Korean webtoons are a subgenre of manhwa
that are published exclusively online as Web Comics
, usually on comic hosting sites such as Naver and Daum. Unlike Western Webcomics, this gives them a totally different funding dynamic, as, although they do not have publishers, as such, they are funded through the hosts. Every click still counts, even if the model isn't that of a personally owned project or business variety.
Their layout is different from standard manhwa
— instead of individual pages, webtoons are posted as one long, scrolling page per chapter/ strip
, with most being entirely in color. Because they are not bound by publisher requirements as much as their print counterparts, webtoons also tend to be a little more avant garde, with either less conventional story lines or dealing with subjects that aren't usually addressed in mainstream entertainment. Expect much in the way of Genre-Busting
within the medium as standard.
Although the readership of these webtoons were once restricted to the Korean speaking population, the popularity of series such as Trace
and Tower of God
has recently generated a solid western fanbase for the medium, to the point that Naver publishes English translations of several series
on this site
, and even has an English-language app available for Kindle, Android and iOS. The popularity of this format resulted in the West making a Webtoon-like hosting site of their own, Tapas Media
Examples — Do note that ALL of these belong in the Webcomic namespace if they were Web First.
Korean Webtoons in fiction:
- Killer Toon is about a webtoon artist who becomes a murder suspect after the grisly deaths she depicts in her horror webtoons start coming true in Real Life.
- In the Korean Drama Mimi, the protagonist Han Min-woo is a webtoon artist, and becomes inspired by his dreams to draw a story about Mimi. (In the original film that the drama was based off, however, he was a novelist.)
- Another Korean drama, the premise of "W" is that there's a surgeon whose webtoon author father went missing. She later gets pulled into the world of said webtoon.