Posted by: seoulgraphics | October 31, 2010

The ‘Red Bicycle’ by Donghwa Kim

This series consists of four books and has already been published in Korean and French to wide acclaim, selling over 160,000 copies in total.

 

It has been written and drawn by the established author Dongwha Kim, who has published his graphic novels widely in Korea, and won the 2003 award as the best cartoonist in the Taipei Asian Cartoon Festival.

 

He was born in 1950 in Seoul, South Korea. His work was first published in 1975.

 

The stories included in The Red Bicycle were published in the broadsheet Choseon-Ilbo between 2002 and 2003. The details of each book are as follows:

 

 

The Red Bicycle 1 (Dad as a Fool) (English word count 7,466: 161 pages)

 

The Red Bicycle 2 (Hollyhock) (English word count 8,999: 190 pages)

 

The Red Bicycle 3 (Mother) (English word count 11,523: 203 pages)

 

The Red Bicycle 4 (Spring Again) (English word count 12,600: 240 pages)

 

The four books are Korean-based short stories, based in a town called Yawhari. Each story is broken down into smaller ?tales?, focusing on Korean culture, lifestyle and daily life philosophies, told through beautiful graphic illustrations. Their potential market is wide ranging; as learning tools for children, through to graphic novels or a fun way of understanding Korean culture for adults.

 

Synopsis The Red Bicycle? 1: In the old Korean peasant town of Yawhari, where older generations reside after their children have left for the city to make their own living, a postman goes to each household in the village to find out about the lives of older generations, carrying news from their beloved children. Yawhari is an imaginary hometown we all long for away from busy city life. In this town, seen through the postman’s eyes, there are many emotional encounters and opportunities to learn about values and life-philosophies from the older generations.

 

Every page in the book is filled with the original author’s masterpiece artwork, set against a picturesque landscape, in which the author narrates nostalgic memories of life.

 

This graphic novel series is an engaging read for a broad audience and can be suitable for many different age groups. The book?s value is found in its representation of heart-warming life-philosophies, which reflect the lives of older generations and their love for the country-life. It is particularly appropriate to be used as a family book, as the general theme is one of kindness and acceptance.

 

The popularity of this book has already been established by its selling figures in Korea and France. Primarily, this is because the original illustrations and stylish design of this book appeals to both adults and children alike.

Jeeyeon Kim, PhD


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