A webtoon is a type of digital comic that originated in South Korea and is read vertically by scrolling down on a computer or smartphone. Accessible anywhere and practically free of charge, each episode takes less than five minutes to read.
Webtoons began as online daily chronicles, created by people out of work during the Asian Financial Crisis in 1997. These eventually evolved into more complex narratives produced by both professionals and amateurs, mixing styles and genres in unexpected ways and engaging with contemporary Korean social issues.
In 2020, webtoons' combined sales topped 1 trillion won (£684.6 million) for the first time, representing a year-on-year increase of over 64%. Today, webtoons stand as a foundation of Korean storytelling industries, having become an inexhaustible source of inspiration for K-drama, cinema, musicals and computer games.
Discover the history of webtoons in our specially commissioned webtoon
Story by Jaemin Lee, comics critic and independent researcher.
Graphics by Seong In-Soo.
Find out more
2000 – 2009
2009 – 2013
2014 – 2018
2018 – Today
- Solo Levelling by Chugong – Webtoon in English on Tappytoon
- Love Alarm by Gye-Young – Korean Webtoons Wiki | Netflix
- Tower of God by S.I.U – Webtoon in English on Webtoon.com
- Nobelesse by Son Je-ho – Webtoon in English on Webtoon.com
- God of Highschool by Yongje Park – Webtoon in English on Webtoon.com
- Itaewon Class – Netflix
- DP by Kim Bo-tong – Korean Webtoons Wiki / Netflix
- Sweet Home by Kim Carnby and Hwang Young-chan – Webtoon in English on Webtoon.com | Netflix
- All of Us Are Dead by Joo Dong-geun – Webtoon in English on Webtoon.com | Netflix