12Days of Yaoi – Painter in the Night – Season 1 Review

manhwa, webcomic review, yaoi

I have been wanting to write about this manhwa for a while now, but then I fell behind in reading the end of the first season (that’s chapter 1 – 44) due to volunteer work but now that I have had time to finish the first season I know this would be one of my big posts for the 12 Days of Yaoi, after all to say this manhwa from Lezhin has taken the yaoi fandom by storm is a huge understatement. There is no part of the fandom not talking about this manhwa and like I wrote in yesterday’s post I have not seen this much hype around a title from Lezhin since Killing Stalking!

Before beginning this review however, if you are not familiar with manhwa and are not a fan of dub con or abusive relationships this is not the manhwa for you and this will be the only warning I give.

First previewed on Lezhin July 10, 2019 and then officially released almost two months later Painter in the Night by Byeonduck, this manhwa tells the story of two individuals from opposite ends of society that never should have met, if not for one of them having an obsession with the erotic art of the other to the point where he orders his underlings to find him the artist so they can work personally for him and become his own private painter.

If you have been anywhere in the yaoi fandom this year you have seen this smug face, but don’t let that handsome face fool you… unless you are one hell of a masochists’

Yoon Seungho is the apittimy of a spoiled rich brat who because of his power as a noble can do whatever he wants without consequence. He is an impatient man with an insatiable apatite for sex with men and a violent streak for when he does not get his way. There are a lot of similarities between him and Sangwoo from Killing Stalking, except where Sangwoo is calculating and sneaky with his predatory ways, Seungho knows he can get away with what ever he wants so sees no need to hide who he is, so in a way he is a much more dangerous man than Sangwoo. If you are interested in a deeper dive into the type of psychopath Seungho is I highly recommend reading the article Yoon Seungho’s Psychopathy analysis. Painter of the Night, 2020’s most captivating webtoon by bkty5181. In the article they write about what makes is a psycopath and why Seungho could be classified as a high functioning psycopath. I found it to be a fascinating read while I waited for updates back in July.

And don’t be fooled by this innocent face either…

Baek Na-kyum would be considered by most the lowest of the low in society. Orphaned as a child and left of the steps of a Kisaeng, which is pretty much the ancient Korean equivelent of a brothel he at a young age showed an aptitude for art. Unfortunately the subject of his drawings was male one male sexual acts in particularly sodomy. As he grew older he would sell collections of these sexually explicit images under a pseudonym before becoming nothing more than a traveling drunk. But when Yoon Seungho wants the artist behind his favourite erotic pictures found he is pulled out of hiding and forced to work in the palace as a painter while watching the nobleman partake in these acts.

Seeing as the nobleman Seungho is paying attention to this young artist, jealousy begins to rear its head in other noblemen who enjoy there activities with Seungho so of course this is where the drama begins. From acts of jealousy to try and get the young artist banned from the house to other deeds the life of luxury is not at all kind Baek Na-kyum but because Seungho wants him to stay and paint for him he will do anything to make the man stay.

Now I can not talk about the relationship between these two without talking about the biggest thing that will keep some away from this manhwa. There is a lot of rape, non-con, dubious consent and out right abuse in this manhwa and it even a few times made me uncomfortable for the level of cruelty. That being said at no times during my reading of the first season did it ever feel like those elements were being romanticized, it came close a few times but it was treading a very fine line. So fine in fact I’m still on the fence even by the end of this season whether I consider this even a romantic relationship or just sex for the sake of sex. There is an obvious connection growing between the two, it is just not a very healthy one in my opinion.

As I wrote this is a series that has amassed a lot of popularity this year in and even out of the yaoi community. From reactions and reviews of the series on YouTube to some damn stunning cosplays on Instagram and even boys love TikTok (which I did not even know until a month ago was a thing because I do not use TikTok) to say that this series has taken over is an understatement.

Be warned headphone warning

But why the sudden popularity? I think a lot of it has to do with timing, after all this series came out around the same time Killing Stalking was coming to an end, plus a lot of people have been home to read thanks to this year. I am happy to see this community growing and loving new works. There has been however, one small tiny detail about the fandom surrounding this series that has me just a little concerned and it once again goes back to my post about minors in the fandom. Like Killing Stalking before it this series has and continues to cover some dark and heavy themes and is in no way suitable for younger boys love fans to read, I don’t care how pretty you find the art this is not content for minors. Call me a gatekeeper if you must, but 18+ fucking means 18+ for a reason at the end of the day.

