As a result of this limited opportunity, a few interesting news items have come on the radar concerning Korean animation and comics projects. From the recently announced call for entries for the widely accessible Korean International Cartoons & Animation Festival, to a recent influx of funs from the Ministry of Culture, Sports & Tourism, to a potential expansion of Korean comic artists in east and central European territories, there are some key industry-specific notes worth checking on at the moment
poster for this year's Angoulême
International Comics Festival.
Most culturally relevant however is the Korean culture market's recognition of 100 years of comics. Daehanminbo, a political comic first debuting in 1909 from artist Do-yeong Lee, is being honored throughout the nation and around the world in various art presentations as an interesting driving point to domestic and foreign investors of the creative capacity of Korea content.
The Korea Culture & Content Agency, for example, is planning to represent its nation's biggest artists at high-profile film and comics festivals around the globe, anchoring their message of the sustainability original animation, character creation, and comics to a long history of youthful social commentary.
Recent stops on this world tour of sorts has included the 36th Angoulême International Comics Festival (France), and the Paris, France satellite site of the Korea Culture Center.
At these events and others, exhibition representatives will be profiling the history of Korean comics (and animation) by painting a broad composition of various era-focused items, from the colonial period of the early Twentieth Century, to the mid-Century Korean War, through politically turbulent periods of economic growth, to contemporary, digital-era projects. Professional comics artists, screenings of comic-based films, and the exhibition of other contemporary work will accompany the history lesson.
Elsewhere in the business of raising awareness of the needs of the Korean animation and comics markets, the Ministry of Culture, Sports & Tourism is planning to "give culture a boost" of finance -- a much needed shot in the arm to encourage if not outright push for the international exposure of domestically produced titles. The local content industry is reportedly scheduled to receive an injection of KRW ₩409 billion (USD $275 million) into the cultural industries over the next four to five years. Sectors affected include animation, comics, and original properties developed for television broadcast.
Specifically, the plans aims to send USD $67 million of those funds in the direction of the animation industry, USD $40 million for character-driven content, USD $33.3 million for comics, and the remaining USD $135 million to develop and educate skilled professionals in these fields of interest. According to the Korean Film Council: "The funds will benefit both the film and broadcasting industries with the comics fund in particular geared towards supporting creative works that have both export and film adaptation potential.
Lastly, on the topic of reaching international audiences, the Seoul International Cartoon & Animation Festival has opened its doors for entries. With the official entry form available (and in English) for animators from across the globe, the Festival continues to validate its position as a key international animation destination for groundbreaking productions in Asia.
Accredited by ASIFA International, this marks the events thirteenth edition, and surely expects submissions from Asia, Europe, and the Americas as occurs every year. The submission deadline is at the end of April.