Comic Maestro Zhang Zhizhong Unleashes Thrills as He Joins ‘Tian Gong Zhi Cheng’ – Where Reality and Fantasy Collide in an Epic Fusion

In the Year of the Dragon(Loong), a New Chapter Unfolds: Traditional Culture Sets Sail at the Right Time

Recently, the international leading IP management company, Mr. Dong Bi Culture Media, has joined forces with former Dark Horse Comics Chairman, Mr. Zhang Zhizhong. In his role as the head of the "Mr. Dong Bi" IP television drama, Mr. Zhang injects a global perspective and vibrant energy into the creation of the Li Shizhen IP. This collaboration not only brings a fresh perspective to the global audience but also opens a new window for them to explore China in a Chinese way.


Former Dark Horse Comics Chairman, Mr. Zhang Zhizhong, has long been hailed as a legendary figure in the industry. Previously serving as the President of Disney Greater China, he played a pivotal role in the expansion and sustained growth of Disney in the Chinese market. In 2011, Mr. Zhang was honored with the prestigious Magnolia Award by the Shanghai Municipal Government.

In 2017, Zhang Zhizhong joined Shanghai Simage Cultural Company, and in 2018, he led Simage Media to a successful acquisition of the globally ranked third-largest American super IP company, Dark Horse Comics, securing absolute control. During his tenure at Dark Horse Comics, Mr. Zhang propelled the company's global development, resulting in over 40 film and television productions, a staggering $26 billion in global box office revenue, and a fanbase exceeding 500 million worldwide. Presently, the Dark Horse umbrella boasts a portfolio of 400 super IPs with a comprehensive IP business ecosystem. Renowned titles under its banner include 'Star Wars,' 'Alien,' 'Hellboy,' '300 Spartans,' and many more.

"In the past two years, we have clearly witnessed the growing attention and love that young people have for Chinese culture. As a Chinese individual, aligning with the trends of the times, I feel a responsibility to contribute to my field, inspiring young minds both domestically and internationally to open their eyes and hearts to understand the authentic and vibrant China. It is truly meaningful," said Zhang Zhizhong. Meeting with Mr. Yang from Wuhan Dongbi Culture Media came at an opportune moment. Our values and beliefs align perfectly, and we complement each other well in our respective domains, leading to a swift collaboration."

In his role as the head of the "Mr. Dong Bi" IP television drama, Zhang Zhizhong is dedicated to dive deep into the cultural value of the Li Shizhen IP. His broad perspective in the entertainment industry, enriched experience in international IP operations, and accumulated resources will undoubtedly provide substantial momentum for the project's development. This collaboration aims to accelerate the global impact and influence of the Chinese IP industry, presenting new opportunities and playing a crucial role in driving the advancement of the IP industry."

Zhang Zhizhong believes that Li Shizhen belongs not only to Hubei and China but also stands as a globally significant 'spiritual symbol.' Li Shizhen's life, vision, the process of writing 'Compendium of Materia Medica,' and the awe-inspiring spiritual strength should not only be known to the Chinese but should also be showcased to the world. Narrating and interpreting Li Shizhen's story exceptionally well is a responsibility of our generation, a task that is both weighty and far-reaching.

Respecting History, Boldly Innovating —

Revitalizing the Vitality of the Li Shizhen IP

Approaching History and Tradition with Objectivity, Science, and Reverence — Upholding Principles Without Stagnation, Respecting the Past Without Imitation. Through a thoughtful consideration bridging the ancient and modern, continually deepening our understanding of the laws governing human social development, we can grasp historical patterns, take control of historical initiatives, and courageously stand at the forefront of the era's tide.

With this perspective on historical development, Mr. Zhang Zhizhong has set clear goals and a precise direction for the creation of the 'Mr. Dong Bi' IP television drama. He emphasizes, 'I have consistently communicated with the director, scriptwriter, and the team, stressing that Li Shizhen, unlike many other comic and television characters conceived from imagination, was a real, living, and impactful figure. By saying so, this presents challenges and demands efforts of innovation. In the past, characters in comics were shaped by the whimsical imagination of the authors; now, in telling Li Shizhen's story, we cannot detach from reality. We must respect history and, on this foundation, vividly and profoundly interpret the characters.' His understanding of 'recreating' Li Shizhen underscores the fundamental importance of respecting history. Despite limited historical records detailing Li Shizhen's life, Zhang Zhizhong recognizes the need for imagination and creativity. Bringing a character from 500 years ago to life and sustaining that vitality for another 500 years or even longer, he believes, is possible because the realm of creative possibilities is limitless!

