Webtooning in…

Webtooning out.

DC have recently launched a new Webtoons only comic strip (for those that don’t know webtoons is a ‘platform’ – which hosts comics, the comics are formatted as massively long vertical strips designed to be read on a phone (essentially Scott McCloud’s “infinite canvas” idea finally made real, and really popular). And as such it’s really the perfect format for comics on the phone. It’s odd that long horizontal strips never took off, but here we are. Webtoons boasts readerships in the hundreds of millions – an utterly headscratching figure.

Webtoons originated (so wikipedia tells me) in South Korea. So, of course, they tend to favour anime/manga style art and stories.

Marvel Unlimited -Marvel’s app and platform that lets you subscribe and read a massive amount of marvel comics – has realunched and has included marvels new “Marvel Infinitity” line – basically the webtoons format (Marvel’s infinity line is not to be confused with Marvel’s Infinite comics which where another internet only format that used the form really really well but we’re rather burdensome to produce   ) 

As it happens I quite like the Marvel Infinity comics, probably because stylistically they’re much more in line with the western art styles (plus I have pals who’ve drawn some). 

Some of it makes more use of the format than other and it’s interesting seeing the different approaches as people learn this new format. 

So, I thought I’d try my hand – purely as a way to test what the story telling can/can’t do and what I can/can’t do. The results (typo’s, crappy art, et all) is here it doesn’t look good on a big screen at all, optimised for phone really.

And I thought, well, if there’s an audience and money maybe I should think about doing something more than an experiment, so I went to my balcony and kicked around an idea and then wrote a script. It’s a fun little thing, I think. 

But I’m torn.

On the one hand, new platform, new audience. On the other hand – well, I’m gonna be a tiny dribble in that big ocean and before you can make any money on the webtoons platform you need to hit massive, massive numbers of readers (a doable figure if you invest a consequential amount of time and energy in to it)

And I just wanted to dip in, and dip out. So now I don’t know. I don’t know if this fun little strip should be a webtoon or should be just a traditional comic (though if it’s a traditional comic I’m not even sure what I’ll do with it, it’s too light and frothy for a 2000ad pitch and I’m not even sure where I’d pitch it to outside of that, short form scifi? who knows.)

 Anyway. decision making is hard.