Printoonization is the art of turning a webtoon into a manga. In other words, we change the smartphone’s vertical reading codes to the ones of a classical manga reading. If the narrative techniques of these two media seem to be the same at first, this is hardly the case. We will see together what are the differences between them, and how we work on moving from a pattern to the other.

To begin with the most obvious, webtoons‘ reading pattern is not at all the same as mangas’. Indeed, a webtoon is created to be read on a phone, that is to say vertically and by scrolling through the panels. Effectively, the format is quite distinctive : since the images follow each other from top to down, the panels are separated to conform to this reading style. This implies top-down fades, long and narrow panels, blanks to force narrative pauses, top and bottom panels connected by overlapping drawings…

The printoonization of a webtoon involves readjusting it to make it fit the manga codes

On the other hand, a manga is read from right to left (or from left to right for a Korean manhwa), and the panels’ placement is quite different: arranged closer from one another, without any blank spaces between them, they can be larger. Moreover, the manga makes the creation of double-paged illustrations possible, which is impossible on smartphones.

The webtoon’s panels are therefore thoroughly separated and placed on a layout, so as to rethink their placement and staging. It is still essential to preserve the atmosphere conveyed by the original media, which makes the thought process crucial. Because of some webtoon particularities, such as word balloons placement and up-down fades between panels, having to redraw pieces of some illustrations in order to integrate them seamlessly in a manga format is not unusual.

Even when it comes to lettering, the work is quite different: a webtoon’s text can afford to change font and size from a balloon to another, as it matches the situation and the panel’s size. However, in a manga, the font has to stay consistent from beginning to end. For the printoonization, an adaptation work therefore occurs here too, since it is necessary to unify all the text before adding it to the final product. Thus, we have to begin by removing all the word balloons and sound effects from the illustrations, adding them again when the panels arrangement is done, and end by putting in all the standardized text.

Creating printed mangas in color based on digital webtoons

When creating a manga, one of the requirements is to have a cover and back cover which perfectly promote the visual identity, atmosphere and characteristics of the story. Thanks to it, the manga catches the eye of potential readers browsing their bookstore’s shelves. For a webtoon, the promotion is not quite the same: to be eye-catching, logos and small presentation images are preferred. To adapt a webtoon or smartoon into a printed format, it is thus required to create a cover and a back cover that will bring it out on the mangas shelves.

One of the webtoon’s characteristics that is kept after its transition to a paper edition is the presence of color. It is common knowledge : mangas are only printed in black and white. However, when webtoons are converted in a physical format, (that is to say when they are printoonized) they keep their colors. It is simpler, and it prevents from losing a part of the drawing’s identity. Therefore, printoonized webtoons have colored pages.

To succeed in printoonizing a webtoon, it is vital to know and understand the codes of both media at the core of the process, in order to provide a high-quality printed edition. This is our mission at Printoonize. To accomplish this, our team is ready. If you are interested in our printoonization services and wish to get a quote, contact us!