Geeking Out Over Free Comics on WEBTOON

What is WEBTOON?

Comic enthusiasts and avid readers have turned to an online medium for new stories. WEBTOON, formerly known as LINE WEBTOON, is among the most successful online comic providers in the United States and worldwide. WEBTOON  is an online platform that allows new and independent artists to create comics for millions to read for free. WEBTOON started as LINE WEBTOON in South Korea in 2004 where online comics dominate overprinted comics. In 2014, LINE WEBTOON was renamed as WEBTOON and expanded into the United States where its online interface and mobile app bring comics to the public for free. Over 10 million active readers visit every month in the United States alone. 

WEBTOON is split into two sections with each section covering a variety of genres for readers to choose from. The first section is the featured comics in the ORIGINALS category. These comics have a strong number of subscribers and are signed creators with WEBTOON to publish comics. The ORIGINALS’ comics are updated on a schedule, so readers know when to expect the next episode or chapter. Each episode is read like a vertical comic strip for ease of scrolling through the episode. 

The second section is CANVAS where new authors can upload their comics at their own pace. The CANVAS category is a proving ground for creators where readers can discover stories before they are polished by an editor. CANVAS is full of unique stories that are just waiting to be fleshed out by their creators. If a CANVAS comic gains a study audience, then they may be offered an opportunity to be featured in the Originals category.

Both sections have hundreds of comics for readers to choose from romance, thriller, drama, fantasy, and more. The comic that holds the number one spot consistently in the ORIGINALS category is a romantic comic called Lore Olympus. Rachel Smythe, author of Lore Olympus, an Eisner Award-nominated series, has four million subscribers worldwide to date. Each genre has its own top-five ranking in both sections of WEBTOON, which is updated daily.

Readers are not the only ones who benefit from the WEBTOON platform. Authors of the comics can earn money for their episodes through ad revenue and number of views per episode. Depending on readership, an author on WEBTOON after reaching 1,000 subscribers and 40,000 monthly views can submit to be reviewed by WEBTOON to qualify for their ad revenue plan, which can have author’s earning up to 50 percent of the ad revenue from their page. In addition to revenue payment, featured authors can earn an extra 100 to 1,000 dollars a month based on their overall performance.

WEBTOON is a reader and author  friendly platform with a wide range of comics to read or create. It is home to over 100,000 English comics to date with 16 million active readers world wide daily. The app is free to download in either Android or Apple app store. Explore the platform, find some new comics and support upcoming creators.

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Angela Zwolinski is a contributing writer at All Ages of Geek. You can follow her on Twitter @AngelaZwolinski & @mama_angiez on Instagram.

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