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Webcomic / Killing Stalking

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Sangwoo and Bum.

Killing Stalking (킬링 스토킹) is a Manhwa written by Koogi and published online in Korean, English, and Japanese by Lezhin Comics. It won the grand prize in the Second Lezhin World Comics Contest.

Yoon Bum, a withdrawn young man with a history of stalking, has an intense crush on one of the most popular and handsome guys at his college, Oh Sangwoo. One day, he manages to break into Sangwoo's house when Sangwoo is away, but what he discovers inside reveals that the Sangwoo known to the outside world is no more than a façade.

Killing Stalking is now complete at 67 chapters, with a print release on the way. The comic updated weekly on the Lezhin Comics website. Chapters in Korean came on Thursdays and chapters in English arrived on Wednesdays.


This work contains examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: Sangwoo's father abused him and his mother. The mother, as we later learn, was the real abuser in the family, and tried to kill Sangwoo along with forcing sex on him after he matured. And if we go by guardians, Bum's uncle was pretty bad as well.
  • All Abusers Are Male: It seems to be an ongoing trend in the series, but subverted—Sangwoo's mother was just as abusive and toxic.
  • Ambiguously Bi: Sangwoo, and perhaps the older man he brings home in Chapter 8.
  • Asshole Victim:
    • Sangwoo's father beat him and his mom, so Sangwoo killed him.
    • Also subverted. Sangwoo talks about his targets like they're all scum who deserve to be murdered, but their crimes are nothing worse than stuff like being too forward while flirting at a bar or acting kind of stuck up.
  • Ax-Crazy: Sangwoo, and HOW.
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  • Bittersweet Ending: Heavy on the bitter. Sangwoo is arrested, his murders come to light, and many are given hard earned closure with Seungbae going back on the force. However, Bum still feels extra guilty about everything, still pines for Sangwoo, and never got the closure he was seeking with the other man because he died being suffocated.
  • Black and Grey Morality: The conflict of the series is between a weak-willed stalker who breaks into his crush's home, and said crush who kills people in his off-time. The other characters that appear aren't exactly the picture of upstanding morality either, and some can be huge assholes while still on the side of the law.
  • Book-Ends: The story begins and ends with Bum obsessing over Sangwoo, breaking into his house, and fondling himself at the thought of the other man.
  • Break the Haughty: Happens to Sangwoo in Chapter 27 after driving Bum to near-suicide.
  • Broken Pedestal: Subverted. While Sangwoo was never a mentor figure to Bum, Bum always looked up to him, but this quickly changes not too far into the storyline.
  • Cassandra Truth: In Chapter 16, Bum immediately starts telling anyone he comes into contact with that he had been kidnapped. Since he's at a college party and he's raving about his kidnapping without any rhyme or reason, the partygoers dismiss him as a rowdy drunk.
  • Chase Fight: Constitutes the entirety of chapter 31.
  • Creepy Basement: A lot of events occur in Sangwoo's basement.
  • Creepy Shadowed Undereyes: Both Bum and Sangwoo have dark circles around their eyes, while the more mentally stable characters don't.
  • Creepy Souvenir: Bum finds the washing machine full of the underwear of the women that Sangwoo killed. He imagines/hallucinates them as their body parts.
  • Creepy Uncle: Bum's guardian is his uncle, who sexually abuses him.
  • A Date with Rosie Palms: So far, three times with Bum and once with Sangwoo halfway through Chapter 8.
  • Daydream Surprise: Happens frequently, mostly to underscore characters' unstable mental states.
  • Deadly Game: The card game that Sangwoo forces Bum and the man he kidnapped from the bar to play, with the loser getting killed. This is just a trick, however, and he kills the man despite Bum losing.
  • Death by Sex: Inverted. Seems to be Sangwoo's modus operandi, as it's implied he kills all the women he sleeps with.
  • Dream Melody: The song "Killing Me Softly" is featured frequently in the storyline, but its importance and association with Sangwoo have yet to be revealed.
  • Dysfunction Junction: Point in the general direction of any of the characters, and you will not see anyone as the picture of mental health. Even Seungbae, arguably one of the saner main characters, slowly starts slipping into madness.
