Reasons why webtoons are popular these days.
Webtoon is a mixed word using WEB of internet, and TOON from cartoon. It is a neologism made for cartoons which are published serially on internet sites. Recently, thanks to the popularity of webtoons, some television dramas and movies have stories based on webtoons, such as Cheese in the Trap (2015), Inside Men (2015) and Awl (2015). You may see people subscribing to webtoons in the subway or on the bus too. Then, what makes webtoons popular among modern people who live in Korea?
The biggest reason is convenience. The previous form of cartoons was comic books and books are heavy and bulky so there were some inconveniences from bringing comics outdoors. People also had to visit bookstores to purchase comics.
On the other hand, most webtoons provide content for free, and even though some webtoons are not free, people are able to buy content online. Furthermore, webtoons are accessible anytime, anywhere with an Internet connection. People can watch comics with their portable devices like a smartphone or a tablet PC instead of paper books. The change of medium enables direct communication between creators and readers through comments. This is a strong point of Webtoons too.
Second, the increase of viewers watching webtoons leads to improvements of stories and content.
In former days in Korea, only Japanese mangas and cartoons drawn by well-known cartoonists could survive in the market. So, other cartoonists had to create content for children. The emergence of webtoons raised size of the cartoon market and made room for cartoonists. We can say webtoons helped people watch cartoons with fine stories.
Furthermore, novelists transfer their novels into cartoons with artists because modern people are more familiar with cartoons compared to textbooks.
To tell you about some genres of webtoons, first, daily life toons range over things that can happen in people’s daily life and are expressed in a funny way. Webtoons of this genre gain the sympathies from readers.
There are also webtoons dealing with historic events such as the Korean war and Japanese colonization. Authors set main character as very ordinary people, thus we can be immersed in situations that characters encounter.
The fantasy genre is a very common genre, so much so it’s hard to even count. There are advantages of webtoons and advantages in the fantasy genre. Cartoons have visual content. Authors can express directly what authors want to tell us. Cartoons can describe action scenes which text novels can’t, and that makes stories feel more alive.
Cartoons published on the internet have a lot of advantages.
Webtoons are serially published once or twice a week and an episode usually takes a week. It just takes about 5 minutes to read an episode and that makes people develop a habit of watching webtoons. In addition, webtoons are widely used in marketing. Companies make advertisements with cartoons. People who read can accommodate advertisements without noticing that these are ads.
Webtoons are also a good way to find a new writer. Websites are good stages for new face cartoonists and amateur cartoonists, thus the Internet narrows the gap between professional cartoonists and amateur cartoonists.
Park Hyun-jong, cub-reporter firstname.lastname@example.org
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