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Popular webtoon comes to life in web-based TV series

  • Published : Nov 4, 2016 - 15:12
  • Updated : Nov 4, 2016 - 15:12

An aspiring cartoonist will tell the story of his ridiculous but warmhearted family in "The Sound of Your Heart," a new series based on the eponymous webtoon, the drama's producer and actors said Thursday.

The comedy revolves around Jo Seok (Lee Kwang-soo), a simple-minded and spontaneous cartoonist, as he depicts the everyday lives of his family and friends in drawings. In the family there are the elder brother and father who act about half their ages and the mother with total control of the household. Then there is Ae-bong (Jung So-min), Jo's female friend, who begins to have a growing presence in his life.

"As a fan of the original webtoon, I was curious to see how it would turn out as a drama and felt pressured at the same time," Lee said during a promotional press conference held at Naver headquarters in Seongnam, south of Seoul. Naver, South Korea's top Internet portal, co-produced the series with public broadcaster KBS and Kross Pictures.

"I got a lot of help during filming, and prepared myself mentally because our director said I'd have to expose (my body)," the 31-year-old said jokingly. "I thought I'd be exposing the upper part of my body, but it turned out it to be the lower half."

Lee is well-known in Asia as a cast member of the hit variety show "Running Man" and has been called "Prince of Asia" by his fans.

Director Ha Byoung-hun said he went into production thinking it would be easy because there are so many stories to choose from in the original work. "The Sound of Your Heart" is the longest-running webtoon in the country, with more than 1,000 episodes being published on Naver since its launch 10 years ago. Jo Seok, the cartoonist with the same name as his webtoon character, was also present at the press conference.

"When I started reading it properly from the start, I realized I'd made a mistake," Ha said. To make it easier, the director decided to focus on delivering feelings of empathy, which run through the series.

He also worked to bring out the webtoon's offbeat sense of humor and highlight the characters of Jo and his family.

"I started out aiming to tell the special story of an unusual character, with elements of family and laughter," Ha said. "I'm not sure I stuck with it till the end."

The series is scheduled to premiere on Naver TVcast at 6 a.m. Monday. A total of 10 episodes will be streamed online every Monday throughout the month of November. In December, the remaining 10 episodes will be broadcast on KBS 2TV and Naver at the same time.

Chinese portal site Sohu has also bought the broadcasting rights to the series. (Yonhap)