  • Empty Cop Threat: Seungbae seems to make a lot of these, particularly in Chapter 23 when he interrogates an underage guy at a gay bar for information on Seokhun. While he could legitimately arrest someone who had broken the law, arresting the guy at the gay bar would probably cause more trouble for Seungbae, being at a gay bar and all....
  • Evil Is Sexy: In-universe in the last chapter. The viewing public, while still appalled by Sangwoo's crimes, spent a good amount of time talking about how good looking he was, according to reporters.invoked
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Lotta killing, lotta stalking.
  • Fan Disservice: There are many examples:
    • The first chapter has a half-naked Bum masturbating over Sangwoo. This isn't shown to titillate, but to showcase his obsession; plus, it happens in the middle of a flashback that explains how he became a Stalker with a Crush and includes an Attempted Rape situation that he was subjected to when in the army.
    • In the same chapter, Bum gets inside Sangwoo's house, then finds his basement... and an almost naked, Bound and Gagged, blindfolded and bruised young woman. Few later, he wakes up after being beaten and sees the poor woman's corpse. It gets even worse when Sangwoo gropes the corpse's bare breast.
    • The story has quite a few instances where the handsome Sangwoo is down to his skivvies, walking around in his underwear and showing off his chiseled physique. Most these scenes are accompanied by his victims being tortured in his Creepy Basement, him splattered with blood, or him psychologically scaring the crap out of Bum.
  • Failed a Spot Check: While it may fly over reader's heads, a closer look at Chapter 7 proves that Sangwoo never had plans and pretended to leave as a Loyalty Test; it was raining heavily, but he deliberately left his umbrella indoors. Unfortunately, Bum didn't pick up on this.
  • Florence Nightingale Effect: Sangwoo patches up Bum's wounds and looks after him, probably leading to Lima Syndrome.
  • GIS Syndrome: The background and set pieces are a mix of this and Conspicuous CGI, with any large sets being heavily filtered photos and close items being obvious 3D models.
  • Hope Spot: The ending of Chapter 7. It doesn't end well for Bum.
  • Identical Stranger:
    • At the ski slopes, Sangwoo meets a stepmother who looks near identical to his own mother. He considers killing her, but ultimately lets her go once he sees that she's loving and protective of her stepson unlike his own mother.
    • The last scene of the series is Bum chasing the literal and metaphorical shade of Sangwoo, as he runs into a stranger that looked just like him at the beginning of the series.
  • Karma Houdini: Bum ultimately gets away with his part in the murders, as the investigation didn't find any evidence that pointed to him. However Seungbae warns Bum not to do anything suspicious, lest his credibility be compromised.
  • Kill It with Fire: Subverted at the end— Seungbae set Sangwoo's house on fire as a last resort to save his own life and it worked, managing to escape in time leaving Sangwoo in the burning house. As a result, Sangwoo was left with severe burns and hospitalized - however, his cause of death weren't those wounds, it was instead an old woman that suffocated him with a pillow.
  • Lima Syndrome: Sangwoo begins to show affection to Bum, but Bum is reluctant to return the sentiment.
  • Mind Screw:
    • Because Bum has a tendency to hallucinate and imagine possible outcomes, it's not always clear what is and isn't real at first.
    • The entirety of Chapter 29.5.
  • Mr. Fanservice: The author reminds the reader often of just how physically attractive Sangwoo is.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Sangwoo in Chapter 27. See Break the Haughty above.
  • Oblivious Guilt Slinging: The final chapter has Bum be visited by Jieun's mother, who grieves the loss of her daughter at his bedside and sees him as an innocent victim in the Sangwoo affair. She would have no way of knowing that Bum was actually a big reason her daughter died.
  • Older Than They Look: Bum seems to be in his mid-twenties and is confirmed to be somewhere in the late twenties, yet looks as though he could just be entering high school. He's also a few years older than Sangwoo.
