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Spotlight on Publishers
A natural partner for animation film production

This year, CARTOON brings publishers and producers together in Bordeaux with the aim of building bridges between animation production and publishing which are intrinsically linked, a mutual source of inspiration and yet often quite separate. Cartoon Movie is the perfect event to bring these worlds together.


Since 2019, CARTOON has been creating opportunities to building bridges between the animation and publishing industries. With this year’s Spotlight on Publishers, the initiative tries to bring publishing and animation production closer from the beginning of projects by triggering business opportunities and expansion between both sectors.

Books that have emerged from film and TV demonstrate a dynamic and evolving relationship between literature and visual media and are an excellent way to build an IP. Whether through illustrated books, comics or graphic novels, novelisations, original works inspired by screen narratives or adaptations that transcend traditional storytelling boundaries, this intersection continues to shape the way audiences engage with stories. As technology, streaming platforms, and storytelling techniques advance, the future holds the promise of even more innovative and immersive experiences that bridge the gap between books and visual media.

CARTOON aspires to be a boutique marketplace where producers have the opportunity to meet with publishers who understand animation and know what properties in their catalogues will best suit animation projects.

This Cartoon Movie is the inauguration of this project where publisher film rights representatives are not only encouraged to attend but given incentive, as CAROON wants to create a place where producers and publishers meet to build collaborations together going forward.


The exchange of IP rights to books and comics is actually more dynamic than one thinks. Many publishers have released titles based on a screen property and it is no secret that the big franchise brands, especially Disney and other animation properties, easily sell their IP for book rights.

Using existing IPs to publish books is a good way to attract consumers to books and help in the global fight to get more people to read more books. A child’s first gateway into culture is books. Comics have been found to be great ways to boost readership and the desire to read not only amongst children but reluctant readers and consumers of all ages, especially in our increasingly visual culture. If the IP is familiar, the tendency to reach for the book is greater. Books and comics are also a good way to keep the brand alive.

In the 5 years that Cartoon has fostered their Screen-to-Page initiative there has been no lack of interest by publishers in screen properties. Overall, publishers are attracted to projects which are a screen IP, as the fact that this link shows up in sales numbers is no secret and thus a draw. Concept flow from animation to books, whatever the type, is far from a stretch. There may be challenges but both mediums are a source of cross-talent that is undeniable. Producers are aware of these synergies as well and there has been a rise in the number of producers of Cartoon projects that specifically mention their search for publishers in their pitch session.

Publishers acquiring book rights, be it comics and graphic novels, illustrated books or novelisation rights to an animated film project early in the project’s life is ideal. It allows the publisher to work together early with the production and even development teams, – depending how early the publisher comes on board – co-profit and develop marketing and PR strategies and take advantage of the sales surge that happens at the release of the related screen property (see statistics above). Cartoon gives publishers the unique opportunity to get in on the ground floor.


The last few years have seen a huge surge in the publication of comics and graphic novels around the world. European graphic novels are known for their depth, diversity and variety and are an endless possible source for animation projects. “The global comic book market size is projected to grow from 14.7 billion euros in 2023 to 20.6 billion by 2030, at a CAGR of 4.85% during the forecast period.” There are numerous European animated films based on books and comics for all age groups: “The Snail and the Whale”, “The Tiger Who Came to Tea”, “We’re Going on A Bear Hunt”, “Stick Man”, “Persepolis”, “Swallows of Kabul”, “I Lost My Body”, “Marnie’s World”, “White Fang”.

The question always is, how to find the right property, graphic novel or other, to adapt into a film project and an animation film project in particular? There is so much out there.

This year’s Spotlight on Book Publishers has brought Frankfurt Book Fair/Frankfurter Buchmesse - experts in events focusing on bringing book rights sellers together with buyers into the project. The 2023 Frankfurter Buchmesse had over 4,000 exhibitors including 325 rights agents and scouts and 119 comics related companies.

This partnership of animation event experts, Cartoon and book rights event experts Frankfurter Buchmesse is the symbol of a powerful screen and page opportunity for publishers and animation producers.

Spotlight on Publishers

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