Webtoon 101: What Are You Reading?

Webtoons

They’re not videos, but they’re more than just comics. Just what are webtoons?

by Tby Tomato

Many of you have probably heard of webtoons before, but for those of you who haven’t, where have you been? With all the webtoon-based K-dramas from the past few years, it’s surprising that not everyone knows the origins of these colorful and unique plots and characters.

Webtoons are the perfect combination of traditional manga/comics and animation. While traditional comics have several frames on one page, webtoons generally have one frame per slide. Though this may seem to be a sluggish, slow-paced option for a comic, webtoons add animation and sound effects to their slides to keep their scenes exciting and quick. 

This creative way of making digital comics has been around since 2004, but webtoons have only recently risen to fame thanks to all the dramas stemming from their unique and interesting plots, such as Cheese In The Trap, Misaeng, Orange Marmalade, and more! There are many sources and websites for webtoons, but two of the most well-known sites for them are Naver and Daum. Below are some of my favorite series I’ve collected after two years of wandering through the world of Naver Webtoon. A word of precaution: webtoons, just like K-pop, can be addictive. Proceed at your own risk. You have been warned!

  1. Yumi’s Cells:

Yumi's Cells

This story is about the life of a girl named Yumi, but through the viewpoint of her cells, not herself (#badpunintended). Her primary cell is a hunger cell, and that says something about her personality already. This webtoon is perfect for all you guys out there who don’t have a clue on how a girl’s mind works!

Fun fact: the author actually made an Instagram account for Yumi: @yumiiii_0109. Psst, all the posts are part of the webtoon!

  1.  Cheese in the Trap:

Cheese In The Trap

If you haven’t heard of Cheese In The Trap, I wonder where you were in the year of 2016! This webtoon was made into a live-action drama last year, starring Kim Go-eun, Park Hyejin, Seo Kangjoon and Lee Sungkyung. With success both in the digital and physical world, it’s no wonder this webtoon is one of the most popular around (though, there has been much discussion about the plot of the live-action, versus the comic).

  1. Tales of the Unusual:

Tales Of The Unusual

Tales of the Unusual is a series of thrillers, so if you aren’t good at catching up with long stories, no worries. This webtoon is good in its own, weird way. Every story is creepy, with a lesson about moral values at each end.

  1. Orange Marmalade:

Orange Marmalade

Sadly, this webtoon already released its ending episode last September. It was also transformed into drama under the same name, and it starred AOA’s Seolhyun and actor Yeo Jingoo!

  1. Noblesse:

Noblesse

Noblesse is one of the oldest webtoons there is, and it’s the first of its kind to receive an English translation on LINE! The story made its debut in December of 2007, and has been making people crazy about it ever since! New chapters about the life of Rai the vampire are ongoing, and we hope it doesn’t end. In 2015, the animation studio Studio Animal released an animated short telling the story of Rai’s life before his 820-year-long nap.

Bonus:

K-Drama W

The drama W: Two Worlds marked the first collaboration of Lee Jongsuk and Han Hyojoo. Though the drama isn’t based on a particular webtoon, its plot centers around webtoons as one of its main elements.

Have you dived into the world of webtoons yet? What are some of your favorite titles? As the world of animated comics continues to expand and gain more attention in Korea, so do the unique concepts and stories that rise up. Hopefully you can find one that suits your tastes!

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