Internet Cartoons Re-tell Life As They See It
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Internet Cartoons Re-tell Life As They See It
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  • 승인 2003.10.01 00:00
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A few years ago, a fat white rabbit character with narrow eyes called “MashiMaro” rapidly grew into a favorite among young Koreans. The bizarre rabbit cartoon quickly gained widespread attention through a series of shocking plots filled with unexpected occurrences between the rabbit and its friends. But whereas the “MashiMaro” flash animation phenomenon wooed its audiences with a bizarre taste bordering on the eccentric,today ’s cartoons focus more on the familiar situations of everyday life.
One of the frequently viewed cartoons on the Internet, “Marine Blues (www.marineblues.net)”is a re-enactment of the daily experiences of Jung Chul-yeon(24), a cartoonist also wellknown as, “Mr.Sea Urchin.” Through this character he hilariously illustrates his daily experiences with friends and co-workers, themselves transposed into the world of animation through characters such as Mr.and Miss Starfish, Miss Cactus,and Mr.and Miss Small Octopus.
Each of these creations are vividly detailed, giving viewers familiar, true-to-life snapshots. For example, when Jung tells the story of Mr.Small Octopus’ call to his girlfriend, he focuses on their mutual reluctance to hang up first in order to show how much they love each other, and how much this love bothers their friends. In the story, Mr.Small Octopus keeps talking with his girlfriend on the phone while Mr.Sea Urchin and Starfish are dozing right beside him, waiting for the talk to end. Finally, the couple agrees to hang up at the same time after counting to three. However,after saying “three,”Mr.Small Octopus continues with, “No.You didn’t hang up either, darling. I don’t want to hang up first.” And the conversation continues. Fans of “Marine Blues” say it is the cartoon’s brilliance and originality that make it so popular. Park Ju-dong(20)
says, “I laughed to death when I saw the one about Mr.Cold. It was pretty nice to describe a cold, one of the annoyances of our lives, as a guest who feels lonely when nobody welcomes him.”
If “Marine Blues” focuses on humor, there is another cartoon that forces reflections upon one ’s own childhood: “Papepopo Memories (www.papepopo.co.kr).”The author, Shim Seung-hyun (32)writes,“Everyone has own precious memories, which are too valuable to share with thers.”The value that he mentions is what he attempts to capture through the adventures of cartoon characters Pape and Popo, a lovely couple.
A self-admitted fan of “Papepopo,”Kim Myung-hwan(31) explains,“ By following the track of the author’s memories, you can relax, breathe out,and smile. Not everyone may share similar memories, but I deeply sympathized with the stories. “Papepopo” made me reminisce on my childhood.
Nowadays, people seem to be easily impressed and fascinated by everyday life stories. And when these small doses of reality are acted by impossibly cute and friendly, surreal-looking animals,they grab hold of the viewers’ imaginations and lead them to a place in their hearts where they can sympathize with these stories and perhaps recall their own half-remembered, half-imagined life experiencs.

happydream83@ewha.ac.kr

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