|▲ Webtoonist Mujeok Pink Byun Ji-min Photo: YLAB
Q1. I heard that when you first started to publish a webtoon, you were a student. Were there any difficulties in doing both work and studying together?
: It was not hard for me to do both things since I just took a few classes. I always set my work prior to everything else. Sometimes, I took only one course in a semester.
Q2. Was there a particular motive for why you decided to be a webtoonist?
: Even when I began to publish the webtoon series on a website, titled ‘Dojeon Manhwaga’, I had not imagined myself to be a professional webtoonist. I mean, I never imagined myself making money with this job. I just focused on my art work every week while doing my best. And then I was paid for it. I realized that it had become my job. I still work step by step, as best as I can. I think my seven-year career as a webtoonist could exist because of the effort I had put in for all of those years.
Q3. Nowadays many of your works including ”Siljil Gekgwan Donghwa” (The Real-objective Fairy Tale), ”Gyeongungireul Tan Wangjanim” (The Prince in a Cultivator) and ”Joseon Wangjo Sil Talk” (True Stories of the Joseon Dynasty) are loved for their offbeat perspectives and fresh story-telling. Do you have any special medium or platform that inspires you?
: I usually get major ideas more from books than from the Internet. I tend to read books in a very messy way. I highlight, underline and doodle on them. By doing so, I collect interesting materials for webtoons one by one like digging in a mine.
Q4. Do you have any specific values or principles as a webtoon artist? If so, what are they?
: Try to draw what readers want, not what I want.
Q5. Webtoons make it possible to communicate and interact with readers in various ways. Do you have any impressive or memorable comments from your readers?
: In fact, each piece of feedback is very important to me. In the case of ”Joseon Wangjo Sil Talk” that I am publishing now, I usually share instructive historical facts with my readers in the comments.
Q6. Your popular webtoon, ”Joseon Wangjo Sil Talk” has been turned into a drama series ‘Webtoon Hero-Tundra Show' on the cable channel MBC Every1. What do you think about it?
: I feel really glad about it. Sometimes, I learn things that I have not known about the characters through the acting of actors shown in the drama.
Q7. Recently, many webtoons are made into movies and dramas. So people are familiar with the webtoon and many students dream of becoming a webtoonist. Do you have any advice for them?
: Well, being diligent and healthy are the most powerful weapons. It is important to do the work steadily and at the same time having healthy habits is important.
Q8. I think you are really interested in cartoons. Which cartoon do you think is most impressive?
: I loved “Sailor Moon”. I still collect magic sticks as a hobby.
Q9. Webtoonists should steadily upload their cartoons online for a certain period of time. It sounds stressful and sometimes you might have a hard time producing a new story. I enjoy “Joseon Wangjo Sil Talk", but I think it requires you to have historical knowledge and wit at the same time, lest it be boring. I could see how hard you have worked to get people’s attention without the tediousness of history. So, how do you get rid of those stressful moments when you are exhausted or done with new ideas?
: Actually, there are tons of items. The problem is how to make the story out of them. It is always the hardest part. However, the answers were always in the webtoon works. When I could not step forward, I try to put myself in readers’ shoes and read the webtoon again, and think of how the reader’s should have felt, what I feel at the moment, and what I should do next.
Q10. What do you think is your strength as a writer?
: Enjoying everything. I enjoy every situation.
Q11. What do you expect in your future? What kind of works would you like to work on?
: As a webtoonist, I would like to work on webtoons that please people.