Globalization and massive technological consumption worldwide have allowed consumers to find more diversified content, where not even language becomes a limiting factor. This is the case of the digital cartoon, better known these days as Webtoon, of course, its popularity goes alongside the well-known Hallyu wave.
It is important to note that this comic format has been in the market for more than 15 years, where its pioneer was the website Daum and some years later he was joined by Naver with Naver Webtoon. But aren’t these comics the same as comic books or manga? No, starting with the fact that this type of content was designed to be seen on cell phones, so the format is a single vertical image. In terms of colors or genres, it is much freer, finding from paranormal stories or dramas to comedies and touching stories; it is worth mentioning that not only the large companies specialized in this industry produce comics, but the users themselves can also do it and upload them, and it is possible to find them in Korean, English, Spanish, French, German, Thai, and Mandarin Chinese.
It is worth mentioning that the registration and use of these platforms are completely free, and the application is very dynamic, with daily rankings of the most famous webtoons or their popularity by genre. Some of these stories have been adapted for audiovisual consumption, either on Netflix or Viki, also on Korean channels, but for us who are consumers outside Korea, it is easier to watch these series or movies on streaming platforms. Several of the best-known Webtoons adapted to series are Love Alarm, Itaewon Class, Cheese in the Trap, My ID is Gangnam Beauty, Rugal, Hell is Other People, Extraordinary you, Sweet Home, All of us are dead, among others.
It is still too early to conclude what will happen in a few years with the webtoons, but one thing is certain, its expansion should not surprise us, because more and more people are interested in these platforms and, who knows? Perhaps they could be an opportunity to exploit the talent we have as editors, cartoonists, and even translators. We cannot deny that sometimes we need to escape a little from reality and relax with these stories that cause us emotions, where we laugh and even meditate. Maybe the next known and acclaimed Webtoon could be yours.
Written by: Sara Varon
Edited by: Angie Salavarria