Webtoonist interview - Hwan Daeng <Old Young>

임하빈 | 2019-11-21 11:41

Webtoonist Interview

vol. 15

[Old Young]

Hwan Daeng | Lezhin

  Hwan Daeng Writer 
1. Self Introduction 
Q. Introduce simply yourself.
A. My name is Hwan Daeng, a new writer who made a formal debut with a work called 'Old Young' at Lezhin Comics in September this year.

How did you become a Webtoon writer?  
Q. How was your growth process (childhood/ adolescence)?
A. I started drawing when I was in elementary school, and it was only when I was in middle school that I tried to study drawing properly. At that time, there was nothing special about me.
Q. Why did you decide to become a comic book writer?
A. There was no particular reason that made me decide to draw. If I think about it, I was caught by my father when I drew a common jola man cartoon in elementary school. At that time, I thought I would be scolded by my father. However, My father said that it could be better if I drew a picture bigger. After hearing this unexpected father's response, I thought I should continue drawing.  It was a very small incident, but it became a chance to think that I would like to live doing what I wanted to do. I didn't necessarily think I had to draw a cartoon, I just thought it could be done.
Q. How did you become a writer?
A. I have been serializing my cartoons on the Internet. Luckily, a Lezhin Comics PD came to see me and offered me to be a writer. So I became a writer. I was really lucky. More details will be answered in later questions!
Q. Your pen name Hwan Daeng is a slightly unusual name. What does it mean?
A. It combines the last letter of my name "Hwan" and "Daeng" which sounds good to me. And It seemed to be funny. So I used it. It doesn't mean anything. Ha ha.
Q. How long does it take for you to complete one of the comics?
A. Every Friday is the deadline.  I don’t work on weekends, so I work hard from Monday to Friday. I started with 3 saves at the start. And I keep maintaining those three. I work really hard to get one done in a week to rest on weekends. ^^
I would like to ask a question about the work in earnest.

2. About the work 
Q. The title of the work is unusual. How did you name it?
A. There is an interesting story related to it. I used this name without thinking at first. I started this work without thinking it seriously. However, since the work includes a child and an old man, I decided to make it 'Old Young'. But I recently found something interesting in this regard. Do you know Gilgamesh? It is said that Gilgamesh actually means old young. This is a compound word of Gilga (old) and mesh (young). It is said that it means a person who has experienced both life and death. A few days before the series, I was thinking of the English address in the address bar. Then I found out it by searching. I thought it fits well with the work and it was very funny.

Q. The concept is a fantasy work about the encounter between an immortal old man who wants to die and a young man who wants to live, and the conflict between the two.  Where did you get the hint about the dynamic relationship of these characters?
A. An old man who wants to die and a young man who wants to live. The reason I came to think about these two paradoxical and opposing relations was actually after watching the movie ‘Leon’. In the movie "Leon" there was a child who smoked (Matilda) and an adult who was a killer (Leon) drinking milk. The paradoxical meanings impressed me. So I started there.

Q. Have you ever read anything related to you on Namu.wiki?
Hwang Daeng: the writer of Old Young. Not only were his comics fun, but he also impressed readers with his advanced qualities. His work is said to be now sold to Lezhin Comics. From September, 'Old Young' began to be serialized in Lezhin.
- In Namu.wiki - 
A. Oh, do you mean this? I read it too. ^^ Thank you for the person who wrote it. I think it's fun to have someone write something for me.
Q. I know that your works were published serially in the Cartoon Serialization Gallery, and then, by the Lezhin's suggestion, your works have been published serially in Lezhin since September 2015. Could you tell me more about this?
A. In fact, I was thinking of serializing my works in Japan. There was also the person in charge, in a publisher called Gangdamsa. In March of this year, I went to Japan and met him. After I came back from Japan, in April I suddenly thought that I would like to draw a comic strip a day and upload it on the Internet. By December 2014, I really enjoyed seeing RPG game cartoons (now role-playing game cartoons) uploaded there every day, and I thought it was interesting that they were serialized every day. I also wanted to do the same thing. So I thought that the work to be sent to Japan should be drawn after completing it one day at a time. . 'Old Young' was the work I started extemporaneously so. So it started and I had to think of the next one on the next day after uploading one. I drew a cartoon one day so. But if I rested a day without drawing, the readers seemed disappointed. So I wrote this work for four weeks without stopping. I posted this work not only on the Cartoon Serialization Gallery but also on a site called Ruliweb. My work had been serialized for about four weeks, and in the meantime PD saw my work and he offered me. In fact, the offer was from Ruliweb. Ha ha.
Q. This is a typical fantasy story with knights and dragons, magic and curses, and immortality.  What do you think is the genre of your work ?
A. Maybe it’s a fantasy. It's definitely a fantasy. It is additionally an action. Old Young is the work that first opens the door of a world that I imagine. I want to continue drawing the world I imagine, I want to complete a fantasy world where all my works are connected to each other.
Q. Trudia is terribly weak. Nevertheless, she is cursed. When will the full story related to the curse come out?
A. The story of the curse is likely to be portrayed from middle to the second half story. The start seems to begin from the comic strip (23rd) where I am now drawing.


