It’s was only a time before a major publisher did it, by DC and Webtoon have cut a deal to bring DC’s superheroes to webcomics.
DC and Webtoon will release standalone webcomics that will “appeal to all fans”. The goal is to not need to know or read any previous stories.
The details are slim but expect popular characters and the tentpole characters to start. More will be announced in the next few weeks. The webcomics will be available in English to start the then translated into other languages.
The webcomics are available in the free Webtoon app for Android and iOS and what readers need/can purchase can vary. It’s unknown if readers will need to purchase the DC releases and how that’ll work.
Webtoon says it averages 72 million monthly active users. 10 million of those are in the United States. The platform’s audience is in the 16-24 year old range.
The move for DC is a smart one as Webtoon’s platform has grown in popularity with a massive reach and the younger demographics than the average comic reader (who is in the mid-30s and up) will allow DC to build an audience that might convert later to other releases by the company. The publisher’s graphic novels for young readers covers the 15 and under set, Webtoon now the 16-24 age, and regular publishing is likely 30 years old and up. That leaves options for age ranges and new ways to consumer properties when they grow out of the current way they’re reading comics.
DC has focused on the future in recent years. Not only have they expanded their “digital first” offerings, but have looked to expand their readership and markets. The publisher has made deals with Walmart for exclusive releases as well as focused heavily on graphic novel for younger readers. Both have done quite well for the company.
Webtoon also has partnerships with Legendary, Pow!, and Top Cow Productions.