Monday, February 18, 2008

[ News, Culture / Events, December 23 2007] Korean cartoons grow up and into lucrative animation industry

An old, driverless car approaches a young man, suddenly stands up, and transforms itself into a tall, talking robot armed with never-before-seen technology.

This is a scene from “Transformers,” the recent Hollywood blockbuster directed by Michael Bay. The show features robots that can change themselves into any kind of vehicle to fight against evil robots out to takeover earth.

The movie and the original 1980s cartoon on which it is based captivated many robot enthusiasts, young and old.

The creative power behind the Transformers is Korean animator Nelson Shin, 67, the producer of the original Transformers cartoon and director of the 1986 Transformers movie. Dubbed “god of animators” in South Korea,” Shin and the staff at his studio AKOM in Korea have also been drawing famous U.S. cartoon characters from “The Simpsons,” “Dilbert” and “Pink Panther.”

Meanwhile, at Internet cafes across Korea a legion of 200,000 users -- ages 20 to 60 – are logged on and playing Lineage. The online multi-role game, allows players to be princes, knights, magicians or other characters fighting for their kings in a fantasy world created by cartoonist Shin Il-suk. Shin, 45, is one of well-known Korean animators. "Manhwa" or Korean comic book readers, were amazed by the world of fantasy, epic and romance Shin created in her other artworks that include "Four Daughters of Armian" (unofficial translation) and "Pharaoh’s Lover" (unofficial translation).

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