Manhwa date to at least the first decade of the twentieth century in the form of political cartoons, and like so many instances in Asia, have had its ups and downs, many of which are treated in this chapter. High points in terms of the industry came twice in the 1990s when the government pumped much money into animation and comics, expecting them to be high exports. Results were the creation of about 150 university level comics/animation programs, governmental organizations devoted to comics contents, support, etc. Though banned in Korea til recently, Japanese comics thrived for decades (and still do) through piracy and devious ways of getting through customs and a government screening board. This chapter also attempts to show differences between manhwa and manga, the popularity of genres such as girls’ and study comics, and lingering issues comic art faces.
Keywords: manhwa, comic strips, haksup, soonjung, manga, censorship, piracy, “Gobau”