Scrolling for Toons

Webtoons+is+available+for+mobile+and+computer+usage.+Many+students+use+it+as+entertainment+to+pass+the+time.++

photo by Bethany Barker

Webtoons is available for mobile and computer usage. Many students use it as entertainment to pass the time.

Comics have always been the shiny, 25-cent issue-to-issue book one would pick up at the local comic book store. However, as the world changes, so do comics. Now, the colorful universes created by these graphic novels can be found for free on virtually any electronic device. 

Scrolling through the Webtoons app there are thousands of stories made by various independent artists and authors, each one with its own style and plot. On Webtoons, creators upload “webcomics”, which are similar to traditional comics except their online format. Webtoons makes it easy to post webcomics and consume a variety of stories and genres. Their extensive marketing on TikTok, Snapchat and Youtube has made Webtoons the primary platform for webcomics and a guilty pleasure for many teens and young adults. 

“Webtoons attracted me due to the diversity of genres, colorful pages, and overall cute art styles” senior Sabrine Desilva said.

Despite originating in South Korea in 2004, Webtoons is globally popular, with a total of 6.2 million users and more than 2,600 comics, some finished, some ongoing with new comics being produced constantly. It is unique in its formatting, following an “infinite canvas” format in which the panels scroll vertically rather than horizontally. 

The allure of Webtoons comes primarily from its dramatic and cliff-hanger centric comics, most of which follow the template of teen dramas and romance, guilty pleasures for many bored teens and young adults. It translates the drama and excitement of teen TV shows and movies to a comic format. Authors are often independent creators, creating a stronger connection between readers and creators that can’t be seen in comics with a company middleman. 

“My favorite comics are currently Not Even Bones and Your Throne, said Desilva “I’m a fan of Webtoons with a dramatic plot that keeps you on the edge of your seat.”

Though drama and romance are the more advertised and popular genres, comics of all genres are posted including comedy, action, and horror. 

“I enjoy the wide variety of comics I can read,” said sophomore Ryan Perkowski, “I can switch genres whenever I want”.

Comics are updated weekly, but due to many comics ending chapters with readers hanging on the edge, Webtoons created the coin system to bypass the weekly wait and read chapters early. Paying only one dollar, readers can skip forward one chapter with coins. There is a limit to how many coins a reader can use as there are only a certain amount of chapters already finished in a comic.

“I think the coin system is such a creative way for the artists to get paid for the hard work that they put in”, said Desilva, “Also, it is very easy to avoid buying coins since you could just wait for another week”. 

Popular comics on the platform according to genre include “Lore Olympus,” a romance with a modern take on Greek Gods that follows the goddess Persephone and “Your Throne,” a fantasy that follows the body swap of two princesses. Other popular series include “Not Even Bones,” a thriller about a girl who decides to join the family business of butchering supernatural beings, and “The God of Highschool,” an action comic about a high school student who participates in a fighting tournament with a secret. 

Webtoons is a platform for creators and readers to share stories, make connections with characters and authors and find stories that can do anything from entertain to scare to cry. It is an outlet for creators to become closer to their readers and create unique and unfiltered stories. Whether a reader is looking for a story with twists and turns or something to warm their heart, it can be found on Webtoons.

“Webcomics give me something to look forward to every week and make me questionably happy to read,” Desilva said, “I enjoy vicariously living through the characters going through their interesting lives.”

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