Webtoonist interview -Choi Yong Sung <G'Day>

임하빈 | 2019-12-06 10:09

Webtoonist Interview

vol. 15


Choi Yong Sung | Lezhin



To become a webtoon writer


From the time I drew my picture diary, I loved to show it to others and be praised for "drawing well." I think it might have been the most valuable time that I was the reason for being privileged. So when I was young, I told my mother that I wanted to be a cartoonist since I found out that I had a job as a cartoonist. That was before elementary school. Surely, my mother encouraged me to study hard and continue to do cartoons as a hobby.


But when I went to high school, I told my mom that I wanted to go to art school that has a comic book department, but she opposed it. Originally, I listened to my parents well, but I told them that I would go to vocational high school if they didn't send me there. (I heard there are a lot of cartoon clubs in the vocational high school, so I thought that was the best choice.) Then my mother allowed me to go to an art high school with a course in animation creation.


After that, I continued to dream in that direction, majored in comics in college, and graduated. In the process of preparing the graduation work, I entered the contest at the suggestion of the professor in charge, and I was able to make my debut on the platform that I am currently working on.



About the method of work


Q. Please introduce the process of making a work in detail.

A. Scenarios tend to skip due to the time of weekly scenario comics. Conties are formed according to the treatment organized in each episode. The important part that must be entered or expressed in the process of the contest must be thought out relatively thoroughly, but it leaves little room without careful composition. The lines are also written with a lot of gaps. There is a sense of impatience in getting everything organized and working on the painting, so only remember "what this scene is for, what it's for, what it's for," and leave the rest as variables. While I'm working on the picture, I tend to be more specific.


Organized note by each episode

While sketching, I also use a pen touch and even discovers what color I will use in the painting. When all colors are finished, the painting is painted with light and dark colors, and all of them are gathered to complete the cut intervals and line effects.

Q. What tools do you use to work with?

I used a tablet pc connected to my laptop in the beginning, and now I'm working on my desktop. Use clip studio for sketching, pen touch, and color, and Photoshop for light and typesetting. Recently, a slightly more complicated background is done by sketch-up.

For Sketchup, I bought Lee Jong-beom's book and studied myself. I wanted to do it alone, but there was no guideline so I bought a book. In the beginning, the phrase was used for grasping, but began to be added little by little. For example, it was written in a second-half basement scene. I was going to learn slowly after a series of works, but it was so hard to draw stairs, so I made one. When I drew it in a few scenes, it became comfortable and I could draw it in repeated scenes.

Q. What do you do when your ideas get stuck?

A. Things that are likely to be stuck and I tend to worry a lot when working on treatment in the beginning. So far, the idea has never been stuck yet.


Q. What do you do when you don't want to work?

A. I go for a walk or ride a bike or read a book at a local cafe. I like to be inspired by other people's work and creations. But in fact, I don't watch webtoons very well. Comics and webtoons are actually hard to watch (as a webtoon writer). I usually watch a lot of movies. I also read a lot of books recently.


Q. What's your weekly schedule based on the deadline? 

A. When working on the main part, it was closed at 3 p.m on Tuesday, but after sending the manuscript, I conceived a Conti. I usually start it from Tuesday night; I begIn sketching, pen touch and coloring If it is late then I work from Wednesday if it is late. Also, I do light and shade work as early as Friday night, or late Saturday night. (Sunday, I worked only briefly at night, usually doing religious activities.) I finished the light and shade work by Monday evening, and then I sat down and edited from Monday night to Tuesday 3 p.m. I took a rest after finishing it, and now I'm working on a supplementary episode so I'm having a hard time finding this pattern again.


I usually woke up at 9 a.m. and slept about 1 or 2 a.m except for an hour or two. In the second half, working late at night became a habit, so I woke up around 1 to 2 in the day and slept at 4 to 6 in the morning. Since it was the first time for a series, the fear of not being able to finish was huge. So I sat at my desk even if I did something else, and I was so nervous when I went somewhere else.



About the work

Q. Where did the early ideas for the work come from?

A. I got the idea from a working holiday in Australia. I thought about making a cartoon of what happened there, but I thought if I could make it, it would be more fun to make it into a new story rather than a daily story, so I vaguely expected it to be a thriller.

