media

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Thanks in large part to a Kingstone Comics smartphone app that allows users anywhere in the world to purchase digital copies of titles like “Eternity” and “The Revelation” from the company’s extensive library of Christian comic books, Kingstone announced Tuesday via a press release and its Facebook page that the company's comic books are reaching readers in more than 90 countries worldwide.

“Rejoicing — at last count, with the current licensing agreements and app downloads, we will be in 93 countries,” Kingstone CEO Art Ayris wrote on Facebook. “We trust God to expand that number as word about the Kingstone Comics app spreads and new products emerge from the Kingstone art studios.”

In late July, Ayris penned an op-ed for FoxNews.com with the headline, “Why Jesus and comic books need each other.”

“It might seem odd at first — Christians and comics — because this publishing niche is often associated with the sexualized gore and graphic violence many religious leaders (and others) warn against,” wrote Ayris, who would later appear on-air at Fox News to discuss Christian comics. “The fact is, comics and graphic novels reach a prized demographic extremely difficult to crack with traditional Christian messages — teenage boys and young men. And just as Christians have successfully moved into books, movies and TV, they are similarly moving into comics and graphic novels.”

A Publishers Weekly article from June explored the buying demographic for Kingstone Comics: “The target audiences for (Kingstone) are primarily consumers buying at chains and big-box stores, such as Wal-Mart, Sam’s Clubs and Barnes & Noble. But special markets (e.g., church groups, faith communities) and especially the digital market promise the most growth and reach.”

Email: jaskar@desnews.com

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