Webtoon, a creator-driven web comics publishing platform, has so many comics in a lot of different genres to choose from and to a newbie, it can be overwhelming! If you’re looking to explore the Webtoon app, here are some suggestions to get you started!
There’s a chance you might’ve seen ads on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other social media for an app called Webtoon. I’ve seen this app haunt my Facebook for the longest time (two years!). I resisted installing it because I didn’t want to give into an ad and I’m usually not interested in Facebook’s suggestions. Then one day, I was extremely bored and had nothing to do. The ad for this app was once again haunting my feed and I…installed it on my phone. Hook, line, and sinker! They knew how to get me, by making sure the ad featured Lore Olympus to specifically target my deep love and interest for Greek mythology.
After installing the Webtoon app, I started with Lore Olympus for the first three days and the next thing I knew, I was on a roll of exploring the app and reading other stories that caught the attention of my beady, little eyes and I was deep and at the point of no return in the Webtoon cave.
While I’m not giving everything that happens in the stories, a spoiler warning is now in effect just in case!
Starting off the list is Let’s Play, a comic that follows Samara “Sam” Young, a young woman that wants to become a game developer and releases her own game on an indie website in hopes that it’ll give her some exposure to lead to better things and work at a big gaming company. However, after a popular game streamer, Marshall Law, gives her game a horrible review, she finds her world turned upside down as his fans go to her page and leave more horrible reviews that the website won’t even let her upload anything. To make matters worse for her, Marshall Law becomes her new neighbor and their lives are now intertwined in more ways than one.
This comic explores not just Sam and Marshall, but the people around them like friends and family. We see Sam battling with her anxiety on a regular basis and struggling to become comfortable in her own skin. Angela, a friend of Sam, has PTSD after getting out of an abusive relationship and while she doesn’t appear as much as Sam and Marshall, the chapters with her are memorable. Marshall starts off as what appears to be a cocky gamer, but he battles with depression that he keeps hidden from everyone around him, including his girlfriend, Monica. This comic has relatable characters, a pretty good story, and worth binge-reading. Also, Sam’s dog Bowser is adorable and his interactions with the characters are so adorable I can’t deal!
Midnight Poppy Land
Small town girl moving to a city to achieve her dreams? Check. Tall, dark, and handsome leading man with tattoos? Check. Small town girl finds a bloody shoe on the side of the road in connection to the tall, dark, and handsome man? Check. Wait, what? If you’re in need of a romance story with a mix of crime drama, look no further than Midnight Poppy Land. This story is about small town girl Poppy who finds a bloody shoe on the side of the road after she falls off her scooter. Usually, this is where the main character would try to find out where the shoe came from, but not this girl. She goes through a variety of thoughts on why the shoe was there before deciding that it’s a mystery best left unsolved by her and that someone smarter and braver will have to solve it.
Enter: Tora, a man who works as a mafia bodyguard and is looking for the person that the bloody shoe belongs to. After seeing Poppy leave the area, he investigates her to see if she is connected to what happened to the person with the bloody shoe. We watch as Poppy struggles to balance her life and her newfound connection in Tora and their relationship go from them being complete strangers to friends and possible romantic partners. Tora tries to keep her from seeing the ugly side of his job and that violent side of him, but Poppy isn’t completely ignorant to what he does and doesn’t judge him for it. It’s violent, has some blood, and a nice pace of development for Poppy and Tora’s own stories and their relationship.
Who doesn’t love a good makeover? True Beauty follows Jugyeong Lim, shy, comic book fan that starts off as an awkward middle school teen who goes through a stereotypical ugly duckling phase and was bullied during this time then through the power of makeup, becomes socially-accepted beautiful and gains some confidence when she starts high school. We see her go through middle and high school then in college and being an influencer on the internet as she struggles to find her place in the world along with her friends and boyfriend. This comic is a nice slice-of-life read with pretty good story and character development. A simpler read compared to the rest of the stories on this list and worth checking out.
My Deepest Secret
By: Az Hanza
Oh man, where do I start with this one? My Deepest Secret is a story about a girl named Emma who seems to have a perfect boyfriend in Elios…but is he really? He’s hiding a disturbing secret and everyone around Emma, friendly or not, are at a high risk. Yohan, a student at Emma’s school, notices the pattern of attacks that have been happening around her and Elios now has his eyes on him. A dark romantic thriller that keeps readers wondering who the next target is and what happens next. If you’ve seen You on Netflix, Elios does have some Joe Goldberg-esque vibes to him, but not as strong as Yohan (this is a different one!) in It’s Mine. This is mostly because we’re not just focused on Elios, but also Emma and Yohan. If you’re looking for something to tide you over until season 3 of You comes out, this might be the comic for you!