Q. Please tell me the steps to make an idea.

A. I was prepared when I prepared my graduation work at school. In fact, I wanted to work much later than my graduation work, but I couldn't quite figure out what kind of work to do, so I collected ideas and prepared the last thing I could do, and I ended up preparing my graduation with this cartoon. In the initial setup, there were three main characters: Giant, Inimini, and Mite. The professor in charge of the graduation work suggested, 'What if we have three main characters, so they have different perspectives?' and I rearranged the story in that direction. It has decided to use the method of conducting "Amorse Peros," directed by Alejandro Gonzalez Inyarritu, a film director who I liked.

The characters' personalities were set after receiving hints from the surrounding characters. I did not write their personalities as they were, but I disassembled the parts, actions, and speech that were perceived as merits and demerits, and reassembled and set them up to fit each other. Some parts are exaggerated and amplified, and others are omitted. The story seems to have worked as hard as I could in my life. I ask people I've been to or have been to Australia. While preparing for graduation, I sent a cartoon to Lejin through industry-academic cooperation between the school and Lezhin Comics, which gave me the opportunity to publish a series of comic books after correction and supplementation.


Q. At what point did you decide on the title?

A. I decided the title when I was preparing for my graduation work. The original title was "Somewhere" in the sense of "somewhere on the other side of the globe away from Korea," but it was changed because it didn't like it. As the background is Australia, I was wondering if there would be a title that could represent Australia's identity, and then I decided to use the Australian slang G'day. Although it's a greeting, I got a good feeling when I came to the original meaning of the bain "Good Day." I've often heard of the country, not the big city, but the countryside where I lived for a while, and I've heard that there's not much real use in places like the big city.


Q. How many stories have you made and started a series?

A. From beginning to end, the plot map was devised and the series was started. I felt the need to have some fine-tuning of movements and time, as it is a story that is independent and unitary. Smaller and more detailed parts are relatively impromptu in a week. Plot map is a simple story that is written down every time. At the time of the series, there was a slight increase or decrease, but most of the series was adapted to this.


Q. How long did it take for you to prepare for this work, which is a meticulous work due to the nature of the work

A. I was preparing for my graduation work, so I think the preparation period was a little long. I think I had a total of three to four months.

Q. The drawing style is very unique. How did you decide on the style of drawing?

Until the second grade of high school, there was a lot of distance from style now. I liked to use straight lines. Then, when I was in preparatory school (at that time, writer Jeong Pil-won was an instructor), he did a lot of research on the style. At that time, I got to know the work of American cartoonist and illustrator Robert Valley, and have been steadily influenced ever since. (Although I intended to draw more bizarre than other cartoons, I did not draw long arms and legs for the thrillers.) His approach to painting and his aesthetic point of view were highly appealing for me. From the way I think and the aesthetic view of my paintings, which are very shallow, I think I have not yet met the paintings of my interest and are as empathetic as his artworks. In this regard, in terms of painting techniques and real-life reconstruction, I think I am still under his shadow and at the level of copying his feelings. I think I need my own style and I have a desire to develop it gradually. Other than that, it seems that the Japanese comics are being fused.

  Slightly different styles of previous work manuscripts.

Q. Your representing skill of character is very expressive. If there is know-how for that part?

A. In my personal case, I tend to observe the behavior of the characters around me carefully. If not around me, I like to watch people in certain media. Before drawing, I try to make a lot of lines and gestures and act. I don't think it works every time, but I think it could be a way to express my character.

Q. I heard you made it based on your own experiences in Australia in the past, did you lack data or need local help in detail during the series?

A. I needed a lot of help, and I don't have that much work done. I am ashamed, but there are actually quite a few errors. The part based on my experience is the part that is closely attached to everyday life, and as I get further away from it, I naturally feel less persuasive. It was difficult to cover due to a lack of data and a situation where I could not go directly to Australia. I added a lot of imagination to the work. It is regrettable that I failed to make full use of Australian regional characteristics. It was time to identify my personal challenges that were to be solved.


Q. How did you set up a connection event, place when the story is connected from each perspective?

A. The most common and all-participating events were first set and followed by branching or detailing. The first priority was to devise a story that would be the most central, and the rest would be to add to it. When it did not go far from the center, there were times when each point of view was bumped into and tied up in unexpected areas.

