I've always admired that manhwa and its version of the traditional 'manga-style' of drawing. There was always something beautiful and artistic about this whole manhwa thing (which I believe covers the art-style as well as its very own version of "manga-ish" books), despite being harshly critiqued as another clone of japan's manga. As far as I know, Manhwa is only beginning (at the time of this writing) to get international recognition, thanks to forward-thinking publishers from other countries.

Still wondering what I'm talking about? Well, Wikipedia describes it pretty well:

Manhwa has been influenced by the dramatic modern history of Korea and resulted in diversity of forms and genre[1], but including a mainstream style similar to manga. Distinctive manhwa can be found in editorial comic strips, artistically-oriented works, and webcomics serials.

Typical characteristics of manhwa:

  • the style of character designs - manhwa aimed at teenage girls (which make up the majority of English-translated series) have a distinctively angular style of abstraction which contrasts with the more "cute" and rounded style of their Japanese, Chinese and western equivalents. This is the most obvious difference at a glance, but does not necessarily apply to manhwa aimed at boys or adults.
  • The face and eyes are often exaggerated in a cartoon style while the figure is more realistic in proportion. [2]
  • the left->to->right direction of the book (still quite obvious, but not very reliable, as some manga and manhua are 'flipped' around to the western way)
  • the Korean name of the author/artist - usually double-barreled and with syllables that do not exist in Japanese (usually the most reliable method, the only exceptions being when a culturally-neutral pseudonym is used, or when the artist is of Korean ethnicity but resides in another country such as the USA)
  • the untranslated sound effects (not always present) are in hangul, not kana or hanzi.
Okay, now at least you got some working knowledge on the whole Manhwa thing... One such artist that has managed to elevate this style has been the highly acclaimed artist Hyung Tae-Kim (More on him in the future)



For now, I will talk about one such Manhwa artist by the name of 'joshclub'. Joshclub's characters have been described as a combination of photographic realism and a soft painterly touch. For some reason, I have found this to be more in common in Manhwa than anime. And there's that weird nose thing they got going on. I dunno, I wish a real manhwa artist would correct me on this.


One thing I can say is that (although I know its wrong to generalize like this) many of the Manhwa artist I've seen have always adopted a more muted color palette, whearas Japan-based artist use more... wild colors?? I don't know. I could be wrong on this, but like you give a flying f**k.

Wow. I think I'll ogle at this guy's art in the near future again. And more manhwa stuff too if you like, Void. What's that? Cat got your tongue? Yeah, I thought so.

2 comments

  1. gracesix Says:
  2. Hi! Thank you for posting this blog of joshclub art! I'm doubly surprised because his website doesn't work. There was another artist I really loved in the Comic Artists - Asia book (although I believe is not Manhwa) named NYORO or NYORO SHOW, whose website has been out of commission for years. Do you know where I could find her stuff? I would have emailed you, but there was no "contact" I could see. Thank you again,

    -Grace

     
  3. ChrisK Says:
  4. I've looked through the Comic Artists book meself, as well as the Apple artbook - and a lot of these artists are notoriously difficult to track down. A lot of them don't have any sort of web presence whatsover, unless you happen to speak Japanese or Korean. Which sucks. I'll try to see what I can find with Nyoro, but I'm not confident I'll be able to, but we'll see. Thanks for stopping by Grace! Appreciate the support! :D

     
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