May 24, 2022

Kakao Entertainment’s “Navillera: Like a Butterfly” up for Best Webcomic at 2022 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards


SEOUL, May 24, 2022 — Kakao Entertainment’s popular webtoon “Navillera: Like a Butterfly,” — written by HUN and illustrated by JIMMY – has been nominated for Best Webcomic at the 2022 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, one of the most prestigious awards in the North American comics industry. 

The nomination holds additional meaning as it was localized and introduced to the US market via Tapas, Kakao Entertainment’s North American webtoon platform. Kakao Entertainment recently merged two of its US storytelling companies, Tapas Media and Radish Media, to help solidify the company’s leadership position in the North American market and create further synergy. Tapas’ “DPS Only!”and “Fangs” were also nominated for last year’s Eisner Awards. 

“Navillera” is a collaborative work between HUN, a popular series writer of major hits like “Secretly, Greatly,” and “We Don’t Bite: Villains in the Countryside,” and JIMMY, artist of “Rendezvous.” Ittells the story of two men: Shim Deok-chul, a 70-year-old retired postman who decides to pursue his long-held dream to be a ballet dancer, and Lee Chae-rok, a ballet prodigy in his twenties who teaches Shim. With its original and highly creative narrative spun around the theme of chasing one’s dreams against all odds, “Navillera” quickly gained popularity with readers across a broad spectrum of ages. 

Thanks to its popularity, “Navillera” was also adapted for TV and musical production. The TV adaptation, which aired on one of Korea’s local cable channels and a global OTT platform, was critically acclaimed for its strong production value and high-quality acting, which includes graceful ballet performances. 

Named after the acclaimed comics creator, Will Eisner, the Eisner Awards are considered the Oscars of the comic book industry, and receiving a nomination is seen as a pinnacle achievement for many comic book writers and illustrators. The winners are set to be announced at a gala awards ceremony at San Diego’s annual Comic-Con on July 22.  

“I’ve had the great fortune of receiving many leading awards in the comics industry over the past two decades, but I think being nominated for an Eisner Award is the greatest luck I’ve seen so far,” said HUN about the nomination. The one thing that I thought about when I started to conceptualize “Navillera” is that the central theme of family, dreams, and life is something everyone can relate to. So, I really hoped it could become a story loved by everyone, everywhere. I’m so happy to know that was the case.” 

“I’m honored to know that the characters of ‘Navillera,’ Deok-chul and Chae-rok, are able to once again share their performance with more readers around the world through this Eisner nomination,” said JIMMY, the illustrator. “I hope their story brings people joy, and that it gives everyone the strength to pursue their own dreams.”

Webtoons from Kakao Entertainment have been consistently recognized for their highly creative narratives and strong plotlines. In 2021 alone, the rights to more than 50 dramas, films, and animations were sold, 20 percent of which went to overseas production companies. In October last year, Ma Young-shin’s “Moms” won the 2021 Harvey Award for Best International Book, one of the comic industry’s oldest and most prestigious awards.