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Comics Poised to Further Fuel Korean Wave Updated: 2011-07-23 12:00:00 KST

Comics Poised to Further Fuel Korean Wave
Until the early 1990s, comic book stores like these used to be a common sight in every neighborhood.
But times have changed with computers and the internet.
In the past 10 years, the country's comic book rental business shrank to less than 15 percent.
However the reduced business of comic book stores doesn't mean the appeal of Korean comics has waned.
A case in point is the "Priest" by Korean comic artist Hyung Minwoo, whose brainchild sold more than a million copies in 33 countries worldwide and is even being adapted into a feature film in Hollywood.
The list goes on with Park Sohee's "The Palace," which became a hit TV drama, Yang Gyungil's "New Secret Royal Inspector" which spawned an animation film in Japan, and Yeolhyulgangho an online game.

"The fact that Korean cartoon artists are succeeding even in this lean market really demonstrates their competitive edge and potential. "

Now they are getting some much-needed support with the backing of KOTRA, or the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion agency.
It has teamed up with the Korea Manwha Contents Agency to boost Korean comics as the next big cultural export following local dramas and pop music.

"I believe the aim of the project will be to promote joint comics creation with international artists and publishing mutually attractive content by drawing joint investment with overseas and Korean corporations.

The project to give a second wind to Korean comics will kick into high gear with the Bucheon International Comics Festival that kicks off on August 17th for a 5-day run.
Organizers hope the gala will help broaden the path for comic artists into the global market.
Park Jong-hong Arirang News.
KOGL : Korea Open Government License
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