§ In the past we’ve written about LINE Webtoon, a phone-based comics company that’s well established in Korea that’s expanding to the US market with original content. “Webtoons” (the actual name of the format) are very popular in Korea, and they have begun to be mined as a source for immensely popular film and TV properties. More than 73 cartoon series have been optioned for media at the end of 2014 alone.
After the huge success of “Misaeng,” a 2014 TV drama based on cartoonist Yoon Tae-ho’s comic of the same title, “webtoons” or online comics, have emerged as a major source for films and dramas. Recent examples of this include “Cheese in the Trap,” a television drama based on cartoonist Soonkki’s webtoon of the same title, and “Inside Men,” a film remake of another of Yoon’s cartoon creations. First aired on Jan. 4 through cable network tvN, “Cheese in the Trap” has become one of the most popular dramas, starring popular actor Park Hae-jin and actress Kim Go-eun. The drama set a record earlier this month as a weekday cable TV drama with a viewer rating of 6 percent.
Cheese in the Trap, aside from being the greatest name ever, can be read on the LINE Webtoon app and English language site.
Other shows which have been adapted: “Orange Marmalade” a human/vampire drama, “Secretly, Greatly,” which is being adapted into a musical, and “The Girl Who Sees Smells,” which speaks for itself and cries out for a Hulu version. Below, a page from Cheese in the Trap.
§ A couple of crafty things. Dublin-based Red Cube Studios (aka Declan Shalvey and Jordie Bellaire) has a color intern opening. And online comics school Comics Experience is offering an Introduction to Comic Book Coloring from Chris Sotomayor which I’ve heard many speak highly of.
§ Gilbert Hernandez and Darwyn Cooke look back on Twilight Chidlren, perhaps the strangest collab of the year. It wraps up this month with issue #4.
Darwyn Cooke: [We’re] two guys who know what they are doing. He sent me the script, and at first I had a bunch of questions, but I thought, “Resist the impulse to bother this guy, just sit with this a bit. I’m just going to go forward with this instinctively and see what he thinks.”
Gilbert Hernandez: I was hoping I had enough going on, and when I saw the drawings, there was more — [Darwyn is] envisioning this, it’s coming out perfect. All I had to do was make some characters and dialogue.
§ Another think piece about the Black Comic Book Festival by Erika Hardison that discusses Afrofuturism, w genre which has some interetsing thigns going on in comics:
What is Afrofuturism? “Afrofuturism is black survival. It is an affirmative aesthetic and philosophic position that questions how will we survive in the future, not if we will. It asks what do we need to know, how do we need to adapt, what knowledges do we need to take with us, what new ways of being to we need to create, and how do we retain our ancestral memory. The poet Maya Angelou wrote in her poem Still I Rise “Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave, I am the dream and the hope of the slave” — to me, that is afrofuturist. When Alain Locke wrote about the New Negro emerging in the 20th century, that is afrofuturist. When we shout out today that black lives matter, and hands up don’t shoot – that is afrofuturist. When we teach our youth the truth about the complicated histories that brought us to this present moment so that they might build/rebuild #blackfutures – that is afrofuturism.” proclaimed Hollman.
§ And along those lines, Comics Allaince looks at Paul Louise Julie’s Afrofuturist epic ‘Yohance’
Yohance is a upcoming graphic novel completely inspired by Ancient Africa, and according to its artist, Paul Louise-Julie, it’s “the first of its kind.” The three-part series revolves around Yohance, “a notorious thief with a shadowy past.” But as the story goes on, Yohance will find himself in a centuries-old intergalactic conflict that will force him to face villains he never imagined and venture into places he’s never dreamed. We spoke with Louise-Julie about his ongoing series The Pack in an interview last week and while the comic, which follows a set of werewolves, has some fantasy elements, Louise-Julie wanted to flex his space opera muscles with Yohance. And luckily, there was a demand for it — especially from black nerds. Yohance gained over 2,000 likes on Facebook almost immediately after the announcement of the series came about.
The book looks very intriguing and you can find out more at the FB page.
§ Webcomics are developing rapidly in India, and here are five to read:
In India, the world of webcomics was defined even a few years ago by stick figures, unimpressive humour and banal writing. But today’s webcomic creators are a different breed. They realise that the Internet is indeed a vast playground that can be perfectly manipulated for their creative exploits. Starting from political discourses and going on to spreading social awareness, Indian webcomics are growing up. While not all of them are original, unique or even good, most of them do work to foster a deep and meaningful relationship with audiences.
§ Headline of the day!!! Ka-Boom! Zonk! Pow! Comic capers come to Dunfermline
ATTRACTIONS from Star Wars and The Game of Thrones will be centre stage when Dunfermline holds its first-ever Comic Con. There will also be a treat for Dr Who fans with an exclusive comic marking the West Fife show with a special commemorative cover. The convention, on Saturday, March 5 at the Glen Pavilion, will bring some of the world’s top comic creative talent to the town.
Every day I see an article like this in my feed, and as usual several questions are raised. For many the first is, where is Dumfermline? Well, it is a small town of about 50,000 people near Fife, Scotland.
Second, why do they call i a comic con when it’s all about Dr Who and Game of Thrones? It turns out that the show is co-sponsored by the local comics shop, and there WILL be quality comics content:
There will be the chance to speak to writers and artists including Mike Collins, Jamie Delano, Claire Roe, Monty Nero, Simon Spurrier, Yishan Li, Alex Paknadel and Neil Slorance. Promoted stories Little Shop of Heroes owner Alby Grainger said: “I’ve been at Comic Con across the UK from London to Aberdeen and enjoyed them all but I know there’s a lot of people in Fife who haven’t travelled to one.”
Alaska Robotics Gallery is inviting cartoonist and queer activist Anna Bongiovanni to Juneau Feb. 4-6. Bongiovanni is a contributing cartoonist to websites everydayfeminism.com and autostradle.com in addition to publishing comics on their personal website. Her first graphic novel, Out Of Hollow Water, was published in 2014 by 2D Cloud and they are currently working on the second one.
§ The date for this year’s Hoteloween is April 5. Start training now.
§ Joe Gualtieri reviews the surprise hit We Can Never Go Home and likes it a lot, but notes
From there, We Can Never Go Home is, at turns, exciting, funny, and compelling. There’s just one problem. I feel like I’ve already read this comic before. Twice, in fact. It’s called Harbinger. Originally published by Valiant in 1992, Harbinger was created by Jim Shooter and David Lapham. Joshua Dysart revived the series in 2012. I don’t mean to suggest a one-to-one correspondence here, but tonally, We Can Never Go Home clearly owes a huge debt to the two versions of the book. Shooter’s big idea for the title was a grittier version of the X-Men, where the characters were on the run, not living in a luxurious Westchester mansion. Dysart’s version is slower-paced than Shooter’s original and really foregrounds the troubling and dysfunctional relationship between the telepathic Peter Stanchek and normal human Kris Hathaway. Rosenberg and Kindlon switch the genders of which member of the couple possess powers, but they keep the manipulation.
§ Finally, Hugh Jackman has been playing Wolverine for 16 years. That is a lot of cutting weight! (Jackman reportedly does the same process as a fighter trying to make weight before he films any shirtless scenes. And we’re grateful for that.) However the third Wolverine solo film will be the last time he puts on the claws. But the movie is still in script limbo with no firm release date, becauseJackman wants to go out on a high note:
I don’t have a firm [start] date yet. My thing, and I’ve told you and I’ve told everyone, it’s my last one. For me I want it to be perfect. So the moment I know it’s perfect, bang, we’ll go.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.