Webtoon App

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WEBTOON is a webtoon publishing portal launched by Naver Corporation in South Korea in 2004. The service gained a large amount of traction during the late 2000s and early 2010s. The service first launched in Korea as Naver Webtoon and then globally as LINE Webtoon in July 2014 as the Naver brand is not well known outside the country and some of its services are also not available outside of Korea. In 2016, Naver's webtoon service entered the Japanese market as XOY and the Chinese market as Dongman Manhua.[1][2] On December 18, 2018, Naver closed down XOY service in Japan and migrated all of its translated and original webtoons to LINE Manga, its manga service that offers licensed manga.[3] In 2019 Line Webtoon was changed to Webtoons (Only in English) and was brought over to the Spanish and French Version.


LINE Webtoon was founded by JunKoo Kim in 2005, under the name "WEBTOON," after he watched the manhwa industry crash in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Kim, who grew up reading Japanese manga and Korean superhero comics, was looking for a way to get new comics created because he found that there were very few new comics coming out. Kim theorized that tall, scrollable comics would work well on the World Wide Web, as users were already used to scrolling through web pages. Because of this unusual layout, Kim initially had difficulty finding artists to create webtoons on his service, but he found that manhwaga were willing to do something different because of the poor state of the local manhwa industry.[4]

Global launch

On July 2, 2014, the Line Webtoon website and mobile app were launched worldwide; shortly later, international artists became able to upload their own works to the service. Naver Corporation selected 42 webtoons (including Noblesse, Tower of God, and The God of High School) and one new webtoon by an American artist to be available on the service in English at launch.[5][6] According to 148 Apps, the service offered "plenty of content" at launch, as seven to ten webtoons were updated each day and the webtoons spanned various genres.[7]


In 2015, Line Webtoon partnered with US comics veteran Stan Lee, Image Comics co-founder Marc Silvestri, and make-up artist Michelle Phan in order to promote their service.[8][9] Silvestri brought his long-running comics series Cyberforce to the platform.[10] Various other established American comic book artists and cartoonists have also partnered with Line Webtoon over time, including Dean Haspiel (New Brooklyn),[11] Katie Cook (Nothing Special),[12] Seth Kushner and Shamus Beyale (The Brooklynite),[13] and Tracy J. Butler (Lackadaisy).[14]

In September 2016, Line Webtoon partnered with the Patreon crowdfunding service, incorporating a "Patreon button" in the "Discover" portion of the website. This function creates an easier channel for readers to support webtoons they enjoy. Naver invested US$3.6 million and $1,000 every following month for webtoon creators who reached a certain threshold of activity and popularity with a Patreon page.[14][15] One month later, Naver signed with the Creative Artists Agency for film and television opportunities in the United States.[16]

Line Webtoon also partnered with DeviantArt in the second half of 2016, in the form of the "Artist Alley Tour". The companies were active at four Comic Cons: Boston Comic Con, Baltimore Comic Con, Rose City Comic Con, and New York Comic Con. Here, Line Webtoon and DeviantArt held discussion panels, "Artist Alley Sponsorships", live draw events, influencer and creator demonstration areas, and on-site contests.[17][18]

In 2017 Line Webtoon and Legendary Comics expanded their partnership with the addition of John Barrowman's Acursian and season 2 of Firebrand.[19][20]

In 2018 included partnering with Noble Transmission and Common for the new Caster series.[21]

On October 15, 2019, Crunchyroll and Line Webtoon announced a partnership to produce animated works of Line Webtoon's catalog. The two will team up to tackle distribution, licensing, and retail of the series produced from the partnership.[22]


The userbase of WEBTOON grew rapidly after the service was released globally, with 10 million people reading on the platform daily. In Asia, several webtoons receive 5 million views per week.[23] In 2016, 42% of the webtoon creators on Line Webtoon were female, as were 50% of its 6 million active daily readers.[24][25]

As of July 1, 2019, WEBTOON has grown to more than 100 Billion views annually [26]


Naver Corporation has held various comics competitions through its WEBTOON service. In 2015, LINE launched the "Challenge League", a recurring competition where amateur artists have the chance to become an "official LINE webtoon artist", as well as win tens of thousands of US Dollars. Over 19,000 people joined the first English-language Challenge League in February 2015, which was won by Stephen McCranie's Space Boy.[27] Local Challenge Weeks were also held; the first Thai Challenge League was held in April 2015 and had a grand prize of 1 million baht.[28]

In June 2015, Naver Corporation hosted the Science Fiction Comics Contest, a global competition with a grand prize of $30,000 USD. JunKoo Kim called science fiction, the theme of the competition, "both the broadest and fastest-growing area in comics and entertainment, [and thus] a natural fit as the genre for our second comics contest." This contest had over 800 entrants and was won by Srinitybeast's Overdrive.[29][30]

In November 2018, WEBTOON selected the winner of their Discover Creator Contest, Cape of Spirits. The winner received a total of $80,000 USD and an exclusive contract for the series.[31]

