Could Digital Comics Benefit From UK Tax Breaks?

Mark Waid has made it very clear. The digital comic books he’s working on are not animation. Even though we see changes of image on the screen, as new panels and information appear, because the images themselves don’t move, this is not an animated product. It’s comics.

Well, it might be wise for the comics industry to wrestle Mark Waid to the ground and muzzle him. Just while the tax inspectors pop by, you understand.

The British Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, announced his budget yesterday. In which, he included a tax break for animation companies, specifically aimed at Aardman Animation, encouraging them not to move abroad for their operations. The tax break will be worth around £17 million a year to the industry, which makes around £300 million. Which probably sounds like a good deal. The video game industry, which has been losing people to Canada of late, is also covered.

And here’s the thing. The comics industry is not part of this scheme. But it is possible, just possible, if you can classify certain types of digital comics, along the Alex De Campi model that Mark Waid has been talking about, as animation – then it could be. Which might make it a nice little earner for British comic book producers like Rebellion, Viz Comics, Markosia, Panini, Titan and the like. Could this be the beginning of a mini-boom in digital comic book production in the UK?

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