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The Rise of Korean Comics

2011/08/09 | Permalink | Source

Comi-Con International, the world's largest comic festival, celebrates its 42nd anniversary this year. The convention draws together representatives from every corner of the entertainment industry, including gaming, movies, and comic books.

Over 120,000 people from all over the world rush to the convention to meet their favorite comic book characters!

[Interview : Sanne Noah, visitor] "Always knew graphics are amazing, people are fun obviously. It's great".

[Interview : Talese Silver, visitor] "When you combine reading with art, it equals awesome".
[Interview : Runie Roxton] "I can read it in my region and I can't wait for the next episode to come o"ut

Korean comics can be seen among the attractions. After rising to popularity in Asia, Korean comics are being seen as the next leg of Hallyu that will sweep through Europe and North America. Why are Korean comic books so popular[Interview : ] "The strength of Korean comics lies in that the stories often include heartwarming stories about family or pure love".

In other words, Korean comics appeal through the world by being nice. The stories and presentation are all smooth, without any cause for discomfort or unpleasantness.

Korean comics have maximized the use of this advantage to begin a new comic Hallyu in Europe, North America, and even in Japan, the stronghold of comics and animation.

In June, the comic book series "Priest" by Hyung Min-woo, which had sold over a million copies in 33 countries, was adapted and released as a Hollywood movie.

[Interview : Scott Stewart/ director] "I've been a big fan of Min-woo's work and I had read studio's Cory Goodman's script. I was just want away by that I thought it was really amazing world, it's really different take on vampire mythology that we haven't seen before. It was a movie that felt like really about something interesting".

Foreign markets began to take a larger interest in Korean comics as the potential of Korean comics became widely known.

Lee Hyeon-se[이현세], a giant in the Korean comic industry, has come to Comic-Con 2011. After his debut in 1978, he has worked nonstop and now has over 40 works to his name. A major player in the past and present of Korean comics, he is now looking to pioneer its future.

[Interview : Korean Cartoonist Lee Hyeon-se] I"'m planning on producing Asian Martial Art Fantasy".

He says that the keyword for Korean comics should be "communication", in step with the digital media age. In an era when the world is unified through Internet, art that does not seek to understand others cannot reach audiences.

[Interview : Gregory Brehm, CEO

Read a lot of American comic books.
That's the most important thing they can do and understand it and then do own original work.

[Interview : Korean Cartoonist Lee Hyeon-se] "I'm planning to find a partner in the U.S., create a story together, then have artists in Korea come to the U.S. and draw comics that fit well with the American culture. That's the only way to do it".

"Another market that could be targeted by Korean comic artists is the educational animation market. "Toonbo" is a popular series among American children.

[Interview : Dad] "What do you think of this video".
[Interview : Kid] "It's better than racing car"~

[Interview : Joel Boil / Citizen] " It was very creative, quite gentle for kids and educational. So it's pretty useful".

The series began in 2005, but it is only finding the spotlight now, six years later. Toonbo has recorded over 70 million views on YouTube.

Why are Korean educational animation shows like "Pororo, the Little Penguin" seeing so much success abroad[Interview : ] "When children watch "Pororo", they can relate to the story. They think it's their story, or the story of one of their friends. This is why they concentrate more on the show".

The educational animation market is indeed a blue ocean.

[Interview : Chang Jae-wook, President Fantavision, LLC USA] "Motivation to start in this kind of character, but I never knew this gonna be this much umm..lot of reaction from the audience".

With a high-quality story and a friendly main character, an educational animation show can expand into movies and other character businesses.

[Interview : Chang Jae-wook, President Fantavision, LLC USA] "It's important to keep our own character alive, but we also have to adjust to what foreign buyers want, and maintain quality control at all times. We're living in a time when anyone can reach global audiences through the Internet, if the content is good".

The hardest thing in the world is to make people laugh. This task is exactly what the Korean comic industry today is hoping to tackle. If it can crack the code of "communication", it will only be a matter of time before Korean comics have the whole world smiling.


Everybody is entiteld to what they like in animations. Some like those dark, gruesome animations.
But I really do like how Korean comics are much nicer as they said.
Much more sweet and gentle.
Really great for kids to watch without worry.
And adults.

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