For example, I have organized a story of Zion, and I consider what's Mite or Inimini doing in this empty time? If I think they need friction, squeeze them out at this time if possible. In that case, I decide that it's better to be in the same room and set it up in that direction.


Q. There are many scenes that make a strong impression in a production. What do you do about scene production?

A. I refer to scenes I have seen in movies, cartoons, novels, and dramas. I copy the parts that are impressed but reconstruct the impression that it received in such a way that it is not too obvious that it is plagiarized or copied. It reconstructs so much of the personal work as well as the silk production into the influence of other works. However, I am wary of it becoming a jigsaw or copying that is done simply without the least effort to find my identity. I like to think about the principles and structures of my favorite works and share them with my friends and colleagues about why I came to like them.


Q. What criteria do you set for each episode amount?

A. I tend to think about the appropriate number of cuts as far as I can guess what the meeting is about. It should not be too little in quantity. As the type of comic book is different from the one in which the pages are set, it seems that I did not think much about increasing the amount of work.

The volume was around 70 to 80 cuts in the beginning, and at most, it went as far as 120 cuts. The last episode stretched to 150 cuts. 

Q. As I ran a series, I felt that I was getting more concerned about the ending cut.

A. I didn't really think I should do that, but if there's a point, I was going to do it more, but I ended up adding more details in the middle. Or, if you think the ending is a little weak, you can take the case after the ending, show it a little bit, and point it out. As a matter of fact, the story went back and forth so far in the beginning. I've done a lot of these things so I can do them without any pressure.


Q. Was there any concern about dealing with Korean stories in foreign countries that might seem strange?

A. I prepared for the best university student when I graduated, but I was worried the most because this work should be recognized as a thriller, and I thought it might flow to the Australian learning cartoon scene because I need to explain about the new environment of Australia. So, the stranger would just skip and the person who knew would say, "Oh, here we are."


Also, I wrote if there is any characteristic part of Australia that can be written thrillerlike. For example, when Hans buys cigarettes, it's a warning in a cigarette case or a cruise feature in an Australian car. Those elements were put in.



Q. Didn't you worry that your character is persistent, and it could be biased?

A. I didn't think much about it and went to work. I should have been aware of the unpleasant responses while looking at the responses, but I think I was blunted by the extreme after seeing the cartoons, the responses of friends and people around me. It can be stimulating to someone, but to me, it's a device to unravel the story, so I didn't feel that way. I thought I could go a little further in the next movie.


Q. Does the feedback from readers affect the work?

A. I think a lot of the feedback has been affected, except for parts that have already been set or where there has been no appropriate alternative, and where there has been a clear reason to proceed. If I accept it, i tend to fix the part I can fix.


For example, if I look at the feedback that I liked the part that i was scared of, I might have seen it and increased it. I also put some of Smiley's facial expressions in a weird way. I think it was a little bit reluctant, so I cut it down. (It was a lot more originally)

I search Twitter and blog for feedback on works. I do Facebook, but I don't write much. I think it would be better to keep my writings if possible and draw them in cartoons later on.


Q. What was the most important part of the project? Did it go as intended?

A. I also cared about the parts that describe the psychology and the lines, and the parts where stories that were divided according to their views were bound to each other. It's my intention. I don't think it went well. I must have expected a lot of myself.


Q. What was the most difficult part of the production?

A. The hardest part was the people to consult or cover, the parts that failed to find ancient materials, the parts that were about my ignorance. It occurred to me that I should have prepared more slowly and entered the series, but I was in a hurry to make my debut, and I think there are quite a few parts that went wrong in the rush to do it. Since I started working with that kind of feeling, I was more concerned about receiving negative feedback and had a less confident experience.


Q. What are you thinking about for your next webtoon? How did the idea come about and how did it work?

A. I'm thinking about it as an adult love affair. While talking to the producer in charge, I want to develop a keyword that I like. It is in the process of appreciating books about women, philosophy, and light romance comedies. I want to do a work that focuses on relationships and relationships.


Q. What's your best round of the year? 

A. Twelfth is a roundabout where Zion falls down a cliff. There is also a meaning for finishing one of the stories for the first time, and I remember being most pleasantly immersed in directing and portraying.

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