[HERALD] Korea eyes cartoon Renaissance, 2013.06.20

With webtoons being one of the most popular forms of leisure, authorities seek to support artists, exports

Comic books and cartoons have long been good friends to Koreans. 

From the early days of Lee Do-young, who satirized Japanese colonialists, to green dinosaur Dooly seeking his mother among mankind, and the latest webtoon by Yoon Tae-ho on the lives of office workers, cartoons have been a great source of fun, consolation and encouragement to many Koreans. 

According to the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, 1 in 3 people here enjoy cartoons or comics every week. Through Naver, the country’s largest portal website, about 17 million people mark 1.5 billion page views every month in its webtoon section, making it one of the most frequently enjoyed forms of leisure. 


However, insiders complain that the market is driving artists away. 

“Illegal online distribution as well as portal sites’ free distribution of webtoons in exchange for relatively low fees left little profits for most cartoonists and webtoonists,” said Park Seok-hwan, a comic critic.


By Bae Ji-sook (baejisook@heraldcorp.com)

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