Korean web comics make their presence known to the world

A teaser image of “Navillera: Like a Butterfly” by Kakao Entertainment (Kakao Entertainment)

As Korean movies and TV series based on webtoons have become a proven source of new ideas for creators around the world, a growing number of Korean digital comics are making their own presence felt on the global stage.

“Navillera: Like a Butterfly,” written by Hun and Jimmy and published by Kakao Entertainment, was nominated for the Best Webcomic section at this year’s Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, or Eisner Awards for short.

The other four nominees are “Batman: Wayne Family Adventures”, “Isle of Elsi”, “Unmasked” and “Lore Olympus”.

So far, no Korean-made web cartoon has won an award at the Eisner Awards, founded in 1988 and considered the comics industry’s equivalent of the Oscars.

“Navillera” is about friendship between a 70-year-old retired postman and a man in his twenties through ballet. It has been adapted into a television series, titled “Navillera” (2021), and a musical.

Another Eisner Award nominee “Lore Olympus”, created by New Zealand artist Rachel Smythe, is published by Naver Webtoon, an online comics and graphic novel platform run by the Korean internet and media giant. Naver entertainment.

It is also nominated in the Best Graphic Story or Comic Book category for the Hugo Awards 2022, a prestigious American award for works of science fiction or fantasy.

Last year, the fantasy romance won Digital Book of the Year at the 2021 Harvey Awards, one of the famous honors for achievement in comic books and graphic novels.

Graphic novelist Ma Yeong-shin’s 2015 Korean cartoon “Moms” won the 2021 Harvey Award for Best International Book of the Year. It was translated into English in 2020.

It is Korea’s second Harvey Awards winner, after Keum Suk Gendry-Kim’s “Grass,” named the first-ever Korean play to win the Best International Book category of 2020.

A Czech translation of “Grass” received the award for Best Translated Work at the country’s annual Muriel Award for Best Comics. (Yonhap)

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