Up until now, finding Korean manhwa and webcomics in print form has been difficult in the west, if not impossible.
That, however, is about to change as Yen Press has just announced a new partnership with REDICE Studio and RIVERSE that will concentrate on publishing Korean content in English.
The new Korean imprint will be called Ize Press and, according to Yen Press, “will establish Ize Press as a market leader for print editions of conent that has captured the imagination and dedication of readers around the world”.
As someone who has been forced to read most Korean manwha and webcomics in fan-translated editions on dodgy sites, simply because it wasn’t ever available in English, I can only applaud this new Yen Press venture loudly.
They are available for pre-order now, and will be published next week — in both digital and print editions.
(And it’s the print editions I am most excited about, as who doesn’t want a decent manwha collection sitting alongside their manga, eh?)
Ize Press will also publish English-language editions of HYBE’s own IP-based ‘original story’ webnovels and webcomics from K-pop royalty BTS (7FATES: CHAKHO), ENHYPEN (DARK MOON), and TXT (THE STAR SEEKERS).
Higher prices for manwha and Korean webcomics
I will point out it appears Ize Press’ English-language editions of manwha and webcomics will be priced higher than Yen Press’ similar Japanese manga editions in English.
That is more than likely due to most manwha and webtoons being published partially or completely in color. That means higher costs to the publisher who, of course, then has to pass those costs onto the consumer.
At $20 U.S. and $26 Canadian then, manwha and webtoons are around $7 more expensive than a similar manga.
But hell, if I can lay my hands on print editions of manwha I have only dreamed about reading legally, I’ll gladly pay it, and you should too.
After all, any effort to support the long-neglected Korean manwha and webcomics industry should be encouraged, eh?
I am a Brit-American journalist, former radio DJ at 97X WOXY, and Founder/CEO of Leo Sigh. I’m also obsessed with music, anime, manga, and K-dramas. Help!