Other than that though I have been enjoying my time in this fandom and have also been enjoying the latest chapters over on Lezhin, and though I do not enjoy this series as much as Killing Stalking or BJ Alex it has still been a fun journey I don’t intend to get off of any time soon…

G’Day – Horror Webtoon Review

manhwa

Sometimes the scariest of horror stories don’t involve supernatural phenomenon, sometimes the scariest of stories are those that have an air of reality to them that sense of ‘oh shit, this could really happen.’ It’s these kinds of stories that slither their way into your psyche as you read or watch them that I enjoy most. What can I say when it comes to horror I will take a good mind fuck over a clumsy jump scare any day and if there is one story that gives me the chills the most it is the little known webtoon published on Lezhin called G’day by Yong Sung Choi.

As an Australian I always find it intriguing how other cultures interpret my country. The wide open spaces of our country towns are so calming to me not being too close to any big city its peaceful, but to someone who has lived their whole life in cities surrounded by people I can see how moving to an area like that featured in this manhwa can seem isolating and even foreboding after all your someone so different to what you are use to add to that that Shion is looking for answers about his missing sister and you have a pretty standard set up for a good crime mystery story. Only the story is not quite that simple.

Of course I can not talk about this amazing webtoon without mentioning the amazing art style of it. It is very unique and eye catching and the exaggerated designs of the characters gives the story an extra creepy vibe, especially when it comes to a certain character. Indeed it is the design of the character Hans that grabs a lot of peoples attention when they first see this webtoon. All the characters within this story are unique in their own ways and as you go through the story and learn their quirks you will come to love and hate them, with some of them you might even feel both by the end, yeah its that kind of story you are getting into with this one.

The story of this webtoon is not told in a completely straight forward way, some answers are given straight away to what is going on, or are they? When you only have part of the answer without knowing the question can you really understand what is going on? There is also multiple point of views to this story shared. It is divided into three separate narratives all that tell their own stories with their own conflicts but there is an over arching theme between them all that I really do not want to spoil in this review. Just know that if you are sensitive to stories involving themes of murder, depression and prostitution then maybe this will not be the story for you. This is a dark story much like Killing Stalking, though maybe not that dark at least it was not for me and if my review has not convinced you to give this one a go perhaps the official trailer will.

I know I have been very sparse with information on this title with this review, but I will say this before I end this review. This right here, is my favourite horror Webtoon and I really want more people to read this and talk about it, but at the same time I want to keep spoilers to a minimum because this is a story you want to go in as blind as possible, like any good mystery story it is best to go in knowing very little.

Lezhin Comics Exposed

manhwa

This has been a hard post for me to write as I have been an avid supporter of Lezhin for almost a year now, but as more and more of the recent news came to light about the company’s practices and treatment of the artists, there is a part of me that does not want to believe that these allegations against them are true. I even shared their public statement on the matter, but then I went digging myself and this is what I have found out. Before I start however I will need to clear up one thing. This is not the reason why Lezhin Month was cut short. That was due to technical difficulties on my end. Namely my blogging laptop dying. However if I had known at the beginning of last month what I know now, I would have most likely have not done Lezhin Month at all.

October 2017 Lezhin shut down the web novel side of the business in order to focus more on webtoons because that is where the money is for them, however upon making this decision they did not fully inform the authors of webnovels on their service of this upcoming closure.

January 11th 2018 Authors, Artists and Writers protest outside the office building where the company is located over an unfair payment system that has the company pocketing 70% of the earnings for the work the publish, but digging even more into this I found infomation about a petition that was started by a former writer who worked for Lezhin.

lezhin2bprotest

image from thelilycat.com

From what I could understand of the petition, (I say understand because it was in Korean and the only way I had to translate it was through google translate) writing about their treatment by the company in being poorly paid as well as suspicion of tax inconsistencies for the company especially when it comes to their overseas service sales. This petition ended up with 81,315 people participating in it.

So what does this all exactly mean for us fans in the west? I support Lezhin Comics to support the authors they say they are working with and helping. If they are not supporting their authors then I’m sorry I do not want to support them. From this point on moving forward I have for the time being decided that I will no longer be purchasing coins or supporting there site. I will be joining the Lezhin Comics boycott until further notice. But I want to make one thing very clear with this decision. This is against the company itself not the authors whose work I love very much. All the artists, writers and authors whose work I have enjoyed are the ones who are hurting the most right now and that is why I want to help them get a fairer go in their workplace.

Lezhin Releases Killing Stalking Trailer And It Is Terrifying

manhwa

Imagine my surprise in coming home from my volunteer work this afternoon and finding this within my YouTube subs…

Now I have seen a lot of Killing Stalking videos around YouTube. From cosplay videos to AMV’s. Each of them were creepy in there own way because this is Killing Stalking, but this trailer…. Damn this gave me chills as I sat and watched it. Opening with Bum’s obsession with Sangwoo it tilts the creep factor up to fool as you are shown glimpses of the madness in that house and how much Bum wants to escape this madness. To those who have already read the story we know where this all leads to, but to newcomers well you may be given enough glimpses of madness to chase that white rabbit down the hole that is Killing Stalking.