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2009 Readers Poll: Best New Korean Manhwa

About.com Readers Pick 2009's Best New Graphic Novels From Korea


Manhwa from Korea has been published in the U.S. since 2002 – but 2009 brought us a whole bunch of new titles, so it just made sense to give it its own category! Romantic comedies, supernatural suspense, action-packed adventures and even a boys love story is in the mix, but in the end, the romantic comedy of Pig Bride earned the most clicks from manhwa readers.

See more of the best manga of 2009:

WINNER - Pig Bride

Pig Bride Vol. 1
© KookHwa Huh, SuJin Kim / Haksan Publishing Co., Ltd.

Author: KookHwa Huh
Artist: SuJin Kim
Publisher: Yen Press
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While on a camping trip, 8-year old Si-Joon loses his way in the mountains. He’s saved by a strange girl wearing a pig mask, then finds himself at a lavish banquet, where he’s told that he just got married to this pig bride. Flash forward eight years and 16-year old Si-Joon is a popular guy at his high school. Just when he’s about to make his move on the cutest girl in school, a girl wearing a pig mask shows up, calling him "My lord."

2nd place - Reading Club

The Reading Club Vol. 1
© Cho Ju-Hee, Suh Yun-Young

Author: Cho Ju-Hee
Artist: Suh Yun-Young
Publisher: Udon Entertainment
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Eun-Sae decides to stay after class to help her classmate (and crush) Kyung-Do organize the student-run library. But Kyung-Do has anything but romance on his mind – he’s fascinated by a book that just might be behind some recent and not-so-recent deaths connected to the library. In addition to the book, Eun-Sae learns of the existence of “The Reading Club,” a mysterious group charged with keeping ancient and “prohibited” books.

3rd place - Jack Frost

Jack Frost Vol. 1
© JinHo Ko / Haksan Publishing Co., Ltd.

Author and Artist: JinHo Ko
Publisher: Yen Press
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Noh-A Joo starts enters her first day at Amityville High filled with anticipation about the years of teen fun to come. But her dreams are dashed almost immediately as she gets caught in the middle of a violent, take-no-prisoners war between students who are vicious monsters. After getting her head lopped off, Noh-A meets Jack Frost, a student whose evil grin is only slightly more unnerving than his ability to fight, die and fight over and over again.

4th place - Time and Again

Time and Again Vol. 1
© JiUn Yun / Daewon C.I., Inc.

Author and Artist: JiUn Yun
Publisher: Yen Press
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Set in Tang Dynasty-era China, Time and Again tells the tales of Baek-On the exorcist and his bodyguard, Ho-Yeon as they travel through the countryside looking for ghosts and vengeful spirits to send to the great beyond – for pay, of course. Most of his clients aren’t that impressed by Baek-On’s drunkenness and his less-than-enthusiastic bedside manner, but they change their tune when he gives them what they need, but not always what they asked for.

5th place - Sarasah

Sarasah Vol. 1
© Ryu Ryang / Seoul Cultural Publishers, Inc.

Author and Artist: Ryu Ryang
Publisher: Yen Press
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Ji-Hae has a major crush on Seung-Hyu – but maybe “crush” isn’t quite the word for her obsession with her stand-offish classmate. In a terrible accident, Seung-Hyu pushes Ji-Hae down a flight of stairs, and she dies. But it’s all a cosmic mistake! Ji-Hae wasn’t supposed to go yet, so the gods give the lovesick teen another chance at life. She’s sent back in time as a young Korean noblewoman who meets a young man who looks just like Seung-Hyu.

6th place - U Don't Know Me

U Don't Know Me
© Rakun

Author and Artist: Rakun
Publisher: NETComics
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While they’re not related, Seyun and Yoojin have been close friends since childhood, to the point where they think of each other almost like brothers. But as the two boys grow to become young men, Seyun finds himself feeling sexually attracted to Yoojin. The two embark upon a torrid affair that brings them closer together while forcing each to confront some uncomfortable truths.

7th place - Raiders

Raiders Vol. 1
© JinJun Park / Daewon C.I., Inc.

Author and Artist: JinJun Park
Publisher: Yen Press
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As the assistant to archaeologist Dr. Wilter Langhem, Irel does more than just dig up and dust off artifacts. As Raiders opens, Irel is sent to break into a church in Glastonbury, to steal the Holy Grail. What he finds instead is something stranger and possibly more powerful: one of five chrism bottles said to contain the blood of Christ. But Irel’s triumph is short-lived, as he is confronted by a beautiful but ruthless zombie assassin who wants the chrism to become truly immortal.

8th place - Mijeong

© Byung-Jun Byun

Author and Artist: Byung-Jun Byun
Publisher: NBM Publications
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Mijeong means “pure beauty” in Chinese, but these short stories by Byung-jun Byun are more than just pretty pictures. A young woman left bitter by the loss of a childhood love encounters an older man who’s obsessed by youth. A group of students discuss ways to dispose of a dead body. A girl tries to express her gratitude to a boy who saved her from being attacked. Each story in Mijeong explores loneliness, desperation, friendship and hope amongst a diverse group of modern Korean city dwellers.

9th place (tie) - The Color of Earth

The Color of Earth
© Dong Hwa Kim

Author and Artist: Dong Hwa Kim
Publisher: First Second
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Ehwa is a young Korean girl who learns about herself and the changes in her heart and body as she goes from childhood to womanhood. Puberty, unrequited love and experiencing her first true feelings of real passion are all emotional milestones that Ehwa experiences in this first part of a three-book trilogy. Meanwhile, Ehwa’s widowed mother looks for love the second time around.

9th place (tie) - 13th Boy

13th Boy Vol. 1
© SangEun Lee / Haksan Publishing Co., Ltd.

Author and Artist: SangEun Lee
Publisher: Yen Press
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Who says your teen years are the best time of your life? 8th grader Hee-So would firmly disagree. After confessing her love for a guy on a TV show, she later gets dumped in a humiliating way. After 12 failed attempts to find a boyfriend who will be truly in love with her, will her 13th boy be the charm?

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