Start-up stories: Shrine Comics, Jin Chan Yum Wai

We sat down with Jin, founder of Shrine Comics to hear about how it all started.


Tell us about your startup/ company

SHRINE COMICS is a FREE-TO-READ digital manga publishing platform! We publish original manga by creators from all over the world, to bring new, diverse and exciting stories to readers everywhere!

*Manga is Japanese style comics!

How did it all begin?

It’s something I’ve been thinking about for a long time. I’ve always been a little annoyed with how comics are published in the west. With serialised comic sales across the board going down year-over-year it was hard to watch an industry so against change, effectively slowly dig it’s own grave. Even though I have been thinking about doing something like SHRINE COMICS for a long time, it was when my first child was about to be born that motivated me to go all in. I wanted to show my kids my legacy I guess.

What were you doing before you started your company?

I was and continue to work remotely for a video game studio based in Beijing, Vanimals. I work as a lead game designer and Creative Director.

What is your ultimate goal?

The ultimate goal is change the way comics are published in the west, and set a new standard. I believe this new FREE-TO-READ business model, will benefit not only the consumers but also the creators of the content.

What has been your biggest win so far?

Gathering up such a diverse and talented group of creators to publish their stories using my platform. They are the heart and soul of SHRINE COMICS, and the fact the believe in me and the vision makes me feel validated.

What lessons have you learnt along the way?

No matter how much others believe in your vision, it’s hard to get people to help you for free for extended periods of time.

Be strategic with how and when you ask for help.

What does innovation mean to you?

The thing I love about innovation is that “Why wasn’t it always like this?” feeling. And it’s crazy to think in 2022 you can still get that feeling.

What advice do you have for someone about to kick off their startup?

Surround yourself with people who believe in your vision, but also are happy to call you out when they think something won’t work. Solving the issues they bring up will only make your idea even better.


Thanks, Jin for chatting with us about your business!