What are Webtoons?
Japanese aren’t the only ones that can make amazing comics. Webtoons are basically digital comics/manga and originated from South Korea.
Unlike manga, webtoons are usually in colour and read in vertical long strips. In manga you usually start up the upper right corner of the upper right panel then read right to left, you repeat as you go down.
Webtoons come out in episodes or chapters and have a range of lengths. Some are very short strips, and some are very long. It all depends on the authors time. Some even include music and animation which really sets the mood and makes the webtoon interesting.
Why were they Created?
Webtoons were created due to the decrease in the sales of Korean manga, known as manhwa. This was due to the popularity of Japanese comics, manga worldwide. The term manhwa isn’t known as well as manga overseas so, often Korean manhwa were promoted as manga.
I myself, first started with reading manga online and discovered Korean manga online when going to my usual online manga reading sites, Mangafox and Mangago. I began to fall in love with Korean Manhwa. As time progressed, I was introduced to webtoons by a university friend and fell in love with them.
Brief History of Webtoons
The first webtoon site was created by the Korean web portal Daum in 2003 and was known as Daum Webtoon. In 2004, Naver followed Daum’s example and started Naver Webtoon. These webtoons were accessible on the web for free. It was a way for new Korean digital artist to share their stories and gain a following. Due to the webtoons being free many began to read them instead of buying Korean manhwa.
As the popularity picked up in South Korea, companies like TappyToon and Spottoon were created to translate these webtoon while Korean publishers Lezhin and Toomics translated their own works to bring them to a more international audience.
Some Webtoon stories were so popular that some of the webtoons got adapted into a drama.
Now a days a lot of webtoon platforms charge money to read these webtoons or the author writes chapter/episodes ahead of time and they charge money to read them earlier. Although I don’t spend money to read webtoons, but I feel that urge to spend that money to read it earlier. It’s like when you’re watching dramas and you can’t wait, thinking what will happen next.
In the present there are so many webtoon platforms for anyone across the world to share their webtoons. It’s a great concept and I enjoy reading them as they are very accessible. When I have a long commute to school, I enjoy the quick and fast reads.
Have you read webtoons before, if you have what are your favourites?
Featured Image from Webtoon Age Matters