Webtoon, a platform for digital comics, has seen tremendous growth and success since its inception in 2004. Developed South Korean tech giant Naver, Webtoon emerged as a solution to the challenges faced the comics industry after the 1997 financial crisis in Southeast Asia. With the rise of the internet and high-speed connectivity, cartoonists were able to share their comics online, reaching a wider audience than ever before.
Webtoons are unique in their vertical strip format, which is optimized for reading on smartphones and tablets. This accessibility, coupled with the advancements in technology, allowed illustrators to reach every corner of the world with their creations. As a result, Webtoons have become a cornerstone of the hallyu, or Korean cultural wave, spreading globally.
Naver’s Webtoon service is now available in 100 countries and 10 languages, thanks to the translations and contributions of 900,000 creators worldwide. While there is a growing number of creators from around the world, Korean artists still dominate the comics that are adapted into TV series.
Webtoon offers a vast library of nearly 1.5 million titles for users to enjoy on their website and apps. With a user base of 85.6 million, mostly from Generation Z and millennials, Webtoon has become a popular destination for comic enthusiasts. Users browse over 10 billion pages monthly, making Webtoon one of the most successful digital comic platforms.
Webtoon has two categories of digital comic production: Originals and Canvas. Originals are created under the company’s umbrella and provide creators with salaries, dedicated editors, assistants, and marketing support. On the other hand, Canvas offers more artistic freedom, allowing any creator to upload their work, even if it is not exclusive to Webtoon.
The transition from Canvas to Originals is not necessarily about improvement but rather different ways of relating to the company. Original creators have more revenue-sharing opportunities, while Canvas creators can earn income from advertising. Webtoon actively looks for captivating stories from different regions to ensure a global audience.
Translation plays a significant role in Webtoon’s global success. While some titles are available in multiple languages, the company actively seeks content from different regions and translates stories that will resonate across borders. Translators often find that working with digital comics provides a unique experience, as they have access to both the text and images, ensuring accurate and contextually appropriate translations.
Webtoon offers a freemium model, allowing users to read the first few chapters of a comic for free. To unlock more episodes immediately, users can choose to view ads or purchase tokens. However, there are also webtoons that are completely free.
Overall, Webtoon has revolutionized the comics industry, providing a platform for creators to showcase their work to a global audience. With its diverse range of digital comics and dedication to delivering captivating stories, Webtoon continues to shape the future of the medium.
– CBS News: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/make-your-own-webtoon-manga-animation-cartoon-illustration-drawing/
– Collision 2022: No URL provided