WBTN: Webtoon registers with the SEC to go public

The popular webcomics platform plans to list its stock on the NASDAQ.

Webtoon Entertainment, the parent company of the popular webcomics platform Webtoon, has filed paperwork with the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission to begin the process of becoming a publicly traded company. According to the prospectus, Webtoon would list its stock on the NASDAQ market under the WBTN symbol.

The prospectus is a great read if you’re interested in the business aspects of Webtoon, how it operates and how it views creators, who are vital to its business model. It’s also very readable, compared to a lot of legal/government filings, as it tells the story of the company and its founder/CEO, Junkoo Kim.

 “The project was born out of my own love of comics, which I’ve been passionate about since I was young,” Kim writes in his opening message. “Comics are like a window into another world, capable of transporting readers to distant, fantastic places, and creating new perspectives. I’ve long admired the talented artists who create comics and have the incredible gift of building entire universes on a page. I truly love visual stories and storytelling, which is why I am so passionate about helping a diverse new generation of creators succeed.”

Kim was a search engineer at the Naver Corporation, the South Korean internet conglomerate that currently owns Webtoon Entertainment, when he came up with the idea for it. According to the paperwork, Naver would retain a controlling interest in Webtoon after the public offering. The exact percentage of ownership they plan to offer and the opening price have not been determined and aren’t included in the document. They also don’t plan to offer a dividend for the foreseeable future (which is something my dad will ask about if he sees this).

But what is included? Stat and data on Webtoon, as displayed in this handy infographic and the document itself:

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Quick Hits | Lambda Literary Award winners, Russ Manning nominees announced

Plus: News on Ghostbusters comics, Webtoon and more.

Awards | Lee Lai’s Stone Fruit has once again won an award, this time a 2022 Lambda Literary Award for best LGBTQ comic. The awards celebrate “the very best in LGBTQ literature” and were given out this past weekend in a variety of literary categories. Stone Fruit also won the Lynd Ward award for graphic literature earlier this week.

Awards | Comic-Con International has announced the nominees for the Russ Manning Most Promising Newcomer Award, which is given out during the Eisner Awards ceremony every year in San Diego. This year’s nominees include:

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Webtoon expands to graphic novel publishing with Webtoon Unscrolled

Former Marvel and DC exec Bobbie Chase will oversee a line of graphic novels that will bring popular Webtoon comics to print.

The popular mobile comics juggernaut Webtoon has announced plans to launch a new graphic novel imprint, Webtoon Unscrolled, that will be headed up by former DC, Marvel and Disney publishing executive Bobbie Chase.

Webtoon Unscrolled will publish print versions of their online comics, starting with the popular Tower of God by SIU and True Beauty by Yaongyi next fall.

“Webtoon has transformed the comics landscape, helping creators find new fans all over the world,” said Ken Kim, Chief Executive Officer, Webtoon Entertainment in a statement. “As the global leader in digital comics and IP, Webtoon’s storytelling technology and creators are fueling a Literary Creator Economy, ushering in a new era of publishing and entertainment. With Webtoon Unscrolled, we’ll bring some of the biggest names and undiscovered talent from Webtoon to bookshelves.”

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