Manhwa Controversy!

So it seems people are pretty riled up about my post on manhwa thanks to Melinda Beasi mentioning it in her most recent Manhwa Monday post.

Understandable. I am not saying that ironically. I can see where everyone who found my post offensive is coming from. I was pretty off-the-mark on that one. Let me just say, I am really sorry for being so wrong.

This paragraph in particular got some people riled up.

Basically, I was kind of a purist when U.S. publishers began releasing manhwa. I read manga and only manga. […] Manhwa was, in my eyes, a cheap imitation.

But I want it to be clear that this was my former view of manhwa; my view of it when I was 15 and Tokyopop first put I.N.V.U. out on bookstore shelves. That was in 2003.  Now,  I’ve recently developed a strong interest in Korean culture after I was able to visit the country for the first time. I want to learn Korean soon and if anyone wants to show me where some good manhwa scanlations are, I will gladly go read as much as I can over my Thanksgiving break.

Another thing that was found offensive was my view that manhwa is kind of shallow.  I only find it to be shallow because, in what I’ve read, everyone bickers with each other. As I talked about in my post, I’ve got strong negative feelings about meaningless bickering. Therefore, manhwa with lots of bickering is shallow to me.  So is  any manga, manhua and any other form of comics with lots of bickering, but I’ve found it to be less prominent in those types of comics than in manhwa that I’ve read.  Again, I would love to read manhwa that shatters this narrow stereotype I’ve got.  I’m clearly missing out according to troisroyaumes’ post about my post.  Although troisroyaumes assumed some things about me that are wrong, they’ve got a REALLY strong point, especially about mostly sunjeong  and boys’ love titles being published here in the U.S.

I’d really like to apologize for how my thoughts on manhwa came off. My only excuses are that I’m young, pretty new to this blogging game (I started this blog in September for one of my classes) and that the post in question was pretty much me writing down what came spilling out of my mind at the time. I should have done more research and I will in the future. This has been a pretty valuable learning experience for me. I have to thank Melinda Beasi for that, since she’s the one who let everyone know about my post.

That being said, PLEASE let me know how you feel about my posts on this subject matter. Let me really have it if you feel like it. I want your criticism.

I would like to let you all know that in no way do I begrudge any of you who have said negative things about me. I think it would be detrimental to me to hold it against anyone since not only am I wrong, but everyone who’s talked about me is mostly right. (Other than what’s been assumed, but I won’t hold that against anyone because it’s not like we know each other.) This blog is really a learning experience for me and I’m learning a lot. All of my readers and my detractors should think of themselves as aiding me along with this. I’m grateful. Thank you.

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6 Responses to Manhwa Controversy!

  1. Hi, I just came back to your blog and saw this latest post. I updated mine to link to this post as well. Thank you for being willing to listen to dissenting opinions and issuing such a gracious apology.

    I also would like to say that I’m sorry that I made some incorrect assumptions about your opinions, and I’m glad to hear that I was wrong about them. Unfortunately, I’ve heard a lot of overgeneralizations made about Korean pop culture (not just about manhwa but other media as well), and I suspect I conflated those with your post as I wrote up my reaction.

    It really cheers me up to hear that you’re taking an interest in Korean culture and are interested in learning more. I hope you’ll end up finding some manhwa series that fit your tastes!

    • Hi there! I’m glad I could clear up some stuff and apologize. To be quite honest, I just needed something to write about and sometimes what comes out of the head just doesn’t read nicely as I would like it to. I did try to stress that I still think manhwa is pretty cool in the original post, but that obviously wasn’t clear enough.

      Thank you for apologizing. I figured there was no point in taking offense to them since we only know each other through our blog posts. Plus, like I said, this blog is a learning experience for me. I should honestly be thanking you for the readers that you and Melinda Beasi pushed toward my site! What a surprise that was!!

      I can understand your frustration about people not getting Korean culture. People just don’t know anything about the country except that the U.S. fought a war there in the 1950’s. (And that’s only if they paid attention in history class!) When I came back from my trip, I literally had people asking me: “Why’d you go to Korea? There’s nothing interesting there!” I actually got mad at them for that because I had such a wonderful time there. I wish there was more exposure to Korean culture. There’s so much to love! (Like K-pop. I am infatuated with it.)

      If you know anything good that I should pick up, let me know! I’d be glad to spread the love on this blog!

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  4. imatiredperson says:

    First of all, I’m new here; I stumbled upon your website looking for Tamura Yumi’s Chicago… Well, I don’t know if you’ll read this, but here’s my take and some suggestions:
    It seems to me that you just aren’t as exposed to Korean manhwa and culture compared to Japanese manga and culture. I’m not sure if you’ve found any manhwa that have changed your mind yet, but I have a few I really like that don’t conform with your stereotypes at all. My favorites are webtoons, including Annarasumanara and Cheese in the Trap. For manhwa in book form, my fave is The Breaker and its sequel series. If you ever get around to reading these, tell me what you think. 🙂

    • Thanks! I’ve actually done an almost complete turn around since this was posted over a year ago. I’ve not gotten the chance to read too much more manhwa, but mostly because I’ve had trouble finding ones I like and that shatter my impressions stated here. I am, however, working for a webtoon publisher, adapting them into English, and that’s a lot of fun.

      Are the titles you mentioned available in English legally? If so, I’d love to check them out. Please let me know where!

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