  • Only Sane Man: Seungbae works in a department that's less than upstanding at times, and among the three main characters he's the closest thing to a picture of mental stability.
  • Phoney Call: Played for drama. Officer Seungbae is investigating Serial Killer Sangwoo's house for evidence on the pretext of a noise complaint. When he can't find anything in his first check, he pretends to get a phone call from his chief as an excuse to stay and observe the place longer. Unfortunately, while the phone is on his ear it starts ringing aloud with a real call from the station, making the deception obvious.
  • Police are Useless: Seriously, the cops in this universe most be complete and utter idiots. When investigating the death of Chief Kwak as well as the death of Sangwoo's Father it should have been obvious that the suicides were staged. For example, when a body is suspended from a tree the rope would leave marks in the branch indicating what direction it was pulled. Furthermore, the way they removed Chief Kwak reeks of incompetence. If a hanging body must be cut down, the rope is cut above the knot to preserve any potential evidence in the knot. Instead, the police decided to loosen the knot corrupting any potential evidence. Furthermore, it appears that there was barely even an investigation into the death of Kwak as the next scene after his body is found is his funeral and cremation.
  • Rape as Backstory:
    • Bum is almost molested in the army but Sangwoo's intervention put a stop to that. Bum was sexually abused by his uncle.
    • Even Sangwoo isn't exempt from this, as his mother constantly forced sex on him growing up after he hit puberty.
  • Rape as Drama: Though thankfully not shown, near the end of Chapter 43 Sangwoo rapes Bum because he went to the bathroom and allowed his Snowboard to be stolen costing Sangwoo 500,000 Won (~440 USD).
  • Sadistic Choice:
    • Zig-zagged. Halfway through Chapter 8, Sangwoo lets Bum choose what tools he'll be tortured with. Out of desperation, Bum suggests they do something else, but Sangwoo rebuffs his advances and instead directs his attention to a noose he personally created for Bum. Several panels later, Sangwoo carries out the throat-slitting he originally promised, but Bum doesn't die and only suffers from a split-open chin.
    • During the ski trip, he makes a young stepmother who got hurt in a ski accident with her stepson choose between saving herself or saving the boy. Of course she chooses the boy, but does so on the condition that Sangwoo kills her instead (and he almost does until someone intervenes).
  • Screaming Woman: When Bum enters the basement and finds a woman who just screams after all the abuse Sangwoo has subjected her to.
  • Self-Made Orphan: Seungbae thinks that Sangwoo is this. He's right.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Bum, toward Sangwoo, and implied for many others before him.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: The last couple of chapters have Bum try to contact Sangwoo in the hospital to talk with him one last time. At the end of his journey, even risking his credibility, losing his leftover pocket change, and being misdirected to the wrong hospital rooms, he finally comes face to face with Sangwoo's ashes. He actually died the day Bum lost his money and had to turn back; had he just went to the ATM, Bum might have made it in time.
  • Stepford Smiler: Sangwoo is widely beloved by his peers, appears to be charming and polite to authority figures, and is the object of Bum's obsession; naturally, this does well to mask how Ax-Crazy he really is.
  • Stockholm Syndrome: Despite all of the abuse he's suffered from Sangwoo, Sangwoo is one of the few people in Bum's life to show affection for him openly. Combined with his traumatic past and own crimes, he is reluctant to trust the police or testify against Sangwoo.
  • Unreliable Narrator: Bum has multiple hallucinations throughout the comic and in the first chapter, the author mentions he has Borderline Personality Disorder, which may inflate the actions of some characters due to the disorder (although, this is a webcomic about kidnapping, so probably not).
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Seungbae's partner Officer Park, who tells Sangwoo that "his cousin" (in reality, Bum) has dropped by his house.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Officer Seungbae in Chapter 13, who thinks he can outmaneuver and outsmart Sangwoo, but only avoids a grisly fate by sheer luck.


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