Webtoons is a platform that allows for free digital comics reading in an innovative, scrolling format, and you may have seen the green and white attractive booths for Webtoons at comic conventions as they expand into the American market from their Korean point of origin. One thing that you’ll hear if you walk around a big artists alley at a convention is how many comic creators are developing creator-owned projects for Webtoons or considering doing so–it’s a definite trend and it’s good for creators–who get paid for the work and yet retain ownership–and good for readers who get this content absolutely free.
This week, a big story arc of The Purple Heart, by Vito Delsante and Ricardo Venacio, comes to a conclusion as part of the New Brooklyn Universe that also contains The Red Hook by Dean Haspiel (which is returning for a second series on Webtoons in the autumn) and The Brooklynite by Seth Kushner, Shamus Beyale, and Jason Goungor. In this superhero-ravaged world where Brooklyn has seceded from New York City and art is used as a form of currency, citizens never know what to expect and heroes vie for their own patch of turf.
The Purple Heart has run for 26 chapters, the equivalent of a graphic novel or two in content, and all are currently available on Webtoons as of today. The events of the series take place one year after Brooklyn has seceded from New York when a “mysterious purple figure engulfed in flames has appeared”. This is perhaps the most emotive corner of the New Brooklyn Universe, featuring a war-vet grappling with his own past, and one that has a lot to offer readers.
All of the comics in the New Brooklyn Universe have a strong sense of place, observed by creators who live and work there every day, but The Purple Heart is really specifically grounded in the ethos of life as lived, which is always a bonus in comics–readers get to feel the texture of life in a particular place as well as taking part in the lives of the characters. This story also focuses on the idea of rebirth for its central character and in its final chapter has plenty to say about the realities of change in a locale, among its people, and in one’s own personality.
Take advantage of the opportunity to read this substantial comic online for free and experience the scrolling techniques of storytelling on Webtoons, whether on your computer, or through their app, which has the most seamless experience.