Q. Throughout the work, blood is expressed in black. Is there any other reason for this?
A. There was also a problem with color. I was worried about what color to use. There is no useless reason why I should use different colors for different characters. The second big reason was that it wasn't too irritating and more people could see the work without repulsion. The biggest reason is that I have drawn black and white cartoons. I'm used to it. Ha ha.

Q. If you did research on human beings who live forever, what works have you seen? Highlander? Interview with the vampires?
A. What impressed me most was ‘Man from Earth’. In the work, the existence of immortality tells the story from prehistoric times only by narrative, without recall. The fun of this work is that you can't tell for sure whether the story is true or false. The philosophical thoughts of the immortal became the reference for my work. Other than that, I thought a lot by myself. I thought what it would be like to be not dead and not old. I haven't seen ‘Highlander’ yet.  I'll be sure to watch it.
Q. Sometimes humor comes out. The bald drip of the first story or the name 'Ramen', why do you put this humor? (ㅋㅋㅋ Too much? ^^ ;;) How do you create humorous material?
A. In fact, it wasn't humor for me, but people often accept it as humor. Ha ha. As mentioned earlier, Old Young was an improvised work, and the word Ramen came out at the end of the first story on the Internet. The reason was that I loved ramen. I don't try to find humor. It seems like a funny situation is created by itself while I'm drawing.
For the time being, organizations such as Onui and Malto will appear, and they will go to Pindel, looking for the sealed memories of the immortal one by one.   That is the main content. Reclaiming sealed memories and treating Trudia are key stories in the work. In the meantime, the events and the old stories of Grandpa are the stories of Old Young. Ha ha ha.
Q. Do you think about all of these stories from the beginning and then start drawing your work? I think it's going to be a huge piece of work. How many years and how many stories do you plan to make?
A. I start by setting a large stem of the story. Since Old Young is so abstract, I started to draw blindly, thinking only about the main story. After it was decided that this work was formally serialized, I refined it a bit. Old Young is likely to complete itself within the 100th episode. If it becomes short, I think it will be about 50 episodes. I have a feeling that it is work to start the fantasy world.
Q. Are you going to draw a piece related to Trudia's growth?  There's also a feeling of BL because Trudia is a bit boyish. Did you have this in mind? 
A. There may be stories related to Trudia's growth, but looking at Trudia, the story related to the growth of the immortal hero will be more meaningful. I didn't have it in mind.
Q. Men like fantasy works more. What led you to draw this fantasy work?  Is there any inconvenience to a man (woman)?
A. I thought so too, but women also enjoy it a lot. When I looked at the reactions of the fans from time to time, it seemed there were more women. I have a lot of work that I want to do. I thought about putting such several characters together in one world. To do that, I first needed to create a world. So I got started. Some works may appear in Old Young's tales. There is nothing particularly uncomfortable for me. It may be difficult for me to think from the point of view of the other gender.
Q. What is your favorite fantasy one among domestic and foreign works?
A. Recently, there was a work called Game of Thrones. I was very impressed by the work and I loved it. I like Hunter X Hunter ... among the cartoons. Hunter X Hunter may also be called fantasy.
Q. Do you have a plan to make it a game in the future?
A. I like playing game very much. If it is made into a game, I think it would be great. But it might be difficult to do that. I don't know how to make it fun as a game. I haven't thought about making it a game yet.
3. Completion
Q. Can I ask a personal question?
A. Yes.
Q. What principles do you (Hwan Daeng writer) have in relation to comics? Or, do you have something to try to keep?
A. It is natural, but I think the most important thing is that work should be fun. I think that funny comics are better even if they have not any lesson than the uninteresting ones even if they have any lesson. We enjoy comics because it is fun. In addition, the story must have an event and, if possible, include a gag.
Q. If you choose only one hobby you really like, what would you choose?
A. It’s a game. I think that game is really good for writer. I can play games while I'm working, and also enjoy them as I conceive my work. Game is a really good hobby. I like board games as well as computer games.
Q. What's your special life plan, though that doesn't necessarily happen? For example, you are married in your early thirties, your baby has one child ... what plans do you have?
A. I don't know anything like marriage yet. It's so difficult problem for me! Most of my life plan is related to doing the next work. I just want to draw all the works I am thinking of.
Q. What do you really want to draw to the next piece?
