「TLT(TIGER THE LONG TAIL)」, a business fable comic featuring anthropomorphized animals.
「TLT」 gets its name from the ‘long tail rule’, which in the world of business refers to the changes of a product’s demand curve.「TLT」 lampoons human society through anthropomorphized characters such as the long-tailed tiger, dragon, and cat, and the sharp and detailed viewpoints of the authors are clearly expressed.
This work is the result of collaboration between two titans of their fields. It is the first feature-length comic of artist Kim Jeong-gi, who has become a legendary “Godfather” of the comic work with his outstanding drawing and directing skills, and the story has been composed by none other than writer Park Seong-jin, a KAIST graduate who has polished his skills while penning hundreds of web martial art novels and webtoon comics. 「TLT」, published in Naver and quickly winning the hearts of over 600,000 readers, is an interesting and engaging business fable about a long-tailed tiger and animals that look like humans. This work is a remake of the original TLT (Tiger the Long Tail), which ran from 2008 to 2010 in Naver Webtoons at the peak of its popularity. The original format has been reborn as a storytoon, combining aspects of comics and novels, and produced as an electronic book.
[Publisher Review]: Interpark Books : Based on the Original TLT Webtooon
- A ‘professional comic’ takes on business
The title of the work [TLT] is short for ‘Tiger the Long Tail’. It gets its name from the ‘long tail rule’, which refers to the changes of a product’s demand curve, as seen in cases of Google, Amazon, and e-Bay. In other words, it means that a small number of big hit products bring forth profits considerable to hit products while wading through the obstacles of distribution in this age of digital product distribution. The lengthened demand curve is seen as the long tail. With a bit of imagination, the long tail rule can have a wide variety of applications. The thing that promoters noticed before anything else was the rule’s approach to leadership, one of the main points of business administration along with management. Leadership is talked about in dozens of ways, and even to this day new types of leadership are being advocated. Can the long tail be used by the new leadership? This work was created with the intent of creating a comic based on business in order to answer such questions.
3 students from Yonsei University School of Business (MBA) worked alongside the authors as planners and scripters. The potential of a ‘professional comic’ about business. That is the core piercing intent behind this work.
- Anthropomorphized with Overseas Advancement in Mind
The reason behind [TLT]’s animal characters is simple. It was intended to advance overseas since its beginning stages. The main character Taeho is a long tailed tiger. His strongest rival, a dragon, moves according to a gigantic power that represents China. The cat Natsume was created with Japan in mind. And Major, a pig whose personality undergoes a massive change, takes inspiration from George Orwell’s [Animal Farm].
These animal characters are ideal for advancing overseas without regards to nationality. Furthermore, they make suitable characters for a business fable that satirizes human society.
The personalities of the characters are based on what each animal symbolizes and citations from various literature references. As such, they are expected to naturally open up and become clearer to the reader as the reader becomes more accustomed to the book. It is true that the very first planning motif for the series was George Orwell’s [Animal Farm].
- Support from Korea Creative Content Agency as Advance ‘Planning’ Comic
Preparations for [TLT] began in early 2007, and it achieved the ‘2007 Planned Creative Comic Production Support Business’ from Korea Creative Content Agency. This shows just how much time went into making sure various aspects of [TLT] were at their peak, such as the solidity of the story and perfection of the art. Furthermore, the book was made not just by the writer and artist alone, but also divided the labor among specialists according to their fields, such as coloring, online editing, and offline editing. With these characteristic [TLT]’s storytelling professionalism is all but guaranteed, and the book is steadily proceeding with online publication (Naver), print, overseas advancement, and so on.
- Korea’s Greatest Master of the Pen ‘Kim Jeong-gi’ Meets Professional Storyteller ‘Park Seong-jin’
Cartoonist ‘Kim Jeon-gi’ is famed as an instructor in the art academies in front of Hongik University who provides lessons on how to pass entrance exams for the Department of Comics. Despite only unveiling a few shorts through his ‘Funny Funny’, which ran on [Young Jump], his excellent drawings have won him the hearts of many fans. Meanwhile, ‘Park Seong-jin’ is a major of electrical engineering from KAIST and a seasoned writer whose martial art works number in the hundreds. In particular, he managed Kim Se-young’s sub role during the 4th part of Heo Yeong-man and Kim Se-yeong’s [Tazza]. The meeting of these two titans has elevated [TLT] to the highest level possible.
- Rave Reviews from Netizens on Naver: Comments Flow from Young Adults in Their 20s and 30s
Somewhere along the way, most webtoons made the transition from telling patient and long stories to evoking laughter from their readers. As such, it comes as no surprise that most of the comments for the works tend to be from teenagers and that webtoon culture has shifted from sincerity to levity. However, while [TLT] ran in Naver, it drew out comments from readers in their 20s and 30s and is considered a webtoon nearly devoid of any malicious comments. It stands at a unique position among the works at Naver, and is making a name for itself as a sincere work through its comments section, which is strongly dominated by readers in their 20s and 30s.
[Translator’s Opinion by Jarod Guillette]
The role of a translator is not to just transcribe from one language into another. It is to be a filter through which the authors original intent is conveyed in a manner that can be understood by the receiving audience.
The role is even more complex when it is to make relevant something that is completely foreign to the intended audience, such as Korean business culture. Tiger the Long Tail (TLT) is a comic on the scale of “A Book of Five Rings.” It is a must read series for anyone who is interested in doing business with or in Korea. Though the characters are anthropomorphized animals, each one has a significant symbolism, both in the animal kingdom and also the harsh jungle of Korean corporate life.
[Introduction to the translation]
Korea and the United States have very different structures of corporate law. How a business is composed, who the people are and their respective titles sometimes have no direct relation in English. The hardest part about translating a comic book like this is having to maintain an economy of words when sometimes there are no words to economize in the other language. This translation focuses mostly on being as economical as possible while conveying as much as possible about Korean corporate structure and culture to an English-speaking audience. Lastly as it is a comic, with “ani-people” the use of onomatopoeia is relied heavily upon to imply certain actions, phenomena etc. What a sound sounds like though is always the same no matter what the culture, ears are ears and brains are brains, it is how those sounds are vocalized and understood in the larger cultural context that varies. So enjoy, I did my best to use as many standard comic onomatopoeia as possible and where there was none, I went with my gut. I hope all my days as an elementary school student spent reading Marvel and DC and Archie pays off.