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Webtoons enjoying revival, following success of 'Misaeng' Updated: 2015-01-13 12:33:51 KST

The recent drama "Misaeng" has brought new life to the world of webtoons here in Korea.
Our Yim Yoonhee has a special report on this new trend.

Last year, the hit drama "Misaeng," also known by its English title, "Incomplete Life," blew away all expectations and launched a new era for webtoons in the country.
Now we're seeing even more growth in the webtoon industry.
Take a look at this report.

It's the story of day-to-day life in a hum-drum office, and it was originally a webtoon.
The hit drama "Misaeng," with the English title "The Incomplete Life," follows the trials and tribulations of a group of office workers who find themselves caught in the doldrums of Korean office life.
The webtoon by Yoon Tae-ho ran from 2012 through 2013 and had over 1 billion hits online.
And now with the success of the drama adaptation, the webtoon market is attracting a flood of new attention.

[KOREAN]
"Unlike the old days, you have to be more confident with webtoon ideas because now they can become movies and dramas, which have to appeal to many people."

And with more attention, comes opportunity.
The increase in demand has given budding artists the perfect chance to grow and shape their talents.
Last year, the KT Webtoon contest brought in double the number of participants.
It's a perfect way for aspiring artists to learn the art of webtoons.

[KOREAN]
"Sometimes we hit a wall with ideas, color scheme, pictures or even the storyline. These are the basis of our existing problems and our experienced mentors guide us to a solution."

Naver and Daum Kakao have also jumped on the bandwagon, releasing related products.
And it seems like the Misaeng characters are all taking on different forms this time around.

It's estimated that the webtoon industry will grow to a market of approximately 880-million dollars by 2018, and although "'Misaeng" has come to an end for now, you can be sure there will be more webtoons around in the next couple of years.

The drama itself had shockingly high ratings, didn't it?

Yes. The 20-part drama was a very low-budget project that initially had an average viewership, but the figures grew steadily.
So by the season finale, the show's audience had increased six times, giving it the second-highest rating on cable TV.
And it became the most profitable show in cable television history.

The drama is obviously what brought so much attention to "Misaeng," but the webtoon itself was popular, as well.

That's right. The drama's success has brought attention to the webtoon and comic industry because it's said to be a prime example of how creative content can boost an economy.
And that's exactly what happened here.
The ripple effect of the webtoon has created many more opportunities.
Comic books and webtoon sites are reporting a huge influx of viewers in their mid 30s and 40s, as well as women viewers, while previously, comics and webtoons were popular mostly with young men.

Thank you.

You're welcome.

Reporter :
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