Webtoons, also known as webcomics, are Internet-based comic strips available through cellphones. The genre is a growing cultural force in South Korea, supported by an ultrafast Internet and smartphone-crazy populace, and fueled by a small army of young, creative, tech-savvy graphic artists.
Most webtoon serials are published on major Internet portals free of charge and once or twice a week. They cover a wide range of genres, as diverse as romantic comedies and horror.
Their popularity has drawn the attention of the wider entertainment industry, and top-rated webtoons have been successfully adapted into TV dramas, films, online games - even musicals.
The hit movie, “Secretly Greatly”, about three young and handsome North Korean spies living in South Korea is adapted from a popular spy webtoon of the same title.
The popular TV drama, “Misaeng” (Incomplete Life), about the lives and struggles of office workers is also adapted from a popular webtoon of the same title.