TRIGGER WARNING: MENTIONS OF SUICIDE
Manga has become a global market powerhouse in recent decades, and its popularity has refocused global attention on graphic novels. We’ve seen this clearly thanks to the rise of webcomics, and if you didn’t know, a number of the top comics on the Internet come from South Korea rather than Japan. And, thanks to a new survey, fans now know how difficult it is to work as a manhwa artist.
The report was issued by the Korea Occupational Safety and Health Agency following case studies on two manhwa titles, Solo Leveling and Roxana. These series were investigated because both of their artists’ health deteriorated while working, and the KOSHA learned some preliminary information while investigating these studies, and the results were very alarming.
According to the survey, 28.7% of manhwa writers admit to being depressed, while the national average in South Korea is 7.7%. The report went on to claim that creators were more likely to have suicidal thoughts, plan suicide, and attempt suicide.
As the report progressed, more disturbing data was revealed, such as creators who admitted to receiving negative feedback on their work being “more likely” to be diagnosed with anxiety or depression. The group was also more likely to develop muscle disorders or health problems as a result of poor posture. According to a survey of 300 artists, the majority (51%) earn between $1,600 and $3,200 USD per month.
Clearly, the Korean manhwa industry is plagued by some well-known issues in the manga world. Manga artists in Japan have spoken openly about their impossible schedules and demanding work. Because of their careers, creators such as Yoshihiro Togashi of Hunter x Hunter have developed chronic health issues. Unfortunately, it appears that this phenomenon is now being seen in other countries that have embraced manga’s meteoric rise.
Hiatuses and breaks are common for those working in the manga/manhwa industry, and these breaks mostly frustrate fans as they are waiting on the next chapters of the story; however, it is also important that artists prioritize their health in order to deliver a satisfactory storyline to their audience.
What do you think about the news? Let us know!