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Hey now! THIS is ironic! An article in a Korean newspaper laments the dearth of manhwa for ADULTS. Damn it! Can you believe it? Comics in Korea are kid stuff! And it all started in the 90s.

After a heydey in the 1990s, mainstream comic books aimed at adult readers have all but disappeared from the nation’s graphic novel scene. Cine 21 Co., the publisher of film weekly Cine 21, seeks to spark a renaissance with its new comic book, “POPTOON.”

The comic will be published twice a month beginning March 1.

The nation’s comic book industry has shown a keen interest in the new title. The Korea Culture & Content Agency (KOCCA) and the Korea Manwha Information Archives late last year selected the scheduled foundation of the comic as one of top 10 news stories in the nation’s comics world in 2006, even before its launch.

In the mid-1990s, titles such as “Mr. Blue,” “Big Jump,” and “27,” defined the domestic comics scene for adult readers. But production in this market rapidly shrank, and such once-popular titles have all but disappeared.

The domestic comics industry anticipates “POPTOON” will be the breakthrough needed to pull itself out of the current slump, and industry experts say a regularly published comic book in the genre could be the means for new talent to be discovered. Park In-ha, a comics critic and professor of Chungkang College of Cultural Industries, welcomed the foundation of “POPTOON,” saying, “The publication of genre cartoons is necessary for the diverse development of the graphic novel culture. Comic books are the only solution for this, and I hope ‘POPTOON’ will provide a breakthrough for the comics industry,” added Park.

While we have a hard time believing this puff piece isn’t some kind of joke, it does show the terrible dangers that face the American comics industry. COMICS CAN GO BACK TO KIDDIES OVERNIGHT! We MUST have our rape comics or the children will win! Fight, fight, fight!


  1. Well, it’s a disater-level mistranslation of the original Korean article. It should read adult “serial comic magazines” instead of “comic books” in general. There have been plenty of great works of mature comics published in Korea. However after the late 90’s they have been largely coming out in the graphic novel format or have been serialized in daily newpapers and online sites rather than any dedicated magazine. Hope this helps clarifying the situation.

  2. And though it is true that adult comics magazines were greatly reduced, they did not completely die out during that period either. Relatively recent magazines such as ‘Owho’ and ‘Herb’ provided space for great mature comics series targeted to the adult female readership. The importance of ‘Poptoon’ is that it is reviving the comics magazine for adult male comics, and is hoped to expand the market greatly because it is run by a major media company. Guess which: the Hankyore Group, which publishes the daily paper this article is from. It is perfectly okay to have high hopes for the new magazine (I have such hopes as well), but facts are facts.

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