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Curtis Comic - Bringing Manhwa into the Public Consciousness
By special guest Isaac Alexander
Animefringe is pleased to present an interview with Curtis Lee the President
of the North American Manhwa distributor Curtis Comic (www.curtiscomic.com). Manhwa is a
term to describe Korean comics, much like manga being a term
used to describe Japanese comics.
Animefringe/Isaac Alexander: Can you give some personal information about
yourself and how you became interested in comics?
Curtis Comics/Curtis Lee: I was born in Korea and came to United States
when I was in high school. I've been really into
comic books since I was young. I was growing up
familiar with the American comic books like
Spiderman, Superman, Batman, etc.
AF: What do you think the North American
perception is of Manhwa?
CC: I don't think the majority of comic fans in
North America knows about manhwa yet since it's
pretty new. However, the reactions I have
received from people who know or read manhwa is
pretty positive and hot.
AF: What made you decide to start Curtis Comic?
CC: I started Curtis comic to introduce quality
Korean Manhwa to many comic lovers. Also, I would
like to spread manhwa in North America as well
asother parts of the world.
AF: Are you self funded, or do you have a
CC: Yes, I am self funded.
AF: Where are your comic artists and writers
located (Korea or North America)?
CC: All the artists and writers are currently in
Korea and I am planning to invite some of them to
Comic-Con (San Diego) next year.
AF: Do you license the titles directly with the
artist/writers, or publishers?
CC: I have copyrights from the publishers.
AF: What publishers do you license your titles
from? Are the titles you are selling available in
Korea or Japan?
CC: All of our titles are available in Korea. Some
of titles are still continuing back in my home
AF: Any thoughts about doing a compilation
publication such as Animerica Extra or Super
Manga Blast of your titles?
CC: I don't have immediate plan to do compilation
publications right now. We'll possibly release
them in the future.
AF: You've chosen to release titles from a variety
of genre's (Drama, Fantasy, Horror, Mystery,
Science Fiction, and Sports). What led you to
CC: Each person has different taste. I thought it
would be nice to have a variety of genres of
comics. For example, Into The Storm is
about car racing and
is about inline skating. I thought these titles
would grab people's attention who like those
sorts of titles.
AF: What titles are your favorites?
CC: I like all of them. If I had to pick my
favorites then they would be
and Into The Storm.
AF: What is the difference in your opinion between
manga and manhwa other than what countries each
come from? Do you plan to market your comics
differently than manga?
CC: They are similar but since they are from
different cultures, they both create different
themes and stories. I tried to pick different
types of works from manga.
AF: Do you plan to release your comics in a
graphic novel format? What is the time frame for
CC: I plan to do graphic novels sometime in next
AF: What are your thoughts of other manhwa titles
being picked up such as Ragnarok from TOKYOPOP?
CC: When someone picks up a title from TOKYOPOP
in my opinion, they will think it's manga that
they have purchased. Isn't Tokyo the capital of
Japan after all?
AF: Are you aware of any other companies that have
released manhwa in North America?
CC: So far I think TOKYOPOP is the only one.
AF: Would you consider licensing manga as well as
CC: I have it mentioned on my website that I will
specialize in manhwa only. I might make more
money if I do manga as well but that's not what I
AF: Do you plan to have your comics sold in places
other than comic book retailers?
CC: Only retailers will sell my comic books.
AF: Do you plan to release any other products
other then manhwa (Korean Animation, toys, models,
CC: I will do animation, toys and models such as
action figures in the future.
AF: What public conventions and festivals do you
plan to attend to promote your company?
CC: I have been at Otakon convention,
Comic-Con (San Diego), and Dragon-Con so far. I
plan to attend Wizard-Con, Pittsburgh Comic-Con
and Comic-Con (San Diego) next year.
AF: Any last words you have for potential readers
of your titles?
CC: "WE MAKE YOU HAPPY NO MATTER WHAT MOOD
YOU'RE IN..." this is my company slogan and my
goal to you
Here's some links to sites about Manhwa:
Isaac Alexander: Former Editor In Chief of Anime
News Network and the current Corporate Liaison
for Sakura-Con 2003.