This book investigates the meteoric rise of mobile webtoons – also known as webcomics – and the dynamic relationships between serialised content, artists, agencies, platforms and applications, as well as the global readership associated with them. It offers an engaging discussion of webtoons themselves, and what makes this new media form so compelling and attractive to millions upon millions of readers. Why have webtoons taken off, and how do users interact with them? Each of the case studies we explore raises interesting questions for both general readers and scholars of new media about how webtoons have become a modern form of popular culture. The book also addresses larger questions about East Asia’s contributions to global popular culture and Asian society in general, as well as South Korea’s rapid social and cultural transformation since the 1990s. This is a significant – and understudied – aspect of the new screen ecologies and their role in a new wave of media globalisation as we approach the end of the second decade of the 21st century.
Brian Yecies is an Associate Professor at the University of Wollongong.
Aegyung Shim is a past Korea Foundation Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Institute for Social Transformation Research (ISTR) at the University of Wollongong.
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Chapter 1: Introducing Webtoons and the Expansion of Korea’s Creative Industries
Chapter 2: Conceptualizing the Impact of Japanese Manga in Korea and the Pre-history of Webtoons
Chapter 3: Policy Intervention and the Formation of the Webtooniverse
Chapter 4: Daum and Naver: The Portals Underpinning Korea’s Transnational Webtoon IP Engines
Chapter 5: Asia’s New Titans of Paid Content: Second-generation Webtoon Platforms KakaoPage and Lezhin Comics
Chapter 6: Webtoons and Technological Innovation: Pushing the Envelope of the Webtooniverse
Chapter 7: The Branded Webtoon and its Soft Power Appeal
Chapter 8: K-pop Webtoons and the Transmedia-IP Nexus in the BTS Universe