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Virtual comics fest to be held next month

The 24th Bucheon International Comics Festival poster (Korea Manhwa Contents Agency)
The 24th Bucheon International Comics Festival poster (Korea Manhwa Contents Agency)
Comics and web-based cartoons will be virtually screened at the 24th Bucheon International Comics Festival from Sept. 4, the festival’s organizers said in a press release Thursday.

The annual festival, hosted by the Korea Manhwa Contents Agency, is being held online for the second consecutive year via its YouTube channel.

The theme of this year’s festival is “new normal, new connection,” highlighting the change in lifestyle as a result from the extended social distancing and increased online connections during the pandemic.

According to the agency, the festival’s official mascot Mandeogi will host the virtual opening ceremony where it will announce the 2021 Bucheon Manhwa Award winner.

The award-winning comic will be decided by combining results from a public online voting held July 15-Aug. 15 and a panel evaluation of comics and webtoon, each criteria holding equal weighting. The four nominees are authors Hun and Jimmy’s “Navillera,” Lee Dong-geun’s “Yumi’s Cells,” Osik’s “Civilian Control Zone” and French author Aude Mermilliod’s “I Had to Tell You.”

A special exhibition of the works of the top 4 nominees will be held at the Korea Comics Museum in Bucheon, Gyeonggi Province.

“Although the exhibition is taking place offline, a special clip involving a docent-led tour of the Korea Comics Museum explaining the nominated webtoons will be presented during the online festival,” an official from the agency told The Korea Herald Thursday.

The festival will also feature various programs such as online fan meetings with webtoon artists, showcases of new comics and webtoons, a webtoon original sound track concert and author conferences.

With a 24-year history, the festival has become one of Asia’s best global comics fairs and is supported by many domestic and foreign fans, the organizer said.

The head of the organizer’s culture promotion office, Lee Yong-cheol, pointed out that the comics festival is one of three international cultural festivals that take place in Bucheon, highlighting the city’s role as a major culture city. The two others are the Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival and Bucheon International Animation Festival.

The opening ceremony is scheduled to take place at 2 p.m. on Sept. 4 and the festival runs through Sept. 12.

By Lee Si-jin (sj_lee@heraldcorp.com)
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