The globalization of the South Korean webtoon industry now seems to be in full swing.
On Sept. 28, the webtoon agency Tooneed Entertainment announced that it would be publishing webtoons and running intellectual-property-related businesses in Southeast Asia as well as China, Japan, and North America.
Tooneed provides webtoons to KTooN, the third-largest webtoon service provider in the country, and operates intellectual property procurement and protection businesses.
Tooneed is already gaining recognition in the Chinese and Japanese markets through its work on famous South Korean webtoons such as “The Girl Who Sees Smells” and “Too Trivial to Say.”
“These webtoons have strong narrative structures, which allow foreign readers to completely immerse themselves in the translated versions. We are planning on expanding into the movie and television drama industries, while maintaining our publication business,” said Park Cheol-kwon, CEO of Tooneed.
Tooneed has been actively branching out into the domestic market for some time, in areas such as broadcasting, movie production, publishing, games, and the auxiliary copyright business.
Another major business in which Tooneed is active is the discovery and cultivation of up-and-coming cartoonists. This approach is markedly different from those of most other webtoon agencies, which tend to rely on popular and established cartoonists in order to ensure short-term sales and profits.
“We provide support and guidance for promising cartoonists in their evolution into renowned cartoonists,” CEO Park said.
Having founded Tooneed in 2013, Park is a first-generation webtoon cartoonist who has published numerous works since the mid-1990s.
The Gyeonggi Center for Creative Economy & Innovation provides financial assistance to help cover the company’s promotional and advertising fees and efforts to enter foreign markets.
“Tooneed has always strived to create, select, and cultivate webtoon content. Our mission is to provide the general public with entertaining and easily accessible products and services,” Park said.