The Fourth Contest "The Short Story Contest" was announced on February 28th 2020 and started on April 30 until June 30th 2020. The top winners would get $15,000 USD an animated short and a featured contract. This was also the first contest where only short stories were allowed along with an animated short. The requirements we're 3 to 5 chapters and 30+ panels per episode. [32]

Other media

Various movies, Korean dramas, animated series, and video games have been produced based on webtoons released on Naver Corporation's service. According to JunKoo Kim in 2014, "a total of 189 books, videos and games based on Naver webtoons have either been produced or are in the process of being made."[6] However, Line Webtoon's first entry of video content in the United States came in 2016, in the form of an animated film based on Noblesse.[33]

On 7 November 2016, Air Seoul announced that it had collaborated with Line Webtoon to produce pre-flight safety demonstration videos. Some of the works featured in these include Denma, The Sound of Heart, and Noblesse.[34]

In July 2019, WEBTOON produced their first animated series from one of their exclusive originals, My Giant Nerd Boyfriend.[35]

In October 2019, Crunchyroll revealed on Instagram the collaboration of itself and Webtoons for animated series opportunities. However, no series has yet been announced until February.

In February 2020, Crunchyroll had announced that the Webtoon Animated Series are: Noblesse, Tower of God and God of High School. [36]

Language History

June 2004 Korean Launch

July 2014 English Launch ~About 10 Years Since The Korean Version

July 2014 Taiwanese Launch

November 2014 Thai Launch

April 2015 Indonesian Launch

June 2016 Japanese "Xoy" launch

May 2017 Naver Webtoon Corp Founded

July 2018 Japanese Webtoons goes to Line Manga

January 2019 Xoy Merges with Line Manga

November 2019 Spanish Version Launches

December 2019 French Version Launches


See also

  • Studio N, a film studio that does drama adaptations of Naver Webtoon series.

