Top 5 Websites for Reading Korean Webtoons in Korea  | Expat Guide Korea (2024)

Cover Photo: Webtoons.com

For years now, comic books, regardless if American or Japanese, have been a preferred means of entertainment by many. With the digitalization era being more advanced than ever, Korea has taken that category to a new level, introducing a new format of comic-based stories known widely as webtoons. As this type of reading becomes more popular, the genre is gradually being recognized by the international audience, too. That is why we have introduced the best platforms for reading Korean webtoons in the following article.

1. Daum

Top 5 Websites for Reading Korean Webtoons in Korea | Expat Guide Korea (1)

Photo Credit: Daum

  • Best for: early release, regular uploads, language exercise

  • Scope of Service: Korean language

  • Pricing: Free (additional payment for previews)

  • Website: http://webtoon.daum.net

Website Highlights

Expats in Korea probably know Daum as one of the country’s largest search engines. But did you know that it has a specially designated webtoon section? Daum is actually one of the platforms where Korean digital editions are first uploaded to. In fact, users can access their favorite series on the exact weekday they are published. The website also has its own ranking chart, updating the readers with the recent trends in the genre. Most of the toons here are available for free, although die-hard fans can preview their favorite series in advance for a small fee. Unfortunately, the webtoons on Daum are generally published in Korean, but their simple lines along with the vivid visual materials can serve as a great language exercise.

2. Webtoon

Top 5 Websites for Reading Korean Webtoons in Korea | Expat Guide Korea (2)

Photo Credit: Webtoon

  • Best for: a wide variety of titles, multiple languages, creative platform, networking

  • Scope of Service: English, Chinese, Thai, Indonesian, Spanish, and French language

  • Pricing: Free

  • Website: https://www.webtoons.com/en/

Website Highlights

Does the interface of this website seem familiar? Most expats in Korea probably associate the signature green and white color combination with the Internet mogul Naver and they are totally right. One of the biggest international webtoon platforms, the name of this website speaks for itself. Besides English translations of all the hottest series, there are also five more languages available, namely Chinese, Thai, Indonesian, Spanish, and French. Apart from the basic desktop version of their website, the platform operates through a mobile phone app supported by both Apple and Android OS. While there is no charge for reading the hundreds of webtoons, the general interface of Webtoon is quite user-friendly with no suspicious pop-up ads. Not to mention, aspiring webtoon creators from all over the world can take advantage of the Canvas section of the platform which allows users to publish their art, network, and even compete online.

3. Lezhin Comics

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Photo Credit: Lezhin Comics

Website Highlights

As most expats are aware, adult entertainment is strictly monitored in Korea and that applies to its cartoon versions, too. While the webtoons available on Lezhin Comics are not necessarily explicit, they certainly cater to a more mature audience in terms of not only visuals, but also the topics they discuss. For example, although hom*osexual relations are still somewhat tabooed in East Asia, they often find expression in same-sex comic stories which are widely popular in both Korea and Japan. Including this genre, Lezhin Comics is one of the largest multilingual platforms for romance webtoons, even though the website offers other genres such as action and fantasy, too. Unfortunately, not all of the content is available for free but the mobile application services allow convenient payment with international cards, so expats who experience difficulties with online shopping in Korea don’t need to worry. Most of the titles provided by Lezhin Comics are beloved by many, so their merchandise is worth checking out. Lastly, the website also allows users to upload their art, helping aspiring artists to gain the recognition they deserve.

4. Tapas

Top 5 Websites for Reading Korean Webtoons in Korea | Expat Guide Korea (4)

Photo Credit: Tapas

  • Best for: short stories, non-Korean creators, job-seeking

  • Scope of Service: English language

  • Pricing: Free, optional donations

  • Website: https://tapas.io

Website Highlights

Unlike the previous websites on this list, Tapas is not a Korean-based platform. That is why, understandably, all of the content published here is available in English. Most of it is also produced by foreign authors inspired by classic Korean webtoons which serve to show how influential this genre is. That being said, keep in mind that Tapas functions mainly as a platform and community for independent creators, so if you are searching for trending titles by large publishing companies, you probably should refer to some of our other picks. On the other hand, if you prefer less mainstream readings or if you are a hardcore fan who has simply read all Korean webtoons available in English, Tapas is certainly the right place for you. In case readers are impressed with any of the creators on the platform, they can donate any amount they consider suitable directly to the profile of their favorite. Moreover, the community is welcoming to not only foreign artists regardless of location, but also to freelance contractors who can translate from Korean to English. There are several remote position openings that are disclosed on the official website.

5. Tappytoon Comics

Top 5 Websites for Reading Korean Webtoons in Korea | Expat Guide Korea (5)

Photo Credit: Tappytoon Comics

  • Best for: multiple languages, regular uploads

  • Scope of Service: English, French, and German language

  • Pricing: Mostly paid content, with selected free stories available

  • Website: https://www.tappytoon.com/en/

Website Highlights

The structure of this website is quite similar to that of Lezhin Comics’: while most of the content published here is paid for, certain titles or episodes are available for free. Also, although the primary focus of the website is not mature materials, some of the content includes adult thematics, so the platform features a 19+ mode as well. That being said, fans of same-sex love stories can find many popular titles in their preferred language. The payment system of Tappytoon Comics is quite foreign-friendly too, as the platform is catering to a worldwide audience. In fact, it is one of the few websites out there that provide webtoons translated into other Western languages besides English such as French and German. Similar to Daum, Tappytoon Comics offers regular uploads on a weekly basis, so it is easier for readers to follow their favorite plots. In addition, their notice board gives regular updates in English regarding the discontinuation or hiatus of any featured titles. The company also manages a YouTube channel with trailers of upcoming webtoon episodes. In general, their team is rather active on social media, but unfortunately little is said on their official profiles about potential recruitments of artistic talents.

Top 5 Websites for Reading Korean Webtoons in Korea  | Expat Guide Korea (2024)

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