Class 1-9 Spotlight
An Ordinary School Trip in South Korea Turns Sinister
Interview by Emel Saat
Class 1-9 is a horror tale crafted by creator Wooyoub. It is currently available to read through Webtoon.
October 15, 2023 – Class 1-9 is an eerie webcomic on WEBTOONS that follows South Korean high schoolers trapped on a North Korean island. Se-yeon is one of the few students who takes the situation seriously. As time goes on, revelations uncover each of the student’s true colors. Tense moments are littered throughout and we are left with the question of who will and who will die?
Webtoon Link: HERE
CLASS 1-9 Interview
Emel: Wooyoub, for all of us horror fans, we would like to know your favorite horror movie?
Wooyoub English Translation: I like Korean movies like The Chaser and Monster. Especially in my case, space is important. I really like directing that uses space, like Gravity or Alien.
Wooyoub’s answer in Korean: 한국영화 추격자 , 괴물등 좋아합니다. 특히 저 같은 경우는 공간을 중요시 여깁니다. 그래비티나 에일리언 같이 공간을 이용한 연출을 굉장히 좋아합니다.
Emel: Did any of those you mentioned inspire Class 1-9?
Wooyoub English Translation: The works that inspired me were Lord of the Flies, Ireland, and Battle Royale.
Wooyoub’s answer in Korean: 저에게 영감을 준 작품은 파리 대왕, 아일랜드 , 배틀로얄 입니다.
Emel: Take us back to your beginning, what was the first comic panel or page that you can remember and what was it about?
Wooyoub English Translation: My first cartoon was called “19”. The bodies of tadpoles and humans change and their families. It’s about taking revenge on a person who was killed as a prank.
Wooyoub’s answer in Korean: 저의 첫번째 만화는 “19” 라는 만화입니다. 올챙이와 인간의 몸이 바뀌게 되고 자신들의 가족들을 장난으로 죽인 인간에게 복수를 하는 내용이죠.
Emel: Class 1-9 is very popular. You started releasing it on Webtoons in May 2023 and it has 1.9 million reads so far! That’s amazing and not an easy task! What did you do to stand out from the thousands of other webcomics?
Wooyoub English Translation: First of all, there are many characters in class 9 of the first grade. In order to do that, simplified characters are coming out in the story. I thought it would be nice. So we divide the characters into good and evil. I put my energy into the center of the case.
And my strength is painting style and space distortion. To find a cute and good drawing style for a thriller. I’ve tried, and I’ve seen the way the picture was made, and it’s interesting to the readers. I think that’s what led to the millions of readers.
Wooyoub’s answer in Korean: 먼저 1학년9반에는 많은 캐릭터들이 나옵니다. 그러기 위해서는 스토리상 단순화된 캐릭터들이 나오는게 좋겠다고 판단했어요. 그래서 캐릭터들을 선과 악으로 나누어
사건 중심에 힘을 쏟았습니다.
그리고 제 강점인 그림체와 공간왜곡입니다. 귀여우면서도 스릴러에 어울리는 그림체를 찾기위해
노력했었고 만들어진 그림체가 독자들의 많은 관심을 이끈 것 같습니다.
Emel: How long did it take to write the story and have it all planned out?
Wooyoub English Translation: Webtoons are fast-paced systems. Every day is busy. So, the whole story: Rather than squeezing it all at once, I’ll squeeze a big stem for about 3 months. Every week, until the completion of events and characters. I’m working hard on it.
Wooyoub’s answer in Korean: 웹툰은 빠르게 진행되는 시스템입니다. 하루 하루가 바쁘죠. 그렇기에 전체 스토리를 한번에 짠다기 보단 큰 줄기를 3개월 정도 짠다음
매주 매주 사건과 캐릭터성을 완결까지열심히 그립니다.
Emel: Within the first chapter of Class 1-9 it seems there is only one survivor. It was hard for me to read each chapter as I became attached to Chae-Eun Hyeon, Hyeonseong Kim, Ji-Eun Kim, Myeongjun Woo and Jihun An. The suspense knowing only Se-Yeong Han gets off of the island and something bad will happen to everyone else really puts readers on the edge. Without any spoilers, will Se-Yeong at least be alright in the end? Will there be any hope?
Wooyoub English Translation: Se-yeon is a little giant. You know that the world will change only if you move. What a wonderful girl. What’s important on a deserted island is a strong body.
It’s not even an ak-47 rifle, it’s the mentality that keeps you moving. Therefore, Se-yeon will overcome anything.
Wooyoub’s answer in Korean: 세연이는 작은 거인입니다. 자신이 움직여야 세상이 변한다는 것을 알고있는 멋진 소녀입니다. 무인도에서 중요한 건 강인한 육체도 ak-47 소총도 아닌 계속해서 움직이는 정신력입니다. 그러므로 세연이는 어떤 일도 이겨낼 것 입니다.
Emel: If you were stuck alone on an island how long do you think you would last?
Wooyoub English Translation: Haha, I gathered a lot of information to draw a desert island cartoon. Got it. But I have the mental strength to keep moving.
Since it is not enough, I expect to survive about two weeks.
Wooyoub’s answer in Korean: 하하 저는 무인도 만화를 그리기 위해 여러 정보를 얻었습니다. 하지만 저는 계속해서 움직이는 정신력이 부족하기 때문에 한 2주 정도 예상해봅니다.
Emel: You have another webcomic called Co2 that is in the action/fantasy genre. Is there one genre you enjoy working in the most?
Wooyoub English Translation: I originally wanted to draw a fantasy action comic.
But before I knew it, I was drawing a thriller and horror comic. However, even though I am drawing a thriller/horror comic, it appears occasionally. Action scenes are very enjoyable to draw.
Wooyoub’s answer in Korean: 저는 원래 판타지 액션 만화를 그리고 싶었습니다.
하지만 어느새 스릴러 공포 만화를 그리고 있네요. 그렇지만 스릴러 공포 만화를 그리고 있음에도 가끔 나오는
액션씬은 매우 즐겁게 그리곤 합니다.
Emel: This is all really great! Has making comics been something you’ve always wanted to do?
Wooyoub English Translation: Drawing cartoons is something I’ve dreamed of since I was really young. I love drawing cartoons very much.
Emel: Do you have any tips for comic book creators just starting out?
Wooyoub English Translation: It’s not difficult to draw cartoons. If you want to draw a cartoon, draw the first episode right now. Story? Picture? Directing? More importantly, we complete the first episode of the manuscript.
Emel: Thanks for the interview Wooyoub! I have your links below for your fans:
Emel Saat is the senior journalist and media specialist for Creek Comics, LLC. Emel is an award winning indie filmmaker based in New York City. In addition to being a film director, she is also an artist, writer, producer, and editor. Emel graduated from Hunter College with a Bachelor’s degree in filmmaking. Her first film Kitty City screened in 2018 & her follow-up film titled Koko Ni Inai (I’m Not Here) received critical acclaim, such as winning “Best Fantasy Film” at the 2020 New York Movie Awards.