It seems as though the younger generation is glued to their phones. On a crowded bus, waiting in line for coffee, or even walking down the street, it is easy to see the many young people enraptured by their devices. What are they doing that has them so captivated? Reading.
Naver Webtoon has taken South Korea by storm and is now making its way around the world. Webtoon makes webcomics for people, especially young adults, to enjoy. Webcomics are stories told online in graphic novel format. Many short chapters, or episodes, come together to form an awesome story. You can find beautifully written stories filled with drama, intrigue, and excitement in all genres. The art is gorgeous, unique, and special to each web cartoonist. They draw you in with a short synopsis and wonderful illustrations, then allow you to go at your own pace to truly enjoy the story. Many young adults eagerly await their favorite webcartoonist’s weekly or monthly upload of an episode to learn what happens next.
Even in K-dramas, being a webcartoonist is portrayed as a dream job.Jessica Hoag
Webcomics have grown so popular, that they are even being published in hardcopy. One of the most popular webcomics is Lore Olympus by Rachel Smythe. It is a romantic retelling of Greek mythology. Its popularity grew so large online that it was published in hardcopy and is currently found in bookstores and public libraries US-wide. Out of 9,839 reviews, the hardcopy has a rating of 4.9 out of 5 stars on Amazon. For an item that started online, this is incredible. This is one of a currently short, but steadily growing, list of webcomics that can be found in print.
NAVER WEBTOON and similar companies offer young artists a dream. By hiring talented young authors and artists, they show that being a full-time author or illustrator is possible. Even in K-dramas, being a webcartoonist is portrayed as a dream job. With the rise of webcomics, more companies have started, which creates a wider field of opportunity for these artists. We are on the cusp of a new world of technology and webcomics are just the beginning. The future of reading is not just print, but also online.
Can we forgive the youth for being on their phones if they are reading? In fact, maybe we should even encourage them to continue to devour these webcomics as a tool for building vocabulary, improving brain development, and growing connections around the world.