Korean webtoons have made it to WonderCon 2013 in Anaheim, California, the biggest comic event in the US. Tapas Media media displayed 40 works from Korean writers and artists at the event from March 29 to 31. The company is the developer of webtoon portal site Tapastic — the first of its kind in America. This is also the first time that Korean webtoons have been featured in a US-based comic event.
WonderCon first began in 1987 and is an expo that features not only comics but content from movies, drama and animation. Similar to the popular Comic-Con, it first started as an expo for purely comic-related content but with the rise of comic-inspired Hollywood blockbusters the size of the grew to the point where it is now attended by many famous actors.
Tapastic began its new PPP(Primetime Publisher Program) in February, which pays writers based on web-traffic and so far the service has gained a positive response from American artists. Up until now 200 artists have partnered with Tapastic, and most recently the service has expanded globally with the addition of language support for Korean and French.
Korean publishers make up 10% of Tapastic users alongside well-known artists from the US. The service has proven popular in English speaking countries and Korean webtoons received a lot of interest during WonderCon. CEO Chang Kim commented on appearing at the expo, saying,
“Differing from superhero focused comics, it’s no surprise that webtoons that have more content and original ideas, catch the attention of readers. Through WonderCon we wanted to share the experience and various techniques applied in webtoons to US readers looking for new content.”
As Hollywood begins to produce more movies and TV series from comic books such as the popular ‘Walking Dead’, Chang looks forward to Korean webtoons being taken to another stage of production as well.
Out of the 40 works on display at WonderCon from Tapastic, 10 publications were webtoons of various genres such as everyday life, sci-fi and fantasy from Korean writers. Tapas Media’s CCO Young-joon Jang said,