Manhwa is the general Korean term for comics and print cartoons (common usage also includes animated cartoons). Outside Korea, the term usually refers to South Korean comics, although the comics industry is emerging in North Korea as well.

The relative obscurity of Korean culture in the Western world has caused the word "manhwa" to remain somewhat unknown in the English-speaking world. English translations of manhwa have achieved success by targeting the manga and anime community, to the extent that manhwa were marketed as "manga" by the American publisher Tokyopop.

Sanho Kim was the first manhwa artist working in the States. During the 1960s and 70s, he worked for publishers Charlton Comics, Warren Publishing, Iron Horse Publishing, Skywald Publications and Marvel Comics.

According to journalist Paul Gravett, in 1987 Eastern Comics published the first original manhwas in the United States.

Due to the explosion of manga's popularity in the Americas, many of the licensed titles acquired for the American market seek to emulate the popular elements of other successful series. Recently, long-running webtoons serialized via Internet portal sites (e.g. by Daum Media), like Lehzin Comics, and personal homepages have become both the creative and popular destination among the younger generation in Korea.

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