It's just one more example of how a Florida pastor's passion to reach new audiences with the Gospel through comics and graphic novels has exploded into worldwide demand, taking the Christian message to multitudes of people around the globe, often in hard-to-reach nations.
Ayris founded Kingstone Media -- publisher of Kingstone Comics -- to combine top Christian writers and top artists from the comics world. In addition to speaking the language of young male readers in the United States, comics more easily reach the millions of illiterate and semi-literate people worldwide. The company recently launched Eternity, the first graphic novel from New York Times best-selling Christian author Randy Alcorn. The book quickly landed a Spanish translation deal with the Assemblies of God international publishing arm. Now, requests have poured in from around the world for additional translation and licensing agreements.
"This summer our first-round international partners came back to us and said, 'This stuff is selling like mad,'" Ayris said. "Within two months new publishing and licensing partnerships had sprung up for Russian, French, Burmese, Finnish, Hungarian, Tamil, Tagalog, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Malaysian, Belgian, Polish and Romanian languages as well as partnerships into Malaysia, Nigeria, Kenya and Papua New Guinea."
100% Cristão executive Wilson Pereira Jr., also president of the Christian Stores Association in Brazil and an early Kingstone co-publisher, met with Ayris and determined to build Kingstone Brasil. And they are. After a successful first run, 100% Cristão licensed all Kingstone Comics products for Portuguese worldwide for print and digital.
"Biblical stories and principles are universal and the beautiful images in Kingstone products communicate to anyone anywhere," Pereira said. "Now, we make these publications even more powerful by translating them."
CLC International, one of the largest Christian literature ministries in the world, also is partnering with Kingstone to expand internationally. CLC was an early adopter of the Kingstone vision in utilizing comics and graphic novels as a next-gen tool to communicate God's truth across cultural borders. Working with their network of national partners, CLC is translating and providing cultural context of Kingstone comic products into additional new language clusters and markets.
"Comics and graphic novels offer an exciting new tool to communicate God's truth across cultural borders," said Gary Chamberlin, director of CLC Europe. "We believe these contextually translated products will speak into the hearts and minds of many across Europe and Asia."
Kingstone is the leader in Christian comics and graphic novels, seeking to break into the rapidly growing comics market that hit $750 million U.S. sales last year. Using top writers such as Alcorn and top artists from the comic world, Kingstone is known for gripping story-based comics. Next year will see the completion of the 12-volume Kingstone Bible, the most comprehensive graphic adaptation of the Bible ever made.
Kingstone also brings to engaging graphic life apologetic titles such as The Book of God and 101 Questions About the Bible and Christianity series.
Kingstone recently released the Kingstone Comics universal app for both Apple and Android devices. Ayris stated, "Our desire is to provide economically priced, but highest quality, Christian comics for kids, teens and adults worldwide." ComiXology, the leading digital comics marketplace, recently added Kingstone Comics to its headliner lineup, as did iVerse Media, the leading provider of digital material to libraries nationwide. Kingstone products are also available through major retailers such as Barnes & Noble and Christian book stores.