The original web-novel drama "Reborn Rich" recently ended after a successful run, and it is still being produced as a webtoon that continues to be popular. The drama "Extraordinary Attorney Woo" also absorbed drama fans as it appeared as a webtoon. In addition to these two famous shows, other original webtoons are scheduled to be dramatized. Examples include National Death Penalty Vote and After-school War Activities, which are set to air in 2023. It is clear that webtoons are a medium that cannot be ignored in the entertainment industry. It is common to see people reading webtoons through their smartphones on public transportation on their way to work and school. Therefore, Pharos will examine the infinite growth potential of the webtoon industry.
In January of this year, Kakao Entertainment announced that they attracted 1.2 trillion won worth of global investment. This is the largest instance of attracting overseas investment by domestic content companies. This means that webtoons have emerged as a new possibility of the Korean Wave. The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MCST) also secured a budget of KRW 844.2 billion related to K-content. MCST's project includes support for fostering venture companies in the cartoon sector and the operation of a webtoon artist development program. As the annual sales of the domestic webtoon industry surpassed 1.5 trillion won, it has become a new export market that has surpassed home appliances and electric vehicles. For those who want to work in the content-related industry, webtoon is a genre that cannot be ignored. If so, from the perspective of writers working on the front line of the webtoons are a new frontier. I would like to find out what possibilities webtoons have through interviews with writers working on the front line of the webtoon industry.
Interview with webtoon artist, Rongtopia (Kakao Webtoon <너에게 투 혼(魂)!)>)
Δ One of the works of Rongtopia
Q. Hello, Rongtopia. Please briefly introduce yourself.
- Hello, I'm Rongtopia. I graduated from Kyonggi University's Department of Animation and Imaging, and I am currently working as a freelance webtoon artist. I debuted through the 2018 Daum Webtoon Contest and my project, 너에게 투 혼(魂)! on Kakao Webtoon has finished successfully. Since then, I have been steadily building a webtoon-related career by doing short webtoon activities.
Q. What do you think of the possibilities of the webtoon industry?
- The webtoon industry is still young, but many of you know that it is already growing at a surprising pace. When you turn on the TV, dramas based on webtoons appear, movies based on webtoons are screened, and songs by singers who collaborate with webtoons are on the popular charts. Just as K-content such as dramas, movies, and K-pop is in the spotlight in the world, I think webtoons will be attracting attention alongside them. Just as Marvel Comics in the US have been produced as a movie series and are loved by people around the world, I hope that Korean webtoons will someday grow into something bigger.
Q. Can you tell us about the benefits of being a webtoon writer?
- I think the biggest advantage is that you can work from home. Basically, I'm a freelancer, so I don't have to commute to work, and I can work flexibly at my own convenience, not just 9-5.
Q. What kind of efforts should I make to become a webtoon writer?
- First of all, I think you need a vision of what kind of work you want to make as a webtoon artist. No matter how good your skills are, it's useless if you don't have an important story. When you're done with your idea, you can learn what you need to refine and complete it step by step. After that, there are various ways to get discovered, such as submitting your work to a contest or posting on an amateur webtoon platform. Be confident and persevere.
Q. I heard that as the webtoon industry grows in size, more and more jobs are popping up related to webtoon production. Can you explain how I can engage in the webtoon industry even if I don't know how to draw?
- These days, as the webtoon market becomes more diverse, the webtoon production process is also being divided into specialized fields. Even if you are not confident in drawing, you can participate in webtoon production as a writer or director if you have the talent to make stories and the sense to produce webtoons. Even if you don't participate in the production field, you can be a webtoon producer who communicates with webtoon writers and produces works.
Q. Lastly, can you give advice to those who want to become webtoon writers?
- The process of preparing to become a webtoon writer feels like running a marathon where you never know when it will end. It is also very important to work hard by improving your drawing skills and learning webtoon production tools to make webtoons cool. I hope to meet many people, experience many things, and read many webtoons. What you've experienced will soon be the stepping stone for future creation.
I learned about webtoons through an interview with artist Rongtopia, which helped me learn about the world of webtoon writers. Also as the webtoon industry has grown in size, I realized that various roles such as writing, directing, or webtoon producing could contribute to webtoon production. As such, the webtoon industry is an interesting and attractive field that has endless potential to develop in the future. Not only in Korea but also overseas, K-content is expected to grow.
78th Reporter • KIM DA ON • email@example.com