I am a fan of the comics. When I was a kid, every Sunday I’d get the newspaper and read the comic section to get my laugh on. Garfield, Calvin & Hobbes, Shoe, Wizard of ID, and Peanuts were some of my favorites. These comics usually were no more than 3 or 4 panels with a good one liner for the punch line. Sometimes they were hilarious, other times they got a tiny chuckle, but the jokes were at least understandable.
Okay so what does this have to do with Korea?
Well, I’m not here to talk about Korean comics, or manhwa (만화). I’m talking about two comics written in English that appear regularly in The Korea Herald, one of Korea’s two major English-language newspapers. (The other major English-language newspaper is The Korea Times.) The comics are Ssomi & Hobo, by Artier Lee, and ROKetship by Luke Martin. Sometimes they are funny, sometimes they are not. I appreciate that when you are trying to make a creative endeavor, often you run out of material and start scraping the bottom of the creative barrel, so while I will be critical of both of these comics, I mean no disrespect to their makers.