Korea’s leading Web-comics writers have joined forces in their push to go global. They are set to publish their works, translated into English, through the Huffington Post, a major U.S. online media outlet, sometime next year, local news reports said Monday.
“We’re currently in talks with the Huffington Post regarding what to publish and how to publish (it),” Yonhap cited Lee Seong-wook, the representative of Toonion, as saying.
He said the first batch of the works will likely be available in the first half of 2015 at the earliest.
Toonion is a cartoonists’ guild launched by 15 artists late last month with the clear aim of publishing their work globally.
On board are Korea’s hottest cartoon artists, including Yoon Tae-ho of “Misaeng (Incomplete Life),” Koh Young-hun of “Avengers Electric Rain” and Yang Woo-seok of “Steel Rain,” who made a wildly successful film-directing debut with “The Attorney” this year.
They plan to set up another entity, tentatively named “Rolling Story,” for the U.S. business.
Industry officials see this as the first serious attempt at globalizing Korean webtoons, a term widely used here to refer to Web-based cartoon series.
Published on a weekly basis through major portal sites such as Naver or Daum, webtoons have become a popular form of entertainment for many smartphone users here.
C.B. Cebulski, a senior vice president of Marvel Entertainment, a U.S. giant in comics publishing, recently spoke highly of the Korean webtoon format, calling it a “smartphone-based model.”
While tablet PCs and most other digital devices opt for side-to-side scrolling for storytelling, webtoons have readers scroll down to read.
“People who use Twitter and Instagram are very much familiar with (scrolling down). What you will be seeing is more (Western) companies adopting that model in storytelling,” he said at a forum in Seoul last month.
By Lee Sun-young (firstname.lastname@example.org)