DC Comics has reportedly reached a deal with Webtoon that will see some of their most popular characters come to the platform
Tuesday, DC Comics revealed that they had reached an agreement with Webtoons bring their characters to the platform in a series of new stories. Variety reports that Warner Media’s DC Entertainment and Naver’s new deal will see DC Comics heroes come to webtoon in new, accessible stories that readers won’t need prior comic book knowledge to enjoy. The surprise deal is the latest major step towards digital publishing for DC Comics.
Webtoon is one of the most widely read webcomic platforms in the world, as it is home to thousands of creator-owned stories. Webtoon’s mobile format has proven to be a huge success as several webcomics including Lore Olympus, true beautyand Down to earth, have attracted hundreds of millions of views for the publisher. By variety, webtoon has averaged 72 million monthly users. Since webtoon’s current demographic is made up of young adult readers, DC Comics is likely hoping to bring new comics to the platform to open them up to a new audience that wasn’t too familiar with traditional comics.
Variety reports that there are few details on content plans for the upcoming DC Comics and webtoon collaboration, but iconic DC heroes will appear in upcoming webcomics. Meanwhile, DC webcomics will be available in English before being translated into different languages later. DC Comics Senior Vice President Daniel Cherry III said DC is excited about the deal with Webtoon and the publisher is working closely with them to create “fun and engaging stories that all readers will enjoy.” .
Webtoon Entertainment US chief content officer David Lee called the collaboration a “historic” moment for digital comics. Ken Kim, CEO of Webtoon Entertainment US, said the platform will take established DC content and develop it for a whole new audience (mentioning that audiences are typically between 16 and 24 years old) that will be “beneficial to DC and Webtoon”.
Whether the comics will eventually be released in print remains to be seen, but the deal between Webtoon and DC Comics is the latest push toward digital comics in the comic book world. With several talented writers recently joining Substack – including James Tynion IV leaving Batman for creator-owned series – creators are now experimenting more with digital comics, which have unquestionably become more popular with younger audiences. It’s going to be fascinating to see what kind of content DC Comics product for Webtoons and whether they resonate as much with readers who typically use the website for creator-owned projects. Either way, the deal is the latest change in the comic book landscape, and time will tell just how impactful it ultimately is.
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