By Lee Dasom
The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has boosted support for the comic and webtoon sectors to build a world-class platform for both such as Netflix and launch global cartoon awards of the level of those at the Cannes Film Festival of France.
Minister Yu In Chon on Jan. 23 announced his ministry’s plan on the direction of development of both industries at Arts Korea Lab in Seoul’s Jongno-gu District. This is the ministry’s second policy after its first announced in November last year on advancing the broadcast sector.
The plan will expand the scale of the two industries from KRW 2.6 trillion in 2022 to KRW 4 trillion by 2027 and their export volume from USD 170 million to USD 250 million over the same period.
To raise the nation’s influence on the global webtoon market, full support will go toward creation of a world-class platform in the sector like Netflix. The budget for interpretation and translation support, which is considered the key to the global spread of Korean comics and webtoons, will be expanded this year to KRW 1 billion.
In fall this year, a major comic and webtoon festival will be held. Over the event’s period, the tentatively named International Comic and Webtoon Awards will recognize quality works and industry professionals to develop into a world-class honor for both industries like the Cannes Film Festival.
By benchmarking both the Korean Academy of Film Arts and Game Institute, the ministry will carry out projects to foster talented human resources in the creation, business and translation of comics and webtoons. By 2027, it will also launch a related academy by integrating ongoing incubation projects as well as a translation support center next year to train translators specializing in webtoons.
This year, an all-out support system centered on the ministry will be established through a new team for the comic and webtoon industries under its affiliate Korea Creative Content Agency. A legal and systematic foundation will also be formed to further develop comics and webtoons as industries.
“I am confident that comics and webtoons will emerge as key next-generation sectors of our country’s content industry after K-pop, dramas and games,” Minister Yu said. “The ministry will quickly proceed with its announced strategies and tasks and mobilize all available resources so that the differences can be felt in the field.”