The Golden Days of Webtoon
The Golden Days of Webtoon
  • Reporter Park Seo-kyung
  • 승인 2013.03.20 23:36
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Every Sunday at 11 P.M., seeing people lie down on the bed and toy with their mobile phone is common nowadays. The thing they are looking forward to is the webtoon, ‘The Tower of God’. This webtoon is so famous that a new word was coined from the character of this. The golden age of the webtoon is upon us.
The word “Webtoon” is the neologism combined ‘Web’ and ‘Cartoon,’ that means comic strip distributed via the internet. Webtoonists publish their webtoon weekly on a major portal site such as NAVER or Daum and readers look forward to that day of the week. At first the genre was limited to romance, but now webtoons span most genres, including fantasy, SF, and mystery. Webtoons such as ?iSaeng? a story about a company observed by a new employee, or ?octor Frost? with a plot about psychology, have proven the quality and professionalism. With the god, a story about Korean folk beliefs, delivers not only knowledge but also reformation.
Now in the major portal site, NAVER, Daum, and NATE, respectively 126, 65, and 31 works are published formally. Here “formal” means a webtoon that the portal site pays money for each work. Including amateur works that are uploaded on each site, there are over 3000 works. According to Korea Creative Content Agency, the unique visitor of NAVER webtoon page was about 6.09 million and visitors of Daum webtoon page was about 2.70 million last November. These numbers are confined to PC users. If users of smartphone and tablet PC are added, the number of visitors is estimated to be over 10 million. Romance comic written by Gang Pul is considered to be the beginning of webtoon. This astonishing content has only ten years of history, but has spread into an industry. Famous webtoons are remade as television shows, movies, and plays, and figures of characters are sold. Some webtoons are even illegally translated and shared.
Due to factors including free, fresh, and exiting topics, publishing in portal site that has easy access, widespread use of mobile devices, and communication with the author via the SNS and comments system, webtoon market is expanding. Accordingly, portal sites are also proceeding aggressively in marketing using webtoon and developing the webtoons, making a great ripple effect.