SubZero is a fantasy comic that has the perfect mix of drama and romance that will keep readers wanting more after each chapter. This comic is about two kingdoms that have been at war with each other for three hundred years. To end the war and enter an era of peace, Clove, the Princess of the Azure Dragon Clan, decides to marry Kyro, the Prince of the Crimson Dragon Clan. While they enter the relationship with the intentions of keeping it business, Clove and Kyro do grow to care for each other along with each other’s respective kingdoms. Of course, when there’s hope on the horizon, there’s enemies waiting to crush it. Clove and Kyro must stick together with only a handful of people they truly trust to protect their kingdoms and themselves from enemies not just on the outside, but also on the inside. While all the Webtoon comics in this list have great art, this comic (to me personally) is the best drawn and one of the best written. The music for some chapters is beautifully composed and fits the story line, not distracting or out of place.
By: Rachel Smythe
Status: On Hiatus. Season 2 coming August 2, 2020
The most popular Webtoon comic, Lore Olympus is a modern retelling of Hades and Persephone’s story and relationship along with other Greek myths. If you’re looking to read a drama, but also love some Greek mythology mixed in, this comic is for you! Persephone in this story is a young woman starting college and being away from her home for the first time in her life. Don’t worry, Hades doesn’t kidnap her in this story…instead Aphrodite and Eros spike Persephone’s drink and put her in his car as a prank while they’re at a party. Hades is a gentleman in this story and does his best to do right by Persephone by trying to keep their relationship as friendship per her request and give her time to grow up while he tries to fix up his own life. It also shakes things up a bit with Hades, the God of the Underworld, being in an abusive and toxic relationship with Minthe, a river nymph. It’s not a common thing to see the man being abused, but it helps readers remember it can happen to anyone regardless of gender. Meanwhile, Persephone struggles to come to terms with what happened after a certain event with Apollo. We see two broken people struggling to pick up the pieces that are left and find solace in each other’s company, but that they’re also trying to find their own strength so they don’t have to rely on each other.
A beautifully written story that quenches the thirst for Greek mythology, but keeps it modern. It’s no wonder this comic is the number one Webtoon and will be getting its own show!
Not Even Bones
Written by: Stephen Lamm
Art by: Alai Cinereo
Original work by: Rebecca Schaeffer
Not Even Bones is a bloody and violent comic that is originally a YA fantasy novel by Rebecca Schaeffer. This supernatural comic follows Nita, a teenage girl who dissects supernatural beings for their body parts to be sold on the black market by her hunter mother. After defying her mother, Nita finds herself in captivity and must find a way to survive and escape. To do so, she must survive Kovit, a teen boy who is Zannie, a supernatural being that feeds on pain. Nita struggles with doing what’s morally right and doing questionable things to keep herself alive even if it means killing someone which makes the story interesting and gives it a nice psychological twist. I haven’t read the book, but so far the comic is going strong and very consistent. If you’re looking for something with violence with a good story, check out this comic!
If you’re looking for something with strong You-esque vibes then It’s Mine is the comic for you! Yohan Do, the leading male character, is a young man in high school that is stalking another high schooler, Dajeong Lee, the leading female character. Much like Joe in You, Yohan is obsessed with watching Dajeong’s every move and finding everything he can about her. He doesn’t see himself as a stalker and thinks he’s just finding out information about her to get close to her once he does talk to her. He’s willing to harm those that will harm Dajeong, even using deadly force if it means keeping her safe.
One thing that sticks out about Yohan and Joe, even though readers and viewers know that what they’re doing is morally wrong, you see some of the positive results of their actions i.e. they’re now safe from others that wish to harm them. Seeing this and that the leading men have a charismatic and approachable charm to them makes the experience discombobulating, thrilling, and anxious to see what happens next. However, Dajeong is not Beck from You. This girl is tough and smart, and she caught on that Yohan is stalking her and doesn’t waste time to tell him to back off. The comic has fifteen chapters so far, but it’s a thrill each chapter, has a nice pace, and keeps readers anticipating the next chapter.
Thoughts on Webtoons
Now, there are a LOT more Webtoons out there in the app and this list is just barely exploring the Webtoon cave. If you’re looking for an app to read comics for free, this one is great and has a lot of different genres to choose from so there might be a few or a lot that’ll pique your interest. It’s worth checking out if you’re looking for a good read or if you’re an artist starting your own comic, you can submit your work. This app isn’t for just for teens as some might think. A lot of comics I’ve seen are targeted to adults so there’s something for just about everyone.