The Art of Darkness

Do Not Read in the Dark

July 22nd, 2014 by Cobwebs

Naver ComicThe post title is the subject line of an email I recently received from intrepid commenter xJane, and once I saw what she’d sent I could not help but concur. She wrote:

These are translated Korean horror-comics that make excellent use of the webpage medium. (Yes, there is flash and scroll-tracking involved.)

Ok-su Station Ghost

Ghost in the Masung Tunnel

Bongcheon-Dong Ghost

(in the order I think goes from best to worst.) Even being prepared for it—in the second reading—they’re creeptastic and make me want a wall at my back.

Yup yup yup yup yup. I encountered the original Korean version of one of these (the one that I now know is called “Bongcheon-Dong Ghost”) a couple of years ago and shared it in a link dump, commenting “This Webcomic strip uses Javascript to unexpectedly animate some of the frames. It is unnerving as hell. Really. You have been warned.” I was not kidding. Even having no idea what the text said, even knowing what was coming, this thing creeped me right the hell out.

I didn’t realize there were more of them (nor that there were English translations), so I researched a little further: I had suspected that “Naver” wasn’t actually the name of the comic, and this is the case; Naver is the name of a popular South Korean search engine which also offers a lot of original content within the same site (sort of like Yahoo). Part of its comics section is devoted to “webtoons,” comics that are either fully animated or enhanced by animation. The three webtoons that so thoroughly creeped xJane (and me) out are by an artist called HORANG; the front page of his/her site seems to indicate that there might be additional comics, but I don’t read Korean so I couldn’t swear to it.

Anyway, the examples linked above are like mini-horror movies right in your browser. There are likely many similar ones to be found if you feel like doing a bit of digging; webtoons seem to be particularly popular in South Korea, so both the Naver site and the web portal Daum might be worth trawling for ghosts.

And if you can’t sleep tonight, blame xJane.

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