Friday, May 27, 2016

How webtoons have turned me to the 'manhwa side'

A few months ago while I was busy studying my life away, I made a very interesting discovery. I don't know how I ended up downloading this app called Webtoons but I can only assume that I found it through the app called Line (which I was already using).

So what are Webtoons? From what I learned, it is a "Korean manhwa that is published online." They are usually in color or a grayscale type of color and are read scrolling down instead of reading left to right (but there are some that are read this way).

 Just an example (Cheese in the Trap, Ep. 0 - Prologue)...

There is also an app called Webtoons which caters to English speakers. Some of the comics on there are created by non-Korean artists. Does this revoke the comic's manhwa title? You decide. 

Many of the popular Korean comics are translated from a website called Naver and then uploaded onto Webtoons. Unfortunately, some of the official manhwa are very, very far behind in translation. A good example is Cheese in the Trap (a brilliant and engaging psychological thriller/romance/comedy) which is already in season 4 in Korea and is still in season 2 in the US.

These webtoons have really enlightened me to the vast potential of comics. There are some webtoons that have music, animation, and sound effects, to give an example. It's incredible and before webtoons, I've never thought of these effects being used for comics. Supplemental effects can greatly enhance the experience of reading these stories.

I'm really glad I discovered webtoons. They brightened my day when I was tired from studying all the time and opened my eyes to the immense potential for the future of comics. I can see how advanced Korea has gotten with comics and I'm so excited to see manhwa evolving and paving their own way in the comics world. I've been sold on manhwa webtoons and never going back.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

The hardest semester is over

In our program, this semester is said to be the most difficult and stressful. I've been officially out of 3rd semester for two days since I finished finals. \(^0^)/

I've been trying to stay productive, making "To-Do" lists. It's been working pretty well so far. I'm in the process of making a summer study schedule and planning my trips, mainly to Korea with my dad and Hawaii (for a cousin's graduation party). I feel really fortunate to be able to go on these trips. Dad used to work for an airline so our family has had flight benefits all my life. 

Although this semester has been difficult, I didn't feel its effects as harshly as some people did. I'm sure it's due to me not working and doing school at the same time.. My good friend in the class was doing 35 hours a week of work and school; She ended up failing mental health nursing...  After she didn't pass, another friend that I just started to get to know well ended up dropping out. The loss of my only 'friends' in the class is what gave me a harder time. It was more of an emotional thing for me and learning to make it on my own.

At the very end during the final exam, I realized how truly sad I felt. I felt the sudden reality of my situation, the fact that I was now alone again. A feeling of isolation.

I get along well with the rest of my classmates, but we're more acquaintances than friends. By now, everyone has already formed their own small cliques or groups.  Even adults have cliques. It doesn't end after high school. I wonder if most people realize what a blessing it is to have at least one friend in a class, or any situation for that matter. I anticipated this happening (my friends either failing a course or dropping out).

~ Now for some emo story time! So, this is not the first time a friend abandoned left me in a class to fend for myself when I needed them. The worst experience I've ever had in my life with this kind of situation was in high school. I took a bowling class elective and it was time to partner up with someone. We would go through the entire length of the class with this partner we chose. I was going to ask a friend but this other girl who was kind-of-my-friend asked me to be her partner. She became my partner for the class. Well just a few weeks into the course, my partner ended up dropping the class leaving me alone and lo' and behold, no one was available to be my new partner. It was such a sad and pitiful situation. I had to partner with the instructor every so often. Yeah, it wouldn't have been as bad if she were always partnered with me but it wasn't like that and often, I would have to bowl with no partner against two people. This was supposed to be a fun class for me but ended up becoming a shitty memory. It did do one thing for me though. It made me realize that you can't rely on anyone but yourself, especially if the people involved are not your family or super close friends.    ~ Fin.

I put up a brave face for months after my only good friend failed the class. I found solace in a new friend yet she ended up dropping the course about a month before it was finished. I think this affected me more than I expected. When I got home after finals, I literally crawled into bed and slept for 5 hours. I usually escape to my unconsciousness through sleep when I feel stressed. It seems better than taking benzo's or drinking..

In the future, I'll have to learn to rely on myself but also use my resources (i.e. classmates). It will be lonely but at least it's the last semester.