The Korean Webtoon As a Reflection of Society

Friday, July 18, 2014: 6:30 PM
Room: 303
Oral Presentation
Jung Eun SONG , University of Seoul, Seoul, South Korea
Since 1990, the technology of digital media has been constantly developed in Korea, and the digital media became popular among the general public. With the emergence of the social network service(SNS), people increasingly expressed themselves with visual images, such as photos, icons, animated characters, etc. The new digital media expanded the scope of communication between people and visual images. Webtoon is the new genre of cartoon as the result of digitalization. Webtoon enables readers to easily access and to even participate in the process of webtoon making. The stories of webtoons show social experience in ordinary people' daily lives. Webtoon readers become participants who share their own thoughts with webtoon artists and also create amateur works. Thus, the familiarity of webtoon increases. It is a remarkable big change in the history of Korean cartoon; thus, this research will discuss how webtoon influences people' experience of seeing and interpretation. To do so, this research will study the development process of webtoons by the artist, Pul Kang who is the leading webtoon artist in Korea, and analyze how the artist communicates with readers. Also, this research will show the different responses caused by media switching from webtoon to film. Today, webtoon makes changes on the ways of storytelling and positioning visual images and of interacting with readers. Also, the Korean webtoons are more broadly spreading overseas, such as France. With its increasing popularity and easiness to reach the public, webtoon is regarded as a driving force to boost the field of Korean cartoon industry.