It’s on! Wattpad Webtoon Studios have just announced a new line of print graphic novels, Unscrolled, that will collect some of Webtoon’s most popular comics in print editions.
Webtoon and Tapas, the two largest mobile webcomics platforms in the US, have been ramping up their acquisitions (Webtoon acquired Wattpad a similarly UGC platform for prose, in January), hiring and production of late, with many observers suspecting a move to print would follow. Although Tapas has hired many print veterans such as Jamie Rich and Chris Robinson, Webtoon is first out of the gate, with an imprint led by former DC exec Bobbie Chase.
WEBTOON Unscrolled will debut under the Wattpad WEBTOON Book Group alongside the Wattpad Books, W by Wattpad Books, and the Frayed Pages x Wattpad Books imprints, with their debut list landing in Fall 2022.
With Rachel Smythe’s Lore Olympus (one of the most popular webcomics on Webtoon) riding high on US bestseller lists, you can see why more and more webcomics are going to print.
Chase joins Webtoon Unscrolled as Executive Editor. She was previously vp of Global Publishing Initiatives & Digital Strategy at DC Entertainment, where she was instrumental in launching DC’s very successful YA and middle grade graphic novel line.
Chase will report to Ashleigh Gardner, SVP, Publishing at Wattpad WEBTOON Studios. Look for an interview with Gardner later today at the Beat.
The debut line up includes such popular webcomics as Tower of God by SIU and True Beauty by Yaongyi, with bookstore distribution via MacMillan.
Ken Kim, Chief Executive Officer, WEBTOON Entertainment said, “WEBTOON has transformed the comics landscape, helping creators find new fans all over the world. As the global leader in digital comics and IP, WEBTOON’s storytelling technology and creators are fueling a Literary Creator Economy, ushering in a new era of publishing and entertainment. With WEBTOON Unscrolled, we’ll bring some of the biggest names and undiscovered talent from WEBTOON to bookshelves.”
Added Gardner, “The Wattpad WEBTOON Book Group is building the future of publishing, with diverse new voices and genres that have established fandoms all over the world. At WEBTOON Unscrolled, we have the best WEBTOON artists on the planet and a world-class team dedicated to creator success. With WEBTOON Unscrolled we’re going to bring more WEBTOON artists to bookshelves faster than ever. Our creators are already famous around the world and I can’t wait to see them thrive on bookshelves.”
Here’s Unscrolled’s debut line-up:
Tower of God by SIU – 2.9 million subscribers on WEBTOON
What do you desire? Money and wealth? Honor and pride? Authority and power? Revenge? Or something that transcends them all? Whatever you desire—you can find it here, at the Tower. When Bam’s best friend Rachel declares she’s going to climb the mysterious Tower, he is devastated, and decides to try and make the climb after her in order to see her again, risking death and much, much worse.
Tower of God is a global phenomenon on WEBTOON, where it has more than 4.5 billion reads from fans around the world. WEBTOON and Crunchyroll recently co-produced a hit anime adaptation, available on Crunchyroll and HBO Max.
True Beauty by Yaongyi – 6.5 million subscribers on WEBTOON
True Beauty, a smash hit webcomic from Korea, follows the story of a high schooler named Im Ju Yeong who sees her social standing skyrocket when she masters the art of makeup from YouTube. But will her elite status be short-lived? How long can she keep her real self a secret? And what about that cute boy, Lee Su Ho who knows her secret?
True Beauty is a global sensation, with 5.1 billion reads on WEBTOON. The digital comic has been adapted into a hit series, and a feature film based on the story is also in development.
Doom Breaker by Blue-Deep – 441k subscribers on WEBTOON
Zephyr is the last human fighting evil in a world abandoned by the gods. When he is killed in battle by Tartarus, the god of destruction, all hope for humanity seems lost. But Zephyr’s fate is not sealed — the gods who find his battles entertaining have gifted him a second chance at life, as he is sent ten years into the past, back to when he was a slave instead of the most powerful human alive. Can Zephyr get his revenge against Tartarus and save the woman he loves, or is he doomed to repeat the past?
Doom Breaker is a growing hit around the world online. The digital comic entered the top of the daily originals within a month of opening on WEBTOON in Korea.
Cursed Princess Club by LambCat- 2 million subscribers on WEBTOON
Meet Gwendolyn – living proof that princesses don’t always have it all. See, although she lives in a castle and her father is the King, Gwendolyn isn’t like a movie princess, or even a fairy-tale princess. She’s got a big heart, but isn’t particularly attractive and doesn’t have a Disney-quality singing voice. But one night, she accidentally stumbles upon the twisted world of the Cursed Princess Club, and her life will never be the same. Hexed and cast out, the ladies of the club are just the people Gwendolyn needs to show her that just because she doesn’t “fit the mold” does not mean she’s any less of a princess.
Boyfriends. by Refrainbow – 1.5 million subscribers on WEBTOON
A graphic novel about getting yourself a boyfriend… or multiple boyfriends! Four college students begin a polyamorous relationship and navigate the adventure that is their dating life!
Everything Is Fine by Mike Birchall – 790.9k subscribers on WEBTOON
Sam and Maggie are a normal couple, in a normal house, in a normal neighborhood. There is nothing strange about their heads, their neighbors or their sweet little dog. Everything is Fine.