The mobile webcomics market continues to grow, as DC Comics and South Korean webcomics publisher Webtoon have entered into a creative partnership to produce digital comics series for the Webtoon platform that will be set in the DC superhero universe.
The partnership will produce several standalone webcomics series designed to take place outside of any DC story continuity, so that readers will not need to read previous stories to understand the plot. The webcomics will be made available in multiple languages. Details on the release schedule, which DC characters will be featured, who will be on the creative teams, and other information will be released in the next few weeks.
Webtoon CEO Ken Kim said he is “happy Webtoon is able to work with DC,” and added: “Webtoon is a great bridge to a huge worldwide audience of young comic fans, and DC is home to some of the greatest superhero stories on the planet. The potential to express famous IP through our platform—which is mobile native and focused on ease of access—is super exciting.”
Korean mobile webcomics platforms such as Webtoon and Tapas Media are attracting huge numbers of readers around the world, particularly teenagers and young adults. Webtoon comics are delivered principally by its app to mobile devices and via its website, and offer comics in a wide range of genres and often in a manga-influenced drawing style. The comics are designed to be read via vertical scroll. Webtoon offers thousands of comics series, which are generally updated daily, and claims to attract as many as 72 million readers a month to thousands of series.
In recent years, Webtoon announced deals with such comics publishers as Top Cow/Image, including expanding efforts in creating print comics. Webtoon is owned by the South Korean internet platform Naver, which also acquired the mobile writing and reading community Wattpad in early 2021.
The deal with DC comes on the heels of layoffs and reorganization at DC, which has announced plans to expand its efforts in digital publishing. DC general manager Daniel Cherry said that DC “is excited to introduce our iconic characters to a new generation of fans worldwide. We’ve been working closely with the Webtoon writers and artists to adapt our characters and stories to Webtoon’s mobile format. Our shared goal is to create fun and compelling DC stories that all readers will enjoy.” He added: “This partnership is yet another example of DC’s ambition to ‘meet fans where ever they are’ and continue sharing DC fandom.”