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[Comics] Comics Evolve Into Source for Pop Culture Contents

2010/03/11 Source

Satisfies pop culture's appetite for fantasy

Show off true value in various fields such as films, musicals, dramas, online games, etc.Korean comics have come under the spotlight as a source material for pop culture including films, musicals, dramas and games.

After the success of the 2003 drama Damo , which was based on Bang Hak-gi's comic strip, comic books such as "Full House" (Won Soo-yeon), "Princess Hours" (Park So-hee), "Tazza: The High Rollers" (Huh Young-man) and "Le Grand Chef" (Huh Young-man) have been reborn as various formats. This is known as OSMU (One Source Multi Use).

In particular, comics are noted for their ability to satisfy pop culture's recent appetite for fantasy, as reflected in the popularity of Avatar.

Comic-based films pour out

The film version of Hyung Min-woo's "Priest", produced by Sony Entertainment, will be released in Hollywood this October. It fuses the Western genre with a battle between God and the devil. It is the first Korean comic whose film rights have been sold to Hollywood.

The first comic-based film in Korea was "A Fool Made Vain Efforts" (Meongteongguli), a comedy directed by Lee Pil-woo and based on Roh Su-hyeon's 1962 comic strip "A Fool".

Comic-based films began actively entering the market after "Dalja's Spring", based on a 1983 comic by Kim Su-jeong. In 2004, Fighter in the Wind showed the potential of comic-based films, to be followed by Huh Young-man's "Tazza: The High Rollers" and "Le Grand Chef", and by Kang Full's "A.P.T", "BA:BO" and "Hello Schoolgirl".

"Damo and "War of Money" transformed into dramas

Recently, dramas based on popular comic books have seen huge benefits. "Damo" turned out to be a popular drama series, while the 2004 "Full House" recorded a viewing rate of 40.2%.

Following its success at home, "Princess Hours" contributed to the Korean wave with overseas exports including Japan. Highly popular dramas such as "Alien Baseball Team" (Lee Hyeon-se), "Kid Gang" (Sin Yeong-wu), "The Great Catsby" (Kang Do-ha), "War of Money" and "Hot Blood" (Park In-kwon) are all based on comics.

Adapted for adult dramas and games

Comics, which first stepped onto the stage in the form of a children's musical, have been expanded to adult dramas and musicals.

Popular comics from the '90s such as Young-shim, The Flying Super Board and Run, Hani have been retold as musicals.

In 2007 and 2008, musical versions of Kang Full's "Hello Schoolgirl Season 2: Babo" and "Hello Schoolgirl Season 3: I Love You", as well as Kang Do-ha's "The Great Catsby", were produced. Magic Hanja, an educational comic, was turned into both a musical and an experiential exhibition. In addition, famous online games including Lineage, Ragnarok and Yulgang have been created from comics.

The recent emergence of comic-based mobile games attests to the limitless potential of comics.

The culture industry is focusing on the fact that comics are being utilized not only for a single field but across various genres. For instance, Kim Jin-I's The Kingdom of the Winds ("Land of wind")has been turned into a novel, game, musical and drama, whereas the film "Old Boy" was inspired by a manga.

One official of the comic industry said, "The Korean comic world, which celebrated its 100th anniversary last year, is evolving into a valuable source for diverse genres based on its extensive back catalogue".

Source: Seoul Economic Daily

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