Kudos to Odd Squad Scanlations

I am sorry for another sort of filler post in what appears to be a 3 post long chain of filler posts, but I had to express my gratitude and admiration somehow. Now, before we can get to the actual Kudos part, I am going to go through a quick, somewhat dry introduction to webcomics. If you are already aware of what webcomics are, then feel free to use this handy dandy html anchor.

For those of you who don’t know, a webtoon is a manhwa that is published online. In other words, it is a manga made by Korean artists that is published online first and in book form later (but only if it is successful and the author feels like it). From what I have seen, most webcomics are released on Naver. I do not know if there are other sites like Naver, but Naver definitely seems to be the most popular one (at least for Non-Korean fans). I do not know the numbers, but the authors who publish their comics on Naver get paid for their work. Most likely, it is a comission based on the amount of add revenue their comic generates.

Picture is not relevant.

I know a few people who don’t like reading manga on a computer. This is understandable, not only do you not get the feel of paper, but reading from an LCD screen can make your eyes hurt after a while. On top of that, you have to constantly change pages as you go through the manga. This can be especially tiring if you read really fast and skim unnecessary details. People who have issues with manga/printed manhwa on a pc should really try webtoons.

Unlike their printed counterparts, Webtoons, as implied by the name, are made for the web. Webtoons are released in colored, long, vertical strips. So, in theory you don’t have to click on the side button 17 times to read one chapter. You just calmly move the scroll wheel. Since they are published online, webtoons are also not hindered by the quality drop caused by scanners AND, they are not printed in cheap mass consumer oriented ink. So, yeah, webtoons are pretty awesome and the format works really well in my opinion.

Unfortunately, like their printed counterparts, Webtoons are not written in English. So, we have to rely on scanlation groups to do the translating for us. These scanlators go over to Naver, copy the images, sometimes splitting them up into smaller, more manageable chunks, do their translating magic and upload the translated versions to their own sites (or manga aggregators like Batoto or Webtoon Live).

Unfortunately, since you and I don’t view the webtoons on Naver, the author does not get add revenue. Fortunately, if you are proactive, then you can click over to Naver anyway and donate your view! Groups like Egscans take this one step further by force opening a Naver tab on you so that you give them at least one view. This is a nice thing to do and hopefully, it helps the authors out to, but I have seen no solution that is as effective and elegant as the one that Odd Squad Scanlations uses.

Odd Squad Scanlations has a very cool method of webcomic distribution. If you go to their page for Cheese in the Trap ( a most excellent webcomic that I only discovered day before yesterday and the comic that lead me to Odd Squad Scans), you will notice a JavaScript Script thingy. If you go over to Naver and paste that magic script then bam! The Korean image will be substituted for a translated one, but you will still be on the site, so, in theory you will still be helping the author out! Ain’t that awesome?!

The script is too inconvenient for you? Well, it was inconvenient for me to (I actually didn’t get it to work, though I hardly tried). Have no fear, for they also have these super handy dandy add-ons !

Let us imagine that the coupon is the add-on.

I can verify that the Chrome add-on works wonderfully. I just go to a Naver page for a CITT page that they have translated, wait for a seconds and boom! I now have access to an English translation on a Korean site. It’s WONDERFUL!

This isn’t the first time I have encountered this form of distribution, but I don’t quite remember where I encountered it before (it may very well have been OS scans). Regardless of whether they are the only ones or even the first ones to distribute this way, Odd Squad Scans deserves praise for going out of there way to be ethical about distribution.

I honestly think that most scanlators are awesome people. Be it manga, manhwa, manhua or webtoons, they work their butts off to provide us selfish fans with fun comics and for the most part, most scanlators don’t really get anything out of it either. It’s a selfless job and the people who so faithfully do it deserve a pat on their backs.

Having said that, the same is not true for manga aggregators like MangaFox or MangaReader. I wish I could dish out the hate, but I am guilty of resorting to aggregators to get my manga fix when necessary. Yeah, I normally go straight to the scanlators sites, but sometimes, I am often too lazy to download the chapters and other times, I can’t find the scans very easily, so, I resort to aggregators. I really should not do that. I really should buy more manga as well (my tiny collection is in no way any where close to being representative of the mangas that I have read).

Say no to manga aggregators!

So, yeah, most aggregators are bad, bad, shady places. Have you seen their advertisements? Whenever I go to MangaReader or MangaFox, their audio adds(which may or may not be because of trojans/viruses) interrupt my manga time! At least, One Manga had a bit more honour in their day and they chose to cut their losses and die peacefully.
Anyway, instead of listening to me rant, you should just read a post by a scanlating site that suffers abuse first hand.

As an aside, I would have gone on to face Omaris Blogspot in the second round of the Aniblog tourney had 8thsin not beaten me.😛

tl;dr: Webcomics are awesome and you should be reading them. Odd Squad Scanlations is an awesome group and they deserve mad props. Sites like MangaFox suck; you and I should avoid them. You and I should buy more manga when they are licensed and released in our respective countries.

One more picture because Yoo Jung is hot stuff!

Thanks for reading.

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  1. #1 by Mushyrulez on June 8, 2012 - 11:52 pm

    Also, add a note about Batoto: although it still aggregates manhwa and manga without giving much back to their original creators, at least their ad revenue helps out the scanlators.

    (Which is still worse than actually buying the manga themselves but when distribution channels are blocked…)

    • #2 by Reiseng on June 9, 2012 - 2:56 am

      Yeah, I sort of liked that part about Botato. I am not too sure if I still like that part though.

      I sent an email to someone at Omaris-blogspot asking them for their opinion on Botato.
      She replied and told me that she does not like Botato. In her opinion, scanlators should not get paid what so ever.

      That was a rather interesting viewpoint. I guess big scanlators like Mangastream and Red Hawks might earn a bit of revenue (especially Mangastream, they probably earn a lot…), but a lot of the smaller ones probably operate at a loss. I don’t know, I just find that interesting.😐

      • #3 by Mushyrulez on June 9, 2012 - 1:49 pm

        Yeah, the main problem is that you can’t do things like what Odd Squad does with published works. Now, if all mangaka drew electronically, or if magazines serialized their works online instead… (with copious amounts of advertising, of course)

    • #4 by Reiseng on June 9, 2012 - 6:19 pm

      Yeah, it would be more convenient if all manga were published online.

      Unfortunately, as it stands, I don’t buy many manga volumes, partly because you can’t really compete with free and also because 12$ per volume is really expensive and it adds up to a lot if you read a lot of manga. Oh and having to wait for volumes is also a pain.

      Viz tried to get around this with their online Jump thing, but not too many people have jumped on board. Hopefully, that will get some speed.

      Oh well~

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