More popular by the day, webtoons are a type of webcomic published on one long and vertical strip that originated in South Korea and have risen in popularity thanks to being fast to read and easy to find officially for free. Some like Lore Olympus and Heartstopper — that even got a Netflix show — are so popular that they are also released in graphic novel form. But what is the best way to start reading them?
How to Read Webtoons?
If you want to read webtoons, there are two websites you need to know. WEBTOON is a reading app launched in 2004, home to much creator-owned content. Most webtoons people talk about are published there. The majority of them are free to read, but some have a limited collection of free chapters that you can only unblock by buying the premium or by downloading the app and reading a new chapter per day. It’s recommended to download the app, as you will gain benefits, and webtoons are usually intended to be read on smartphones.
Tapas is another great resource for webtoons, and even though it doesn’t have as many free reads, you can find many novels too. If you install the app, you’ll get benefits and gifts.
But with so many options, it’s hard to decide what to read (not to mention that new comics are created almost every day). So let’s check out some of the best webtoons for beginners.
Based on a web novel of the same name, Omniscient Reader is a fantasy and adventure story following Kim Dokja, an average office worker and the biggest fan of a book called “Three Ways to Survive the Apocalypse.” In fact, he is the only person that still reads it. But on the day the last chapter comes out, Dokja receives a strange message from the author and realizes the novel’s events are becoming a reality.
Omniscient Reader is interesting because, usually, protagonists are overpowered for no apparent reason (a common trope in webtoons), but his strength comes from knowing the events of the book; if not for that, he would be pretty weak. Also, characters gain more power by making contracts with historical and mythological beings, so the power levels are different from most manga and anime.
Another great pick for boxing fans. This is a story about talent, effort, willpower, and ambition. K, a legendary trainer of boxing world champions, arrives at a small town and changes the lives of three boys forever. The best thing is that Yu, firstly the protagonist, turns into the antagonist; he turns into the fuel for the cathartic exploration of new and previous characters. And the fights are out of this world, the author JH uses many different fighting styles to create intense scenes that keep you thrilled throughout the whole chapter.
The author has another webtoon that has become really popular recently and is worth checking out called The Horizon. It’s a story about trauma and the horrors of war.
Tower of God
With a Crunchyroll anime, Tower of God is one of the most famous webtoons ever. Said to contain anything someone can desire, the tower invites many to try and climb it. Bam, who only desires to be with his friend Rachel, confronts Headon, the Administrator of the tower’s first floor, to reach her.
Tower of God captivates you with the many different “worlds” and mysteries contained within the tower. Its other strength is in its characters; in the first arc that isn’t apparent, but quickly the comic starts introducing and developing many of the characters as much as the protagonist. You want to see them climb the tower and reach their objectives too.
If you want to get into webtoons, Carnby Kim is a name you have to follow. His best horror comic, Sweet Home, tells the story of Cha Hyun, a reclusive high school student in the middle of an apocalypse right after losing his entire family in a car accident. Many people, including Hyun, are slowly turning into monsters. What really draws the attention is seeing how the characters’ desires affect their transformations.
Kim manages to make you feel tense and fear for the characters, mainly Hyun, as he is forced various times to use his powers, which might make him fully transform into a monster and lose his sanity. But, even so, it’s also a beautiful story that will make you cry by the last chapter.
For mythology fans, Lore Olympus brings a modern setting and nuanced explorations of many themes to a retelling of Persephone’s abduction. It’s a visually stunning story that focuses and masterfully delves into character drama in a way you’ve never seen before. Hades and Persephone are deeply constructed and are essential parts of the world, but still, there’s an abundance of characters almost as developed as them and their relationship.
Even if you are not a fan or knowledgeable of mythology, Lore Olympus provides an easy-to-follow heartbreaking story that can be interesting for anyone, as it combines and changes the story we already know with the one being told. The series already won an Eisner award and is set to soon be adapted into a TV show, so it’s definitely a must-follow.
- This article was updated on January 12th, 2023