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The biggest digital comic book publisher in the world is readying to make inroads into … print publishing.
Wattpad Webtoon Studios, the recently formed entity that merged social storytelling platform Wattpad and digital comic giant Webtoon, is launching Webtoon Unscrolled, a graphic novel imprint that will see some of the most popular titles from Webtoon hit bookshelves, the company announced Thursday.
Comic industry veteran Bobbie Chase will join Webtoon Unscrolled as executive editor. She was previously vp of global publishing initiatives & digital strategy at DC Entertainment, where she launched the company’s hit graphic novel imprint aimed at middle grade and YA readers. She was also an editor at Marvel and Disney
Webtoon Unscrolled will debut under the Wattpad Webtoon Book Group alongside the Wattpad Books, W by Wattpad Books, and the Frayed Pages x Wattpad Books imprints.
Webtoon, which claims over 72 million readers around the world and is headquartered in Korea with an entertainment division in Los Angeles, merged with Toronto-based Wattpad in June. Both are now under the umbrella of Korean company Naver, which has committed $100 million for development and production financing.
Webtoon Unscrolled’s first wave of books will hit shelves in the fall of 2022 and include Tower of God by SIU, which has 3.5 million subscribers and 4.5 billion reads worldwide, and True Beauty by Yaongyi, which has 6.5 million subscribers and 5.1 billion reads. Other titles include Doom Breaker, Cursed Princess Club, Boyfriends, and Everything Is Fine. Plans call for releasing 12 titles a year.
According to the announcement, “editorial teams will select titles from some of the most successful and promising digital comics on Webtoon, with built-in audiences and established fandoms.” Not mentioned in the announcement was Lore Olympus, Webtoons biggest hit, although that was due published as a print one-off in by Penguin Random House.
“Webtoon has transformed the comics landscape, helping creators find new fans all over the world,” said Webtoon Entertainment CEO Ken Kim. “As the global leader in digital comics and IP, Webtoon’s storytelling technology and creators are fueling a Literary Creator Economy, ushering in a new era of publishing and entertainment. With Webtoon Unscrolled, we’ll bring some of the biggest names and undiscovered talent from Webtoon to bookshelves.”
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