My goal for today was to point you guys towards a comic that was created in a manga style, but was created originally in English, rather than being translated and later distributed.
Way back when, when I was probably twelve years-old or so, I remember there was a certain chunk of the internet that was made up of online comics. Now, this completely predates webtoons, and was rather a collection of comics that were self-published on personal websites. These comics would usually follow the typical manga format, rather than being the vertical layout we see most often now. The creators would usually update a page or two a week. I read a lot of those growing up (Altar Girl being one I really remember, which come to find out is still around! I need to re-read and catch up). The ability to create online comics has developed a lot since that time, far past self-made websites.
LINE Webtoon is cool because it offers anyone the platform to be able to upload their own webtoons in the Discover section. No cost, no obligation, just upload and you’ve got thousands of readers at your finger tips. If your comic does well enough, you have the chance of snagging a paid contract to continue to author your webtoon exclusively through LINE Webtoon in their Featured section. How cool is that?!
Manga Monday #3 highlights one such comic that began in the Discover section before being picked up as a Featured gig. Because this webtoon is really that awesome.
Being Weak in a Powerful World
New episodes every Thursday
unOrdinary is a great twist on the “superhero school” trope in its social commentary on power. Which is really just me saying that I love its message and the fact that it uses superheroes.
Protagonist John proclaims himself as a powerless boy in a world full of powerful people. Society has turned to a very Darwin understanding of status–as in, power trumps all. And in unOrdinary, that power is taken in a literal sense, as each individual’s worth is based on their ability tier, which is ranked from low tier to god tier. In short, how much your super power kicks butt will determine how high you rank in society.
John walks into school on his first day at his new high school, informs his classmate that he has no powers, and proceeds to spend his days getting his butt kicked repeatedly by his power hungry fellow students. Yay, high school! Luckily John makes a high tier friend named Sera, who goes about saving his said butt.
But the story goes so far beyond high school bullies, and establishes the origin of the series title: a now outlawed book that John’s father wrote, Unordinary.
The book covers the idea the powers they are given should be used to create a better world, not used selfishly for social gain. Unordinary was later outlawed for its perceived encouragement in the influx of vigilantes who are roaming the city to save the day. As these self-proclaimed superheroes begin to be targeted and murdered, there’s further feelings that the effect that the book and its teachings are only trouble.
So there’s normal high school drama that’s imploded by a crappy society full of overpowered individuals making weaker people their dogs, which is then topped off with a superhero murder spree. Good stuff. Seriously.
The setup is exciting and original in what could be considered a weary premise. Author uru-chan takes superheroes and offers a fresh take on what people with super powers are like in unOrdinary. It goes beyond heroes versus villains, and I really like that.
Also, you can get involved in the fan dialogue asking John to ditch his dork hair. A worthwhile venture, trust me. John needs all the support he can get.
Have you ever created a comic? Do you have the guts to publish it on LINE Webtoon? Tell us in the comments, I’d love to hear about it!