A. I would like to tell a blacksmith story that I have posted on the internet with picture writers a few times. I didn't get serialized with the picture writer, but I want to be with them someday. The works I've been drawing on are fantasy action cartoons, but I think blacksmith cartoons are interesting because they have elements like reasoning and romance. I have a lot of other works I would like to do. There are stories of thieves and revenge. I think it's fun because they're all similar worldviews.
Q. I've been told that you are trying to get into Japan. What are you trying now?
A. I also studied Japanese because I want to be active in Japan.  I submitted my work to a Japanese magazine, and there was a reporter who was in charge of me because my work was chosen. I went to Kodansha this March and submitted more works. I came back with a promise to add more work next time.  I thought I would need money to continue working in Japan. So I planned that I would upload 60 films for two months after seeing GaeChaban writer's work posted on Ruliweb by December 2014.  In the meantime, Lezhin offered me an offer, so I started doing this work. It became . While my work has been serialized in Korea, my plan to advance to Japan is not going well. So I keep looking at the right timing.   It is quite difficult to win a related award in Japan. In Japan, there is a place called Boy Magazine. I originally wanted to go to Monthly Youth Magazine. It was a day boy. I sent my work incorrectly to and it happened to succeed. 
I thought it would be good to be a story writer to make money in Korea. So I didn't actually know that I would do this type of work.  Um ... I don't really know life.
Q. Do you have something to say to those who want to be webtoon writers? Honestly, what do you think the person need to do for it?
A. The most important thing is to draw something. People say these things. I just started painting. I lack the story. I lack painting skills. Of course, it is important to prepare. But getting started is the most important thing. There is no perfect work completed from the beginning. People are growing as they draw. That's the same for professionals Let's start even if we don't have enough.
Q. What kind of mindset do you think people should have?
A. I don't think I should have this or that mindset, but what I think is that we should be grateful to people who tell us that “your work is not funny”. It is the people who know how to make your work more fun. Ask them to tell you why your work isn't fun.
Q. What are the conflicts between reality and ideals?
A. The biggest thing will be a money problem. Those who want to be writers need money. But money is where someone should earn. So the money problem is the biggest and hardest. I thought of drawing cartoons for a part-time job. And I planned to lend my living expenses from my mother. I'm paying back that money now.
Q. What are you planning to do for your growth?
A. I grew up enjoying other works and drawing cartoons. So I think I can't help but keep drawing cartoons. I think I will continue to grow as I continue my work.   I think the most important thing is to develop the ability to listen to others. I think it's necessary just for perception.   Well, and what I think is more important than painting is the story and its content. I actually didn't have many dreams for painting before. Rather, I always thought about what was more fun and what it was like to be fun.  I try to draw what I think is fun.  I can say that I draw for my own enjoyment. Anyway, in the end I think it's important to draw a story that I'm having fun with. 
Q. When your work is finished, to whom do you show it first?
A. Before that, it was the Internet. I recently posted it to the Internet after showing it to the two people who work together with me. I have two close fellow writers. I did not know about them before. But they were people with tremendous ability. ㅋㅋㅋ. I often tell others that people who were popular Naver webtoon writers are my assistants. 
Q. What do you think about the future of webtoons?
 A. Webtoon is new content that is only about 10 years old, not even decades. I think the possibilities are endless. I think webtoons will develop and expand its scope as technology advances in the future. But I also think that because it's just born, it might die if we don't take care of it properly. I think we should take good care of it carefully.
Q. If you are interviewing another writer, who would you like to interview? Please recommend 2-3 people. If meeting with the person occurs, how about you meet the person with me? 
A. Well, that's a little difficult question for me. ha ha. I personally want to meet Nuillil writer of in Lechin Comics.


What I felt in my interview with writer Hwang Daeng of is that he is a writer who really works hard.  If he doesn't have special effort and spirit, it is not easy for him to learn Japanese to advance into Japan or post his work every day without stopping.  As he enthusiastically tells the story of the adventure of a blacksmith he considers to be his next work, I have certainly felt that he will be able to achieve greater success next time. I enjoyed it as I saw the beginning of a fantasy world with a huge worldview that originated in Korea.