As one of the super IPs in Chinese culture, Li Shizhen's story of 'administering to the world, saving lives, and aiding the wounded' has become a symbolic icon in the realm of traditional Chinese culture. However, the opportunities and platforms for the world to fully understand the profound essence of Chinese culture over the past 5000 years are still limited, and there is much more to be explored. Over the years, Mr. Zhang Zhizhong has been dedicated to facilitating foreign enterprises' smoother and more effective integration into the Chinese market. Presently, he is actively contributing to propelling the Chinese entertainment industry onto the international stage. "Given the rapid and transformative changes in Chinese society, many foreigners' perceptions of Chinese culture remain rooted in the past, lacking a deep understanding of our rich values," he expressed. "The cultural differences often lead them to evaluate Chinese culture based on their own inherent values, resulting in frequent misunderstandings.

Hence, a new era unfolds with bold innovation, breathing life into the narrative of Li Shizhen's IP. Li Shizhen's journey of compiling the 'Compendium of Materia Medica' took him across the famous mountains and rivers of Hubei, Guangdong, Jiangxi, and Zhili. Along the way, he sought guidance from fishermen, woodcutters, farmers, cart drivers, herbalists, and snake catchers. Referencing nearly a thousand volumes of books on medicine from different eras and undergoing three revisions over a span of 40 years, Li Shizhen's dedication is truly admirable. The spirit he embodies is a source of inspiration globally. "Through innovative modern storytelling techniques, we aim to bring the historical figure to life on paper with emotions, sentiments, and profound love," he remarked.

Crossing Boundaries, Uniting Cultures —

The Captivating Power of a 'World-Class' Cinematic IP

Guiding Dark Horse Comics to Global Triumph: Zhang Zhizhong's leadership sparks 40 films, $26 billion global box office, and 500 million global fans. As a leader at Disney, he successfully introduced international IP brands into the Chinese market, expanding the connectivity between film and merchandise sales, and leveraging the immense influence of film IPs. When asked about expectations for 'Mr. Dong Bi' TV series, he confidently replied, 'Our goal is to excel and achieve a world-class standard, inspiring global admiration and appreciation for Chinese culture.'

This perspective underscores the strategic planning to elevate national cultural soft power and secure an international point through a Chinese discourse and narrative system. The promotion of cultural exchange and mutual learning reflect the broad-minded openness and inclusiveness of Chinese culture.

The expression of the new era for the Li Shizhen IP is undoubtedly global," he stated. Drawing on the example of Disney's classic animation 'Frozen,' he emphasized that enduring popularity comes from well-crafted stories, where people can resonate with the characters. "The beauty of humanity transcends time and space, surpassing ethnic and regional boundaries. As we rewrite the story of Li Shizhen, we are, in essence, conveying the positive, resilient, and indomitable spirit of China. It's infectious and has the potential to evoke emotional resonance globally, much like the universal appeal of classics such as 'Frozen.

Aligning with the development strategy of Digital China, reinforcing the construction of the digital economy, and crafting a confidently prosperous digital culture present another facet of the revitalized Li Shizhen IP. In this collaboration, Dark Horse Comics and Wuhan Dongbi Culture Media will in the Asia-Pacific region (Tian Gong Zhi Cheng) to establish the 'Dark Horse Comics and World Animation IP Museum' in the Dong Bi · Tian Gong Zhi Cheng's digital cultural domain. This museum will comprehensively showcase more than 400 IPs created in Dark Horse Comics' 40-year history, featuring numerous globally renowned super anime IPs. It aims to highlight the remarkable achievements of Dark Horse Comics and the profound influence of anime IPs worldwide, becoming the world's first 'Digital-Reality Fusion Museum' in the history of global comics.

Mr. Yang Cheng, a renowned figure in the domestic commercial arts scene and the head of Wuhan Dongbi Culture, expressed that the spirit of Li Shizhen, as stated by Mr. Zhang Zhizhong, embodies the essence of traditional Chinese culture—a refreshing role model. Anchored in the 'Mr. Dong Bi' IP television drama, they aim to further advance the integration of digital reality, fostering a globally competitive digital cultural industry. This initiative seeks to harness the full potential of digital platforms, leveraging technology, data, talent, and exploring application scenarios. With Dark Horse Comics' unique global perspective, they continue to build a comprehensive cultural IP system, using the momentum of traditional Chinese culture to drive the development of the cultural economy in China.

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Company Name: Mr. Dong Bi
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Country: China

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