YouTube Beauty Queen Michelle Phan, a previous [a]list summit speaker and an early creator involved in Influencer Marketing, has already conquered the world of beauty products and now seems to be setting her sights on dominating web comic books. Already famous for her how-to makeup tutorials, trend reports and monthly subscription service for beauty products, Phan has been pushing further into original content to growing her media presence across industries.
The new web comic, Helios: Femina, launched last week during SXSW and the first few chapters have already been released on Internet comic publishing platform LINE Webtoon, with another 26 chapters rolling out in similarly sized groups on a weekly basis. The target audience is very much Phan’s fans and followers on her existing channels, where she is part of the influencer dominance of beauty and fashion video searches. The story is set in the dark future of a world not unlike our own and follows a young singer trying to save the world with her magic powers. Phan says in a statement that this is a story she’s been wanting to tell for a long time, “I actually first came up with the concept when I was a kid, so I’m really excited to finally share the first chapters of my creation.”
The founder of LINE Webtoon, JunKoo Kim, also notes that Phan is helping bring more women to comics, especially web comics. “We’re really proud of our wide appeal to female comic readers, and we couldn’t do that without partners like Michelle creating such digital native, quality content that fans are excited to read.”
While those who only know Phan from her beauty vlogs and businesses might think this is a real departure for the social entrepreneur, this is simply Phan’s latest foray into the comic world. She’s already cultivated a following in the comic space with a previously launched comic called The Enchantress on LINE WebToon. She also recently partnered with TinyCo and the Influencer Orchestration Network on the new app Avengers Academy. Phan was deeply involved in the project from the beginning, voicing the character Jessica Jones (made famous on the critically acclaimed Netflix series) in the app and incorporating her experiences into her regular channel content. This project continues the trend of social media influencers building their businesses outside the YouTube videos that started their careers. From Pewdiepie launching his own network and creating premium content at YouTube Red to Connor Franta’s record label, social media influencers are uniquely positioned to launch new projects with built-in audiences ready to engage with their new ventures.