LINE Webtoon announcement roundup for July 2015: Digital comics on a social platform

If you’re a LINE Webtoon user or you just love comics, July was a great month for you in terms of announcements. Let’s recap briefly some of the earlier announcements from this month, and stay tuned to TruTower for future announcements!

Cyber Force launching new chapters exclusively on LINE Webtoon

Renowned creator Marc Silvestri will be launching the next chapter of his hit comic series, Cyber Force — the best-selling title in the history of Silvestri’s company Top Cow, and one that has been in publication for over 20 years — exclusively on LINE Webtoon beginning in Fall 2015. The chapter was created by Silvestri and written by famed comics scribe Matt Hawkins.

The latest two trades will be reformatted and available on LINE Webtoon for new readers to catch up before the new chapters begin. Top Cow created Cyber Force as a tale of cybernetically enhanced freedom fighters. The series has been printed in 21 languages and still stands as one of the highest selling independent comics in history.

“the results are going to truly blow our fans away”

“We’ve already been deeply involved in developing the next Cyber Force storyline for the app, and the results are going to truly blow our fans away,” Silvestri said of the coming release.

Additionally, LINE Webtoon and Top Cow are developing the series as a multi-platform experience for fans who keep up with the rest of the Top Cow universe. The title Aphrodite IX, written by Top Cow president Matt Hawkins, will be deeply tied to the events of Cyber Force on LINE Webtoon, driving fans from the print editions of Aphrodite IX to the weekly chapters on LINE Webtoon and back.

Digital superstar Michelle Phan partners with LINE Webtoon to launch an original digital comic series

Self-made YouTube superstar Michelle Phan will debut her first original comic series — entitled The Enchantress — on the platform this fall. The Enchantress will be a 26-chapter story delving into a near-future world of oppression, where elemental magic and ancient alchemy in the hands of one hero may save humanity.

The synopsis of the comic, obtained via press release, reads:

In the not too distant future, the world has undergone a massive global change. Technology has destroyed the landscape and the citizens of the world now bow to a singular government. Elemental magic and ancient alchemy have been unearthed and rediscovered. With no knowledge of her birthright, a young songstress of divine origin slowly awakens her true powers, subsequently releasing the seal on her guardian, BeBo. As a master alchemist and her sworn protector, BeBo must convince her to let him guide her toward her destiny, embarking on perhaps one of the greatest odysseys of all time.

“The Enchantress is my passion project”

To support the new release, Phan will be a panelist at LINE Webtoon’s San Diego Comic Con debut as part of its panel event on The Future of Comics in a Digital World. This will be an event where “industry icons old and new will come together to share their insight on the importance of adapting to this new medium and how comics will look in our increasingly digital world.”

“The Enchantress is my passion project that has been brewing since I was 11 and I’m so excited to finally pursue this dream of mine,” Phan said of the release.

Female readers account for about half of LINE Webtoon’s audience in both South Korea and the United States, so the release is likely to draw many of these readers naturally.

Comic icon Stan Lee and POW! Entertainment join forces with LINE Webtoon to find the next great superhero comic creator

LINE Webtoon unveiled a new partnership with comic legend Stan Lee and his company POW! Entertainment to discover new talent through the company’s Superhero Comics Contest. The contest will give aspiring creators the opportunity to submit their Superhero-themed comics for the chance to win $30,000 and the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to receive Stan Lee’s guidance and feedback.

Already wildly successful in Korea, the Superhero Comics Contest is the third contest in LINE Webtoon’s Challenge League system, which is proven to be a new and innovative way to find new comic talent.

“It is always a pleasure and a thrill to discover new creators and artists,” said Stan Lee. “I am looking forward to working with LINE Webtoon to find the talent that will create a great new Superhero!”

To enter, artists over the age of fourteen can upload at least three chapters of an original superhero comic directly to the contest’s entry page. Finalists will be chosen by Stan Lee and his team at POW! Entertainment along with LINE Webtoon’s editorial team.

The grand prize winner will receive $30,000 and the opportunity to receive guidance and feedback from Stan and have their comic published by LINE Webtoon. A second place winner will receive $10,000 and, along with the third and fourth place winners, will have the opportunity to become paid, featured LINE Webtoon artists.

LINE Webtoon launched in the United States in 2014 after enjoying more than a decade of experience and success in South Korea and is rapidly expanding with the onboarding of new artists, partners, expansion of ways to interact with the content, and more. LINE Webtoon has “always had a vision of adding premium content by the best comic minds in the industry to our platform” according to JunKoo Kim, the Founder and Head of LINE Webtoon. With the aforementioned artists and comics on the platform, it certainly looks like the LINE-backed application is well on its way to achieving this goal.

You can look forward to seeing these comics and contests on the official apps or by visiting http://www.webtoons.com in the near future. To download the official LINE Webtoon app, visit the Apple App Store or Google Play. Be sure to post your thoughts on these announcements in the comments below.