If you clicked with this article, you?re likely into comics. You could have even come across the word ?Webtoon? or ?Webcomic? on the net.
So what?s the difference?
Webcomics are digitalized versions of physical comic books for online reading. The truth is, it wasn?t optimized for smartphones. It stuck with swiping left and right. Worst of all, it?s mostly in monochrome (though some might disagree on the colour scheme)
So you might be asking yourself, ?Precisely what exactly is webtoon??
In layman terms, it?s colorized manhwa (Korean comics) made simply for smartphones where you scroll vertically rather than the standard page flipping.
The First Generation
Originating in Korea, the word ?Webtoon? is relatively new in the comics industry. It?s a combination of ?world wide web? and ?cartoon.?
It started with Chollian, a now-defunct Online sites engine, that established Chollian Webtoon to supply webtoons to readers in August of 2000.
What made it not the same as other online comics was its introduction of the vertical-layout. Most online comics at that time followed the traditional horizontal layout created for PCs (landscape style).
Marine Blues (left); Pape and Popo Series (right). Credit: Kim?s Licensing
Following a emergence of webtoons, an influx of indie webtoons jumped in to the scene.
Early webtoons were named standalone (called an omnibus in Korea) slice-of-life stories. Some popular comics include Snow Cat, Marine Blues, and Pape and Popo Series. Unusual at the time, each was self-published online by its authors rather than through magazines or editorials.
Not too long after, webtoons quickly became widespread as the internet took off and became more accessible.
Leaning on the fast-growing popularity of webtoons in the first 2000s, Korean internet portals like Daum and Naver took benefit of webtoons to increase their website traffic.
As their pivotal internet growth strategy, Daum and Naver pumped vast sums of money into webtoons. Also it paid. They achieved massive commercial success far beyond their predictions.
Webtoons are incredibly popular now. To provide you with a concept, Naver has over 46 million monthly active users (July 2018). How?d this happen? Two explanations why.
To start with, from 2003, Daum recruited cartoonists like Kang Full to publish webtoons on their internet portals called ?World in Manhwa.? It featured works like Kang Full?s Love Story (a record-breaking hit). Other successful comics include Kang Do Ha?s THE FANTASTIC Catsby and Yang Young Soon?s 1001.
The second reason has to do with accessibility to smartphones. You’re probably envious of people playing Angry Bird on their brand new iPhone while you miserably held your flip phone back in 2010. Smartphones were just too expensive.
But in the 2010s, more and more people bought smartphones capable of doing offers far more technically demanding than Angry Birds like Pokemon Go and PUBG (PlayerUnknown?s Battlegrounds).
To no real surprise, South Korea quickly rose to 67% smartphone ownership in 2013. 카피툰 Also to boast the numbers further, a 2019 report indicates that it?s now at an astounding 95%, holding the record today as highest on the planet.