SAILERMOON, DRAGONBALL, Dooly - some of these names might ring a bell in our minds. In one form or another, we have all interacted with cartoons. Giving joy to the sad, instilling courage in the disheartened, and even stirring hearts in the indifferent, cartoons have served many purposes. Though cartoons seem to be nothing more than drawings with words, they are the embodiment of a cartoonist's hard work and effort. As the old saying goes, people should not judge a book by its cover.
Many people view cartoons as childish or immature. However, if one takes into consideration the amount of effort put into each piece, it would be hard to call them by such a title. Cartoons are not completed merely by drawing a few pictures. Only through carefully thought out processes can cartoons be made complete. The whole process cannot be done by a single person. Drawing cartoons requires teamwork. For one chapter to come out in a week, it takes the work of five different people. There is a professional cartoonist with four assistants, each of whom specializes in one task, such as coloring, background layout, detailing, or scanning. First, the professional cartoonist draws a rough sketch of the cartoon to make a basic outline that corresponds to the story text. He then begins to draw a more detailed drawing.
A veteran assistant then takes the drawing to erase unnecessary lines and re-traces the work with a pen. This highlighted work is then passed on to another assistant who colors the piece. Next, the colored piece is scanned and digitized. While this process is taking place, another assistant completes a background that fits each frame. When both the drawing and the background are complete, they are combined to finish the cartoon's drawing process. This piece is then taken to the final step of adding words and other minor details. However, this is where the tricky part begins. Here the text is added, but if it is not perfectly matched with the drawing, either the text is modified or the drawing is redone. Next, each frame is broken up and reframed to fit the "scroll down" way of viewing. It is then uploaded to a website. This whole process is required each week to finish one chapter of a webtoon.
Completing a cartoon is a painstaking process, so why would anyone even consider drawing cartoons? "Cartoons are an embodiment of my emotions through pictures. Cartoonists express their ideals through cartoons just like artists do through art, but, simply put, I draw because I enjoy it." Lee Chung-ho (Author of My Love and Iskra)
Professional cartoon artists are not the only ones who enjoy cartoons. Though one cannot easily release comics like professionals, amateurs also can enjoy cartoons through various alternative methods. From something as simple as copying other artist's drawings, to things more advanced like making one's own cartoons or webtoons, the variety is endless. Reading comics is the most basic way to enjoy cartoons. Some people dress up as their favorite cartoon characters by cosplaying (costume playing). Yonsei also has a club that does such activities. Yonsei's Manhwa-sarang, which literally translates to "love for cartoons" is a club for students who love cartoons. "Cartoons are not mere picture books. Comic books are as interesting, if not more, than regular books. In fact, comic books are more effective in expressing emotions because they contain drawings that correspond with the words. I like reading comic books because they are easy to approach and have a huge amount of variety," states Manhwa-sarang's Vice-president Kim Sung-young (Soph., College of Human Ecology). Yonsei students can easily participate in activities to enjoy cartoons.
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Be one a young person or an old person, a male student or a female student, a professional or an amateur, it does not matter when appreciating cartoons. There will always be a cartoon that one can enjoy. From action-packed super hero stories, to tear-jerking love stories, the variety is endless. You never know, an interesting comic book might be only a step away!
If you are interested, try visiting:
- The 88th Seoul Comic World will be held from Oct. 10 to 11 at the aT Center in Yang-jae Station. This festival is for amateur cartoonists to showcase their work to each other. People can see cosplaying, professional artists, and various other festivities.
- The Lake Comic Festival (LCF) will be held from Oct. 10 to 11 at Lake Park in Goyang City. This festival showcases works from both domestic and international cartoon artists.