External links


Title Webtoon author Premiere Format / seasons Notes Reference
Hell Is Other People
(also Strangers from Hell)
Kim Yong-ki Template:Dts 1 season, 10 episodes Broadcast on OCN [38][39][40]
Pegasus Market Kim Gyu-sam Template:Dts 1 season, 12 episodes Broadcast on tvN [41][42][43]
Sweet Home Kim Kan-bi and Hwang Young-chan Template:Dts TBA Netflix release [44][45][46]
Rest in Peace
(고인의 명복)
Jo Joo-hee TBA TBA [47]
CRG, Kim Gyu-sam TBA Film TBA [43][41]
  1. lastname, firstname · (October 3, 2017) · 無料漫画アプリXOY ジョイが最強な3つの理由とおすすめ漫画3作品 · work · 03-26-2020
  2. lastname, firstname · (date) · ▷ Dongmanmanhua.cn Website statistics and traffic analysis | Dongmanmanhua · work · 03-26-2020
  3. lastname, firstname · (date) · お知らせ :: XOY · work · 03-26-2020
  4. Acuna, Kristen · (2016-02-12) · Millions in Korea are obsessed with these revolutionary comics -- now they're going global · Business Insider · 03-26-2020
  5. lastname, firstname · (2014-07-02) · Popular Mobile Webcomic Service, LINE Webtoon, Debuts in the United States and Worldwide · PR Newswire · 03-26-2020
  6. 6.0 6.1 Brown, Elizabeth · (2014-08-23) · Op-Ed: LINE Webtoon, a Web comic service, makes U.S. and global debut · Digital Journal · 03-26-2020
  7. Allen, Jennifer · (2014-07-15) · LINE Webtoon Review · 148 Apps · 03-26-2020
  8. Gustines, George Gene · (2015-07-05) · Stan Lee and Michelle Phan Help Line Webtoon, Digital Comics Site, Expand in U.S. · The New York Times · 03-26-2020
  9. Lovett, Jamie · (2015-07-06) · Stan Lee Helping Korean Digital Comics Site Expand Into The U.S. · Comicbook.com · 03-26-2020
  10. Wilson, Matt D. · (2015-08-31) · Marc Silvestri Brings ‘Cyber Force’ To LINE Webtoon · Comics Alliance · 03-26-2020
  11. MacDonald, Heidi · (2015-10-07) · LINE Webtoon launches the New Brooklyn comics line · Comics Beat · 03-26-2020
  12. Johnston, Rich · (2016-09-30) · Katie Cook’s Nothing Special Comes To LINE WebToon Next Year – And Debuts At NYCC · Bleeding Cool · 03-26-2020
  13. MacDonald, Heidi · (2016-11-16) · LINE Webtoon launches The Brooklynite by Kushner and Bayale · Comics Beat · 03-26-2020
  14. 14.0 14.1 Heidi, MacDonald · (2016-08-01) · LINE Webtoon and Patreon team up to invest up to $3,600,000 in webcomics · Comics Beat · 03-26-2020
  15. Jusino, Teresa · (2016-08-01) · LINE Webtoon and Patreon Partner to Support and Develop Digital Comic Creators · The Mary Sue · 03-26-2020
  16. Spangler, Todd · (2016-08-31) · Korea’s LINE Webtoon Digital-Comics Publisher Signs With CAA for TV and Film Projects · Variety · 03-26-2020
  17. Jusino, Teresa · (2016-08-08) · WEBTOON and DeviantArt Announce "Artist Alley Tour" to Support and Showcase Digital Comic Creators · The Mary Sue · 03-26-2020
  18. Lovett, Jamie · (2016-08-09) · LINE Webtoon Teams With DeviantArt For Convention Tour · Comicbook.com · 03-26-2020
  19. Able, Sane and · (November 21, 2017) · Webtoon and Legendary Comics expand partnership with new titles · work · 03-26-2020
  20. lastname, firstname · (2016-12-05) · LEGENDARY Partners With LINE WEBTOON For Exclusive Comics · Newsarama · 03-26-2020
  21. Salkowitz, Rob · (date) · Stan Lee, Warren Ellis, Fabian Nicieza Highlight New Webtoon Series Launches This Fall · work · 03-26-2020
  22. Author, Guest · (date) · Crunchyroll and WEBTOON Team Up to Co-Produce New Animated Content · work · 03-26-2020
  23. Arrant, Chris · (2016-08-22) · Inside LINE Webtoon & Its 10 Million Daily Readers · Newsarama · 03-26-2020
  24. MacDonald, Heidi · (2016-02-29) · LINE Webtoon: readership is 50% female · Comics Beat · 03-26-2020
  25. Johnston, Rich · (2016-02-29) · 42% Of WEBTOONS’s Comic Creators Are Female – And Half Are Read By Women · Bleeding Cool · 03-26-2020
  26. lastname, firstname · (date) · WEBTOON Illustrates Exceptional Storytelling With More Than 100 Billion Views Annually · work · 03-26-2020
  27. lastname, firstname · (2015-02-02) · LINE Webtoon Announces Winners of $50,000 Contest Celebrating the Launch of Challenge League · PR Newswire · 03-26-2020
  28. Akin · (2015-04-08) · Line Webtoon allows cartoonists, users to win big · Bangkok Post · 03-26-2020
  29. Cox, Corolyn · (2015-06-09) · This Science Fiction Comics Contest May Be Relevant to Your Interests · The Mary Sue · 03-26-2020
  30. Steinbeiser, Andrew · (2015-08-04) · Line Webtoon Reveals Science Fiction Comics Contest Winner · Comicbook.com · 03-26-2020
  31. lastname, firstname · (November 9, 2018) · Webtoon Discover Creator Contest Final Four! · work · 03-26-2020
  32. https://www.webtoons.com/en/challenge/contest/us-contest-2020
  33. lastname, firstname · (2016-02-05) · LINE Webtoon Debuts Animated Adaptation of Noblesse on Crunchyroll · Anime News Network · 03-26-2020
  34. lastname, firstname · (2016-11-07) · 에어서울, '웹툰 캐릭터 등장' 기내 안전영상 제작 · work · Money Today · 03-26-2020
  35. https://www.bleedingcool.com/2019/07/09/my-giant-nerd-boyfriend-animated-webtoons-first-nerdtastic-animated-series/
  36. https://www.crunchyroll.com/originals/en/index.html
  37. https://www.webtoonscorp.com/en/
  38. lastname, firstname · (date) · 타인은지옥이다 · work · 03-26-2020
  39. lastname, firstname · (July 18, 2019) · 당신의 지옥은 어디입니까?'…'타인은 지옥이다' 임시완, 티저 포스터 공개 · Hei Hankyung · July 19, 2019
  40. lastname, firstname · (August 30, 2019) · ‘Strangers from Hell’ comes to television · Korea JoongAng Daily · September 1, 2019
  41. 41.0 41.1 lastname, firstname · (September 12, 2019) · Hit web comic coming to a TV screen near you: ‘Pegasus Market’ takes a satirical look at the world of Korean conglomerates · work · 03-26-2020
  42. lastname, firstname · (date) · 쌉니다 천리마마트 · work · 03-26-2020
  43. 43.0 43.1 Kim Boram · (September 23, 2019) · Kakao jumps into filmmaking industry · Yonhap News Agency · 03-26-2020
  44. lastname, firstname · (December 18, 2019) · ‘Sweet Home’: ‘Mr. Sunshine’ Director Lee Eung-bok To Adapt Korean Horror Cartoon For Netflix · work · December 20, 2019
  45. Go, Jae-wan · (December 18, 2019) · [공식송강X이진욱X이시영, 넷플릭스 '스위트홈' 제작 확정] · Sports Chosun · Naver · December 20, 2019
  46. lastname, firstname · (December 25, 2019) · Naver Webtoon to Enter Europe After Asia and North America · work · 03-26-2020
  47. lastname, firstname · (October 31, 2019) · Naver Webtoon "Rest in Peace" to Be Made Into a Drama · HanCinema · 03-26-2020