Manhwa is the general Korean term for comics and print cartoons (common usage also includes animated cartoons). Outside of Korea, the term usually refers specifically to South Korean comics. South Korea is now one of the major producers of comics.
Manhwa has been influenced by the dramatic modern history of Korea, resulting in a diversity of forms and genres, including a mainstream style same as manga. Distinctive manhwa can be found in editorial comic strips, artistically-oriented works, and webcomics serials.
Manhwa in the United States[edit | edit source]
Due to the explosion of manga's popularity in the Americas, many of the licensed titles acquired for the American market seek to emulate the popular elements of other successful series. Recently, long-running webcomics serialized via Internet portal sites (e.g., Media Daum) and personal homepages have become both the creative and popular basecamp among the younger generation in Korea.
Direction of text[edit | edit source]
Manhwa is read in the same direction as English books, horizontally and from left to right, because hangul is normally written and read horizontally, although it can also be written and read vertically from right to left, top to bottom.
History of the term[edit | edit source]
Linguistically, 漫画 (manga), 漫畫 (manhua), and 만화 (漫畫 manhwa) all mean comics in Japanese, Chinese, and Korean respectively. Complications arise because in these languages the terms manga/manhua/manhwa can all mean comics in general. Specifically, Korean-style manga is often called 한국 만화 (Korean Manhwa/Manga) in Korean. The author of a manhwa is called a manhwaga.
Adaptation of term[edit | edit source]
The relative obscurity of Korean culture in the Western world has caused the word "manhwa" to remain somewhat unknown in the English-speaking world. Instead, English translations of manhwa have achieved success by targeting the manga and anime community, to the extent that manhwa are often marketed as "manga."
Animation and live-action adaptations[edit | edit source]
Animation based on Korean comics is still relatively rare (though there were several major hits in the late 1980s and early 90s with titles such as Dooly the Little Dinosaur and Fly! Superboard). However, live-action drama series and movie adaptations of manhwa have occurred more frequently in recent years. Full House in 2004 and Goong ("Palace" or "Princess Hours") in 2006, are prominent examples as both have been counted as the best dramas of their respective years.
In 2007, The Great Catsby, an award-winning Korean webcomic, was adapted into a live-action drama, after a run as an on-stage musical in 2006. The title was also planned to be adapted into a feature film in late 2007.
In 2006, SamBakZa produced There she is!! which is about the developing relationship of a rabbit and a cat.
Priest, a manhwa that has been translated to English, was adapted into the 2011 American horror film of the same name by Screen Gems. Released in 2011, it was produced by Michael DeLuca, directed by Scott Stewart, and stars Paul Bettany as the title character.
War of Money is another dramatized manhwa that has become immensely popular in South Korea, garnering much attention for its soundtrack and actors.
In 2004, Shin Angyo Onshi, a popular manhwa, was adapted into an animated film by a joint Korean-Japanese animation team.
Korean manhwa publishers[edit | edit source]
- Topaz Agency Inc.
- Daewon C.I.
- Haksan Culture Company
- Seoul Culture Corporation
- Shinwon Agency Corporation
North American manhwa imprints[edit | edit source]
- ADV Manga
- Dark Horse Manhwa
- DrMaster Publications
- Media Blasters
- NBM ComicsLit
- Seven Seas Entertainment
- UDON's Korean Manhwa
- Yen Press
References[edit | edit source]
- Glossary of Manga-Related Terms
- Arnold, Andrew D. (2006-01-25). "Life and Literature Without Robots". Time. http://www.time.com/time/columnist/arnold/article/0,9565,1152700,00.html. Retrieved 2010-05-12.
- "The Great Catsby: Hit Korean Internet Comic Drama-tized into TV form debuts in 4 days". http://www.clumproll.com/2007/07/01/the-great-catsby-hit-korean-internet-comic-drama-tized-into-tv-form-debuts-in-4-days/. Retrieved 2007-07-01.
- Paul Bettany to Join Screen Gems' Priest?
- Olsen, Kevin Noel (January 25, 2007). "Amityville Director Set to Direct Priest Film Based on Tokypop Graphic Novel". Silver Bullet Comics.
- Fischer, Martha (June 26, 2006). "Butler to Priest". Cinematical.com.
See also[edit | edit source]
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