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More foreign cartoonists debut in Korea’s webtoon market

A growing number of foreign cartoonists are debuting in South Korea’s webtoon industry, as the local market is expanding at a rapid pace.

Japanese cartoonist Akiko Higashimura is one of the foreign cartoonist to join Naver Webtoon, one of the biggest online comic portals in Korea, with “Fake Affair” (literal translation). 

A screenshot of Akiko Higashimura‘s online comic series “Fake Affair“ (Naver Webtoon)
A screenshot of Akiko Higashimura‘s online comic series “Fake Affair“ (Naver Webtoon)

Known for her romance comic series “Princess Jellyfish,” Higashimura’s new work entitled “Fake Affair” targeting Korean readers centers around a Japanese character who travels to Seoul and accidentally introduces herself as a married woman to a Korean man and their romance.

Naver began to publish “Fake Affair” in its Japanese online platform in December, before introducing it to Korean readers.

A-man, a cartoonist from Taiwan, is also being featured on Naver’s webtoon service, with his work “Ghosts of the Night: Demons and Creatures” drawing positive reviews from Korean fans.

More collaboration is under way between Korean and foreign artists. Story Company recently held a contest for Korean and Japanese cartoonists with plans to publish works from three teams sometime later this year.

Webtoon is a rapidly growing entertainment genre here. Naver had garnered more than 40 million monthly active users worldwide as of last October, with 18 million from South Korea, the company said during a conference call last year. 

By Yim Hyun-su (