Pink Lady (2007-2009)
By Yeon Woo and Seo Na
This week, I decided to reread one of my favorite webtoons, Pink Lady (핑크레이디), a South Korean webtoon by Yeon Woo and Seo Na. The story is about the love between two young artists, Han Gyeo-Wul and Yun Hyeon-Seok, who loved each other since childhood. Before I share my thoughts on this work, I would like to share some fun facts. Gyeo-Wul (겨울) means winter in Korean. Also, the title of the webtoon, Pink Lady, refers to how the female protagonist, Han Gyeo-Wul, always wears pink clothing. However, “Pink Lady” is also a gin-based cocktail drink. In the webtoon, Hyeon-Seok makes a “Pink Lady” for Gyeo-Wul, which was the last drink she ever had before Hyeon-Seok joins a special art studio.
The two main characters, Han Gyeo-Wul and Yun Hyeon-Seok, are both adorable and relatable. Han Gyeo-Wul is sensitive when people call her “short,” and she has a “baby face” which makes her look younger than her age. At times, she is feisty and a little aggressive to her friends, especially Hyeon-Seok, in which she would kick or punch Hyeon-suk’s body whenever he teases her. She recently graduated from a famous art school, but her artistic skill could be considered average. As a result, she has constantly been rejected to every job she applied to and she isn’t sure what her true “dream” or “passion” is. I picked the word, “relatable,” because Gyeo-Wul and I share similar physical and personality traits. Also, I can relate to her worries about the future, constant job rejections, and her uncertainty of what career path she should go for. In fact, I can honestly say, I’m her at this current moment in time.
The male lead, Yun Hyeon-Seok, shares the same worries like Gyeo-Wul in regards to the struggles of becoming a professional artist. Hyeon-Seok is a gentle, romantic man. He constantly teases Gyeo-Wul, which results in him being beat up by her. At times, he is very timid. Sometimes, he cannot directly express his feelings to others. However, it is through his art that Gyeo-Wul and also the readers are able to understand him.
As Hyeon-Seok and Gyeo Wul’s relationship progresses, their art becomes similar to each other, which ultimately, becomes the main problem in their relationship. The webtoon comments on how it is inappropriate for two artists to share the same muse or inspiration because it could imply that one of the two artists copied the other artist’s work.
One of the reasons why I highly praise this webtoon is the art. The difference between webtoon and manga or manhwa is that webtoons are in color. Color does make a difference within comics, especially in this one since it is all about art. Every frame is meticulously drawn and colored to clearly show the character’s facial expressions and to emphasize a certain feeling within the background.
Also, there are numerous parodies of famous paintings throughout the series. One of my favorite parodies is when Hyeon-Seok criticizes Gyeo-Wul’s drawings, and Gyeo-Wul becomes upset. In order to emphasize Gyeo-Wul’s anger at Hyeon-Seok, Edvard Munch’s The Scream could be seen in the background.
The artists, Yeon Woo and Seo Na are affiliated with one of South Korea’s prestigious art universities, Hongik University. Throughout the webtoon, the two authors inform readers about various artists and their works, college life at Hongik University and provide advice on art techniques.
The main life lesson in Pink Lady is that the best drawings are created when it comes from the artist’s heart. I think this could apply to any craft such as painting or writing. If you are passionate about something, then good results will follow.